Thursday, May 22, 2008

Family Math

I come from a big family, there are 6 of us ranging from 41 this summer to 24 in September. The older 4 kids are all about 2 years apart (I think that's right, I bet Liz would know better) but there is a 9 year difference between me and my older brother (who is the youngest of the older 4). My younger brother is 4 years younger than me.

The hubby only has one brother and they are 3 years apart (i think, I'm lucky I know my own family's ages; and even them I'm not sure of)

Why all the numbers? Well for starters, me and the hubby are trying to figure out when to have the next baby....

I argue that having kids closer in age makes them closer to each other. My older siblings, though none of us talk much and are to spread out to really hang out together, always share such great growing up stories. They have friends in common, they all went to dance classes together and they are in general closer to each other than I am with any of them. My younger brother and I are somewhat close, but 4 years is a long time and I went away to college just when he was getting interesting as a person. BUT it's not weird for me to hang out with him and his friends in the way it is sometimes with my older siblings.

In general the hubby agrees that kids should be closer in age, but he also thinks that we should wait until the babe is school aged and a little less dependent on us.

I am torn. I am young and it took all of no trying to conceive the babe, so I'm not really worried about TRYING to have more kids....but I am concerned about costs, and the fact that I am starting to work in the fall, and the last 10 lbs I need to lose from the first one. If we want to have another this time next year (which would be ideal on a teacher's schedule) I would have to get pregnant over the summer and start a new job while that wise? Do we wait and see how work goes before thinking about it? Do we wait until after my sister adopts as to not steal her thunder (and to give the grandparents to hang out with their non-biological kin)? Do we wait until there is more money in our bank account? Do we wait until we FINALLY get to travel out of the country, which is what we are hoping to do this year with my extra salary money? Do we wait until we buy a house, something else we are hoping to use my salary for even though it is a pittance? Do we pop out the kids for a few more years and worry about me going back to work after that?

Do we stop thinking? Throw out the plans and put it all in the Gods hands? Do we track my abnormal cycle with charts and thermometers to force the Gods hand?

You'll notice there are no questions in my head about how we will handle having 2 kids under 3...holding my friend's baby (and watching the hubby voluntarily hold the baby) makes my uterus ache for another, I nannied for parents with 2 kids under 2 and I did it well so there is a big part of me that isn't worried about affording or handling more children heck there isn't even a question about what to name another child since we have names leftover from the babe.

So what do we do?


InventingLiz said...

We're each exactly 20 months apart.

And we may have more "growing up" stories in common with each other than we do with you, but I consider myself way closer to you and the youngest one than to any of the others - you and I have no sibling rivalry issues, while being around the others brings out my inner five-year-old (you're a jerk, you'r an idiot, did too, did not, stop looking at me!)

You think you missed out on something by not having close siblings, I would trade places with you in a minute to have had a little room to breathe growing up. The grass is always greener!

Mary said...

There's so many factors at play in this, it's enough to make your head spin.

Growing up, I think my brothers and I liked that we were each about four years apart on down the line. We were close enough in age to be able to play together, but far enough apart that we weren't right on each others' toes at school and we each got some "alone at home with mom" time before preschool, too, since the bigger one(s) were off at school.

But, on the other hand, I could totally see why having them fast & furious would be advantageous, in the sense that you can keep the hand-me-downs around without feeling so cluttered and maybe have the diaper years feel a little less dragged-out...

I think "the grass is always greener" is really apt here--no matter what you choose, your kids will always find something to complain about. (ha ha) So I say do what feels most comfortable for you & John.

Anonymous said...

I almost never wander onto any of Mary's links, but for some reason I clicked on yours today, Regina. The stars were in order or something. :-)
I'm in a similar place thinking about number three. I have two wonderful healthy kids, no money, and a supportive spouse who wants more children just as much, if not more, than I do. (A marching band, he always says.) Plus, I want a career that would require a whole lot more schooling. Hmmm...
I've kind of decided that one might as well just take the plunge. I'm really loving the three years between my current kids--pregnancy was tolerable, they really get along well, and I don't feel totally frazzled.
Mary says you guys are awesome parents, and the world needs more kids with wonderful parents. I wish there were easy answers, but at least you can know that you aren't alone in your conflicted feelings. Good luck!