People ask me in the stairwell at work, before meetings get started, over tea at play dates, and while I’m getting my eyebrows waxed.
“Will you have any more kids?”
Before you have kids, people want to know if you will have any. When you’re pregnant, they want to know the baby’s sex and name. Soon after your little one begins to crawl, they wonder if another will come along.
Most ask casually, as filler for conversation, as though having children was as easy as wanting to have them.
But the answer isn’t simple, not for me.
Do I want more? Yes, yes I do. Very much.
Does my partner want more? No, not really.
And if I do manage to convince her to expand our family – and let’s face it, I’m not going at it alone; I need her on board; and we aren’t a straight couple that can get pregnant accidentally and have the decision made for us – my chances of getting pregnant again are pretty slim.
It took us about three years and $20,000 to get our daughter – totally worth it, but emotionally, physically, and financially, we can’t go through it all again. We have options, but not as many as before. And we now have loans to pay off.
And then there’s this – our daughter, while perfect, naturally, takes a lot. Parenting is hard, as all parents know, as I knew going in, but I was not prepared for the crying. Antonia spent the first three months of her life crying, unless she was nursing or being held by one of her grandparents, and sometimes she cried even then. Day care and diapers are expensive. I don’t spend nearly enough time with her, and I am constantly doing laundry. How could there be so much laundry?
My sister-in-law says that all the hassles intensify with two and the joys too. And I believe it. I know it would be harder and it would be wonderful. I don’t know if it is possible.
Will we have more kids?
I don’t know.
I do know this: I love my family. We are great as three. I am so blessed. My partner is a wonderful mother, and some days, when we are at the park or all reading stories together on the couch, I think, this is bliss, this is all I need. Bringing another child into our lives would be pretty great, but we’ll be pretty great either way.
How many are in your family unit? Are you looking to expand it?
Laura Carpenter lives with her partner and daughter in Anchorage.