My best friend just had her first baby. Such a precious and beautiful child. As I held the little darling in my arms at the hospital, Mother Nature came tip-toeing around the corner. And then she promptly bitch slapped me across the face. She got me good. Because ever since I held that tiny, cuddly little infant, I’ve found myself wanting… no… NEEDING another one of my own. And now Husband and I are left with a big decision- do we have a third child?
As you may know, my boys are 15 months apart, and the second was a surprise (Butter Cheeks was the best surprise anyone could have asked for… but a surprise nonetheless). The fear of having two in diapers, or “two under two” as they say was a great form of birth control for quite some time. But as my active boys mature, the challenges of rearing kids so close in age have become more manageable and quite enjoyable. No more sleepless nights. No more changing 20 diapers in a day. No more tired arms and bruised legs from lugging around a baby carrier nearly as big as I am. Nope, now I’ve got two little people who are easy to put to bed, sleep through the night, and are a pleasure to take to our friends’ houses. Yet they still need their mommy very much. I feel like it’s the best it’s ever going to be.
So why on earth do I want to go back to when life was harder? Well, to be honest, I miss having a baby. I just see how my boys have grown from helpless (but adorable) little newborns to independent and fun little boys. And I want to experience that again. All of it.
A child brings so much light, love, and happiness into our lives. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Husband and I aren’t fulfilled in our lives. We are so happy and thankful every day for our lives and our family. We simply have more room in our hearts for another child.
So what’s the problem? Well, first off – Husband is a pragmatist. He likes to think about the logic behind things. Does it make sense to have to buy a new car with 3rd row seating? Do we have enough money to be able to raise another child? College is going to cost over $1 million for the two boys we already have… can we really save an extra half a million in the next 18 years? And what if it’s a girl? Do you have any idea how expensive weddings are these days? Then on top of that, Husband got the “snip” a couple years ago (he practically got it done as I was pushing Butter Cheeks out). So to reverse it, then get it done again will cost over $20,000 – just to TRY and have another. Now, we’re not impoverished, but we’re certainly not wealthy… so these are all legitimate considerations he’s bringing up.
Some people tell us that kids shouldn’t be viewed as an expense, and that “God will provide.” While we appreciate and respect that sentiment, it’s not one that resonates with me. We live in one of the most expensive areas in the country. The economy isn’t exactly the best it’s ever been. Unless baby #3 comes out holding a money tree or a winning lottery ticket in its hand, we would have to cut back quite a bit.
The other problems with having a 3rd are purely selfish. My vanity gets in the way. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I don’t want more permanent changes to my body. More stretch marks? A wrinkled belly? Flap jack boobs? No thanks. Also, do we really want to go back to multiple feedings throughout the night? My life is barely manageable as it is. Between parenting my two boys, taking care of the house, cooking, and managing tiny-trots.com, I get MAYBE an hour a day for myself. I’m exhausted.
But no matter how pragmatic Husband is, or how fearful I am about giving up my current lifestyle, or sacrificing what little free time I have… it’s not enough to rid me of this burning desire to have and raise another wonderful baby. It’s easy to be blinded by all of the reasons to not have another child… but sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye, which is what makes this decision such a difficult one.
When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.