Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Why I'm Stopping at Two Kids

Tomorrow (Twomorrow?) is the big day, since it's the day I get my vasectomy. Now, some guys might say, been there, done that, no big deal. And they're probably right. But just like when you get married, that night before feels like the ground just shifted beneath you and that you're going to be freefalling into...what? The abyss? The sweet forever? The unknown? It's hard to say until you actually make that leap, and when you do, everything changes. In my case, it's definitely been for the better, since married life has been very good to me. I have a wonderful wife and two beautiful children. And only two beautiful children, and that's just fine.

It's funny. At first, before I had kids, I thought, one kid would be a blessing, and two kids would be just enough. But after I set the date for my vasectomy, a lot of those thoughts changed. In the beginning, after hearing the news of what an actual vasectomy entailed (I've always been squeamish when it came to my internal workings), I pegged all my fears to the after-effects of what could potentially go wrong. I've heard everything from that it could lower my testosterone (false), make me pee more (inconclusive, but likely false) to it could raise my chances of getting prostate cancer (Proven incorrect), to it could give me scrotal pain for the rest of my life (A possibility). But in the end, as I sit here at my computer and the clock edges toward midnight, I find myself googling whether two kids is enough, with plenty of evidence to why it is, and plenty of evidence (Mostly from parents) about why it isn't. And now, I've come to my own, final conclusion.

They are enough.

Now, I might sound like I'm still on the fence, but here's the truth of the matter. I don't have enough money for three children, and I want to give these two wonderful kids I already have the best future possible. An article that really clinched it for me is this one by Slate. It's something I've known all along (That the more kids you have, the less money and attention you can give to each), but it's something that my nagging brain has been reluctant to believe because, like on the night before my wedding, it all seemed like the unknown, and so forever, a vasectomy. But here's a fact: I only have enough money, and barely enough as it is, for two college funds, and that is not even including all the money the kids will need when they're much older. When I think about all the cool things I want my two kids to experience, I realize how that would not be feasibly possible with three kids. It might not be feasibly possible for two. I never thought that I would ever think that I would actually want three kids, but I love the two darlings I already have, and I'm getting cold feet because of it. I'll be happy when this vasectomy has come and gone. Then, it truly will be final.

And then, there is the whole writing thing. My dream has always been to be recognized as a writer, and it's been very hard to write with two kids. Very hard indeed. But with my second child, I've found that I've gotten a lot more lax with my writing and my dreams, and I don't want to get to the age of 50 only to find that I've accomplished nothing. Too many times, parents start to see the dreams they never accomplished flowing into their children, and that's the last thing I want. My goal is to be successful in my own right, and to do it while my parents are still alive to see it. In fact, that may be the biggest, and most selfish reason why I'm sticking with two kids. I still want to be successful, and I don't see that happening with a third kid. Two kids, as much as I love them, already take up most of my time. I'm a morning writer. What am I doing writing at midnight? The answer: Because I'll wake up the kids if I get up early in the morning to write.

So in the end, two is enough. Two is more than enough. I look forward to the future with my wife and two kids. Three would be too much to handle. At least for me.

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