Monday, June 11, 2007

Party of Four, Forevermore?????

In the past week or so, Jason and I have been having SERIOUS doubts about whether we will ever have a 3rd child. I think as we are realizing that the potential to start thinking about #3 has come upon us, we've realized that maybe we're meant to just be parents of two.

The idea of a 3rd child still appeals to me in many ways, but the reality of a 3rd child is what is hanging us up. Even though I have relatively easy pregnancies, I really haven't been looking forward to being pregnant, managing 2 children, working full time and maintaining our household. I haven't been looking forward to the anxiety about whether or not baby 3 would be as healthy as the first two and if we were really pressing our luck with having a 3rd healthwise. I haven't been looking forward to the newborn phase where sleep is so limited and where you barely get to see your other children because you are so concentrated on your new baby. I haven't been looking forward to managing maternity leave and figuring out how in the heck I can manage to take 12 weeks and not have to go broke doing so (the state doesn't give ANY paid maternity leave - you can only get paid for any sick/vacation time you have accrued - THIS SUCKS!) I haven't been looking forward to the fact that I again would be pumping at work 3 times a day for 9 months. Have I mentioned how much I hate pumping??? I haven't been looking forward to doing all the breastmilk management that you have to do at night after a day of pumping and then carting it to daycare everyday. I haven't been looking forward to putting a 3rd child in daycare since even though it would be expensive, it still wouldn't be more than I make working and we still need my income.

I get sad about it though since Jay and I are both the oldest of 3 children and neither of us had ever given a thought to not having a 3rd until recently. So in a lot of ways, we're trying to re-envision our life without the 3rd child we kind of always expected to have. It also makes me kind of realize my own mortality since the idea that my child bearing years have already ended and my child rearing years are in progress. And with all the dreading I was having about pregnancy, I am sad about never delivering another baby and holding that baby for the first time and giving them a name and seeing them with their older brother and sister. And then I get sad thinking that Caroline and Bryce will just have each other and no kid brother/sister.

But then I think about it and I am relieved by all the things mentioned above that won't happen and the fact that we're getting closer and closer to being done with diapers and all things baby. I think about how we'll turn the back bedroom into Bryce's big boy room and use what is now the nursery as an extra room for my sewing machine and other odds/ends. I realize that we're closer to taking family vacations where the kids can actually participate and we don't have to worry about an infant and managing him/her. I realize that only 2 children means that we'll have that much more time and money to devote to them rather than having to spread it around for 3 kids.

I know that I'm only 30 and that it probably seems like this decision doesn't need to be made right now, but in a lot of ways it least in the next year. I've never wanted to have my kids spaced apart too much and I always worry about the much younger 3rd child and how that would affect my older 2. Jay and I also want to be in the later stages of parenting before we're too old to be able to do things together and being finished having kids either now or in the next year or so, has always been our plan.

Of course, this is such a hard decision for me since I know that it will irrevokably change the course of all four of our lives and I just can't stand not knowing what decision is ultimately going to make us all the happiest. But I guess that is life and we have to live with the choices we make. So while I'm not saying that this issue is definitely closed, I'm coming much closer to it than I ever would have though I would about a month ago.


Katie said...

I can see where you are coming from.
It's a tough decision. I especially understand the part about the timing.

Just keep debating and don't do anything final so you can always change your mind.

You never know what could change in your job or childcare options that might influence a future decision.

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine what you are going through. It must be tough to have a dream for so long and then to have it change. But you are being responsible and it's sad to say that too many people these days aren't thinking long term, you know.

And like you said you and Jay are only in your early 30's so no need to finalize anything just yet.

Just try not to think about it too much and enjoy your kids, you'll know what's right :)

~ V

Katie said...

Aw heck just admit you want to be like the Duggar's from Arkansas and have 18 kids. You're only 30, you can still do it!

Erika said...

Damn, I'd have to get movin' if I wanted to have 18 kids. Jeez - my uterus hurts just thinking about that. Can you imagine?????

Brother Kev said...

I don't recommend a third. You would doom cute, sweet Bryce to become the ill-tempered, crazy middle child. And no one wants that.

This, of course, was a joke.