Thoughts on Growing Our Family

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT pregnant.

Phew, now that we’ve got that out of the way (couldn’t have you thinking I was), I wanted to talk a little bit today about baby #2.  I’ve has several people ask me about whether we’ll have another baby.  Short answer?  Yes, we’d like to, but not yet.

It’s always been important to me to have more than one child, and to hopefully have them not too far apart.  I was an only child for the first nine years of my life…and I wished all the time for a sibling.  Unfortunately, my parents had a hard time conceiving a second child.  My mom has said they started trying when I was three…and my sister Rachel came along when I was nine.  That’s six years of waiting and wishing.  I think about it now, and I must have been pretty hard on my mom – I kept asking for something she was trying and trying to give me.  My mom was on Clomid when getting pregnant with Rachel, but she was fortunate to not need it again – I have three sisters.

Andrea and Abbie
Abbie with my youngest sister Andrea

Sometimes I’m terrified I’ll have the same problem my mom had.  Secondary infertility is pretty common nowadays, so I know I wouldn’t be alone, but I’m still scared of it.  I definitely want Abbie to have siblings close in age to her.  My sisters and I had a hard time connecting as sisters for a while (I was more of an aunt to them sometimes because of the age difference), and we’re just now getting to the point that we can have that kind of relationship.

Chris is fortunate in that his brothers are close in age to him, and while they don’t always get along (what siblings do?), I’m sometimes jealous of the relationship he has with them.  They grew up together, while my sisters and I are more of two sets of kids – me one and them the other.  I kind of grew up on my own, and they grew up together, so we don’t have the experience of all growing up together.  It’s an odd dynamic – I feel simultaneously like an only child and an oldest child.

Because of all that, we’re really hoping to have no more than a 4 year age difference between our kids.  At this point, we know we want at least one more child.  If all goes as planned, we’re hoping to start trying next summer.  Since we both work, we have to take lots of things into account – maternity leave for me, time off for him, our financial situation, paying for daycare… it all factors in.

Abbie Sunhat

As far as our final number we want?  We’ve always said three.  Chris is one of three and I’m one of four, so we’ve always felt like we were meant for more than two kids.  At the same time, I feel like it’s something you just know when you get there.  We may feel differently after child number two.  We may want another, or we may feel our family’s complete.  We don’t know yet, and I think it’s important to take that as it comes.  Hopefully by winter 2015 we’ll be on our way to knowing more.

About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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20 Responses

  1. How exciting that you guys are starting to plan for #2. I hear ya in the secondary infertility thing! I needed Clomid to have Liam and worry I may be headed down the same path. We’ve been trying for 6 months now and I’m starting to lose my patience!

    1. Here’s hoping it happens for you soon! Are you still nursing at all? I know that makes it harder for some people.

  2. I’m excited for you and for Abbie to be a big sister. My closest sibling in age was 4 years younger than me, so I wanted kids closer together too. Ryan and his brother are only 16 months apart – that’s REALLY close! I think our 2 year gap is good, but it’s definitely going to be tough for a while. I’ve heard having a 3 – 3.5 year old with a baby is ideal, since they’re really helpful at that age.

    1. Yep, the 3-3.5 year thing is about what we’re aiming for, maybe a little long. Here’s hoping our plans work out and it happens next year!

  3. My sister and I and my husband and his brother are both less than two years apart. There are definitely plusses and minuses to that age range. Growing up, we always had someone close to us in age, but we fought like cats and dogs. Mac and I were both always “the younger one.” Now that we’re in our 20s, we get along well.

    1. See, that’s what I wish I had. It’s better for us now, but not like it would be if we didn’t have those years where we couldn’t relate.

  4. I have to LOL at your disclaimer 🙂

    I have sisters that are 4 years younger (but lived across the country), 7 years younger, and then 15 years younger. I kind of always felt like an only child too, I was more of a “mother” to them then a sister. I was pretty close to the sister that is 4 years younger, but since she lived across the country it was difficult. I really want three kids too but that might change after DD2 comes in November 🙂 I’m THRILLED M will get a sister so close in age, and I really hope they are close. My husband is iffy about having a third, but if we do, he doesn’t want a big age gap between the 2nd and 3rd that way they can all “grow up” together (he says max 3 years….and I know he’s got a point, but yikes!).

    1. Hahaha, I KNEW that disclaimer would make you laugh. You’ll see where you’re at after C gets here….you never know how you’ll feel, right? Here’s hoping you don’t get the weird age gaps we’ve had!

  5. I’m totally with you on this. I’m not ready yet, and we’re not in a house that is really good for growing into. We’re building this summer and I said we can think about starting to try again once we’re in the new house. We shall see!

    1. Yes! It’s amazing how many factors go into it, isn’t it? Maybe next year we’ll be in it together?

  6. It was so hard for me to go for number two. We really did nothing to prepare except say – we better get busy if we really want another baby. Jonah will three within a few weeks of the baby arriving. It was weird – I didn’t feel incomplete without this new baby coming along, but I always had a plan for more kids. We also talk a lot about adoption, fostering, etc. So who knows what our real final number will be! Let go and let God I guess!

    1. See, I really feel I’m meant for at least one more, but after that I’m not sure. Three seems like a good age difference to me – I’ll be following along to see how your transition goes!

  7. Exciting!! I loved being a big sister so I always knew I wanted at least 2 kids. I was hoping for a 2-3 year age gap but clearly god had other plans! It’s crazy because it took me about 9 months to get pregnant with my son and then I accidentally got pregnant this time around- it’s just weird how that all works out, you really have no idea.
    My sister and I are three years apart and we have always been really close. We had phases of not being close through out growing up but now that we’re adults we’re best friends.

    1. It is weird how it works out…I do have to say I’m glad I’m not pregnant right now – I’m not sure I could handle it, and am amazed at how you chase a toddler while pregnant. Just makes me tired to think about it!

  8. Right now I am expecting baby #1 (due in September). My husband and I are undecided if we want another years down the road (obviously we have time too think about it, LOL). Growing up it was always me and my brother (2 years apart) and we were best friends. My brother Jack came when I was 10 years old and the twins came when I was 15 years old. I love having siblings and I would hate for my son to grow up without a sibling but I just dont know if its in the cards for us. Time will tell though. 🙂

    1. You definitely have time. There are people out there that are only children and perfectly happy with it – it’s what works for your family. Hope you’re feeling good and pregnancy’s going well – I remember that last trimester and being ready to meet my girl!

  9. This subject has always interested me because my brother and I are 4 years apart and my husband and his sister are 15 months apart, where they also have a brother who is 6 years younger. The two older ones are really close and always were growing up, while the younger brother doesn’t seem to have the same kind of relationship with his siblings.

    Then people say things like 4-5 years is ideal because then you don’t have more than one in daycare, etc. So much to consider!

    Wooo 2015!

    1. Yep, it was definitely like that for a while, but it’s better now. I just wish we could have really grown up together – I think we’d be closer.

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I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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