When I was growing up, I had this notion of my perfect family. It would consist of me, my eventual wife, two sons, and two daughters. Four children seemed to be the perfect number of kids to have, so I began setting my life goals and life expectations based on that number. Here I am, not anywhere close to that preconceived image of the perfect family.
I also had the notion that I would one day become a multi-millionaire — and that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon, either.
When I first met my wife, she was very adamant that she was not interested in having ONE kid, let alone FOUR kids. Deep down, I believed it didn’t matter — I could marry her and persuade her to adopt. We got married and after four years of marriage, we finally decided to have a child. Out came Addie.
During the first four years of marriage, family and friends hounded us about when we were going to have kids. Once we had a daughter, the questions seemed to change from when were we going to have any, to why we weren’t popping out all four kids back-to-back-to-back. “Get them all out of the way early,” they seemed to say, “so they can be out of the house and on their own sooner.”
To accomplish what seemed to be expected of us, it meant that we needed to have all four of our kids within a six- or seven-year time frame. That means that Addie, age seven right now, would currently be the oldest of four children and my wife and I would be done having kids. And the fact that this hasn’t been our reality really seems to bother some people. I can’t blame them for that standard. After all, I once had that same standard myself.
Here we are with Addie at seven and Vivi at one and we have no plans to have any more kids within the next few years. At least as of now, anyway. Somewhere along the line, my perception of the perfect family changed. It changed because I realized that I want to spend as much time as I can with my kids. I love that I got to spend six years with just Addie and I love that I get to spend significant time with Vivi. If another baby were thrown into the mix within the next nine months, it would reduce the amount of time I get to spend with the little girls I already have.
There may come a day in the next month, six months, year or two, when we finally decide to have another child, but the decision will be made when we feel our family is ready for another child — and not based on what would be convenient for us when we are at retirement age. We may even make the decision that two kids is enough for us. For now, however, the perfect family consists of me, my wife, Addie, Vivi and however many more kids we decide to have.
When we decide to have them.
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