|Unrelated to any prompts, but wanted to get it written...|
Of course, they shouldn’t have more kids. Their housing situation had been downsized three times in five years, their two children now sleeping in one, albeit large, bedroom. They did not own a home, another consequence of their decision to have her stay at home while the kids were growing up. They were, in fact, living paycheck to paycheck; their checking account depleted at the end of every second week. They had no savings other than the meager amount that he was able to stash away throughout the year to defray his Christmas expenses. But they had love. And the object of that love was their children. The sole reason for his existence, his children were the motivating factor in everything that he did. And he wanted more of them.
They had agreed early on in the relationship that she would stay at home and raise the children. It was what they had both wanted. They knew that they would have to make sacrifices, but neither of them wanted to have somebody else raising their children while the two of them worked. They had both wanted children for a long time; in fact, they had written it into their wedding vows. “…And the father of my children.” And now he wanted more of them.
He was being selfish; he knew that. Selfish because he wasn’t able to spend enough time with the children as it was. He worked sixty to seventy hours a week so that she didn’t have to work, and it still wasn’t enough. He saw his children for two hours a day; a half hour before he went to work and an hour and a half before they went to bed. He tried to cram as much love and fun into those brief periods, but it didn’t feel like it was enough. It could never be enough, for those two wonderful children gave him a new lease on life every time that he looked at their smiling faces. He knew that it wouldn’t be fair to the two children that he had now to have another. The little time that he had available for them now would have to be divided into even smaller morsels of his attention for each of them. He knew that, and he still wanted more.
He looked at it objectively, logically, and pragmatically. His first child had made him feel like he could do no wrong. When he was with his baby he felt as though nothing else mattered but whatever was happening between the two of them. When they had the second, the feeling was multiplied. In a terrible funk for a year, he was hoping that another would change his life once again. But he also realized that his loyalties should not be to himself. Rather, he already owed a debt of time to the two children that he had, a debt that would take a lifetime of weekends to repay. He knew that there was only one way to do right by his children and that did not involve adding another. But he couldn’t help but want more.
And now he was feeling guilty. Guilty because he was starting to resent her for the time that she was able to spend with the children. Guilty because he had told her time and time again that she was a wonderful mother and he was willing to sacrifice his time at home so that she could be there for them when they needed a parent. And he was now wishing that he had made a different decision. It was, in part, her ability to stay at home with the children that enabled her to become the wonderful mother that she had become. He was beginning to wonder if marrying a woman whose life’s desire was to be a mother was the right decision. Maybe if he hadn’t married such a good mother, he would have had the chance to be a better father.