I was interviewed this week by a reporter doing an article on whether the economic recession would effect my decision about having another child.
Quite clearly, the short answer is no. I don’t let little things like common sense, birth control, and economic disaster stop me from having babies. I went ahead with baby #6 for several reasons.
First reason is I believe, that for the most part, children are as expensive as you make them. Sure there is that initial cash outlay with the first child, but if you go on to have several children you are really just getting more bang outta your buck. When I look at our very worn out bassinet, stroller, crib and change table, I feel like we got good value for dollar. Sometimes I think I’d like to buy a bigger house but then I remember that my MIL was raised in Holland during the war where she slept in a drawer in the kitchen. She has great childhood memories and turned into a fabulous adult. It is a good reminder that my kids will be just fine having to share bedrooms and household space. I suppose many families need to consider the additional daycare costs involved with another child, but with a family of our size it makes more financial sense to opt for a nanny over daycare so these costs do not increase as substantially.
Another reason the recession didn’t stop me is because I assume that some sort of economic crisis is likely to hit at some point while the kids are still on my dime. It would probably hit us harder when they are heading off to university or college one after the other, year after year. Having said that, I’m not adverse to having kids pay their own way through school. I somehow managed to get through my few degrees while working two jobs, managing a residence hall and still heading to the campus pub far too often. University is a great place to fine-tune their multi-tasking skills.
It has also become clear to me that the term “being able to afford” is relative. I may not be able to afford flashy cars and a closet full of designer labels, but I can afford to have another baby. Conversely, I have friends who can’t afford another baby but do head off for expensive family holidays and manage hefty mortgage payments.
Each family is best able to make the appropriate decision for their own situations. For me, the further I go along in this pregnancy and the more excited I get about meeting the new little person, the stronger my feeling is that I couldn’t afford not to have this baby.
I just survived the day I spend two years dreading. Yes, two full years of dread for one day. There are others that I don’t particularly look forward, but they don’t even come close to this one. Second place goes to that day at the end of February when we have our annual puke-fest. There is usually one day of overlap when all children are simultaneously puking and pooping because of a nasty little tummy bug that is working the rounds.
So, what day could be worse than that you may ask? Well, picture my family on an airplane for 22 hours. Every second year we embark on a wildly stressful journey to spend the holidays with the in-laws. Mind you, once we arrive it is completely stress-free which is why I am willing to suffer through the getting there part. I recently wrote an article about this journey and it was aptly titled “Hell in the Skies”.
I made two observations during this most recent trip:
1) My new heroes in life are the people behind the Nintendo DS. I truly admire them and feel that I should offer up my next born child to them in thanks. I know having an electronic babysitter is frowned upon, but there is a time and a place – a 22 hour flight is such a time and a place. So to my friends at Nintendo DS, have I told you lately how much I love you?
2) You can actually get flight attendants to back down if you turn into psycho-mom. I had finally settled one very crabby kid to sleep. With seatbelt on, she was lying down beside me. We soon encountered a bit of turbulence and I was instructed to lift child upright. At that point, I invited nice flight attendant to arrest me, fine me or throw me in bad passenger jail because there was NO way that child was going to be disturbed. Yes, I was willing to risk a turbulence related injury – sleeping child trumped bodily harm. Any of you mamas who are game to travel with kids will understand that kind of desperation. Our nice flight attendant realized she was not dealing with a rational human so slowly backed away as not to make any sudden movements that could cause me to lash out.
So was it worth the two years of dread? All things considered, maybe dread is a bit extreme but at least if my expectations are low I am pleasantly surprised when I survive without throwing a tot out of the plane.
Fortunately, I now have four weeks of therapy to prepare myself to board the plane for the journey home.
I like to say I’m making the world a more beautiful place, one baby at a time.
Reading through the lines, what I’m really saying is yep, baby #6 is on the way. I think I’m about 16 or 17 weeks along, but that is the kind of minor detail that gets forgotten at this point in the pregnancy game. Long gone are the days of being in awe of your ever changing body and knowing things like when the baby gets eyelashes and fingernails.
For me, these pregnancy days pass much like any others really. Sure, I was tired and seedy for a while, but no one seems to take much notice. Indeed, I didn’t have time to take much notice either. I remember my first pregnancy – coming home at the end of the day and having a little snooze on the couch as daddy-o prepped dinner. By #6 you come home from the office, feed five little people, dress them for hockey or ballet, pack up school lunches, help with homework, read to the little ones and put the lot of them to bed. My lifestyle is identical to what it was pre-pregnancy. I may notice one little lifestyle adjustment this holiday season when I have to pass on the egg nog. As I like to say, from here on in I’m eating for two, and daddy-o is drinking for three!
Reactions to my pregnancy news are generally luke-warm at best. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard the phrase “are you crazy??” over the last few weeks, I’d be a very wealthy woman. I actually keep a top ten list of inappropriate responses I’ve received in my history of pregnancies. The former top spot went to a response I got to my third pregnancy which was: “I thought you were smarter than that”. The new top ranking position goes to a recent: “oh my god, are you going to keep it??”
Uh yeah, I was considering it.
So while the pregnancy bit gets a tad boring after a while, the part about having a new baby in the house never loses its charm with this mama. I’m just off the phone with my glowing cousin, Ariel-Ann who became a mama for the first time just a few days ago (OK, check out her baby Issac in the pic. I know….he makes you want another one too, right?)
It ignited that old feeling of baby excitement. As such, I’ve now formulated my new comeback to the bad reactions. It has formally been a sarcastic “I’m going to keep having them until I have one I like”. From here on in I’m going to say that with the fabulous and beautiful humans I create, it is only fair to give the world just one more.