To Have a Third Child or Not to Have a Third Child

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The debate to have a third child is a big one! It’s a lifestyle change. It’s a switch from man-to-man coverage to zone coverage.

 

Before I had my first child, I swore I didn’t want kids. The idea terrified me, and to be honest, I thought there was no way I could be a good mom without my own mom here to help me. When my son came bursting into this world, and I learned the depth of love I could have for another human, I knew right away that I wasn’t done. My son was for sure not going to be an only child. 

 

Cut to baby #2. My pregnancy with my second babe was horrible! It started shortly after the shocking death of a friend. It was marked with nine months of sickness, preterm labor, and oh yeahhhh – a pandemic. And I’m talking early stage pandemic. When the world went into lockdown, I was 25 weeks pregnant. That pregnancy did such a number on my mental health that I swore I’d never do it again. I counted the days until I got to be done. I hoped she’d come early. I dreamed of the days when I could have a baby in one arm and wine in the other. 

And then she was born.

 

Photo credits: Kathleen Moreland Photography

 

They laid her on my chest, and I thought, “There you are.” This was followed too closely by, “Oh, there’s no way I’m done!” Yep. You read that right. Immediately after birthing my second kid, I wanted to do it all over again – an idea that completely shocked my husband. I mean, truthfully, I think I’m a bit addicted to labor and delivery, but that’s another post for another day. 

 

And my baby girl –  she didn’t make the baby fever any less hot. She was and is an amazing baby. She’s very laid back, but she holds her own to her older brother. With each month that passed, knowing it would possibly be the last time I’d get to do this made me sad. I wasn’t ready for that. BUT I also wasn’t ready to be pregnant again. At this point, we had two under three, so I knew our plates were full. I resolved that WHEN we had a third, it wouldn’t be until our second was at least four. 

 

I should mention here that my husband is strongly on team “Stop at Two.” 

 

Then came a fateful run to the grocery store post daycare pick-up that truly made me question my sanity as a mom of two. I had promised my 3-year-old that if he stayed in his bed all night, he would get ice cream the next day. Night-time-mom wrote an IOU that day-time-mom had no intention of seeing to fruition. Upon pick up, my toddler loses it. We have no ice cream at home, so therefore we must go to the store. As I stood in the ice cream aisle with a screaming baby and a rambunctious toddler who insisted on pushing his own cart, I thought to myself, “Oh! Two is fine. This is enough!” For the first time since having my second, I truly felt like maybe I couldn’t actually handle a third child. I mean, physically speaking, I only had two hands, and at that moment, both were occupied. I thought moms of three must be superhuman. 

 

But now, as I watch my two little humans grow and play with each other, I can’t help but still wonder if there should be a third. Are we complete? Do we need a third to be complete? Will I always want one more? Will I ever have my life back together? To have a third child or not to have a third child – that is my question these days. 

 

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