Now that my son is four I’m constantly being asked if I plan on having more kids. So I’ve come up with a humorous (and very honest) answer… no more, because CJ is like having THREE boys already!
Truth is I wish I could have more. This photo was taken on my birthday a few years ago. Hubby planned a surprise spa day for me at Hockley Valley and CJ was a year and half. Every time I see this my heart strings get tugged because I know it’ll just be him (and his pet rock) forever.
See I’ve always had this ‘two kids or nothing’ rule. But now that I’ve had my first, there are seven very valid reasons why I decided to stop at one…
1) Private school is $24,000 a year. That will jump to $30,000 when we move to California and he enters kindergarten (age 5 in the US). YIKES! We decided to be open to public school options after hearing so many success stories of great schools in the Bay Area. HOWEVER, this (spared) tuition money isn’t going to be automatically plopped into our savings (or raising another child) because it’ll go straight into the over-inflated rent/mortgage we will have to dole out to snag a Peninsula or East Bay address. FML you can never win right?! Simply put, we can do it and have an ‘average’ life as a family of 4 but heck, we work hard so why settle for mediocre?! We love traveling and already have a wonderful and comfortable lifestyle but it’s only meant for 3 people. Now if we won the lottery…
2) We are exhausted AF! CJ has always been a very active boy. In utero he would have dance parties in my tummy! As a baby his feet would always be up in the air kicking away. Every time we had a play date in the park, I was THAT mom wildly chasing after her toddler while the other moms and babes were able to chill and enjoy a picnic. He just cannot stay still (alright he’s a boy) but truth be told… I’m bloody tired and some nights I crash at 9pm in the middle of reading him a bedtime story. Sure we can throw the dice and maybe the next child will be ‘less spirited’ but who knows and at this point, we likely will never find out. (This also ties into #5.)
3) I’m a mompreneur! When we are not running after CJ, we are running our ad agency. And any entrepreneur can vouch that riding the highs and lows is pretty darn similar to raising a child — it’s unpredictable and requires around the clock attention. As a matter of fact, we joke that Adfluent counts as a second baby! I’ve always been very ambitious and LOVE my career in marketing and I cherish having this little blog. One day I may even go back to corporate and try to land that dream job at Google! So I really don’t want to have to choose to put a pause on this momentum. I prefer the balance of being a WAHM (work at home mom) rather than a SAHM… which I did for 2 years and no doubt, it’s the toughest job in the world! I bow down to you stay-at-home super human beings! As much as I adore being CJ’s momma, I’m not best suited for that stand alone role.
4) I don’t want my marriage to just ‘survive’. I want a happy healthy relationship with my husband that includes weekly date nights! The days before I gave birth, he jokingly said to me ‘see ya in 18 years’! And maybe there is truth in that. We are a buuuuusy couple that had to quickly learn how to ‘divide and conquer’. It’s been four years now and we’ve carried on the weekly date night tradition, we have long thought provoking conversations (like should we have another child haha?), go on 3-4 family trips a year and we have fun together! Some of our friends who have 2+ kids are burnt out and sadly comment how their spouses have become ‘roommates’ who merely share bills and household responsibilities. I never want that to be us.
5) The saying that it takes a village to raise a child can’t be more true! In Toronto, my parents were a huge help – babysitting, meal prepping, even coming to mop the floor was received with gratitude. Now it’s just us in California. With family far away and my in-laws in Western Canada (we see them about a week each year), we just don’t have the support systems. I considered hiring a nanny but that’s counter productive… have more children so someone else can raise them? This is hubby’s main reason for not wanting more.
6) I value my sleep and sanity. The 6-7 hrs I get. I can handle my kid jumping on my tummy at 6am yelling ‘good morning belly button!!!!’ but I’m also not nursing a newborn throughout the night. Because that would be like working a full time job plus night shift! I also can’t deny that I appreciate my alone time – for yoga, hanging out with girl friends, peeing in private! Perhaps this is considered selfish for some but mornings come hard and fast, and the days can draaaggg on. I seriously believe that a healthy (and sane) mom = a happy baby.
7) I’ve over-analyzed it to death and we are still a family of 3! This has been a popular topic for 2+ years now so I figure it’s more for entertainment value ha! If I REALLY wanted another mini-me, I would be romantically nudging my husband towards the bedroom rather than sitting here at wee hours typing this post!
Yes, I will ALWAYS wonder and peer enviously into the Instagram feeds of my friends who have these perfect lives with 2.5 children…
Having said all this, these are MY reasons (justification) of why my son is an only child. I could just as easily rattle off 7 reasons that support having a bigger family. How many you ultimately have will be a very personal decision to you! So never let anyone judge or talk you into anything nor guilt-trip you! Reproduction is a ‘no turning back’ kinda big deal.
My bff who always wanted just one is now pregnant again and her daughter is already 8. And Maya, my blogger friend and a SAHM in Toronto posted about how she knew she was done after number three!
A good way to think about it is to scroll up to my top photo and take a look at it again. Envision yourself at 45 (gosh I know that sounds sooo old)… you are getting ready for dinner with your family. There’s a seat for yourself and your partner. How many more little chairs would you want to add to your table to feel ‘complete’?
For us, we finally decided that while we may not fill our chairs with bodies, you can bet we will be filling them with love, fond memories, a quality education that fits CJ’s personality and tons of worldly experiences!