It sounds like you feel as if you don't want to child right now- do you think you ever want to have another, or is it just right now you don't?
I'll share a little of my story- but I want to say that it's important you decide this and not let other's opinions dictate this. This should be something both, you and your husband are talking about- it helps to hear from others too- but don't let someone else make this decision for you- I'm sure you are just gathering thoughts, but just wanted to say that to make me feel better! ;)
I was married very young, had my first when I was 19- about nine months after we got married (now in my 30's)- so like you, I never had a 'carefree' life- in fact, even as a teen, I was assisting in raising my younger siblings and never went out or anything. I hear from a lot of others that I "missed out" and others that have similar feelings you do about not being able to be young and 'have fun'- to be clear those feelings are not wrong- but I choose to look at it from a different perspective. Maybe going out for drinks and taking time to just 'enjoy' life is great- it's fun, it's enjoyable, and it's relaxing- but taking the time to raise my children, to enjoy them (and yes- you sometimes have to work at that), and to have those memories- no amount of nights out can even come close. At the end of my life- what do I want to have said about me? What do I want to leave behind? In the end, those evenings out are pretty fleeting and won't amount to much later on. I have never run into a mother whose raised her kids and said that she wished she had more nights out- I have run into several that state that they wished that had more kids. When deciding if we wanted more kids- I took this under consideration a lot. What's fun and enjoyable isn't always worth our time- I know sounds a bit weird, but it isn't- sometimes those things that take some work are worth way more in the long run. Instead of looking at what you missed out on, look at what you have- many people have the ability to go out and have fun, but the don't have kids- some of them don't want kids, but others can't have them- they don't even have the option and would trade that life style for kids in a heartbeat. For myself, after having the children I do- I can't imagine trading any of them for a nights out.
To address your second point- child birth isn't easy, I won't lie- but I will tell you that every labor story is different. I have not had a single delivery that was identical. There are many more options for labor and delivery than there were 6 years ago- it's really amazing. Don't let a fear of one day of labor, stop you from making a decision to have a child- it's one day, and if you have a good doctor (we use a midwife)- there are so many more options for pain control that weren't there before. You will be better prepared next time (if there is a next time), too, which is an advantage.
As far as giving up drinking- it's certainly a commitment that's worth making if you decide to have another child. We give up a lot during pregnancy. I feel like it's such a short time in the grand scheme of a whole life, but if it's not a commitment you can make- share that with your husband and talk it out- because in reality, it's probably longer than 9 months you would not being going out each weekend.
As far as finances- I kinda feel like there is never a good time to financially have another child. Each time we added a child, we had to evaluate our life style and make adjustments- even in times we were doing 'well'. We cut back on things like going out to eat or even other things that were much harder to give up. We live pretty simply at this point- but I can't say that I'd replace one child for that money back. We've learned to live with less and be content- because, like I mentioned earlier, we focus on what we have instead of what we don't.
All that said- keep in mind this is my personal perspective and I know that not everyone will feel the same way. If you are going to have another child- it sounds like you will have to make some serious adjustments in your life, and it's good you are taking that into consideration. If you want to have another at any point- I'd suggest starting to make some of those adjustments now and see how it goes. If you decide that you just never want another child- be very up front, clear, and honest about it with your husband.
Hope that helps, and best of luck as you navigate this decision!
Hi Chellie, welcome!!
Wow, I think you are so smart to put thoughtful consideration into this important decision! I'm impressed. I had a first birth like yours. Lordy, it was insane. I had something called latent phase labor and it actually started on a Thursday and I had my son on the following Sunday morning. It was 18 hours of being induced! Traumatic is right. We induced my second son at 39 weeks and that was MUCH better and since you had that labor experience, you may go that route too. Time will tell with that.
Anyway, must say a disclaimer here, there is no right or wrong answer on this. There are all sorts of families, all sorts of values and all sorts of situations that work. I'm only sharing my own thoughts and they may not apply to you. This is so individual.
Anyway, to me, finances are important. I was very practical before I had my first about this because I know that when finances are a problem, the house can be less peaceful. It's one of the top reasons couples break up, unfortunately. I think because of the stress it can bring. So, I'd always lean on being in a better financial position than not before another kiddo. It sounds like you and your husband are working on that. You'll get there! One thing that I did not realize when my kids were babies was that the real expense of kids comes later. I wanted my kids to be able to explore their passions and interests. I wanted to be able to provide that opportunity to them. My two boys are in sports, band and scouts. They've also had some interest in robotics (lego), art, and writing. Their activities have created enormous expense for us. But I want them to be able to do the activities that they love. But I had no idea when I was worried about the price of so many diapers how expensive it would be down the road. Just feeding two boys in the early teen years . . . my grocery bill, yikes! lol So, it does get more expensive as tie goes on. We even pick and choose what they can do based on the expense and it still racks up. Husband and I drive older cars, need some cosmetic things in the house that we forgo, etc. because we put our money toward the kids. I have friends that would rather have the car. That's their choice. :>) This is again, all very personal. But am just pointing out some reality of what happens financially as kids get older.
How far kids are spaced out is personal too. My boys are 15 months apart. This has been a blessing and a curse on any given day. lol My biggest challenge is giving each isolated, individual time. My kids want that. They want to, for example, have my undivided attention to tell me about their school day. Hard when they walk in the door together and both ready to talk! I've had to problem solve and they take turns getting my attention to give me the 411 on their day first and alone and then I give the next the opportunity to do that. When they were little, they were super fun but it was super tiring. lol Oh my, the energy in our house. I think I was running on fumes during those years. But it was generally happy chaos. Your two won't be that close even if you got pregnant right now so that distance in age will help cut down on the chaos factor a lot. I have so many memories of my first son with that year we had together before my second arrived but darn it, my second son as an infant is a little of a blur. That part hurts my heart a little. But overall, I wouldn't change it because I adore my kiddos. And they are good buddies (and enemies occasionally). lol
My sister had her kids spaced far out. She wouldn't change that. Other than she felt like she had a little one for SO many years and talks about that in a way that it sounds like she doesn't appreciate it. ?? I feel like my little one's years were too fast and she feels like hers were strung out. But her kids are all good friends and buddies too. In fact, my sister is 5 years older than me.
I have friends who spaced their kids purposely every 2 years and have 4. They like that.
So, I think whatever you do, it will probably be fine. Because you will adore your kids and it will be your family. But agree that the financial piece is important for things like a peaceful marriage. :>)