I always thought I wanted three children; both my husband and I come from families with three children and three just seemed to be the magic number.
However, now I have actually been pregnant, gone through childbirth and have my two beautiful, strong-willed, independent children, I can quite honestly say that two is my magic number. In a way I think it helps that we have a girl and a boy – that way you don’t second guess and wonder what it would be like to have a child of the opposite sex. But as I write this, I’m lying in bed after a long day and I can honestly say that I am completely content in my life. I have a happy family (even if we do all test each other’s patience more regularly than I’d like), a home that we can make our own over the years and some sanity leftover.
Watching Them Grow
I love my children more than I ever knew I could; in fact, I’m probably a little over protective of them because of this but they make up a huge part of my world. Without them in my life, I don’t quite know where I would begin now. I had children so that I could enjoy them; so I could watch them grow and help teach them things and so I would love nothing more than to be a stay at home mum. I would try to be really creative and engage them in different activities every day. Unfortunately, reality is that I have to work if we want to live where we do and have a few luxuries along the way.
Although I only work part time, those three days a week mean I don’t get to spend the quality time I’d like with my children as it is. If I added a third child into the mix, this would only be stretching things further. Actually, I probably couldn’t afford to go to work if I had three in childcare so we would have to make other sacrifices too. I would need to consider changing my car, looking at activities and clubs and look at the bedroom situation at home. Moving from two to three would mean quite a lot of upheaval and change for us all.
But as well as thinking about work and money, there’s the logistics of having three- you can only ever hold two hands at a time, there’s only two knees to sit on for stories! Now I know this seems a little dramatic but in my mind I can cope with two. If two have a tantrum, I can handle it. If two need a hug, I have two arms. But if there were three, I think I’d be tearing my hair out more than I already do.
It’s not just about the logistics
People keep asking if I’m going for any more and I can honestly say that I’m happy saying no. I thought I would be upset that Benjamin would be my last baby. I’m not. I’m actually looking forward to watching our family change and develop as the children grow. I can’t wait to take them both abroad and go to the theatre. Although I love the chaos of children, I like having control too. Play dates and friends can fill the gaps of chaos and then when they go home, I can reclaim some control and enjoy a more peaceful world too.
There’s a two and a half year age gap between them and now that Benjamin is almost two, they are playing together more (rather than just besides each other); they obviously love each other and are going to be thick as thieves together. I can’t wait to start doing activities that they can both enjoy and do together rather than having to adapt the activity because one is too young. I went through a stage of not allowing Isabella to get out toys which had small pieces in case Benjamin swallowed them. She would never play in her room so I just banned them for a while. I hated doing that and looking back, I actually think it impacted on her behaviour as she was probably a little bored but now we can have those games out and we can craft a little more. We are beginning to grow together and I’m really enjoying it.
So, to me, my little family of four is perfect and this is why two is enough for me.