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  • The inevitable third baby question

    Oh, the third baby question. Life as an adult seems to consist of inevitable question after slightly irritating and nosy inevitable question, doesn’t it?

    The inevitable third baby question

    Starting with ‘When will you get a job now you’ve graduated?’ (Answer: ‘Erm…right after I’ve watched this Friends repeat, again’) and ‘Do you want another drink?’ (‘Make mine a double!’) to ‘When will you get married?’ (‘Don’t ask me! No, ask me, please!’) and ‘Are you buying a house?’ (‘I can’t seem to find the deposit down the back of the sofa…’).

    And then inevitably, when you read a certain age or stage it’s ‘When are you having a baby?’ (‘Do you mind? Awkward’) Then no sooner have you had one than you get ‘When are you having another?’ (‘Guys, my stitches haven’t even healed yet….and I’m still dealing with all of this‘)

    People kind of lose interest after you have two as they assume that that’s it, job done. So where it should be a refreshing breathing space, it’s a surprise to myself that the person asking the inevitable question this time round is…me. And I’m very persistent. ‘Are we having another?’ (Answer: ‘I have no idea what the answer is!’).

    And I really don’t. Having a third baby is a big step and there are so many signs that it is not such a brilliant idea (for *us* – obviously it works for lots of people, all babies are lovely and I’m one of three). We have two amazingly happy and healthy children, but then I think when both are kicking off in tandem and my mind is about half a second away from flying out of the window because I still haven’t had a full night of sleep in about 400 years and we’d need to move house and we could never go anywhere because I only have two hands and it’s not practical and it’s getting so much nicer now they’re older and brilliant to chat to and fun and I don’t have to watch them every two seconds and I’d want a big gap and I’m kind of getting on a bit now, and wouldn’t some sleep be nice? And, oh yeah, my husband isn’t keen which is kind of a big issue, really.

    90% of the time my ovaries are brandishing a placard saying ‘Out for lunch…FOREVER.’

    But then…

    …10% of the time they’re whispering in my ear, saying ‘Oh hey there, just us! Saying hi.’

    Have you ever seen Avenue Q? It’s like the Bad Idea Bears – the two bears who pop up and suggest those tantalisingly tempting things, like ‘one more drink’ on a school night – just sitting there on my hormonal shoulder, reminding me that they’re there:

    • Me: That’s it, I’ve decided. No more babies. Just not practical. I’m hanging up my Pregnacare!
    • Them: But you loved pregnancy
    • Me: Erm…I guess that’s kind of true
    • Them: Imagine never doing it again
    • Me: You guys! Shh, stop it…
    • Them: Newborn babies…
    • Me: ARGHHHH! *Runs off screaming into a pit of indecision*.

    Do you ever know for certain if you’re done? I’m not sure if that’s the best judge of anything because I’m not sure you ever feel done and that could lead to a long and complicated time of being hostage to your hormones, when there’s so many practical things to take into consideration. But what I think is apparent is that everyone I know who doesn’t want another definitely doesn’t want another to the extent that they know for sure, by 110% at least, that they don’t want another.

    Whereas I’m just sat here with my 10%. It’s a question I can’t ever see myself answering either way.

    More questions…about children’s TV, 24 questions about time and the politics of Paw Patrol, I have some questions… 

    9 Comments

    1. September 22, 2016 / 11:31 am

      I wonder if you automatically picture the family you create being the same as the family you were born into? I’m one of two girls, always expected to have two kids (*if* I had kids) and, when we talk about a hypothetical second, it takes so much effort not to talk about “her” or “the girls” as if another daughter is a given; my partner is an only child and struggles to imagine having more – he has no concept of how that would WORK. I guess you subconsciously think of your own family as “normal” (even when they’re laughably not) so creating anything different from that is a big question.

      Or maybe that’s all nonsense and I’m just waffling into the internet. Again.

      • gillian
        Author
        September 22, 2016 / 12:10 pm

        I do think there’s a lot of truth in this (well yes, seeing as I’m one of three!) Three’s never seemed like a ‘big’ family to me as it’s just normal and worked really well and things like cars and holidays were never an issue. As a mum it does seem like a lot of kids to deal with though! But my husband’s one of four…who knows! x

    2. Sarah
      September 22, 2016 / 7:05 pm

      I’m one of two and the hubs is an only. He wanted four kids but we’re stopping after three. Not because I will ever feel done – my ovaries went into huge overdrive sat next to a mum with a newborn in Starbucks this week to the point I had to sit on my hands – but because we recognise it would be hard on the relationships our older kids have with us and each other to bring #4 into the mix. I think I will go through broody patches for a while and grieve the passing of time that I can’t go back for a day with my existing kids when they were all smaller – I’m not ready to not have a small person home all day! – but I can recognise that our family works as it is and for us as our individual unit this is what is good for the three we are already blessed with. But I’m with you on the 10% and it really is a big old toughie! Someone recommended a dog instead but I know I’m 110% no on that!!

    3. September 22, 2016 / 7:37 pm

      My issue is, that in my head, I know my absolute limit, the amount I would never be prepared to go beyond, is four. But that doesn’t mean I want four necessarily. Working out the difference between what I’d be prepared to do, and what I actually WANT, is the tricky bit.

    4. Shirley Edwards
      September 24, 2016 / 1:25 am

      I don’t think as a Mum you will ever be able to say that’s enough but you decide for a personal reason when enough is enough. Ours was when three fitted into a car well but any more would mean a people carrier

    5. September 25, 2016 / 8:07 am

      Funnily enough, I’ve just blogged about knowing you’re done, even though those pesky ovaries won’t shut up. Three is hard, harder than I thought, but also I love the feeling of having a gang and I love the different dynamics that a third brings.

    6. September 25, 2016 / 10:09 pm

      Oh god I could have written this! I thought I was ‘done’ after our two, got rid of loads of baby stuff etc. BUT this past year I’ve suddenly been wondering what it would be like with 3, and that i’d probably enjoy it now blah blah blah, YET I worry how much hard work it would be when it’s just got easier and worry that F and S would miss out on certain things. My mind changes on a weekly basis, I’m doing my own head in… x

    7. September 26, 2016 / 2:09 am

      I wrote about this during my second pregnancy (http://theishmother.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/sticking-at-two-but-wanting-more.html) – tl;dr version is that I’d love a third baby but my body can’t take a third pregnancy. Even though my baby is only six months old I still find myself thinking about having another, and having to remind myself it’s not on the cards. I’m one of three too and always wanted a bigger family, two children just seems tiny to me!

    8. Tori
      September 26, 2016 / 8:33 pm

      Totally with you on this one, it’s so hard! Apart from going back to the newborn stage again and having a teeny tiny completely dependent (hard work!) my main thing is will the two gorgeous girls we already have miss out on anything, or feel like they’re missing out, if we have any more children?

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