Reading everyone’s comments on my post yesterday made me a little emotional. In a good way. It was so affirming for me.
As I had hoped, getting all our thoughts, fears and concerns written out instead of stuck in our heads, shined a light on our situation and we realized that we probably had the decision made all along — but on those super tough parenting days when no one is listening, everyone is purposely being naughty, the kitchen floor looks like there’s been a food fight, the crying and whining won’t stop and no one’s going to bed easily — you look at each other and go “We must be effing crazy to even consider this.”
But as my friend Anna, summed it up: “If your heart tells you that you have more love to give, then everything else will just fall into place.”
And as several of you said, “You will not regret it, but probably would if you didn’t.”
A few other key takeaways for me:
Whether you’re going from zero children to one, or one to two, or any number, you have concerns about “will we be able to handle it mentally and financially.”
Well, duh. I hadn’t thought of that before, but that’s so true! These are the same questions we ask ourselves when we’re considering any big life change — buying a house, changing jobs, having kids.
It’s the fear that holds us back. The fear of the unknown. You get comfortable with the ways things are, and change is risky.
But as another friend said, “As a mother you can adjust to ANYTHING. Especially for the sake of your kids.”
Amen. Eventually, caring for three kids would become a routine and there would be nothing scary about it. We would adapt.
And finally, I had never heard anyone say that the “KNEW” when they were done, but apparently people feel that way just like others intuitively know when they’re not done. And we definitely don’t feel like we “know” we’re done.
Thank you to the many of you who said “God will provide.” It’s comforting to know that other people believe this too.
I encourage anyone who’s having this discussion in their household to read all of the comments. Also, a mom-of-three friend sent me a list of very thought provoking questions. I honestly appreciated so much her taking the time to help me think through some very realistic scenarios. I thought about my responses, and I’m including the questions here in case it helps someone else decide:
- School — this includes homework AND seeing their performances. School plays during the day time, concerts at night. Homework with three kids!
- Don’t worry about the money. That’ll come and you’ll find a way.
- Vehicles — eventually you will need a new vehicle. Someone is going to want a friend to come along. Be prepared.
- Uh, plain and simple. The amount of work doesn’t double when you go from one to two. It increases exponentially. LOL. And that is NOT a joke. But the JOY increases exponentially, too.
- Babysitters — it is WAY harder to find someone to watch three kids. Even grandparents, not that they don’t love the kids, but it can be overwhelming with so many. You can always find two sitters, but then you worry if one cancels, who is the backup, who goes where … etc. This is easier as they get older.
- Sicknesses — a third child is a fifth person to be bringing germs into the house, which is another vehicle for illnesses. More doctor bills, more time off work, etc.
- Think of the WORST DAY EVER POSSIBLE with having three kids (short of any life threatening things). Someone is begging to go for a bike ride, but hasn’t done her homework, someone has the flu, and baby three is ripping apart books. Your husband is late at work, no mothers can come over, and you have a long list of work to get done (still make dinner, clean up after the kids, basically do everything on your own). On this worst day (and it’s likely to happen many times over and over again), do you think it would cross your mind that you might wish you didn’t have the third baby. I could tell you my answer, but you need to figure it out for yourself.
- There are moms of multiples who have successfully raised well adjusted, happy kids into adulthood. It is possible for you to do it, too!
- Your world will be turned upside down, sideways to the left, to the right, back upright, to the left, upside down, right side up, to the right, to the slight left, spun a few times if you have a third. But it did that after the second, and it did that after the first. You’ve been there before. You can do it again.
Thank you for your affirmations, your encouragement and your positive thoughts.
Thank you for helping my brain understand what my heart already knew.