Monday, February 13, 2012

The Perfect Family

As long as I can remember, I have always wanted three children.  I am the middle child of 4 children, so I grew up having both sisters and a brother.
Ryan on the other hand, would be quite satisfied with only one child.  He is the oldest of a family of three children, and with a four year gap between him and his sister, he lived (and loved) four years of his life as an only child.
As marriage is often a compromise, our compromise was that we would have two children to start.  If the children are of different genders, we would stop there, and if they were the same, we would try for one more.  In terms of logistics for our family, I think that two children would be perfect.  Our house would not be able to accommodate more than two children without a major addition.  Financially, Ryan and I both make modest wages, and two children would mean a lot fewer sacrifices than three would.
This got me thinking though, even if we have a boy and a girl, how could I expect my girl to grow up without a sister?  My sisters are my best friends, and I couldn't imagine growing up without them.  Then looking at Ryan, whose brother has been his best friend up until recent circumstances, how could I expect my boy to grow up without a brother?
Fast forward to this pregnancy.  Our decision to start a family was very planned, and up until the time that I became pregnant, I was 110% ready for a baby and a family.  During my first trimester, I was often exhausted, struggled with a constant nausea (just nauseous enough to feel gross, but not enough to really interfere with daily life) and really just felt that I was struggling to get through each day.  I thought to myself "Why in the world would I want to do this two more times?  We are only going to have two children."
Now, being in what my doctor refers to as the Cadillac trimester, I am loving pregnancy.  I could definitely see myself doing this again a couple of times.
So with all of this back and forth, I find my mind wandering to what our perfect family will be.  Is there really such thing as a perfect family, or is the perfect family defined by each family itself?
I recently read this article, in which research actually shows that the fewer children that are in a household, the happier that they will be.  It also states that only children are amongst the happiest of all.  In all fairness, however, this was not an extensive literature search on my part, and I will definitely not be basing my family decisions solely on this information.
So with all of this being said, we will wait and see.  I know that these decisions don't have to be made now (although the planner in me  revolts this very notion). I hope that I have a chance to bring at least two lives into this world, and from there, we will do what feels right.  There is no way to predict how we will feel then and where we will be in life.

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