A thing about me is that I never debated how many kids to have. At every point in my life thus far, I've been completely certain about how many kids I would have. For the longest time, it was none. Parenting wasn't a thing I grew up dreaming of doing, and as I moved into adulthood and saw the landscape of my goals taking shape, becoming a mother wasn't anywhere to be seen. That is, of course, until I had a baby.
I was sure I didn't want to be a parent until I was suddenly just as sure that I did, and then I promptly became one, at which point I became exceedingly sure that I was only going to have one kid. I grew up with a lot of siblings and credit the experience for fundamental parts of who I am, and the prospect of raising just one kid has seemed, since day one, to be well outside the wheelhouse of all parenting strategies I'm familiar with, but still — one kid for me and no more. I was super sure of it.
My son is 5 now, and sure enough, I find myself occasionally entertaining very, purely, totally hypothetical thoughts about the extremely imaginary concept of adding another kid to my family. Would I adopt? Would I give birth to another baby? Is that your baby? Can I hold it? OMG it smells so good.
The point is, hell if I know whether or not the increase in frequency of me feeling (admittedly hormone-driven) interest in having another kid will actually result in me having one. My two preceding "immovable, firm" stances on my procreative outlook have thoroughly dissuaded me from making any firm proclamations about what will or won't happen. At this point, I'm where so many parents find themselves: swinging dramatically between craving another baby and feeling utterly unhinged for even contemplating the idea of having one.
If you've been in this delightfully unstable mental place about kids, you've likely had most of these thoughts at some point:
"OMG Someone Put A Baby in My Uterus Immediately. Being Pregnant Was So Amazing."
Is there anything more exceptionally lucky in this life than to have the ability to house a budding life within your body, to feel it grow, and to safely bring it into a state of autonomous existence? It's practically channeling the god force of the universe through your vagina. It's the strongest and most powerful you've ever felt. Damn, why wouldn't you want to have that feeling as many times as you can possibly fit into one lifetime?
"Being Pregnant Is A Nightmare I Was Lucky To Escape The First Time Around. So, So Lucky."
Hell no. Hell f*cking no, brain. Do you remember what it took to get your body feeling even vaguely normal again after having a baby? Have you forgotten about the heartburn and nausea and stretch marks and back pain and all the various mini-hells associated with breastfeeding? Does your ass recall what it felt like to get that baby out of you? What are you doing, baby girl. Turn all the way around. Nope. Don't go back into that war zone.
"My Kid Needs A Sibling. Like, Yesterday."
I mean, it's only responsible to give your kids siblings so they don't grow up spoiled, learn important social skills, and generally don't become psychopaths, right? It would almost be negligent to not have another baby immediately.
"Does My Kid Really Need A Sibling, Though?"
Eh, they seem fine, actually. Loners are sexy. Their social awkwardness will get them laid later in life.
"It Doesn't Matter If We're Dividing Family Resources Between More People. Love Is Worth Less Money In The Bank."
Obviously, things like paying for school will be more difficult. Yes, budgeting for their ever-changing shoe size will be challenging with more kids. The cost of feeding them might compete with the GDP of most small countries. But what is all of that compared to having another member of the family to love for the rest of our lives?
"Actually, I Like Money. I Like It So Much."
I feel like we have plenty of love, now that I think about it. *Looks around, nods* Yeah, no, we're totally good on love around here. Let's get more money.
"Fact: Babies Are Delicious."
Ugh, want to eat their chubby, perfect faces.
"Also Fact: Babies Are Disgusting & Needy."
Do you really need to willingly enter into another situation where you're obligated to touch someone else's sh*t for a few more years? Is that really the life choice you want to make?
"But My Youngest Isn't A Baby Anymore!"
You can love the little human you're "baby" is rapidly growing into, but damn, there's not a lot that's more comforting in this wasted world than having a warm, fat, sleepy baby snuggled next to you. And the more time that goes by, the further your youngest is from being anything resembling that baby.
"But My Youngest Isn't A Baby Anymore!"
Wait, but also, you don't have a baby in your house anymore — finally. No more sneaking around quietly during naps, or waking up in the middle of the night, or struggling to communicate with a human who doesn't yet grasp spoken language. All the people in your house are at least rudimentarily capable of functioning like fully formed people — on what warped plane of logic would you want to bring a whole new noisy, unstable, delicate water balloon of a person back into the mix? (Ugh, they are hella cute though.)