A month or two ago, I was just about ready to declare that I was all done having kids. After all, as my husband would gladly point out, we went about this thing in the most excellent, efficient way possible: first pregnancy, boy/girl twins. Boom. Done. We’ve got our two kids, we even lucked out with one of each gender. What else do we need?
And then… a switch flipped in my brain. We were at the playground. A mom I don’t know, but had seen here and there while she grew more enormously pregnant all summer long, was there with her newborn daughter snuggled in the Ergo while her older son played. And even though an itty-bitty newborn is far from my favorite age, I couldn’t help myself. I want. WANT.
My husband does not want.
This is not a huge surprise. Back in our pre-child days, we had always had a difference of opinion on how many kids to have. He was firmly in the two-and-done camp, while I was on the two-as-minimum side.
Truthfully, I’m not sure whether I’d feel quite as strong a desire for a third child if I hadn’t had twins first. But that’s the weird catch-22 of starting out your parenting life as a mom of twins. Always a mom of two, never a second-time mom. And… I don’t know… but there’s this really strong pull to give it another try. Not because I feel as though I did poorly the first time, but rather the appeal of trying it again with even the slightest clue of what I was doing.
My husband, of course, feels no such desire. The idea of throwing another baby in the mix only feels like taking a few giant steps backwards.
What I find most interesting is one of his main arguments against having more kids (aside from his life-long fear of all change). He says that he already feels as though our kids are short-changed by being twins. He feels like he can’t give enough to either of them (enough of what is somewhat vague), so he thinks adding another child is only a disservice to the ones we already have, not to mention the third yet-to-be-determined.
Knowing my husband, I understand how he feels this way. And, yet, I fundamentally disagree. I do not believe that we do inherent damage to our children by creating siblings. Which is not to say I think people should have more children than they can realistically take care of (financially, emotionally, or otherwise). But I don’t think kids are automatically worse off for having another brother or sister.
And I definitely don’t think my kids are worse off for being twins. In fact, there is a (sick, twisted) part of me that would almost like to have twins again, because I’d be a little bit sad for the fact that a singleton child of mine would not have that automatic playmate. I do not believe my kids feel neglected or in any way under-served because there are two of them at the same age. Yes, sure, I could never give the constant, full-time, one-on-one attention that might have been possible with only one baby. But I’m not convinced that’s always the single-best way to raise a kid.
Anyways, here we are. Just this teeny little difference of opinion. One of us wants more kids, one of us doesn’t. And yes, my kids are only a bit over 2. I’m only 31. The clock isn’t ticking all that loudly, and I’ve got time to wear my husband down (kidding, honey!). Or, maybe I won’t. Maybe we’ll stick with the perfect pair that we’ve got. And I will be happy, either way.
But I can’t help wondering. And wanting.
So, what about you? Do you think having twins has made you more or less likely to want a larger family? Are you and your spouse/partner on the same page? Do you think your twins are at some kind of disadvantage by always having a same-aged sibling?