We always knew that we wanted to have more than one child, but never discussed the timing. (Read: The timing of having kids 17 months apart was not planned, but we’re glad that it happened the way it did.) While we were a bit surprised at first, we embraced the idea that “Hey, we’re already sleep-deprived and changing diapers, so why not keep this party going!”
There’s something to be said when you have two kids under the age of two. The common response: “Wow. You must have your hands full.” And, believe me, they were. There were days where I felt like I was being tag-teamed by my kids, as if they were conspiring against me and testing my sanity on a daily basis. One would start crying, as the other stopped; or both would cry and demand my attention. Often times, I would join them and end up sobbing on the kitchen floor.
There were days where I felt like I was on a loop of feeding/nursing, changing diapers, putting down for naps, etc. It was an exhausting and challenging time. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed witnessing the milestones and being able to spend quality time with my girls – but it was challenging to say the least.
It wasn’t until some time after Kid A’s 1st birthday that the thought crossed my mind: “Should we have another kid?”
The answer to that question would fluctuate depending on the day, or sometimes even the hour. Initially, I would yell back at my subconscious: “You must be crazy to consider having another kid. You can barely handle yourself with two! What are you thinking?!”
But the question continued to infiltrate my mind. I figured it was worth exploring and started my own personal research. I found myself observing other families with three kids, asking parents with more than two kids about their experiences, and I even resorted to asking Google: “Should I have a third child?” Because where else do you go when you need help figuring out a life-changing decision?
I came across numerous articles and stumbled upon HavingThreeKids.com which covers the pros and cons of having three children. While all of it was helpful and offered different perspectives, it just reinforced that I had no clue what was the best decision for our family.
The process of coming to our decision took well over a year. The conversations with DH usually went something like this:
Me: Are we done?
DH: I don’t know. Are we?
Me: I don’t know. Let’s discuss it when Kid A turns 2.
Fast forward to some time after Kid A’s 2nd birthday:
Me: So, are we done?
DH: I don’t know. Are we?
Me: I don’t know. Let’s discuss it after my sister’s wedding in September, or maybe after our friends’ wedding in November.
I think we both felt (and feel) incredibly blessed with our two little girls. We did not have a strong opinion either way on whether we should go for Kid #3. Often, I thought it would be easier if DH had a no-thanks-to-three-kids feeling or if I had a definitely-done-birthing-children stance. But neither of us had that. Maybe it’s because DH is the third child in his family. Maybe it’s because I’d find myself staring at the extra chairs around the dining table and daydreaming about having three grown children. Whatever the case, it led me to believe that we were both open and willing to see what the universe had in store for us.
We agreed ‘not to try’ and if it happened, great! If not, then we still had much to be grateful for. I stopped taking the Pill and used a self-imposed deadline of my 35th birthday as the time to stop ‘not-trying’. I knew I wanted to be finished with pregnancies by the time I turned 35.
Fast forward to the present: I am 14 weeks pregnant with Kid #3 and my 35th birthday is just around the corner. It’s still sinking in that we will be a Family of Five come this summer. It’s still sinking in that the kids will outnumber the parents in our household. It’s still sinking in that we will be pressing the RESET button and have a newborn in the house again.
While I can’t foresee what it will be like having three kids, I can predict this conversation in the near future:
Me: We’re done after this one, right?
DH: Yes, right?
At least we’d have finally wrapped up that conversation.