Over the past 8 months I’ve read a few parenting blog posts and articles implying that having three kids is the worst. I’m happy I’m just reading them now and not when I was pregnant (or sooner!). So, I decided to write this post. To anyone out there wondering (and I know you are out there)… should I have a third? Despite the negative press, my answer would be a resounding YES.
When I was pregnant with Livie, I swore to everyone that we wouldn’t be having more kids. Ha! I declared that two would be enough and that I would be DONE. I told people to convince me, when I started talking about having a third (because I know myself), that I wanted to get a puppy instead. There’s just one thing… I’m not a dog person. I’m a baby person.
Around the time Livie turned 2, baby fever hit (see Pinterest board aptly name Baby Fever)… but there was a lot of stuff going on, so I knew I was going to have to wait. Then we waivered back and forth, well, I waivered. Dan wasn’t for or against. He was fine with another little person in our home, but was also happy with the two we already had. I was fine too, but definitely felt like our family wasn’t complete. I thought to myself, “Would I regret NOT having another baby?” That answer was always yes. So, there was my answer. It just took a loooong time to get there.
But like I said – there was a lot going on. First, I wanted to run a marathon, then both of my brothers were getting married (and I didn’t want to be pregnant at their weddings). I was simultaneously patient and impatient. I knew I wanted to have a bigger age gap, but I was also worried that the age gap would be TOO big. Was 7 years between the oldest and the youngest TOO much? Then I started thinking a third would be crazy. My husband just thought I WAS crazy (there’s probably some truth in that). Finally after the races and weddings were over we just decided to see what happened. It was probably the cutest choice we ever made.
I had a million fears going into having a third. Was I rocking the boat? I thought it would take me a long time to get pregnant (umm, nope). I worried about miscarriage and birth defects (I am thankful every day that I did not experience either), especially as I got close to “advanced maternal age” (35 y’all). I worried that I would have to have a c-section or that something would go wrong during the birth. I worried that I would have a colicky baby or a baby that refused to breastfeed. I worried a lot, because as a mother that’s what you do (even when everything is going smoothly – actually, ESPECIALLY when it’s going smoothly). I also worried that being a mom to three would be harder than hard. Cry in the pillow, regret my decision hard. And while it’s been challenging, like REALLY REALLY challenging, it’s been easier than I expected, too. Sometimes.
Adding a third child to my family was nothing like adding a first. Not that Braeden was difficult. No, I was difficult, and selfish. I had freedoms I didn’t know I would miss. I heard that phrase — you know the one — “Your life is going to change!” so many times before B was born that I wanted to smack people who said it to me. I thought I knew how much it would. But I was wrong. So, so wrong. My life did not change as much this time around. My heart grew a little more. I pay more for daycare. I sleep a little less. I don’t feel as much pressure to put on makeup or do my hair. But it’s felt nothing like that first year with my first baby.
Now, I’m not going to lie and pretend it’s not pure craziness. You would probably go insane in my house. The kids compete for my attention. The kids do WEIRD things for my attention. I make crazy baby noises to make Evan laugh. I make crazy noises to get my kids to stop talking. I sing (and scream) at the top of my lungs. There is never an easy moment in the mornings… or ever. It takes a lot of effort to leave the house. Hell, it takes a lot of effort to do anything.
But, our house is full of constant joy and love. Maybe it’s because I have two older kids, versus two that are close in age — but they absolutely adore THEIR baby. They might be jealous that he gets a lot of attention for being adorable, but they don’t take it out on him. They don’t fight over toys, they fight over holding him. They demand to give him kisses and hugs every chance they get and they will do anything to make him laugh. And is there anything better than watching your children giddy about each other?
Sure, I have more grey hair than ever before, I sleep less, I yell more, and I really have to FIGHT to make it anywhere on time, but damn if it’s not worth it.
I also finally feel like my family is complete. I worried that I would never feel that way. That I would crave more because, I mean… babies. But no. Nobody is missing. We are all here. Evan is truly the frosting on my cupcake. He is the sweet, sugary goodness that my family didn’t know that we were missing.
So, if you’re like me and deep down you WANT three kids and you’re questioning your sanity — I’ll be the first to tell you it will be insane. It will be more insane than you can ever imagine. People will tell you you’re insane and will also ask you “How do you do it?” and you will look at them like you’re a zombie and just stare– because that question is seriously annoying. But there will be fleeting moments where it will also be everything you ever imagined and more.
And that’s when you realize that you can’t imagine living your life any other way. And it’s truly the best.
For the record, I AM done having kids but, please just let me know if you have a baby so I can come over and snuggle with it. Okay? Thanks.