Friday, September 24, 2010

Two is enough

The Engineer and I decided a long time ago that we'd try for two kids. He'd always wanted one or two, and I'd always wanted at least two, so it seemed reasonable to settle on the number we had in common! We were very blessed not to have too much trouble having those kids on about the timeline we'd wanted.

But I was concerned--in fact, I think I expected that after a time, I'd feel that "baby fever" again and would want a third. And I knew if that happened, it wouldn't be fair to expect The Engineer to change his mind, since we'd agreed on two.

To my surprise (and relief), as Zoodle has gotten older, I've felt more content, not less, with our two kids. My 2 1/2-year-old is gaining more and more independence, and I like that. I like knowing that he and Chickie can play together upstairs without too much supervision. I like that he doesn't need diaper changes. I like that he can feed himself. And the next level--the one Chickie has reached--is even better. She dresses herself, can get her own fork out of the utensil drawer, and has even learned to hang up her clean dresses.

As much joy as I got out of the baby years, I just really don't want to do it again--the diapers, the unexplained crying in the middle of the night, the nap that's messed up on Sunday morning at church. I don't even really want to breastfeed again, even though that was such a special part of my relationship with my little ones.

Two just feels right for us. Now, if God surprises us (and it would be a big surprise!) with another one, I'll be happy (and a little freaked out), and overall it'll be wonderful. But I don't expect that. It just feels really good to be content with these two awesome kids, to feel that we're moving on into the next phase of our lives as parents, with kids that will be in school before we know it.

Photobucket Photobucket

What about you? If you want to share, I'd like to hear about how you feel about the number of kids you do or don't have.

And if you'd like to read the thoughts of my friend Call Me Cate on this topic, click here. She doesn't have kids and has an interesting, funny perspective.

22 comments:

Kara said...

My feelings echo yours almost to a T - I couldn't imagine "starting over" at this point and going back to those newborn times. I love my girls and I love how independent they are growing. I love the sense of moving on with our life a bit and into the next phase of having kids, not babies. Two kids feels just right for this family.

*Monica said...

I am mommy to four sons, ages 15, 14, 12 and 2. My older three were very close together and I felt like you do when they were leaving the baby stage for big kid stuff. Son number 4 was a surprise and I really worried that a baby would throw off our family dynamic. Everything wasn't perfect, but having a toddler with teens is actually very very enjoyable. The teens love and mother him and enjoy his company. The cure for teen angst is a toddler, by the way. When they were grumping about, I would ask him to play with the grump and they will both be laughing within five minutes.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Two is a good number, because it becomes exponentially harder when the kids outnumber the adults.

That said, I don't think it matters how many you have - all that counts is the love you give them, and the joy they give you in return. And the number doesn't really have any bearing on that.

Tia said...

Ha! I think you know how distressed I am on this particular topic...

I am glad you are so content though. And jealous. So jealous!

Melinda said...

There was a time I had come to terms with having no children. My heart was full enough. When I was blessed with my son's arrival I wanted another child; someone Ian could grow up with. As time goes on I find myself becoming more and more content to have only one child. If we are lucky enough to have lightning strike twice and have another baby I feel like two would be enough for us to handle. I can't imagine more kids than that.

Call Me Cate said...

I had a lot of nothing to say about this so I posted it on my own blog.

The Numbers Game

Tiffany said...

The moment I gave birth to Sophie 6 weeks ago I felt our family was complete. Maybe this will change over time but I really don't see it happening. I love the completeness I feel having a family of four.

Lara said...

I understand. I am not a tiny baby person. I felt so guilty when I had Ellie and I just wanted her to get past those first few months! People would always say, "don't you just looove all the newborn stuff?" No, not really. That being said, I do want more kids. Right now I want 4. But revisit me on that after number 3 comes home!

Buffie said...

Hubby and I agreed on 2 kids before we even had any. So it was a surprise for me when, while I was pregnant with our 2nd, he mentioned the possibility of a third. I told him I would consider it, but not until our 2nd was at least 6 months old. Since she's currently 4 months we are still debating. We're both open to it, but we worry about affording a third.

ElleBee said...

How funny that you posted this ten days before our "big surprise" is due to arrive! I was in a similar situation, The Manimal was 4, and I was feeling more and more comfortable with two when God decided that we weren't done!

Gina said...

I blogged about this in response. :)


http://jzeena.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-many.html

Megan Fletcher said...

Well, we have 3 right now (ages 6, 4, 4). I always said I wanted 4 or 5 kids. I grew up with 4 siblings and so did my husband. I like big families. We weren't planning our #1 when we got pregnant with her but were happy to try for a #2 once she reached a year old. Much to our surprise, it took us one month to get pregnant and we were blessed with a double. Having 3 so close together was overwhelming. I can't say I don't like the baby phase, but I was happy to be past it with my kids because I liked each new phase better. When my twins were about 2 1/2 years old I started wanting another one. After asking my hubby and him not being on board, I tabled the discussion. I would go back and forth, with a slight lean to "one more". I have to say I honestly wanted to be pregnant once more, give birth once more, nurse once more, etc as much as I wanted to add one more kiddo to the mix. Maybe I wanted all that because it was a complete blur with my twins and it had all been so new (and not ideal to me) with my first. [I can't believe I'm even writing that for the world to read, but it's the truth.] Last fall, after I had not said anything about having another one for a while, my husband announced one day "we could have another one". He even said we could handle it if we had twins again (which was a concern to both of us). After 6 months of trying, I got pregnant in May and we're expecting #4 in late January. There are many days I think "why am I starting over again?" I totally agree with you, Beth, on the freedom of kids playing independently and doing so much for themselves. I'm quite certain this is the last baby that will be added to our family that comes through my body. However, we aren't closing the door entirely on the number of kids God wants us to have. We are still open to adoption, but probably not for several more years. We'll see!

Janell said...

This is a really complicated (and tender) subject for me since we foster. I think we've come to feel that our max is three--four would probably put us over the top. When our foster baby (number 3) goes back to his birth family as is planned, I don't know that we'll have any more ... we just wish we could keep the third one we've already got. :( It IS really hard to do the baby thing repeatedly. I love it, but it is exhausting! We may foster older (toddler/preschool age) kids eventually, but we'll be taking a LONG break first (meaning, years).

Elizabeth said...

Lovely post. Your words reflect my own thoughts and desires perfectly. I feel so blessed to be a mom of two little girls. I loved being pregnant, I loved the tiny baby stage and am enjoying their new stages as they grow. I feel that it's hard enough to find a balance with taking care of my girls, my husband, our home, staying connected to family, making time for friends and somehow carving in some time for myself. I know that if I had more kids my life would be more scattered, I would be more uptight, stressed, rushed and not be able to give my best to the people I love the most. Two is enough.

Angie said...

We always said 2 with an option for a 3rd. Meaning after 2 we are open to maybe another, but definitely 2. I've always wanted 2 and Ronnie has always wanted 3. We've been trying to have that 2nd child for 3 years now. Still no 2nd child. We're still trying for another. I'm an only child and I have NEVER wanted that for my child. As much as I love Paige I don't feel we're a complete family yet. It's not so much baby fever as it is I've always wanted a family of 4 and I won't feel done until I have it.

Special K said...

We have 2 and I feel totally incomplete. I think a #3 will be in the cards in the next year.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I am so with you! We actually had both only wanted one! But we have 2 and 2 is exactly right and perfect. No baby fever here- in all honesty, I'm very relieved that we aren't going to be considering going through infant stages again. I looooove other people's babies and will hold them for hours.

Mellodee said...

Do not...repeat....DO NOT give away or sell your baby furniture (especially the crib)or any maternity clothes you have.

I have seen throughout my lifetime that doing so will result in adding yet another child to the mix!!

Evidently keeping baby furniture and maternity clothes stored away is somehow the world's best contraceptive!


:)

Faith said...

We always wanted at least 3, maybe 4. When we started having kids, we realized that we would be open to any children God had in store for us. I was so sick during my pregnancies, that my docs encouraged (er...demanded?) I not have any more children. I was sad at first, but I also know now (as my youngest is nearly 3), that God knows what He is doing. Four kids is exactly perfect for us. I love that I'm a mom of "older" kids now. My oldest is 8 & my youngest nearly 3. I'm finished with diapers, pacifiers, waking at night, carrying bag of supplies at all times, etc. I love the number of children we have, even if it wasn't my choice - it is the right size for us.

Jazzbumpa said...

Interesting perspectives, all. I have a son and a daughter - exactly what I wanted; and my lovely wife has two sons. All are grown now and we have 11 grandchildren, from almost 14 down to 2 1/2.

This has been a fun adventure - for one year all four were in high school together - one in each class. Until the grandkiddies came, that was the seriously best year of my life.

The older and younger cousins do have great fun together - quite a mix of personalities and talents. We are greatly blessed.

Cheers!
JzB

Vixbil said...

Let me first start by saying, I love all my children. BUT, I have 3 and would never have chosen to have 3. I was blessed with twins second time round and have found it really tough. We had planned to have 2 only and having 3 has been a struggle and I still find having 3 a difficult number to deal with. I love them all and could never chose between them but that is how I feel.
x

SurvivorBlessing said...

My husband and I are both from a family of four. But the moment we met, we both wanted at least three, possible four kids! Oh well, God had something else in mind with us - or was it that He knew I couldn't handle so many??? Not sure yet on that and I am still asking God about it.
But out of disaster came something so beautiful as our second baby - if you want to read more about it, you can visit my blog!
We have two and are hoping for a third one!?! Five seems to be magical for us.....