How Many Children Do You Hope to Have?

Last year, I wrote a post about debating whether or not we should try for a third baby. This fall, Alex and I decided…

…our family is complete. Even as I write that, I feel a pang of Oh but what if? Babies are just so lovely. But I know that our family is best as a fearsome foursome.

We had thought a lot about trying for a third child. Alex wasn’t so sure about it (with our balance of jobs and children right now, adding another child to the mix would likely be too much for us), but I still daydreamed about a third little one running around. I have a brother and a sister, and it was really fun to grow up in a gang of three. Plus, I love our two children so overwhelmingly, psychotically much that wouldn’t it be wonderful to have another one? And slow everything down? And have a house full of children forever? After all, Toby will be off to college in TWELVE YEARS! That is not that long! Twelve years ago, I was 24! I still feel 24!

Funnily enough, my friend pointed out that maybe a fear of aging was contributing, too. If there’s another baby in my future, I’m still in that group of young mothers-to-be. But if I’m done having babies, I’m in the group of women who are done having babies — including my mother, aunts, and grandmothers. I’m in the older generation. It was such a fascinating realization that had never occurred to me before. It felt like one of those Magic Eye photos — ta da! I see the dolphin! Only this time, I was like, ta da, I’m scared of death, who knew?

In the end, once I realized that the major reason I craved a third child was because I actually wanted Toby and Anton to slow down, the decision was clear: I want to soak up these boys as much as possible, without being distracted by another baby, and just enjoy this wonderful time with them. And it keeps getting better and better: Alex and I are always laughing over things they said, and studies show that parents are happiest when their kids are between 6 and 12 (fascinating, right?).

Two is the magic number for us. We feel so lucky to have had two sweet children, and our family feels complete. (Plus, who knows? Maybe we wouldn’t be able to have a third child.) On the bright side: I can look forward to grandchildren, ha!

How Many Children Do You Hope to Have?

How Many Children Do You Hope to Have?

What about you? How many kids do you hope to have? One? Five? None? Not sure? Are you and your partner on the same page? Did you decide to have a baby on your own? Was it hard to conceive? I would so much love to hear your thoughts…

P.S. On having a boy. And how do you know if you’re ready to have a baby?

(Photos by Olivia Rae James for Cup of Jo. My sweater is from Madewell. The boys are wearing Polarn O. Pyret shirts and Mabo pants. No one wants to know where Alex’s flip flops are from.)