Back in the hazy days of pregnancy no. 3, I wrote a post called ‘So, do you have a third child?’ I also predicted that I would write a follow up post called ‘Don’t have a third child’ where I retract everything I said. So, true to form, here it is.
It’s a BIG question.
Just today, four people have found my blog by searching ‘can’t decide on third baby’, ‘backed out of a third child,’ ‘why did I have a third baby’? and ‘can’t get over not having a third child.’
Well, there’s four scenarios for you right there. Yikes.
Yes, having a third child can be an all-consuming question that throws you into turmoil.
Especially when the answer is so different for everyone.
This is the part where I say, ‘I wouldn’t change it for the world’ or ‘I wouldn’t turn the clock back’ and churn out a hundred other cliches blah, blah, blah.
And the truth is, I wouldn’t (and not just because I can’t).
Because now that there are three, unique little individuals in my care, I honestly couldn’t say which one I’d put back. And for the five minutes each week, where everyone is synched in happiness, I look at our family and I feel perfectly content. Complete. Proud.
It’s the remaining 10,075 minutes I struggle with.
Only four months in, I’m really not qualified to write about three kids. Yet. You’d be better off heading over to the lovely 3 Children and It. She has tweens AND teenagers all sewn up.
But I’ve compiled a little list anyway. On what I DO know, whilst they’re young.
It goes something like this.
Don’t have a third child…(unless)
- You like sleep deprivation. Because by adding another child into the mix, you’ve increased the chances of SOMEONE being up by 33.3% recurring. And my. Is it recurring. Night after night after night after night.
- You have an industrial washing machine and your very own Dot Cotton manning it. Because like the sleep deprivation, you also increase the washing by 33.3%. And just as kids grow bigger. So do their clothes. See where I’m going with this?
- You have an enormous car. Preferably a convertible. Or an actual bus. Because even when you manage to get a car that’s big enough, someone still has to sit in the middle. And how do you get to that middle seat? How indeed. I’ve tried flinging Godivy in and hoping she lands somewhere near the seat, going in from the boot (once I’ve unloaded it) and finally opening the sunroof and parachuting her in. Of course, once you have got everyone in, you’ll drive off and a tiny voice will pipe up, ‘Mummy, you’ve forgotten to strap me in.’ And it begins all over again.
- You like noise. And lots of it. Chatter. Questions. Whinging. Crying. I think this one is pretty self explanatory.
- You like chaos and avoid routine. Because suddenly no one will do what they’re asked. Even if they used to. The baby will carve out its own erratic lifestyle, based on the fact that you are erratic. And the older children will take advantage of the fact that you’re dealing with the baby and use the opportunity to do any of the following a) bicker b) sample the delights of nappy cream or c) eat everything in the sweetie tin.
- You like being with your partner ALL of the time. Because having three young kids is a team game. A game where neither of you ever wins but at least you lose together. Your other half can go to the pub again in four or five years. Just in case he’s wondering.
- You like your partner. Because otherwise no. 6 is going to KILL you.
- Your family live nearby. By which I really mean upstairs. If they live any more than 10 metres away, don’t even think about having another child.
- You’re agoraphobic and antisocial. Because not only will the effort involved in getting all five of you out prevent you from doing it very often, but you’ll probably not get invited anywhere as a family again. Most dining tables are built for eight and you put their seating plan right out. Not that any of yours actually sit at the table anymore.
- You don’t need time for yourself. That 33.3%? Yes, you guessed it. 33.3% LESS time for you. Which I think leaves you with a deficit of about, oh 963%.
- You have a full time nanny, cleaner and chauffeur. An in-house psychiatrist is worth the cash.
- You have no expectations whatsoever. Of anything ever again.
Do have a third child…(if)
- None of the above puts you off.