That is the question. For me. For now.
I consider us a family of five, including our dog, Russell. Its important to include him in any quantification of the family because he takes up resources – monetary, food, shelter/space.
Not in a way that I regret – but too often, people make decisions on increasing their family, by either two feet or four paws, without getting down to the nitty gritty: do we have the resources for this addition?
My youngest son, Gunnar, has been an absolute joy of a baby. The pregnancy was horrendous, but he is perfectly, imperfectly, perfect.
My mind, which tries to be pragmatic about money coming in versus money going out, is tricked by the song of my heart, the siren lull of “lets have another baby, isn’t this one sweet?”
And then my mind snaps to attention: We are already stretched thin by the number of mouths we feed, doctors bills, household bills, time. Adding another baby just takes an already paper thin situation to one layer of skin, all the flaws showing clearly underneath. And yet, I feel the tug.
There are many reasons why a family of four is a practical dynamic, and a family of five poses problems. But is there another baby calling for me?
I’m still wondering. And wandering.