I wanted a large family, until I gave birth.
I have two sisters, and my husband has one brother, three step-siblings and two half sisters (try to figure that family tree out on a first date). I have dozens of cousins, and Courtny has eight nieces and nephews so far. We naturally come from large families, therefore we thought that same dynamic would be the perfect scenario for us. We figured we would have our sweet baby girl, pop out a couple more, and have our own little Cotten tribe. Maybe even a basketball team.
Then Dorothy happened. Parenthood, along with it’s stresses and exhaustion, happened. The realization that we could be changing diapers and doing nightly feedings for the next decade if we decide to have a few more, happened.
And suddenly three more children is not looking like our dream world.
How do you know when your family is complete? We love our daughter more than anything in this world – could we possibly find more in our hearts (and find more time in our day, and find more dollars in our bank account) to bring another into this world? My Facebook feed is overwhelmed with pregnancy announcements, and for some reason I get nervous every time a new ultrasound photo is posted.
Is our family of three enough? Are we done?
As Dorothy inches closer to an appropriate age gap in siblings, my husband and I have had many conversations as of late about the future of our family. Our original plan to have a larger brood simply doesn’t fit with the overall vision we now have for our lives. We want to travel, and show Dorothy the world. We want to financially be able to provide for her, and give her opportunities that we may not have had in our own childhoods. And so, even the most thought out of plans must sometimes change. Newsflash: we won’t be the Duggars any time soon.
Our individual opinions on the topic are polarizing. Courtny treads lightly, saying that he wants what I want. One is fine with him. So is two, three or four. He has seen the effects that pregnancy and motherhood have had on me, and acknowledges that I have to bear most of the burden in our decision.
I, on the other hand, am not so easy going. While I was on the one-and-done train for the first few months postpartum, I now want another at some point down the road. In my mind, it’s not fair to Dorothy to make her be an only child. She needs a friend, a playmate, outside of her father and me. I’m willing to do it all over again, just so she can have a sibling.
But two is enough.
Two is most definitely enough.
And now that I’ve said it in a public forum, we’ll probably have triplets when the time comes.
Disclaimer: Mother, I know you’re reading this. I’m not pregnant. Chill. 😉
How do you know when your family is complete? What is an ideal age gap between kids? Is an only child the way to go? And discuss.