Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Three

Long long ago, I thought I'd have three or maybe even four kids.

Then I had one, and suddenly two kids seemed like more than enough. And I felt pretty strongly about that.

Now I have my two kids and 99% of the time, I feel very satisfied, and even relieved that I'll never have to go through it again. But then there are times when the baby is being real cute (i.e. by existing) and I feel sad that I'll never get to experience this baby cuteness again. So this is me reminding myself of the reasons I don't want three kids:

1) I hate chaos and lots of kids are all about chaos. The logistics of getting three kids out the door overwhelms me. I hate always being on the go.

2) I'm looking forward to a time when my kids are more independent so I can put more focus both on career endeavors and hobbies like cooking. I'm really excited about that. Plus I won't have to change diapers.

3) While I love many things about breastfeeding, it definitely feels a bit like being on a ball and chain for a year. And the whole logistics of bottling and sorting milk for daycare is exhausting.

4) I absolutely hate being pregnant.

5) I like my sleep. A lot. I'm lucky enough this time to have a baby who slept through the night at one month old, but there's no guarantee that will happen again.

6) Some of my friends are now pregnant with #3 and I don't feel even a tiny bit jealous (well, maybe a teeny tiny bit), mostly just horrified. Sometimes I have dreams that I'm pregnant with #3 and it's very clearly a nightmare.

7) Husband doesn't want three kids either.

8) Kids are expensive and I want to retire early.

9) Space is not plentiful where I live so three kids means always being cramped. Most people around here only have two. A large number of the people I know with three kids have one set of twins.

10) Another kid means less time for the ones I already have. I'm looking forward to a day when we can all go to the movies together and see, like, Snow White in 3D without worrying about a baby crying.

On the other hand, my reasons for wanting a third are along the lines of:

Baby socks are so cute!! Sock!

Ultimately, since I'm still in my early thirties, I guess I don't have to decide now. When good old Mirena expires, I'll still be young enough to readdress the issue. But I have a strong feeling that I'm going to choose Mirena #2 over Baby #3. Ooh, and then someday maybe I'll be a grandma. That seems like a pretty sweet gig.

22 comments:

  1. I hear you!

    I have 3 (always dreamed of 5 or 6!!!) and have pretty much come to the same conclusions as you with regard to having any more. I had #2 and #3 back-to-back (not planned) and while I wouldn't be without my youngest now, life would have been much simpler with only 2...

    Also, my youngest is now 7 and I couldn't possibly imagine starting over again, with sleepless nights, diaper bags etc. Not to mention toddlerhood! I'm actually enjoying being the mother of teens and tweens :)

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  2. I hear you!

    I have 3 (always dreamed of 5 or 6!!!) and have pretty much come to the same conclusions as you with regard to having any more. I had #2 and #3 back-to-back (not planned) and while I wouldn't be without my youngest now, life would have been much simpler with only 2...

    Also, my youngest is now 7 and I couldn't possibly imagine starting over again, with sleepless nights, diaper bags etc. Not to mention toddlerhood! I'm actually enjoying being the mother of teens and tweens :)

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  3. Yeah, little kids are adorable but they are HARD WORK. I love my older girl when she's being independent and a little more mature. I can't wait to have a more mature relationship with her, while the thought of having yet another newborn waking up hourly makes me sick.

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  4. I always assumed that I'd have only one child. Then I had this one, and she's completely wonderful, and I keep fantasizing about having a second one. But then I think about the sleep deprivation, and how much MORE overwhelming having a second one would be, especially since it would have to happen either my last year of med school or during residency, and the fact that I basically have no family help, and I tell myself that we'll have to wait until the baby is at least 6 months old to decide.

    I never expected to feel this way, but it's kind of nice to have the option to consider.

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  5. My first one was so hard I thought people who wanted to have more than one must be crazy. Well, now here I am with 3 kids. I must be crazy too. 3 is definitely harder than 2, though. Husband used to take the two kids off my hands to let me sleep in/rest. Now, he can't handle three all at once so I'm always with at least one kid. Haven't slept in for the past 4 months.

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  6. OMDG: Everyone says that the second child quadruples your work. I guess we got lucky in that the new baby is very even tempered and we spaced the kids far enough apart that the work only maybe got doubled, if that. But there's no reason to think we'd be that lucky again. I can imagine having a colicky baby who never sleeps and hating my life.

    3kids: Right now, we're in that position where we're both still a little nervous about having both kids alone at once, so I hardly ever get kid-free time anymore. If I had three, forget it. Then again, if I wait 5 years, my oldest will be almost 10 and maybe able to help out.

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  7. 3 can be overwhelming but so was two. you have to do what's right for you! for my family (all 4 of the rest of us), #3 is a total delight and i can't imagine the world without her. Her sibs run in the house after school to find her. 2 was wonderful too. I just thought someone was missing and feel blessed we were able to have her.

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  8. P.S. I'm super disappointed that nobody caught the HIMYM reference.

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  9. Fizzy -- I caught the reference (the episode several years back where Lily and Marshall are just beginning to think about having a baby). Just too foggy at the moment to note it in my comment. Strong work.

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  10. We're in the process of contemplating to have a third or not. We have many of the same reasons to not as you do. But I'm starting to think that the list or reasons to have another might be a little bit longer. But pregnancy and babyhood was so stressful that there are 4 years between my two kids and would be 6 years between #2 and #3 if we decide to go for it. Apparently, time can make you forget.

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  11. I want three, still. I am 40. I do not want the awesome babiness to end. My youngest, 7 yo is now seriously into being a grown kid and "not a baby". He insisits on going to adult museums like art galeries where he would listen to Curator's tour instead of (big frown) Children's tour or circus.
    My husbund is too pragmatic and is scared to death of new responsibilities, and having to educate 3 instead of 2. Fizzy, you reminded me of my second chance - grandkids. Yay ! My 7 yo wants ten of his own and he said: granmother - me, will be taking care of them.
    Julia.

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  12. Katherine: I don't know how I'll feel in 6 years, although one thing that makes me believe I'll decide against baby #3 is that this time around, I so did NOT have baby fever. I just didn't want my daughter to be an only child and I didn't want them to be TOO far about in age.

    Anon: I am so excited to have grandkids someday. I'm already hoping maybe I'll have one daughter who lives near me, and I'll retire and take care of the baby so she can work. Is it weird to be planning that so early? Probably.

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  13. We have 4 kids -- very overwhelming, though I wouldn't change anything. But the overwhelmingness was huge. I had to cut down my job significantly just to keep my head above water.
    Fizzy, you are right about baby-fever. After #2, I still really wanted another and felt like our family wasn't "done" yet. After the 3rd pregnancy (we had twins -- keep that in mind if you get pregnant again - women in their late 30's have a very high rate of twinning), I lost the itch completely. I still love holding newborns, but nothing in me cries out for another any longer.

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  14. My two are ages 8 and 5, both born during my residency. I'm very lucky that my husband is a SAHD. Always thought we'd have three, but after #2 we really did feel done, content, complete. I'm loving the grade school stages and all the free time in our evenings now that they bathe themselves. As to pregnancy, I loved the first and hated the second.

    That said, Mirena's up next month, and we are seriously considering not getting another one. Because despite everything I just said, I believe another child would be good for our family. The baby years are harrowing, yes, but temporary. The benefits of a larger sibling group are much longer lasting.

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  15. Got 4-it was impossibly hard! Make sure your husband can handle it or it could lead to divorce. We survived but by the skin of our teeth. That said, all's great now except for an empty bank account (in my 40's). You will have to cut work w/more kids. I give them each plenty of attention at night but that takes me to 9:30 pm and I go to bed. However, love it and would not change things!
    PS still get baby fever!

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  16. now that we have both a boy and a girl, lots of people ask us if we are "done". i always answer, "depends on the day". my 5month old baby boy is extremely mellow/easy, and my 2.5 yo girl is a firecracker princess. hubby tries to remind me that if we go for #3, we might end up with another little firecracker...thanks for your post, I'll have to read and reread it on the days that I have baby fever!

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  17. Ha Ha Ha VIPeds- i am currently at home on maternity leave with babies number 3 & 4- unexpectedly blessed with twin boys (9 weeks old) when we thought we were probably done with 2. Damn that the PEARL index of contraception isn't 100! Live obviously has different plans for us despite those we thought- although my new little men are just lovely. And I have an enormous amount of help from my SAHD husband- and we still find it very hard.
    But I know I am done now. And before, I was never quite sure....
    Best of luck whatever you decide Fizzy- your youngest is still so young- see how you feel in anatoher couple of years. :). I always enjoy reading your posts!

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  18. Forgive the sleep deprived spelling and grammar errors!

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  19. Wow, you guys are reminding me how terrified I was of twins both times I was pregnant. And twins run in my family... my great-grandmother gave birth to two sets of twins! I can add that as reason #11.

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  20. There's a five year gap between my third and fourth, while Pete and I waited to feel 100% either way. Never happened. We finally went for #4 when we sat at 85/15 for 2 years. What tipped us over was considering what our 40, 50, 70, 85 year-old selves would want (because our 37-year-old selves resisted the idea for the reasons listed above).

    Baby turns one tomorrow, and life isn't so crazy. Having 3 aged 4 and under was much, much more difficult.

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  21. i am now contemplating number three. I have a wonderful yet strong willed 2.5 year old and the easiest and cutest 9 month old that I could have asked for. My husband recently got back from a 6 month deployment and I almost thought I wasn't going to make it, several times. we really want to have another, but I am not sure that I can handle our next deployment which may be a year long. I love my two babies so much, but I always envisioned at least one more. (like i initially envisioned myself pre medical school being a surgeon and now am a rheumatology fellow)

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  22. Baby socks are so cute!! Sock!

    I have to stop myself from buying new ones every time I go out shopping. Luckily, a week or two ago (3.5 months) she suddenly outgrew all but one pair, and so I had to go out and buy more (in 6-9 month size!).

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