Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I commented recently on a friend's post that I love making pros and cons lists for major life decisions. Well, when I left the comment (like, a couple of weeks ago, there were no life decisions really on the horizon). Um, now there is.

I posted awhile back about how we were planning to start trying for another baby pretty soon (like probably this summer). But, the closer it gets, and the more we talk about it, the more the decision doesn't seem so clear cut. We have started thinking about maybe waiting until after our year in New York City (in about 4-5 years) to have another baby. I've mentioned it before, but living in New York for a year has been a dream of Peyton's since before we got married and it is something that we are going to try our hardest to make a reality. I am very committed to giving this to him. I am currently living my biggest dream (being a wife and mommy) and I want him to be able to enjoy the things he has spent years dreaming about, as well.

So, I decided to make a list. Of course. What else is there to do, really?

First of all, before I start the list, I want to say something. Clearly, of all people, I know that this is not ultimately our decision anyway. God will give us another child when He sees fit. And, this time, we will be much more trusting in his timing than we were with Ann Peyton. We know that his plans are so much better than ours. I also know that seeking His will is going to do a lot more for helping us make this decision than any list can. But a list can never hurt! So, here are the pros and cons of waiting:

- NYC will be much easier (physically, emotionally, financially) with only one child.

- We will be able to experience a lot more things in New York with only one child. There are
things you can do with a five to six year old that you just can't do with a three to four year old.

- Thus, I think AP would end up benefiting more from the experience if it was just her.

- This sounds really selfish, but as much as AP has changed our lives she really hasn't changed our lifestyle that much. I'm not saying that I'm counting on her continuing to always be low maintenance, there is no guarantee. But, I do think that adding another child pretty much kills any chances of that. It would be nice to have the next few years with just her, because it much more closely resembles what we had planned for the next five years. I say this more for Peyton's benefit than mine, because I think there are lots of things he wanted to do before having a baby, whereas I had very few.

- I always thought we'd space Ann Peyton and the next baby close together because that is how my sister and I are, but we are planning on having three (maybe four). If we end up with three, someone is going to be left without a sibling close to their age. Either AP or the "baby" won't have someone really close to their age. Maybe it makes more sense to put the last two close together.

- We had AP so young, I don't feel like there is any ticking of the biological clock. Even if I was 30 when I had the next baby, I don't think that is "old" at all. And we knew we would be waiting until then for the next one(s). So really, it would only add on two to four more years. I'd like to be done by 35 (I think), but that would still very much be attainable.

- Not even considering NYC, it makes more sense from a financial standpoint to wait.

- We are going to be in this house until we move to New York. Period. It sounds awful, but it's already a little cramped. We just have AWFUL storage. It's a hassle trying to make our stuff fit; it's hard to think of bringing another person into the mix. I don't know what we'd do without the study, but I'm not sure I could expect toddler Annie to share a room with brother bear or sister bear.

- Pretty much every "pro" sounds a little selfish to me. I don't know why that is because our original plan to wait five years to have ANY kids didn't seem selfish to me at all. I guess it's because now it involves the *three* of us.

- Which brings me to this. Ann Peyton would truly be an only child for four or five years. I have always said I never wanted an only child. I know only children who are balanced and well-rounded, but it's something I've never wanted to do. AP is already very spoiled, not so much by material things, but by the constant attention she gets from us and from her grandparents. I think if she had a sibling, there would be less doting.

- I feel like most of our friends who have babies will probably go ahead and have the rest of theirs sooner rather than later. It's a fun thing to do together!

- I had this "plan" in my mind and it is really hard to let go of it. I'm glad we weren't any closer to getting ready to try. I am such a planner and when I see that things aren't going to follow my plan, it gets to me. But as I said, this really isn't all about our plans, anyway.

- I was already getting excited about doing this again, the RIGHT way. I couldn't wait to tell my family and it be a joyous thing, not a sad, scary one. I don't know, though, waiting might make it even more fun!

- I am scared to death that as easy as AP was to get here, we'll be that couple that struggles to get pregnant the second time. I'm scared to risk it.

So, that is my list. I'd be interested as to any other factors anyone thinks are worth considering. Honestly, the whole idea of "planning" a baby, is mind-boggling to me.


Allison said...

This is my two cents: I was that child that didn't have siblings close to my age. My brother is 10 years older and my sister is 8 years older. Yes, I was a surprise :). And though 5 years isn't as big a gap as 8, I always wished (and still do) that I had a sibling that was closer to my age. Granted, there's no guarantee that they would get along if you did have them close together, because Danny and his sister are a couple years apart and they're not that close, really. All that to say, I personally want my children to be close in age, so they can have the opportunity to have a close relationship with each other (like you and your sister do--I'm so jealous of that!).

Rachel Ratliff said...

We're going through pretty much the same thing! I would like my children to be the same age, but I also want to have my nursing career firmly established before I get pregnant again (I was so sick during my first pregnancy that I'm pretty sure I will have to take a few months off so I'm not throwing up all the time at work). But I hate for Ryan to continue being an only child...I don't want him to be 5 before we have another child! Good luck with your decision. I figure God will lead me where he wants me to go because he always has in the past! I have tried to learn not to plan as much as I like to because God always has a way of switching things up (always for the better in the long run).