Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Calling all moms of 3, 4 or more....

I need input. How do you decide whether or not to have a third child? I know this is a personal decision - and for some, perhaps simply a product of circumstance, but I'd certainly welcome ANY thoughts or advice.

I am VERY torn about whether or not we should have a third child. On the one hand, I cannot imagine having another child. On the other hand, I cannot imagine NEVER having another child. I'm thirty-five; young enough to be feel like I do not have to be done, but old enough that if we're going to have a third, we'd better get on with it already.

Here is the problem: We are finally at a point where things are easier. I don't have to dress anyone in the morning. We no longer need a stroller when we go to the mall, or travel. Can I really go back? Or rather, do I want to go back? Sometimes I think I do. But then I remember how tired I am ALL THE TIME. Will I have the energy for a third? Will I have the patients for a third? I am not a calm, patient, laid back person. Should people like me have three kids?

And then there's the financial issue - will we really be able to afford to send three kids to college in this day and age, and still live the way we want to live? And should even we make our decision based on this?

Jonathan is another issue. He does not think he wants another child. But his rationale is really more like, "where would the third kid sit in the car." You know, really deep thoughts about the issue. (Not to mention we have an SUV - so it's not like this is really a problem.) I just don't think in his mind he ever pictured a family with three kids. He comes from a family with two kids, and his parents each came from a family with two kids. Same with me. We'd really be breaking the mold. But he knows this is an issue for me and so he is willing to discuss the possibility. And of course any decision we make, I strongly believe needs to be a decision we are both comfortable with.

I love being a mom. I don't want to look back and regret not having a third because I was afraid. But I also want to do what is right for our family. I just don't know what that is.


Jen said...

We had a similar debate (going from 2 to 3) a few years ago. Of course, we got hung up on the logistics (we'll need a bigger car, bigger hotel rooms, etc.) and the financial (more child care costs, COLLEGE!) but for us, it finally just came down to the fact that I knew in my heart that our family was not complete. Luckily, my husband was on board as well. I knew we'd be fine with 2, but I felt like I'd always wonder if I should have added a third...and I didn't want to regret it later on.

Now I still sometimes think about a 4th, just because I love kids, but the feeling is different this time. Not as intense, without the worries that I'd regret it. In my mind, that is the signal that we are probably done.

Good luck!

Anjali said...

This is going to sound totally hokey, but I loved 3 children even before we started trying for our second. It's as if they were already a part of our family, I was just waiting for them to come live with us.

Your life will be much easier in a year. Keep that in mind. Rarely do people regret having another child. They regret NOT having another child.