As a mom of two young boys, I am regularly asked if I’m going to “try for a girl.” So many thoughts run through my head when someone carelessly asks me such an ignorant question…
First of all, I am fairly certain that the first two times I tried for a girl. As much as you can really try in this situation.
Second, do you assume I’m not perfectly happy with two boys?
With a one-year-old and a three-year-old, adding another monkey to our circus is the farthest thing from my mind some days. And other days, I think I might as well just add to the chaos while I don’t know any better.
In all seriousness, I am not sure if I feel that our family is complete yet. Wise counsel has told me that you just know when you are done. You have a peace about it. And I don’t have a peace one way or the other.
What I do know is that I love being a family of four. It seems practical for so many reasons ::
- A family of four fits so easily at a dinner table, in a car, or on a ride at Disney World.
- Man-to-man defense is a lot easier than zone.
- I have two arms for my two children, and from a practical point of view, that makes a whole lot of sense.
- The boys never have an odd man out. With just two of them, they always have each other.
- We don’t have to buy a bigger house so that everyone has his own room.
All good reasons to call it quits and move forward with life as a family of four, right?
It’s just that when I see a sweet family of five, I am reminded that I like odd numbers, and I start to wonder what it would be like to have a third. I can fit another child in my lap, and my boys love to snuggle so much that it would be fun to have another sibling to squeeze in tight under our blanket when we binge watch Nick, Jr.
And if I’m done with babies, then I need a moment to be sad about it, okay? If I had only known that was my last pregnancy, I like to think I would’ve cherished the growing baby bump instead of just dismissing it as a “means to an end.” I hopefully would have enjoyed the kicks and wiggles going on in my belly at all hours of the day. The absolute miracle of pregnancy is so beautiful and something that only a mom knows. To think I’ll never have that again makes me really sad.
And if I’m done, then I need some time to mourn that.
And if that was my last newborn, then pass me a Costco-size box of kleenex because I regretfully wished away so much of that first year. Holding my baby for the first time, having him sleep so deeply on my shoulder, that newborn smell, the gummy smiles, and seeing him discover his hands and feet – it’s a time that is so tender and innocent. I wished so much of it away because he was such a difficult infant. I wonder if I have rocked my last newborn in the middle of the night?
Before I get too sappy, I also know that with a third baby comes that incredibly hard and sleepless newborn year all over again. What if I have postpartum depression again? Am I mentally strong enough to handle that? Or, what if I end up having another baby in the NICU that doesn’t come home with me when I’m discharged from the hospital? Can I walk that road again?
Everyone says that you never regret having another child; you regret the child you didn’t have. I think there’s some definite truth to that statement, but does it apply to our family? I’m not sure that it does.
I can’t write this post without mentioning that I want a baby girl more than anything. I can close my eyes and see so much pink it’s blinding. I will confess that I am so jealous of my friends who have girls. And the ones that have a boy AND a girl? Well, that’s just the American Dream. Or it was mine, at least. Do you even know how lucky you are?
As much as I think I’m supposed to have a girl, perhaps I’m actually supposed to have boys. Maybe that’s because other girls have been put in my life that I am supposed to look after and love on extra hard — my nieces, the cheerleaders I have coached, and the freshmen girls that I currently mentor.
So, to those people who have asked me if I’m “going for a girl”… I don’t have an answer for you. My husband and I have decided to wait a bit longer before making that decision. These days, we are enjoying playing man-to-man defense as a family of four.