Thursday, July 10, 2008

Would you have more kids if Dad helped more?

Equally Shared Parenting has an interesting post about a Psychology Today article that postulates that women would be inclined to have additional children if their partners helped more with care giving and household chores. My first reaction is that this is partially true, but is also an over-simplification of all the dynamics and factors that go into the decision to have another child/ren.

In my family, we have discussed and thought about the decision to have another child over the last year. To tell you the truth, I am still undecided. And even if I knew my partner was going to pitch in 50% of the time on child care, housework, etc. I still would be undecided. For me, the decision has a lot more to do with financial stability, personal and family long term goals, and the comfort and well being of the three people who are already in existence (my partner, our son, and myself). In our dream world, we would have 10 kids. But we could never have the financial, emotional or physical resources to do that one right. And the idea of another person in our family both thrills and terrifies me.

Some of my reasons against having more children are purely personal/selfish. I don't know whether I want to give up sleep, eating sushi, drinking too much on occasion, working (whether short term or long term), etc. I don't know if I want to postpone my career and education for a few more years. I don't know if I want my body to go through another pregnancy/breastfeeding relationship.

And then there are the family-related reasons: money, goals, dreams, standard of living, etc. It will require more money to take care of another person, particularly if we have to/want to send him/her to private school or have to move to a more expensive but better school district. We also have some family dreams for the kind of place and house we want to have in the next several years. We would like to travel to far away places. We would like to save lots of money for retirement and the boy's education or dreams. Kids suck up time, money and energy. And I'm not sure I want to sacrifice anymore.

Don't get me wrong, there's a whole other side of me that wants lots of kids in the house, messing it up with craft projects and their toys. Part of me doesn't care about money and believes we would work it out. Part of me wants a sibling for my son. A part of me realizes that I'm only getting older and 35 is not that far away. I don't want to be giving birth or chasing a toddler at 40. And having a kid now will mean that I will delay career and education for only a couple of years more max, and have all this baby/toddlerhood stuff in the bag.

I wish I was one of those people who just knows they want two kids or five kids or no kids. I'm ambiguous. I'm a lot confused and a little scared to make a decision. And my partner is willing to wait or go with the flow or make a baby tomorrow. But you know what else, I also know deep down that I will still be responsible for most of the kid and house stuff and that does make the whole second kid thing less appealing. So maybe those psychologists are on to something....

1 comment:

  1. It's great that you're so honest about whether or not to have another child. We all should seriously consider the mental, physical, emotional and economical impact of having kids.


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