“I am trying to find myself. Sometimes that’s not easy.” —Marilyn Monroe
Am I meant to be a mother of two or a mother of three? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot in the last few months. Do I feel done? Am I content with my two amazing boys being my only children? My husband has always wanted three kids. Yet, just a few moments after Little One was born I looked at my husband and said, “I’m not doing that again. Ever.” And for two years, that has been my strong stance. I did not want to be pregnant anymore. I did not want my body to be shared with another human for more than two years through pregnancy & nursing. No more labor. No more pushing. I wanted no more of that.
As I learned to live life with two spirited boys, at the end of those really hard days I would say to myself:
See, this is so exhausting with two kids! How could I ever have more? Where would I possibly find the energy for that?! Two kids, two parents is a mano a mano situation. If it gets tough, you can each cover one. But three? How does the madness not take over?
My husband agrees with some of these objections. He agrees that three kids will likely be a circus. But that’s never changed his desire for more. All he sees is more fun, more excitement, more joy, more celebrations, more love. And every now and then, I can see that, too. When I allow myself to let go of the fears of the overwhelming, I can see an even more beautiful, enriching, crazy life. I start to feel less certain of being done. It is that sliver of doubt, that nagging question of what if? that will most likely push me to being a mother of three.
Around the time Little One was turning two, there were gorgeous newborn babies popping up in my life left and right. I was oohing and ahhing over every single one and loving their snuggles. On the night of Little One’s second birthday, my husband sat down with me at the dinner table and in a very serious but gentle tone, looked me in the eyes and said, “Well, are we done?” It was a smart move on his part because I was feeling a bit sentimental about the idea of my baby no longer being a baby. I danced around the question hashing out every little pro and con with him. As the conversation dwindled down I heard myself saying, in an almost out of body experience: “Let’s give it six months of not not trying and if it happens, so be it. If not, we close the door and we’re done.”
Here’s the thing about not not trying to have a baby. I tell myself I’m going to be casual and not really think about things like ovulation or counting out ten months to average a birth date. I tell myself, if I get pregnant, great. If not, whatever, it’s not big deal. But the more and more I think about it, it becomes a big deal. And I know that we’re already at an April-ish birth date for a potential baby. Now, I actually like the idea of having another baby. I am daydreaming about picking out names and seeing Little One as a big brother. My heart is melting and bursting with joy. The story in my head quickly changes from “not not trying for six months” to “let’s try for a year” and stumbles over to “just until I’m 40” and from 40 ending with “oh who am I kidding, I’m not going to stop trying until I have a third baby”.
And then I started to say it out loud.
I want another baby.
Cue the opinions. It is amazing how strongly people seem to feel about that third child. People either think it is wonderful and amazing or they raise one eyebrow, cock their head to the side and whisper, “Have you lost your mind?”. My favorite response was, “Aren’t you getting a bit long in the tooth for that?”
That last one made something inside me click, I felt empowered by my choice and declared game on.
So despite my fears and uncertainty about the stability of my sanity, we’re hoping to expand this family. I am extremely excited and terrified all at once. I know it will be amazing and really hard. To those who are in the three kids (and more) club already, I ask for your wisdom. encouragement, and support. To the naysayers, go ahead and keep looking at me like I’m nuts, but know you’re not changing my mind, so just shake your head at me and support me anyway.
I’m just not done.