JJ and I have always been one of those couples who talked about everything too soon. We had our lives completely planned out, without really knowing how we were getting there. Throughout the first year of dating, as 22-year old’s, we had already decided that we wanted a St. Bernard named Gus and 3 kids in our lifetime, our first being a boy named Jude.
I chuckle now when I hear people say, “we would like a boy first” as if they have that option. But to be honest, we always have had the same response regarding kids… we wanted at least one boy and one girl. The “all-American family”.
If you haven’t guessed it already, a lot has changed in our lives since 10 years ago and none of that happened. We never had a St. Bernard named Gus, probably due to the fact that we were in small apartments for 5 of those years and have our second girl coming this September. We couldn’t be happier.
If you are reading this blog post, then you are probably here for a couple reasons:
1. You are curious as to why we are stopping at 2 kids.
2. You want to know our thoughts about the reality of never having a boy.
3. You too are struggling with these decisions and emotions in your own lives.
I want to start out by saying… kids are LIFE CHANGING. In the best possible way as well as the most difficult. I don’t think your lives have to stop because you have children, but it also takes a great deal of effort to make it all work and for different circumstances, it doesn’t always come easy for everyone. The saying is true, “it takes a village.” For us, we have spent a lot of effort on our marriage these last two years, have made a great team raising our Vivienne and still make the time to do things we love as a family and individually. These are things that we have realized are necessary and prioritized for us in order to be happy.
Going from no kids to one completely rocked our world, especially that first month. We looked at each other one day and joked that perhaps we should only have one child after all. We were joking yet were completely serious at the same time. How do people do this? We thought. With less help than what we had? Single parents!?!? It boggles my mind and I feel you truly are the real MVP of life. But the answer is simple, as it is true for all parents in any situation…. you do what you have to do… and you do your very best.
You can go back to the blog post I did when we found out Vivienne was a girl. It was a very emotional day for me. I was completely convinced we were having a boy. Not because we once named our child Jude, but because I had major boy vibes and dreams throughout those first couple of weeks. JJ, on the other hand, knew it was a girl from the very start. To see the word GIRL written under the sticky note still brings me to tears today. Probably because that girl is the best thing that’s ever happened to us and I just knew she was going to be magic.
JJ initially was hoping for a boy that first pregnancy, as I feel most (of course, not all) men do. Probably the same reason that women hope for a girl. A little mini version of themselves to dress, teach, and enjoy all the things that they once did or do. JJ said, “naturally, I wanted a boy because I feel society makes a man feel that way, to teach him sports and do “manly” things. Once you have a kid, you realize it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl. The love is unreal and something you can’t explain. Just because you may have a boy, doesn’t necessarily mean he is going to want to do everything you hoped for. So, why stress about having a specific gender? Just love and appreciate what you are able to have.” I completely agree with this statement. You could get your boy in hopes to add another soccer fan to your Sunday mornings, but it doesn’t mean you’ll get a boy that loves sports. Or you could have a girl that pulls out her perfect ponytails every day and gets more excited about kicking around a soccer ball than playing with Barbie dolls. I encourage you to not focus so much on gender… but love those babies that you were so blessed to have. The inevitable isn’t in your hands anyway… so just LOVE THEM.
Back to the story.
Once we got in our parenting groove, we found it easier to think about doing it all over again. You truly do go through the motions that first year, trying to survive and do forget all those feelings of sleep deprivation and pure exhaustion. In the end, we really felt we wanted Vivienne to have a sibling. So, we decided to have them closer in age to grow up together.
Why only two?
I feel like we get this question so much right now ever since stating that this is our last baby. Yet, it makes me think… if it were our third baby, would you continue to ask why we aren’t having more? Is 3 that magic number that everyone thinks is ideal? Would we feel that pressure from society to keep having more children? I understand the encouragement from people with a large family… holidays are fun and it’ll be great for them once they get older to have more siblings when we leave this earth, but you can also argue that people get shamed for having TOO many children as well. It’s really a never-ending battle and should depend only on what you and your family can handle financially and personally. You are the only ones raising those kids.
For us, we feel two children are what we want for our family. Whether that be two girls, two boys, one boy and one girl… the genders no longer mattered to us. What matters is being able to give them a great life and be the best parents we can be all the while still doing the things we love. We want to give them our attention, travel, education, and so much more to achieve what they want in life. We also want to be able to have balance and manage both a family life and our personal lives as individuals and a couple.
Before we found out the gender of our second baby girl, we declared that this would be our last baby regardless of the sex. We found ourselves more excited to find out for Vivienne’s sake vs. our own. “I honestly didn’t care what gender this baby was. I would have been pumped either way. It is fun to think V will have a sister to play with now. It’s just a different dynamic than having a brother to play with,” JJ said. Personally, I won’t lie to you… I was rooting for another girl. I thought about how easy it would be to have Vivienne’s hand me downs and that amazing bond that they would have. Yet, when we actually found out, I immediately felt sad thinking we could never experience a boy. I think it comes from a place where you naturally feel like you should have one boy and one girl in your family. It is such a normal feeling and we as a society should talk about it more. Gender disappointment. Get it off your chest, express yourself, heal from it all, and move on with your lives.
What is your advice to future parents who are hoping for a specific gender?
Have children for the right reasons. Again, we discussed all the reasons above, but most importantly, have as many kids as you want as long as you can provide and be present for them. JJ doesn’t care about having a son carry on the Garcia name, “there are plenty of Garcia’s out there. haha!” He also doesn’t believe women actually lose their names and identity when they get married. “You are still a part of your family, you are still a Davies. The girls will always be a Garcia.”
Since this is our last baby, we have decided to use Jude as our daughter’s middle name.
Thank you to those of you who read until the end! I know it was a long post, but important items to address and explain. I can’t wait to hear what you think.
Photos by aMaes Photography