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May 23

More kids?

(Disclaimer – given my basic personality and overwhelming need to analyze, debate and ponder everything, you should probably expect a post on whether or not we’re having more kids every three or four months.  And probably, they’ll go back and forth, for and against, usually in the same post)

So, I’ve been reading a lot lately.  If by lately, I mean the last thirty years or so, because really, I just read a lot in general and always have.  But I noticed that, as of late, I’ve been reading an awful lot about special needs kids.  Autism, deafness, down syndrome, profound mental and physical handicaps, schizophrenia… and it’s having an impact.  I may be subconsciously choosing my reading material to influence this choice, but I’m leaning more and more towards being done with having children.

My kids are healthy.  Not without their own little neuroses and issues, but on the whole, healthy, happy, well adjusted kids.  Would I be tempting fate to do it again?  Possibly.  I know I was waiting, during Julie’s ultrasound, for the other shoe to drop.  It didn’t.  She’s healthy.  They all are. Plus, with Marc’s schedule the way it is – I’m really bordering on overwhelmed most of the time.

I’ve got it under control, kind of, most of the time.  But he’s not home during the week, at all, really, and it’s just me, home with three kids, of different ages and temperaments and needs – and I don’t always handle it well. I’m not always good at it. I frequently have to put one kid’s needs above the others, or make one kid suck it up because I don’t have time to parent that particular one the way I would like to.

Somehow, it’s generally Jessica or Julie that get the shaft lately, although I’m fairly certain that Sam also sees his share of benign neglect.  Jessie tends to be more independent so I have to try harder to notice when she needs me and just isn’t asking.  When she wants me and isn’t asking.  Julie’s nap is haphazard and often overlooked, not because I don’t want her on a regular schedule, but because I just can’t fit it in between pick ups and drop off and homework and dinner.

Bottom line, I can barely keep my head above water as it is.  I’m not complaining, although it probably sounds like I am.  Truth is, I love having three kids.  I love the chaos, and the craziness, the jumble of all of them on top of me at bedtime.  I love the fact that there’s such a great age difference between them, I have Jessie – who’s seriously drop dead gorgeous and just on the cusp of adolescence, and Sam, who’s just so freaking awesome and really starting to enter into that lovely self-sufficient stage of late childhood, pre-puberty.  And Julianna Ruth is still my buddy, still thinks the sun rises and sets because I make it so.    It’s not that I’m barely keeping my head above water – it’s that I’m fully immersed in mothering right now, exactly what I wanted.

After Jessie was born, I knew I wanted more kids.  After Sam was born, it still felt like someone was missing.  But now – I kind of feel like I’m done.

Maybe I’m just done for right now.  Maybe a year from now, I’ll feel differently.  But I realized yesterday that if I got pregnant this fall, there would be a bigger age difference between Sam and the new baby than there is between my two girls.  Not that I wouldn’t love another girl, of course I would – but I would like another boy, I’d like for Sam to have a brother.  But if I did get pregnant, and I did have a boy (neither of which is a guarantee), they’d be in completely different worlds pretty much all of their lives.  Julie is always going to be seven years younger than Jessie.  They won’t ever share friends or activities.  Don’t get me wrong – Jessica is phenomenal with her baby sister – but it’s her baby sister.  They aren’t peers.  And probably won’t be for another twenty five years or so, not until they’re both adults.  Sam wouldn’t have a buddy kind of brother – he’d have a baby brother.  Which, again, not a bad thing – but the image I had in my head of Sam with a little brother buddy – that ship has sailed.

So maybe we are done.  And maybe that’s okay.  Not sure if I’ll ever be able to say with any kind of finality that I’m positive I don’t want any more kids.  I don’t know that Marc would ever say that.  But for now, for the foreseeable future – I think I might be.

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