When you have two boys or two girls, or when all your children are the same sex, it's easy to decided whether or not to have another baby. Right? But what about when you have one boy and one girl? That's when it gets tough...well, for me anyway. When I found out LilliAnn was a girl, I said this was it. Our little family would be complete. One boy. One girl. That's perfect. Right?! Well...now that my little ones are growing up, I'm not so sure. In the back of my mind I always have told myself I would have three children...two boys and a girl (not that you get to pick the sex or anything). Then I felt like I kind of let everyone else talk me out of that thinking. "You have one of each. That's perfect." "You have one for each hand." "You and your husband won't have to miss any of their events." "You get to do the boy thing AND the girl thing."
And, my mother helps me a lot with my kids. They live really close and we're over at their house almost every day. She is my angel and I know it would be terribly hard to raise my two children without her! Her opinion is that I definitely do not need any more children. After I had LilliAnn she would say, "This is it. You know, like the last Michael Jackson concert." We have had the discussion of two versus three MANY times, and always came to the conclusion that two was perfect. It just seemed to make sense since my only sibling is my younger brother. My dad is also a fan of only two children. He is a very analytical and logical thinker and says, due to the "hard times" and financial obligations of providing for your children, that two is all that anyone in this world should have. When I am having a hard day with my kids, dad will aske me, "How many more do you want?" Also, four has been a hard age for Reid. He is gaining his personality and independence...is transitioning to getting ready to start school, and we have had to work on a lot of things. He has terrible separation anxiety, which has been extra tough on us all. He is intelligent, diligent, a perfectionist, and sensitive...but learning to control his emotions and his "type A" personality has been a challenge. This is another reason why I just knew that I did not need another child. My two spirited children were going to need all of my attention!
We have talked, and talked, and talked, and I have thought, and thought, and thought about why two children are perfect and why we shouldn't have another:
- we have a boy and a girl
- we live a crazy, chaotic, busy life and would we be willing to sacrifice some of the things we enjoy like vacations/traveling, going out to dinner by adding another child?
- financial reasons - there is college, cars, clothes, pictures...and all of the things that I love to splurge on and by for my children because that is what I enjoy
- the time commitment - would we be able to give each of them enough attention? These two are very high maintenance, would it be a bad idea to take away some of the attention and time commitment that they need?
- disruption of the family dynamic - What if we have another boy and he doesn't have as much in common with Jeb as Reid does? Will he always feel left out, even if it is not purposeful, and not feel as close to his father, thus turning to drugs or other dysfunctional coping habits.
- being pulled one more way - Because I'm so high strung, OCD, type A, and like to "over do" everything, would another child stress me out so much as I'm trying to be the "perfect mom" that I won't enjoy my children as much, and would have trouble being in the moment/making memories?
- Will we be able to help them as much as they get older? Financially and time-commitment
- What about grand-children? The more children you have, the more grandchildren...more time and financial commitments...
- Would three siblings be as close as our two siblings? Would there be jealousy between the same sexes?
So, after all of the deliberation...I decided that everyone was right, and after learning just how "spirited" my children were going to be, I was sure that TWO was our magic number. I put the thought of three children away and told myself that Jeb and I wouldn't make any permanent decisions and we would revisit the thought when LilliAnn turned two. I tend to work well with deadlines.
Well...LilliAnn turned two and with each passing day I wanted to have a third child a little bit more. I told Jeb I was going to make an appointment for a breast augmentation if he was absolutely sure that he didn't want any more children (thinking this would really help to make my decision). He told me that he thought he was sure, but to wait just a little bit longer on the boobs. That answer didn't help much! Then my cousin Mica and one of my best friends, Logan, had babies. Then the baby fever really set it! But I was still having days where I thought that two was really all that I could handle AND all that I needed. I recently discussed my thoughts with Jeb and he said that our family of four is just perfect. He actually said, "Kelli Ann, these two are everything we ever wanted." And you know what. He is right.
Here's where it gets confusing. If I have listed out all of the reasons why we shouldn't have another child, Jeb is content with two children and feels that our family is complete, my mom, dad, AND best friend are against me having another child...then why do I still think about it every. single. day.????
I have dreams about our other child...a little boy. He looks like Reid, but with blonder hair and a little chubbier. His name would be Rushton Jeb, and I call him "Rush" in my dreams. I KNOW that the two children I have are perfect! I KNOW that they are everything I ever wanted. I KNOW that the logical and smart thing would be to not having anymore children...but I cannot be satisfied with that and stop thinking about it. And I DO NOT know why. So, now I've given myself another deadline...January 1. I told myself that if I had not decided and was not pregnant by the time I was 30, then I was definitely NOT having any more children.
I know that God has the perfect plan for my little family and I have put my complete trust in His will. I know that whatever is meant to happen, will happen according to His plan. I have been praying continually that God will give me a peace about a decision and will lead me in the direction that only He knows is right. A couple of weeks ago, as I was driving out to the lake, the third child thing had been weighing heavily on my heart so I began to pray out loud. I told God that I wasn't good at subtle hints and that I really needed Him to give me a sign if he wanted me to have another child. That night, there was an earthquake. My verse of the day on my bible app that I read before I went to sleep was this:
"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"
The next morning I woke up very, very early and got in the bathtub because I didn't sleep well the night before. I was so restless and had tossed and turned all night long. When I got in the bath I started reading my bible and this was my daily verse that morning:
"My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you."
It also started raining that morning and hadn't rained in weeks.
I don't want to look back in ten years and regret not having a third child...but I also don't want to have a third child because everyone else around me are having babies, or because I'm only 28 and I feel like I still have a lot of "baby making time left", or because I want to try some of the new baby ideas on Pinterest, or because I want to take cute baby pictures like people are posting on Facebook.
I want our decision to be well thought, and what is best for our family, but most importantly...I want our decision to be His plan - a decision that we have continually prayed about and that we feel He has lead us to make. For right now...TWO IS PERFECT and our family is complete. I will continue to pray for peace about this decision and if God has other plans, let His will be done.