Ever wonder why the world’s population has been growing at a ridiculously fast rate during the past 2 decades? It’s because 2 is the new 1. In other words, having 2 kids is now like having 1. Despite China’s one child law, the rest of the world didn’t get the memo. Worse yet is the fact that the poorest regions of the world have the most children. In fact, research has shown that in the U.S. those that are the most educated have fewer kids. There’s a whole host of reasons for this, but I’m beginning to wonder why this trend doesn’t seem true in my minuscule little slice of the world. We actually have more friends who have 3 kids than 2.
My Man and I have two kids and that second one, we’re not exactly sure how that happened since the first one took a bit of help from an infertility clinic. We took a hard look at what it would cost (financially, time, and energy) to have kids.
After considering the facts:
1) we’re old,
2) we want to pay for 4 years of college for each child,
3) we’d like to retire before we can’t see, hear, or taste anything anymore,
4) we both worked full-time thus limiting the amount of true quality time with the kids, and
5) we prefer man-to-man rather than zone defense
we determined that having 2 kids was the best we could responsibly have.
Of the friends we know who have 3, some of them had an “oops” baby. My sister, Boelyn, being one of those. For those friends, that 3rd one was a shock, but they all say that the “oops” baby was meant to be. Our other friends who have 3, planned to have 3. Most (if not all) of those friends are fairly well off so finances aren’t as big of an issue.
What I do have a hard time understanding is those families we encountered when we lived in the Midwest for a couple of years. For a few of months when I was unemployed, I would go to Target in the middle of the day and see quite a few women with 4 or 5 or 6 kids. At first I thought they must be daycare providers, but alas, I was sorely mistaken. I realized soon enough that these were moms with their own kids and that 4 was really normal and actually average. They thought WE were the odd ones.
I remember having a conversation with Polly Parent (in the Midwest) who had 5 kids between the ages of 18 and 8. When I asked her how she managed with 5 kids while working full-time, her response was, “Well the older ones take care of the younger ones.” Um…maybe that was ok for her, but wow, can that be considered parenting? I also wonder how in the world two parents can give meaningful time to each of the 5 kids when they both work full-time, let alone if just one of them works full-time. Is that possible or do the kids get short-changed?
Maybe I’m just not capable of managing more than 2 kids. Actually, I’m positive I’m not capable. I’ve managed schools of 800+ kids and that was doable because I didn’t have to take them home at the end of the day.
Sometimes I do wish we had a third kid, a daughter so that Lil Cow had a sister and as insurance in case something happened to one of the two kids we currently have. We do consider adoption but because of the aforementioned 5 reasons (particularly reason #1–we’re too old) it’s currently unlikely.