“Do you want to have more kids?”

Comments 19
My five-year-old will be a huge factor in whatever comes next.
My five-year-old will be a huge factor in whatever comes next.

Someone just asked me that.

And I didn’t have an answer. But it feels like the kind of question worth having an answer to.

I love my son more than I love anything. He’s five. And I want to hug him and kiss his face every second forever until he’s big enough to push me away when I try.

Which begs the question: Wouldn’t I want to experience more of that joy?

That was my conclusion a little more than two years ago when the subject arose at home.

Was I scared? Sure. Did I really want to go through the sleepless nights and diaper changes and total dependency newborn phase again? Not particularly. But did I want to have something else to love as much as my son? Yes. Did I want more opportunities for grandchildren way down the road? Absolutely.

How Many is Enough?

I’m an only child.

Kind of.

I have two stepsisters about my age that I met when I was six, and who I only saw during my summer and winter breaks growing up.

I have a half-sister (the offspring of my mother and stepfather) who is 14 years younger than me.

But for all intents and purposes, I’m an only. So I’m okay, conceptually, with only children.

My soon-to-be ex is one of two. Two kids always made sense to her. And that’s an idea I could always get behind, too. Two kids. Maybe a boy and a girl.

But somewhere along the way, she decided she was never having more kids with me. I often wonder if she would have with someone else.

Maybe she didn’t want to poison her gene pool with my loserdom. Maybe she didn’t want to subject more children to my average physicality. Maybe she just didn’t want to go through pregnancy and delivery again.

I don’t know.

But she was one and done.

Do I want more kids?

What if the answer is: Yes?

Then I have a lot to consider.

Because if I want more kids, I kind of need to be in a hurry. Right?

I’m 34. That gives me, what? A five-year window? To find a person who:

  1. Wants to have sex with me.
  2. I love enough and have enough philosophical balance with to want to marry and make babies.
  3. Wants to have a child.


And none of this is taking into account how my five-year-old might feel about a stepmother or the prospects of stepsiblings or half-siblings.

Just considering the astronomical odds of all of this working out kind of makes me want to set myself on fire.

What if the answer is: No?

Then this entire post is an exercise in poor time management.

But not if I can come to some reasonable conclusion.

Which isn’t going to happen.

Because I don’t have an answer to this question. I don’t have an answer to any question. It’s one of the things I like least about my new life. This inability to know what two, three or five years from now might look like.

The uncertainty of it all can feel overwhelming.

I need to adopt the rhythm of change. I’m still working on that one.

Can I afford more children?

Don’t I need to concentrate on me?

Don’t I need to concentrate on my son?

Aren’t I getting way ahead of myself with all of this?

Hi! My name’s Matt! I worry about stuff completely out of my control all the time!

I only know ONE thing as it pertains to children.

I’ve never known love like the love I have for my son.

And should there be an opportunity to experience it again, I’m in no position to rule it out.

Of course, I’m in no position to do much of anything.

19 thoughts on ““Do you want to have more kids?””

  1. WOW birth control in the US is pricey!! Its free in the UK. I have never wanted children. A friends told me the other day it was because i got to spend my time looking after a 27 year old child. She thinks i’ll suddenly want to start to start popping out babies left right and center now. I think not. But as you say who knows?!

  2. Smart, kind people like you should be having more kids! Also, as long as the woman is young enough you should be fine, if you do indeed decide to have more. Tony Randall had a kid in his 70s, his wife was in her 20s or 30s.

    I hate to harp on this but why on earth would a woman get pricey BC if she’s not having sex… ?? It looks very suspicious to me.

    1. I don’t believe I’ll find any benefit from thinking too much about when her other relationship (relationships?) started. I don’t want to know any more than I do. Which is way more than enough.

      I will continue to reflect on ways I could have been a better husband. Because there are plenty of things I could have done better.

      Thank you for calling me smart and kind. Kind, maybe. Smart? Ehhhhhh.

      I continue to appreciate you reading and your participation in these conversations I’m having with myself.

      1. ps, you also need to be careful never to get involved with someone like her again, so when you’re ready, look back over the red flags you missed.

  3. If you COULD know the future, Wouk you really want to?
    Although it would have saved you $1200…
    Love yourself, love your little dude and chill a little bit darlin….

  4. You are killing me, Matt! Your last post had me in tears thinking about my own soon to be 23 year old marriage and- before you say “Aww, that’s great.” just don’t, because my marriage is what it is. Your piece had me longing for something I’m not actually sure exists. I’ve been with my husband since I was 17, have just one child who will turn 18 this year and I don’t know that I’m any happier or better off than my single or divorced friends.
    I think ultimately, you will get through this and be OK.. In a few short years, as a man you will have the upper hand compared to females your own age- trust me! You will become more and more rare and attractive as a single, smart guy who expresses himself like a dream. I had a friend who once said “You know how sexy it is when guys start to go a little gray at the temples?” and I did know! I have yet to hear any guy say “you know how sexy it is when women start to go gray at the roots and get those little crows feet?” Just hang in there, Matt. I predict there will be plenty of women in your future interested in having a child with you, should you choose to.

    1. I don’t know if it exists, either. I just know I want it to. And I intend to find someone who can convince me she wants that too.

      In the meantime, you’ll just have to accept that I have this amazing talent for not attracting women in real life. I’m about to go to a party. There will be lots of single women there. If everything goes as expected, I’ll have a story to tell tomorrow reaffirming this point.

      Thank you for reading and writing. Very much.

      1. So, what you’re telling me is:

        In 10 years, I’m going to only be attracted to women who are too young for me and dudes that are my age!?!?


  5. Matt,
    I’ve told you my story. I got married and I have two kids with a divorced man,10 years my senior (he was 39 when I met him). If it happened to him and I am sure to a lot of other people, I do not see any reason it can’t happen to you.

  6. I am gonna add my two cents, even though I don’t have children and I’ve never been a parent. Whether your answer is ultimately yes or no, Owen’s still got YOU. Sounds like you two share things many fathers and sons may not: you are both only children and your parents divorced (when young). You’ve been down these roads – this road? fuck that metaphor anyway – and you’re better positioned to understand what he thinks and feels about as he grows up as an only, or as a half-sibling, or step-sibling whatever it may be. You don’t have to guess. Well, maybe you’ll have to guess less often than his mom might have to. Or your mom or dad might have had to. And I bet the more he discovers about the way you grew up, he’ll feel less alone, less like he has to figure it all out by himself, trial and error.

    While she was pregnant with her first child, my longtime friend – an angsty artist type too smart for her own good – confided in me that she was scared shitless. “What if she’s like me?” she asked, referencing her own difficult childhood as a weird/different kid. “Then you are the exact right person for the job,” I told her. I really didn’t (and don’t) think this was profound. It just makes sense.

    I suppose this isn’t exACTly like what your mulling over here, but my point: seems like you are well suited in both life experience and insight, to raise your little guy right. With or without future progeny.

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful, and perhaps super-insightful, response.

      I’ll read it more than once. I appreciate your time and your willingness to contribute to my life.

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