Friday, February 11, 2011

To Three or Not to Three?

I only ever wanted two girls.

It was something I had assumed, known and believed for most of my adult life, and probably for years beforehand.  Two children, two daughters.

Of course, my Mum will tell you that I went through a phase in high school when I told her I wanted multiple babies to multiple fathers of all different colours.  I'm sure she was absolutely horrified, though she probably just smiled and nodded at the time.

I imagine she would have been quite relieved when I met - and married - my husband, almost exactly 11 years ago. (Side note - what lovely gemstone can I expect for 11 years of marriage?  Am I up to diamonds yet?)

The reason I assumed I would have two daughters is because, simply put, our family does not do boys.  My Grandma had two daughters and each of them had two daughters.  I have two daughters and my sister had a daughter. 

And then she had a boy. 

This was weird because I had also assumed that she would have two daughters.  A nephew did not feature in my grand plans.  Luckily, plans are made to be changed because it is fabulous having a little man in the family.

So what does that have to do with me?

Well, I am very confused at the moment, because I have my two beautiful girls, two of the most precious gifts I have ever received, but I think I want more. I am not sure if I am done.

While other Mums in my Mothers' Group are giving away the baby clothes and donating all the baby toys to charity with cheerful abandon, I am washing all my baby clothes and storing them away according to size and season (yes, I am more than a little bit anal).

It could be because Miss Curly Mop is still at that beautiful age where she is all innocence and light.  She is just starting to walk, and is vulnerable and brave.  The Blonde Bombshell has started Kindy, she is growing up and moving away.  Curly Mop does not yet talk... and does not yet talk back.

Perhaps it is just a trick of the light, this wanting more.  That window of sanity after the night time feeds of a new baby but before the tantrums of toddlerhood.  Maybe I will feel differently when Miss Curly Mop approaches 18 months, and I am sticking rolled up ToysRUs catalogues in my ears so I cannot hear the whining and arguments.

How do you know?  How do you know whether you should take that next step and try for a third baby?

Having a third baby changes everything.  You need a bigger car.  A bigger kitchen table.  And 99% of family passes in this world are for two adults and two children.  What if you have three kids?  Do you just leave one of them in the car?

Some people say I should just be happy with what I have, especially since I have what I always wanted.  Some say I shouldn't tempt fate.
Some say you can never regret having children and having three means there is just more love in your family.
What do you say? 

How do you know?


  1. I have half a novel written on this one (with the same name HA!)
    The short of it was To Three for me. The fact you are talking/thinking about it says much. Should send you my 2yr-long musings on the matter!
    PS: We still have the same car ;)

  2. Hi Jo - I'd really love to read your half novel... I find the thought processes of anyone who has made the decision very interesting... (PS what type of car do you have? How do you manage to fit three carseats in?)

  3. Oh go on DO IT!!!! Then there will be another gorgeous bubba for me to cuddle :)

    I will ask my friend with 3 kids and a forrester what car seats she has. But it can be done, so it's a minor point - you shouldn't NOT have another child because of car seats! (or similar logistics). Things have a lovely way of working out no matter what space you have, money you have, car you have, etc as long as there's love and enough money for basic necessities things will work out, for sure.

    Yay to more babies (for you) :) R x

  4. Amongst nearly all my friends with 3 kids, the third was a slightly-unintentional surprise. I'd say just go for it, you should add a little boy to the mix because little boys are totally THE BEST. Not that I'm biased at all.

  5. i feel blessed with my two little boys but i do have that feeling that i'm not done. i watch my smiling tiger reach his milestones and i don't have that feeling that this is the end of seeing those milestones for i think that the fact that you are even thinking about it means that a third is a definite possibilty. its silly for someone to say don't tempt fate - no matter how many children you have it is the same risk, why is two the magic number and anymore is tempting fate????
    oh and its not anal to pack away clothes in size and season...i have done the same thing :) if you go again and get another girl and i go again and get another boy we could always do a swapsy? our kids seem to be on par age wise so far so why not put it out there for the next one?
    we have actually said if we go for another it would be because we see ourselves with three kids not because we wanted to 'try' for a girl. what do you think?

  6. totally agree with your last statement Rachel, I don't necessarily want to 'try' for a boy this time, but I see myself with more children... When I look into the future, I feel a lot of family and a lot of love. Girls are what I know at the moment, but I am open (a little bit anyway) to the idea of a boy...

  7. Shannon, I'm a couple of weeks late commenting but I've only just discovered your blog.
    I had major indecision about whether to have a 3rd - there was no logical reason to have one, my book was due to be published in 12 months, I was going to be busier than ever and the 2 girls were at a nice easy stage. But have one we did. A lovely boy. And the minute he came out I knew I was done.
    So, in my experience, you will know when you are finished - if you don't know, maybe it's worth thinking about some more. And yes, car seats are a problem - I had 3 kids under the age of 4 when Darcy came along so needed three big car seats. We can't fit all 3 in my husband's car but can in mine - it can be done! Good luck whatever you decide.

  8. Thanks Natasha, I think you are right about logic not playing a part in this decision. There is nothing logical about having babies, and sure as sin no logic when it comes to dealing with children. It's so much more instinctual, base.

    Of all the blog posts I have written this is the one that has received the most comments and feedback, via the blog or email and people calling to chat.

    Not a single person has said that it might not be a good idea. Sure, people have said that a third might not be the right idea for THEM, but I keep looking at MY family, my life, my house and think 'there is space for more. We have enough love. We can fit more in'.

    Well, perhaps not in the car, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

  9. I just keep thinking about all the rubbish we generate and about all the production that is required to service the growing population and all the impacts on the environment. This is the reason I am not having any more children - I want to ensure that the one child I have and her grandchild or grandchildren have a reasonably clean and un-exhausted planet to live on. Maybe just me...but it does really really worry me and I try and do my bit.

    1. That's such a valid point, from the impact of another few years of disposable nappies, to the landfill worth of packaging on kids toys these days, to extra water for washing. I guess it all adds up. Thanks for commenting and thanks for reading.

  10. go three...just do it!! If you feel you are not yet complete then just go for it, you don't want to regret such a decision. Who knows what the future holds for any of us in terms of family, life/death, money, etc. Of course the first 6mths will be a challenge (it always is with a new baby) but once you find your routine, life is easy again. Whats a crazy 6mths in the whole scheme of life? I think you will have one person at school next year so that leaves you with only two at home - easy. I have - miss 5, mr 3 & mr 1 they are a joy....but I now know I am done, 3 is enough (for me) Enjoy whatever you decide - no regrets!

  11. Go 3...just do it!! There is never a good time to have a baby & of course the first 6mths is going to be crazy (always is with a new babe) but whats 6mths in the whole scheme of things, plus it will pass quickly, in a blur. Once you are getting more sleep, baby has somewhat of a routine etc. life will go back to 'normal' whatever that means ha ha!! I think you will have one at school next year? so that means middle child & baby at home - Easy!! No-one knows what the future holds for any of us, but what joy a baby will bring to your family, regardless of the goings on around him/her. If you feel you aren't finished then go for it - you don't want to regret it in 10 years.

    I have Miss 5, Mr 3 & Mr 1 of course all with different needs, we do it all & we get through it & they are truly a joy!! They will be grown up & totally not interested in hanging out with me in no time, so for now I am going to wallow in it all. I hope whatever decision you make brings you lots of joy!! Either way it should xx

  12. I had two lovely little girls and always knew that I wanted a third. We squeezed 3 car seats into our wagon. The girls had to share a room when their brother was born. From the moment I was pregnant with no 3, I was glad that was my last. It was hard but having 3 kids in 4 years is what I chose to do and I am so glad. Now they are 2,4 &6. Yes I am now passing on all my essential baby handling crap to others (happily) My husband and I both said that if we had not had the 3rd, then we would have spent the rest of our lives wondering "what if" So if in your heart you know that you are not done, then light the candles and put on your groove....!

  13. Your 2 girls were born exactly on the same year as my girls! Had my third child and felt how different life can be with THREE! Yet, you won't believe how much love you can still give the little one :) Still amazing!

  14. I have a Miss 11, Miss 9 and Master 7. After the two girls, my husband would have been happy to stop, but I wasn't sure if I was finished. We were considering the matter, then the decision was taken out of our hands when I got pregnant when the second girl was about 12 months (yes, I know what causes it and we were using contraception). My first reaction was to cry and wonder how I was going to cope - if we'd planned another, there would have been more like 2.5 years gap rather than 21 months. It was a very hectic and difficult few years. One of the hard things was what an ordeal it was just to go out anywhere, when you have 3 little ones to strap into their carseats. But it's also wonderful and I wouldn't change it for anything.

  15. I would love a 3rd...(i would love twins! but that is another whole story). i have a 3 1/2 yrold girl and 16 month old boy. When i say i want a 3rd i cant get over how many peopl say... but you have your girl and boy.... why go another? i say why not! why should i stop just because i have one of each! i just don't feel finished.... i had the best pregnacies both my kids are good kids and were great babies! i feel if your even thinking about having another.... then go for it as if you don't you will forever think.... what if i did? i know i would forever feel 'unfinished' not that i don't adore my beautiful family but just have a feeling that its something i need to do. good luck with your decision making!

    1. Hi Jess
      I was like you, and decided that for me the bigger regret would always be NOT having the third, even though I was very happy with two, they were beautiful and perfect and we were already a perfect family.

      I just felt that there would always be a gap in the family, something missing, or as you say 'unfinished'.

      It was totally unexpected too, this feeling of being unfinished. I couldn't have predicted it at all. But since when was anything to do with babies or children rational or predictable?

  16. I have loved reading this as I would love a third (have a Master 4 and a Miss 2.5)
    BUT....hubby is not keen.
    So I am desperate to find out how you get over it when you know you are not done and long for just one more.
    Being a mum is the most amazing thing and I would love to go through it all again :((

    1. Hi,
      I have two boys 3 and a half and 9 months old. I always said I only wanted 2 and thought after my second arrived I was definately done. I don't know what has happened, but something has shifted in me and I just feel like our family needs one more and isn't quite complete. (I would be happy with a boy or a girl!) The baby stage for both boys was very difficult, with the first I had postnatal depression and the second had reflux and screamed for the first 5 months non stop. I told my husband last night that I was thinking about a third and he was in absolute shock, especially after I had been saying there was 'no way' I was going back and looking forward to the future ahead with our two boys. Hubby is not keen at this stage either after the first two being not exactly easy and I have been thinking to myself maybe the feeling will go away...but I don't want to live with any regret. I keep thinking of all the joy and good times that another child will bring. I know it will be hard to start with, but I figure it is such a short time to have something for the rest of your lives.
      Having two also doesn't really fit in our house, car or future plans but I figure that we can make it work. I'm hoping that I planted the seed and he will slowly think about it and come around to the idea. Having a baby needs to be a joint decision and I hope that in time he will change his mind and become excited about it two. I know it will be wonderful...I just need to be patient and hope that he will realise that too.
      I hope things change for you, or that things become easier knowing that you will have just two. This may be something that I will have to come to terms with in the future too.

  17. Ah I have this debate ALL the time. Our little girl is 3 and our little man is 14 months old. I have my girl and boy but I just don't feel finished. I wish (so wish!!) I did, but I just don't!

    One didn't kick our ass. Two didn't kick our ass. But I'm really afraid that three will...

    My husband and I both come from 4-kid families and two just feels small to us a bit. But things are getting easier now and I'm getting my freedom back and am loving it!

    But there is this nagging feeling that won't go away. or if it does, it's only temporary and then I'll be badgering my husband with "you think we're done?" all over again.

    I think three is such a debate because that's where things can start to really get out of hand. We don't have family nearby to help either, so that's something that can make things more difficult.

    Either way - what finally made you decide to go for three?

  18. 3 or stay with 2...that is what I've been wondering about for a while now. We have two sons (almost 4 and 15 months). My husband and I said two was enough and I think he's still of that opinion. Why I had a change of heart I can't tell. It's more of a gut feeling that I'm not done. It's not that I want a girl since this can't be controlled anyways but it feels like there is this one person missing in our little house. Considering my husband claims not to want any more kids, he is strangely liberal with the contraception method. lol
    So anyways, I loved reading this post.
    How do people ever make up their mind to go for #3, though?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...