Recently I have been fielding the dreaded question that inevitably comes after the birth of a baby, "So, when are you going to have another?" While I expected the question a bit more after the birth of my first child, it surprised me how many people kept asking after I had my second. Everyone wanted to know if and when we plan on having a third child. The answer is that I'm honestly not quite sure when or if we will have another, but I do know that currently I've come up with more bad reasons than good ones for wanting one. Below are a few examples.
1. Babies are the sweetest!
While it's true that babies are sweet and snuggly and they smell fantastic (well ... mostly fantastic), the fact is they are only babies for like two seconds in the grand scheme of things — which you clearly already know since you have another child already. Also, while all babies are wonderful gifts, the colicky baby who hates sleeping that you may end up with might be decidedly less "sweet" than what you had imagined.
I'm not gonna lie. Naming a baby is probably at the top of my list of reasons for wanting more children. I know it's a totally ridiculous reason, but I have at least two more amazing names in my baby name arsenal that deserve to be shared with the world (but, only by me, since you know I'm not telling them to anyone else).
3. The tiny, cute clothes
Baby clothes really are adorable, and I must admit that I occasionally experience pangs of wanting more little ones when I pass by the newborn baby clothes section at Target. Oh, to dress another little one! But then I remember how giant my second baby was (10 pounds, 8 ounces!) and remember that he actually never fit in those tiny things, and the feeling passes.
If your friends were all jumping off a bridge, would you do it to?!
4. Because your friends are doing it
If your friends were all jumping off a bridge, would you do it, too?! This is a terrible reason to have more babies. Two or three or four or 10 children might be a perfect fit for your friend's family, but that doesn't mean it's the perfect fit for yours.
5. So you can have a birth do-over
The one thing you can absolutely count on about birth is that it is unpredictable. I have had two natural births, and my last was a home birth. While the end result was healthy babies, I must say that neither went as I had anticipated. Perhaps you had a c-section and really feel like you should have another baby so you can have the vaginal birth you've always dreamed of, or maybe you had a negative home-birth experience and you really just want to experience birth in a hospital with ALL THE DRUGS. To that I say: no. Just no. While VBACSs are awesome, they aren't guaranteed, and any birth experience can be negative ... OR postive! You never know until it happens. Birth is a giant crap shoot, and while it's important, it's not worth having another baby for.
6. More blogging content
Do I even need to explain why this is an awful idea (#futuretherapy)? As a writer who often shares stories of life with my children, I have had thoughts about what the future of my writing will look like once my children are a bit older and no longer wish for me to share their stories. I'll be honest, blogging during the season of having a tiny baby is definitely easier — life is rife with fodder, and content is at your fingertips. But a reason to have another little one it is not.
7. Because you "really want a _______ (boy/girl)!"
There are no guarantees as to what the gender of your baby will be, so if you're only trying so you can have a boy or a girl (whichever your preference), you should probably think again.
8. To fix relationship problems
I'm not really sure where the myth about having babies fixing relationship problems came from, but it's a horrible lie. Since you're reading this post and likely already have a child, you obviously realize how challenging parenting can be on a relationship. Add another child to the mix as a solution to a crumbling relationship, and things are only bound to get harder.
9. My child deserves a sibling
The desire to give your child(ren) a sibling(s) isn't a terrible reason in and of itself — siblings are great — but if you find yourself feeling happy with just one (or two, or three or however many children you have), then don't feel guilty about stopping at that number. Perhaps you worry about the effects of your little one being an only child or about a large age gap between children and feel like another would close that gap. Do what works for you and your family (whether it's one or six!), because there's no guarantee your children would even get along or have a close relationship. Again, it's one of those things that is kind of a crap shoot.
I understand that this is a valid reason for wanting to have "one more" in some ways. If you already wanted to have another baby and you are quickly leaving behind your prime baby-making years, then by all means take time into consideration. However, if you are feeling like you should have another simply because time is running out and you should make it happen because you biologically can, then you may want to re-think your motivation.
How did you know you were truly "done" having babies, or are you still deciding?