Sunday, May 16, 2010

Third child vote: 85% not likely. 10% maybe. 5% ask me next year.

Sometimes - like on a sunny evening when everyone is fed and content, and the kids are chasing the dog around the garden and we're enjoying a smooth glass of Cabernet, and everything feels good and right, I think about a third child.

The picture in my head is just ever so slightly romantic: I imagine three kids - perhaps three boys - sitting in a tree house concocting plans, riding bikes to the park, teenagers with appetites so large we'd need to start raising cows and pigs.

And, over-dosing on optimism, I think, that would be SO MUCH FUN!

But then I remember last night, staggering around at 2 am. like a cave woman, grunting from tiredness and spilling milk over the kitchen floor before returning to the nursery with a bottle for my youngest son who still does not sleep through. Occasionally I could swear I hear myself hissing "No. More. Kids.". In fact, J said one night I actually did hiss this (at him) as I rolled back into bed.

And I think, yeah.. there's no way.

And then I look at our two sons and consider how absolutely amazing they are with their blooming characters and their funny words and smiles and kisses and tantrums, and I can't help but wonder what our third child might look like, sound like, be like.

And I think, we could so do this again!

But then I remember how much I love my new work, my school classes, and how, after a long period of house-bound-ness and several winters with a baby and a toddler, I've regained a semblance of independence and something that's mine, again.

And I think, nope, just can't go back there.

And then I'll see a pregnant woman at the market, hand proudly straddling her bump, waddling along in her uber-cute maternity dress. And I think ahhhh..... What a precious feeling that was.

But then I remember - morning sickness, uncomfortableness and childbirth. And sadly, I'm just not one of those childbirth-orgasm types. I'm more the scream-like-you're-being-murdered-by-an-axe-murderer type.

And I think, No. No. No. And also, no.

The thought goes back and forth like a schizophrenic conversation. Finally, I tell myself - we have two healthy boys - what more could one ask for? But the little nagging thought is there. Always there, pestering me. What if?

How do you know when you're done having kids?
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Ellen said...

Hi! I had to come over when I saw your tweet. I posted about this a couple of months ago, because we're also on the fence, and I totally relate to what you say. I'm always having this same conversation in my head. For us, the question is a little complicated by the fact that one of our kids has special needs. I think that he could use another sibling to help take care of him when we're not around. But then I think that another sibling will detract from the attention we can give to him.... Anyway, the overwhelming response was, YES! HAVE A THIRD KID!!! Not that I do everything my readers tell me to. :)

I think the one thing I can't get out of my head is, I don't want to be 80 years old and look back and have regrets. And I know, that if we have another child, things might be crazy but we won't regret it.

Lady Mama said...

Ellen - I think you're right, you won't regret it when you're 80, even though it will be CRAZY (all caps crazy!) for a while.

Some kind of Wondermom said...

I also came over after seeing your tweet. I know exactly how you feel. I flip flop from one side of the fence to the other several times a day. The other day I was holding a screaming baby while DH was comforting the 3yo who just ran into a doorway, and I thought to myself "who's going to hold the 3rd baby?"

I also have romantic ideas of what a family with 3 kids would be like - mostly around the dinner table.

It's such a hard decision to make. I'm going to give myself 3 more years before I need to decide definitely. Until then, I get to agonize about it daily.

Elaine A. said...

Boy do I know this feeling (no pun intended on the 'boy')!!!

I always pictured myself with three children, for whatever reason. No more, no less. And now that I have them I know we are done. But that feeling of NOT knowing is a tough one and before I got pregnant with the third it was hard, that back and forth.

I guess it's different for everyone and someday you'll just "know." I hope you get your answer pretty soon because I know, at least for me, being is limbo was hard.

Lil said...

I have that argument in my head every day especially when I see someone with three kids. I think of the pros and cons, for me there are a lot more cons than pros but its a nagging little feeling/wanting for that 3rd kid..How do you know???

Nikosmommy said...

mmmHmmm. You are living my life a bit here. I too sat in the backyard on this lovely May evening and watched my two hooligans,err, boys run around playfully. I thought to myself that this is all pretty good! A third child is an appealing idea, but knowing us we'd most definitely have ANOTHER boy. (Not that there's anything wrong with that) but I'd want a girl, (someone's gotta take care of me when I'm old right!?!?) :)
But seriously I think we're done. Pregnancy is a wonderful journey, but having a new born is SO MUCH WORK. My second is 20 months and still wakes in the night at least once. I'm tired and Husband works a LOT so really I'm a single mother most of the week. He's almost 40, and I just lost the last of my 'baby weight' so NO, I suppose we're DONE having kids. LOL (glad I figured it out here!)

It is such a personal decision and I understand your reasons for hesitating on having a 3rd!

LisaDay said...

I loved being the middle of three. Go for it.


gringationcancun said...

I'm the youngest of three girls, and I'm so grateful for having constant playmates as a kid :) We're all very different people, but we have such a close relationship today.

Still, it's completely up to you and how you feel you want to spend your time. If you're really enjoying your "me time", I think that's something to consider.

(If you do have a 3rd, it will make for interesting blog posts!! haha)

Good luck deciding :)

Bear and Bones Mama said...

I would if I could. I think. We made the decision for hubby to get "fixed" when my youngest was 8 months old. But at least once a week now (he's 3) I say loving and caring things like, "if you hadn't gone off and ruined our lives I could be pregnant right now" or some such thing. All in good fun, of course. But really? We have no diapers. Everyone (kinda) sleeps thru the night. I work out. They have play dates and sleep overs and good times without me. Do I really want an infant again? Probably not. I just need to keep friends around me who keep having babys, so I can smell them and hold them and give them back. um, the babys not the moms.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Oh yeah, you're definitely having a third. All it takes are those fleeting moments to get you hooked on the idea.

I'll be here to support your 'tired out' posts.


Lady Mama said...

Some Kind of Wonderwoman - yes, exactly - who's going to hold the 3rd baby!? I'm giving myself up to another 5 years to decide.

Elaine - You make 3 look good woman!

Lil - I've no idea.... let me know when you figure it out.

Nikosmommy - I'm tired too. I want my energy back.

Lady Mama said...

LisaDay - You're the first person I've heard say they liked being the middle child!

gringationcancun - it is nice to have playmates growing up.

Bear and Bones Mama - that's kind of how I feel - do I REALLY really want another baby? Not convinced.

James - Haha, thanks.

Chic Mama said...

I've no idea how you know...I think some people just wait and see and then life becomes easier and then they don't want to lose that so leave having anymore. That's what happened to some of my friends, anyway. Obviously didn't work in my case. I feel incredibly broody at the moment but that's certainly never going to happen again. But...I also feel that my family IS complete so maybe there is a time when you know. Good luck, it's quite a strong emotion isn't it. XX

Emma said...

I'm surprised to say that I don't know. I just don't know that we are done.

Mwa said...

I am having ALL of these thoughts and I'm pregnant with my third. I think some people can just never be "done" with it, but you have to decide which gives you the best balance in your life.
Yes, I will go crazy in the next couple of years, and I don't know what the "right" decision would have been, but we both agreed three was a minimum. My sister's very happy with one child only, though. Impossible question.
I can't imagine being "done" after this, but I do think we should probably call it a day. Three will be plenty to cope with. (But four would be even better when I'm older... and so it goes on.)

Kristy said...

Oh, yeah, so there with you on thinking of another one. Every once in a while, the thought creeps into my head, then it must be quickly banished - no, no, no! No more infants!

If I Could Escape . . . said...

Erm, yeah ... after the third son, I knew I was most definitely done! =)

..... Carmen said...

Kristy's comment made me laugh - I like the 'no, no, no! No more infants!' Or perhaps I find that terribly funny since I am sleep deprived from an infant. Having come from a family of three, I knew I always wanted an even number - two, or four. And four seems just plain ridiculous (I can't fathom THAT level of craziness). I flirt with the idea of 3, but it would of course, be a boy , or a girl, and then we'd have an uneven # of girl/boy ration... which would lead us to a fourth, and then, oh no, potentially a fifth. Ha! Ok, never a fifth. But, the answer comes when you know you are content with what you have. I'm 85% confident my flirting with the idea won't lead anywhere. I really disliked being the only girl, and middle child, between two brothers. I always longed for that sister. I don't wish to put those feelings on my kids.

Mammatalk said...

I hear ya, I hear ya. As always, I hear ya. Not sure what the answer is, though!

Sara said...

It's the 10% that'll kill you!

diney said...

you should go for it - I wish I had gone for a 3rd and regrets are not good karma!

Christine said...

I could have written this post myself. I'm back and forth like a tidal wave. Mostly I don't feel done and have a nagging feeling that someone is missing. It's not time for us to decide yet, I have a few years yet, but I'll be watching to see what YOU decide because I'm living vicariously through others, watching, learning and wondering just what it would be like and trying to figure out if I really want to take the leap.

For the record, my husband is decidedly done. I just hope when it comes time to decide that if we decide no that the longing for another is gone. Because man, it's almost stronger than I ever felt with my first two.