My blog homie Britni Danielle, who holds it down lovely over at Clutch (my online Bible for all things young, black, smart and feminine), has been putting in work at BabyCenter, where she blogs about motherhood. I’m so very proud of her work there (and super happy that someone thought to add a mom of color to the massive blogging line-up that, until Britni joined, included only one non-white mom my homegirl Kimberly Allers Seals of MochaManual.com). Occasionally, Britni gives me a heads up on her writings, and yesterday, she hit me up on Twitter with this:
The comments are heating up. What do you say? Ever feel pressured to have more kids?
She was referring to a piece she’d written on BabyCenter, in which she declared that her son would likely be an only child, not because she’s not physically capable of having a second baby, but because she doesn’t want to have one. In her post, “Ever Feel Pressured To Have More Kids,” Britni writes:
Growing up, I visualized a house full of kids. I’d picture myself whipping up meals, while my children made mud pies in the yard, or I’d think about corralling them into the minivan for a family road trip. When I pictured my ideal life all those years ago, I never thought I’d be the mother of an only child.
Until he was born.
After having le munchkin I realized just how much work and energy and love and money and emotion and attention went into raising a child. And when I think about the amount of time I spend with my son, I can’t imagine trying to divide myself up between other children.
Her post came just days after the New York Times magazine ran “Unnatural Selection, a cover story on the increase of women choosing to terminate half of their twin pregnancies. One woman profiled, Jenny, said she aborted one of her fetuses because she and her husband already had grade-school-age children and she knew that adding twins to the mix would have made her a horrible mother capable of giving the new babies only half of her attention and half of her love. “This is bad,” she told a reporter just before a doctor aborted her fetus, “but it’s not anywhere as bad as neglecting your child or not giving everything you can to the children you have.”
Both articles left me reminiscing about the decision Nick and I made to have our second child; we loved our baby, Mari, and wanted to have another child not just to give Mari a sibling, but because we thought it was prime time to add to our family another beautiful baby. She was wanted. And made from love.
But by the time Lila arrived, Nick and I were thoroughly exhausted; my second pregnancy was kinda rough, both of us were working full time and writing books and freelancing to keep a roof over our heads and money in our nanny’s pocket, and Nick was traveling four hours each way every other weekend to visit with his son from his first marriage. The stress was overwhelming and, as much as we adore babies, we knew Lila would be our last. Basically we couldn’t emotionally, mentally, physically or financially afford another child.
Let the comments section on Britni’s BabyCenter post tell it, and there are a lot of moms who feel the same way, particularliy in this time of recession, where paychecks are hard to come by and the cost of caring for kids is astronomical. And while I was extremely uncomfortable with the idea of a woman working so hard to have a baby, only to abort one of the twins she carried in her womb, I respect the decision of the mother in the New York Times story to do what was right for her family just like I did with mine.
But I’ve got a confession: Some days when I see mothers with their little babies and I get a whiff of that sweet smell and feel their baby breath on my face and their wiggle in my arms, I reminisce about my girls when they were little and kinda wish for one more. Easy don’t get it twisted; shop is closed. We won’t be birthing any more babies this way. But every once in a while, I do feel that itch.
What about you? Do you ever feel pressure to have more babies? Or just want another? (Feel free to answer here, but make sure that you show Britni some love by checking out her story on BabyCenter and diving into the comments section over there.)
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.