To have or to have not?

By: Heather O’Neill

I have been blessed with two beautiful boys. They are kind, sweet, caring, monstrous, giddy, stinky, lovable and mine.

And I think I want more.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’m pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to do laundry, cook dinner, and referee the tag team champions of the world. I’ll find myself wondering how on earth people do this with more than two kids?  Then I see the endearing face of a little one on social media, gaze upon photos of my boys in their early days or see the hand-me-down clothes that my 18-month old nephew sports and my arms ache. My stomach twinges. My heart seems unfilled. I long to hold an infant in my arms again.

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It’s not just the baby that I’m missing – but I also think about what life will be like for my boys when they are older. Won’t having more siblings be better for them? They will have each other to lean on when times are rough; and there will be strength in numbers when they are faced with caring for their elderly parents.

And then I think – I have two arms. The perfect amount to cuddle with both of my boys at once and no one is left out. Bedtime has become so much easier when they can dress themselves, brush their own teeth and sleep through the night. There is a sense of independence, not only for them, but for my husband and I as well. It’s nice to actually go somewhere and not have to be on constant watch with a toddler running around.

Am I being selfish?

I feel like I am at a crossroads. I’m not getting any younger so it’s pretty much now or never.

My husband is content with two and does not wish to increase our family. If we were to have more, I would have a lot of convincing to do on his end and I’m not confident that he would change his mind.

Many of our friends and close family members are currently expecting. We are going to have a great influx of babies in our lives over the next 6 months. Am I just longing for what we had? Envious? I’m thrilled for them all and can’t wait to meet their little ones and witness the growth in them as parents and individuals.

I miss being the mom of a newborn baby – as crazy as that sounds! I should rephrase; I don’t miss the sleep deprivation, constant laundry or dirty diapers – but I do miss the snuggles, the naps, the witnessing of the first moments.

I know many women (and men) experience these feelings and that I am not alone in this thinking. I just wish I wasn’t so torn.


3 thoughts on “To have or to have not?

  1. I feel your pain. I’m going through serious baby envy lately. I only have one child, and he’s seven, and very challenging. It’s awesome having my own time back (to an extent) but I feel like you, another child would be so good for our family in the long run. and OH how I would love to hold another baby close and smell that fresh baby head again!

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