While I’ve talked about having three children for as long as I can remember, and taken action to prepare for my 3rd attempt at trying to conceive, I’ve surprisingly found myself thinking that maybe I’m really done. That thinking doesn’t actually sit well with me because it’s such a radical shift, and that makes me question it, but I keep coming back to the same place.
Maybe it would be nice to stick with two, two who are close enough in age that they will be able to go to the same school until my daughter starts middle school, allowing me, when she starts K and he starts pre-K, to live the life I’ve always dreamed of; working part-time, being the one that gets to pick my children up and take them to their activities, having their friends over after school and really getting to know them, being the primary one to help with their homework, etc. But the cut in work hours needed to do those things wouldn’t be possible if I needed to pay for child care for 3, at least not until the littlest one could go to pre-K, when my oldest, best case scenario, would be in 3rd grade.
It just doesn’t feel right, knowing that I have a choice to be more available to my children sooner. That, and the fact that I really want to make a change professionally, and that the direction I’m leaning is one that will require a couple of years of schooling. I will be meeting with a career counselor to make sure that it’s really likely to be the best path for me, but I simply can’t make the changes I think I need to be happy in my career if I am still paying for full-time care for one kid, in addition to the summer camps, after-school care, and the like, which I will need for my older two.
I’m not closing the door to another, but right now I’m thinking that my family works the way it is (ironically, at a time when my daughter is telling me nightly that we need another baby) but I wonder, for those who also found themselves surprisingly thinking their family was complete, who had previously thought they would like to expand it, what was it that brought about that shift and did you stay there?
Karen, 39y5m, Annie, 4y2m, and Mitchell, 2y4m
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