Let me start off by saying when I was younger I wanted 5 kids, but I have two kids. Growing up with 3 siblings, I for some reason thought that if there was one more of us, it would have been perfect. I pictured myself with a white picket fence, a bunch of kids running around, a couple of dogs, maybe even a farm, myself, and my blissful husband.
What I didn’t picture was all the craziness that would actually surround having a family, trying to keep up with a house, dogs, and a career. I also thought that when you kissed a boy that meant he was your boyfriend and by the time I was 30, I was going to be married with a few kids and probably a CEO of a company or something similar.
Finding the One
Well, I wasn’t, at 30, I was single, not at the career level I had hoped for, and kissed way more frogs trying to find my prince than I care to admit. But, it made me who I was and got me to where I am now. 30 was a pivotal year for me as that was the year I met my husband and started the next chapter in my life. This put me a tad behind my timeline and at times felt rushed to get to the next step with him. In hindsight, I wish I savored that time together a little bit more.
I will say, we had a blast in our dating time together, we pretty much spent all of our free time together. After a year together, I moved in, year two we got engaged, started to plan a wedding, and also got a puppy. We set the date for the following year and knew that we would want to start our family relatively quickly after getting married. At the same time, we also wanted to really enjoy that first year together. Since we had a destination wedding we did not have a traditional honeymoon. So, we planned a delayed honeymoon for our one year anniversary and decided to start trying for our family after that.
Read More: How I Came First in my Grooms Eyes
We Planned for Two Kids
We did the math and knew that only two kids were in our future. If we were lucky to get pregnant right away, my husband was going to be 60 when his first child graduated high school. Although older parents are more common now than ever before, this thought made me uneasy. 60 seemed so “old”, I knew it wasn’t and my husband does not look his age. However, it was still a hard concept to wrap my mind around at that time, and another reason for us to have two kids.
At the time I was 34 and my husband was 42 so we knew we didn’t want to wait too long. Before we started our family, we knew we wanted our two kids close together. Two girls, two boys, or one of each, honestly it did not matter as long as they were healthy, happy, and full-term. Mostly because we wanted to enjoy our kids at all their ages and our future grandchildren. We wanted to be able to take advantage of retirement without having young kids in the house. After a two week trip to the Mediterranean, we came home with the best souvenir ever, I found out I was pregnant the following week!
Starting Our Family
Quickly, I found out what most of my friends had already been through with pregnancy and newborns. When I was in my 20’s, and most of my friends were playing house I was single, at home watching Sex in the City alone. When my closest girlfriends started having kids, I was the first one at the baby shower, to visit at the hospital and bring a home-cooked meal. By the time I caught up to them, they were mostly out of the diaper phase and sleepless nights, not only did I feel alone, I felt left behind. My husband is 8 years older and had friends with teenagers, so we were on the newborn island all alone.
On the bright side, we were both extremely settled in our careers, so we did not have the worries about struggling with finances, career change uncertainty, or lingering debt from college. We were both ready and wanted to complete our family with two kids. However, I think the lack of sleep is a tad harder as you get older!
After I had my first baby, returning to work was a break from the day to day life with a newborn. I missed my baby terribly while at work, but I was actually able to get all of the other stuff done that I couldn’t while at home with a newborn. I enjoyed progressing in my career, despite having a newborn. At times I felt like I could do it all, but the thought of having another baby worried me. I was finally at a point in my career I was proud of and felt like I figured out the secret to having it all. Having another child would challenge that, but I knew I wanted more kids.
Content as a Family of Four
Our second baby arrived two years after our first, twenty-seven months to be exact. In some ways, the transition to two kids was easier for us than the transition to one child. However, I quickly realized that this was my last baby which made everything a little bittersweet. I soaked up as many of the baby snuggles I could and enjoyed every second of maternity leave that I did not savor with my first! I can honestly say deep down I know two kids is perfect for us. At the same time, somedays I still daydream about having a farm with a gaggle of kids running around.
Every day I try to live to the fullest and in the present with my babies. To not look ahead too much or behind, easier said than done some days. Especially when it comes to kids when they literally grow and change overnight. The greatest gift I have received is being able to watch my children grow and develop. Seeing them learn new things, do something for the first time, and experiencing life through their eyes is magical.
As my baby approaches 1 ½ and my oldest is almost 4, I am gently reminded of Father Time. I want to hold on to the sweet baby moments that are more and more fleeting as the days pass by. One day, my girls won’t need me to pick them up just because or kiss their boo boos and those are the moments that make me want to have babies forever. There is something so precious about a new baby and I know I won’t have that newborn sweetness again.
As my youngest loses more of her babyness each day, I cling to that part of her. Yet, I look forward to the freedoms that we long for during this time. I understand why people keep having babies, the preciousness and miracle of a baby is priceless. If I was younger I would want more; but I’m not and as I approach 40 and realize my husband will be 50 in a few years, I also am wanting to be able to do things with our two kids now and not have to start it all over with blowouts and sleepless nights.
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