Lately I’ve been feeling very “baby happy” since a couple of people close to me have had babies. Maybe it is also because my kids are now in Elementary school and seeing these newborns reminds me of another time, a new joyful experience of bringing this incredible life into the world. Seeing this little dependent being who looks like you and your spouse (or some random relative) is very exciting. At that age, the child loves you and needs you no matter what whereas that changes as they get older. Now, they can do a lot more on their own but they also have plenty of attitude and opinions. As they get older it will change further and then being a good parent often means letting go and letting them have the space to learn from their own experiences. This is such a contrast from how we managed them as babies!
I see people I know with bigger families or watch them on TV and I feel a pang of envy. Those big family gatherings seem so nice and seeing the siblings able to rely on each other is wonderful. I don’t know how much of this always happens since I have heard many negative stories from our parents’ generation when big families were common. There were siblings who just stopped talking to each other as they got older or some who created a lot of drama for the rest. Regardless, I think there is something sweet about a big family but maybe that is an outdated notion for our time. After all, how many of us can afford to have 5 kids these days? I worry about how to send 2 kids to college. Nowadays most women work (for multiple reasons) so paying for childcare would be crazy. Then there is the responsibility to our planet not to overpopulate. Our population is growing at shocking rates compared to the past and soon our resources will be depleted. That seems like a big reason to stick to the 2 kids I have!
There is also the reality check of going back to sleepless nights, diapers, and constant crying. Those things seem so far away and the cute, cuddly baby makes you think it wasn’t so bad. Yet, I don’t know if we could handle all that again especially now that we’re older. It is nice to be able to tell the kids to get in the car and they do it themselves and don’t need a car seat. There are no strollers and diaper bags to carry. Though, now I need to have a DSi and some snacks handy at all times. I no longer feel guilty leaving them at my mom’s when I go out because they do their own thing. She just has to call them for meals or referee and occasional fight. It took a long time to get to this point. We probably don’t want to start all over again. Now, I can think about restarting my career without worrying so much about a little one at home. I guess maybe I’ll just continue to enjoy the big family interactions on TV. I can always call my friends if I need that fix since some friendships can be stronger than family. So, I guess I’m content with my 2 boys and I’ll keep visiting the friends with babies when I miss holding one!
Reena, you absolutely took the words out of my mouth. I’ve been thinking a lot about babies for the last few weeks. I weighed pretty much every pro and con you mentioned. End decision was that I couldn’t commit to starting again. My kids are going to be 9 and 6 and things have gotten so much easier. The though of sleepless nights is not appealing. Like you I’ll get my big family fix from shows like Parenthood and make lots of visits to my new nephews. Thanks for sharing!
Yeah I loved the big family feeling when I’d visit India or watching shows like Parenthood, Brothers & Sisters, etc. but it is a huge responsibility to take on when you feel like you successfully passed those tough baby years!
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