Two or Three Kids?

There are a few things I want to tell my future self–the self that’s thinking of having a third baby. The one that’s awash in hormones and missing the addictive smell of newborn scalp. The self that’s thinking fondly back to a time when my child’s every need could be fulfilled by me.

First, you should hit me over the head with a plastic baby bouncer. And when I come to you can remind me that there was a time when I fulfilled my children’s every need and they could not be separated from me for more than 2-3 hours, and that during those times I may have lain down on the floor and cried.

I’ve wanted three kids for a while and I know it can be done with aplomb. My best friend has four and makes it seem like two. My mommy mentor Donna handles three boys and finds time to send other people’s children birthday presents (I have a hard enough time remembering my own children’s birthdays).

 The should-we-have-two-or-three question is complicated. Much more complicated than deciding whether you should get a dog before having a kid.

For one thing, I think it would take a while before our extended family could handle babysitting three grandchildren, and if we don’t have babysitting, well… let’s just say there will be prescription medication involved.

Also, financially two just fits so snug like a lovely puzzle. Three would be a stretch on more than my abs. And there are things I’d like to experience with our family–travel, service trips, family reunions, a time without diapers…

We’re not thinking of having three anytime soon. Baby Woww just turned one and seems to be getting all his teeth at the same time, which means he’d like one of his handlers to snuggle him every moment of the day.

And frankly I think we will let God give us a sign on this one. (And I’m not talking about the “Oops!” sign. I’m thinking more burning-bush or plague-of-locusts).

But as Baby Woww grows out of infancy and my body returns back to normal, I start to think about these things. Like many of us, I wrote my Magical Life List before I met my wonderful husband, and before my future self started becoming more real and less imaginary. I’m coming to realize that what you really want may possibly be different that what you think you’ve always wanted.

Your thoughts?

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11 responses to “Two or Three Kids?

  1. I’m a one and done mom. It seems to upset others more than me. My choice – a combination of a later than expected child (as life happened and my first marriage ended after a stroke and death) and a change in medical conditions following my son’s birth. There were discussions about adoption, but the signs presented themselves to redirect our attention. Now, I mother a wide range of children in my picture book manuscripts. Good luck with your decision. One seems to outnumber us at times, so I can’t imagine 3.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Stacy! …and for sharing some of your own personal journey. There’s a lot more to the how-many decision than a mystery number you’d had in mind. Listening to what your family needs is the biggest thing!

  2. I always wanted 3 kids…until I had 2. I love my kids and it isn’t that they are total handfuls. There are a couple of reasons behind this. One is that every family I know that has 3 kids, one of them has a tougher time (usually the middle one). Now, I know that it isn’t fair to make a blanket statement like that, but I can only by my experiences and observations.

    I also realized that baby fever isn’t always baby fever. Before I conceived each of my kids, I had honest-to-God baby fever–I wanted a(nother) baby! No, when I get those baby fever-like urges, I realize that it isn’t that I want another baby–it’s that I miss my kids being babies. It’s a fine line, but there is a difference.

    And I really like being able to sleep all night.

    And I like seeing that little glimmer of lights at the end of the diaper tunnel.

    And I really don’t want to be forced into having to rush out and get a minivan (although I’m pretty sure one is coming up in our near future–not for more kids, but because we just have a lot of stuff).

    • Sleeping all night is awesome, isn’t it!? I am a crazy lady when I’m not sleeping, and going through the newborn stage again…well, it’s not good for the sleep cycle. Thanks for your thoughts. I am totally empathetic!

  3. Funny you should write about this. Lately my heart has been telling me I want number five, even though my brain tells me four is more than enough. Newborns seems so cute when they are someone else’s. Pregnant ladies are looking darling rather than hot, hormonal and uncomfortable again. Maybe we should get a babysitter Wednesday morning and march down to the local maternity ward for a baby fix. Problem solved?

    • A fifth! We are definitely going to the maternity ward, because I am not letting you get a 9-passenger van. Although, then we could sit in the front with all the kids in the back and *possibly* have an adult conversation. Hmmm….

  4. The 2 or 3 debate is one I have been struggling with recently. Having the first 2 only 19 months apart I’m still longing for nights where I sleep longer than 4 hours, so I know 3 is not around the corner, but I wonder if perhaps in a year or 2.

    • That’s the hard part, isn’t it? With the way your family changes and the way your hormones change, it’s really hard to tell how you will feel a month from now, let alone in a year or 2!

  5. B and I always said we would have two kids. Now we have two kids. I wondered when I was pregnant with T if I would want to do it again for a third baby. Now that T is 14 months old I can tell you that number three will only happen if it is an oops and we are doing what we can to make sure that isn’t a possibility. I feel like the ability to play man to man with the kids is so much easier than playing zone. I know everyone who has more than two says that it is easy, but I think they are either superwoman or delusional. Finally, now that T has weaned and I have my body back, I really do not want to give it up for anyone. It was amazing to carry and then nurse two boys, but my body is ready to move forward to new exciting adventures.

    Okay, I will stop rambling now. 🙂

    • New, exciting adventures like running full-contact races! You’re awesome! There’s a real sadness in thinking about never being pregnant and nursing again, but at this point that is tempered by how nice it is not to be carrying a baby around in utero. Thanks for the ramblings! 😉

  6. I totally get this internal debate (see mine from 3 years ago: http://myconvertiblelife.blogspot.com/2009/09/definitely-not-duggars.html). We’ve officially (medically) decided to stop at two, but I still get the tug when I hold a sweet new baby. It’s definitely one of those questions that no one can answer for you. Good luck!

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