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Sherri Richards, Published September 22 2009

Parenting Perspectives: Facebook friend(s): ‘We’re pregnant’

Forget post-World War II. I’m living in a baby boom now.

Nearly every phone call, e-mail or Facebook status update I’ve received recently has announced another pregnancy.

I suppose it’s inevitable. In your mid-20s, weddings occupy every other weekend. A few years pass and it’s time for the baby showers.

College friends, high school classmates, my sister-in-law, three co-workers and a former colleague are all awaiting babies – including two sets of twins – not to mention the flood of recent deliveries.

I’ve depleted my reserve of baby re-gifts – the goodies we got but didn’t use. And I’ve learned to bite my tongue, realizing not all these new parents want my hard-earned advice.

The latest births also include two dear girlfriends who were pregnant at the same time I was. Now both have two under 2.

And so I’ve started to hear a certain question a lot more often. “When are you going to have another?”

It’s always “when” when other people ask about our future plans. When my husband and I talk to each other, it’s “if.”

And either way, there’s no easy answer. I just know our family, including 18-month-old Eve, won’t be joining the boom anytime soon.

Once a week I take care of a friend’s month-old baby girl for a couple of hours while she takes a graduate class. And for a couple of hours, I accomplish nothing but trying to keep two kids from crying.

The dishes stay dirty. The laundry remains undone. Dinner doesn’t get cooked. And toys stay scattered. I imagine this as my daily life, and it overwhelms me.

My toddler is insanely jealous anytime Lydia comes to visit. As I cradle the newborn, Eve demands to be held, too. “Up on Mommy. Up on Mommy. UP ON MOMMY,” she says tersely.

Earlier this month, as I held Jovi, another friend’s second child, Eve actually tried scaling my legs to get into my arms.

I’ve long said I wanted two kids, but I don’t know how I’d balance them both. And I don’t know how we’d balance our checkbook.

My part-time wages can’t cover two kids in part-time day care. My sanity can’t handle staying home 24/7. But I could never leave them both for 40-plus hours a week.

So for now, my husband and I continually have the “if” discussion. Other people still ask “when.”

Oh, and the baby boom continues: Another friend just made the official Facebook announcement.

Sherri Richards is mother of an 18-month-old daughter and employee of The Forum. She’s also “Top Mom” at http://moms.inforum.com