Three Is a Magic Number?

Ever since my son, my third child, was born almost nine months ago, I've been asking myself if my husband and I will have any more children together.  For me, the answer has been "maybe"... and yes, that is crazy, but I'll explain.

I can think of a hundred excellent reasons why we shouldn't have more children.  In no particular order, some of them are:

1. We don't have the money, and our bank accounts aren't expected to grow anytime soon.
2. We have a small house with only three bedrooms... and that house needs repairs that we can't afford.
3. We have a sedan with only five seats... and that car will need to be replaced with something fuel-efficient.
4. My husband will be 48 years old next month, and has no desire to raise young kids during his retirement.
5. We'd love to go to England for the first time to visit family, and a bigger family means more travel costs.
6. More babies are bad for the environment!  If we care about the earth, we should stop having kids.
7. Both my husband and I have little free time or "we" time, and more kids means even less of that for us.
8. We would have to have fewer outside commitments (church, volunteer work) and less time with friends. 
9. We have committed ourselves to adopting at least one child, but more bio-kids lessens that possibility.
10. Our families would kill us, I think, if we had another one.  I think they're shocked that we have three between us, plus two other biological children (including my adult stepson).
11. Perhaps most importantly, more children means that our attention is divided between them, so they each would get less time with us.

So as you can see, having another baby would be pretty much ludicrous right now.  Plus, if we were to do it, we wouldn't do the sensible thing and wait a few years until the babies were older, because of my husband's age, so that would mean having perhaps three children ages three and under.  (Go ahead and laugh.)  Could I handle another child to diaper, to breastfeed, to potty train, to homeschool?  I've been stingy with my baby clothes and baby toys, waiting for another baby to be born, secretly hoping for one.  I am half-worried that my friends would disown me if I had another one... they've already been so good about me dragging my brood of three around.  There is a line from "Parenthood," one of my all-time favorite comedies, where one of the dads - whose wife is pregnant with their fourth child - is asking his dad for advice, and the dad shakes his head and says, "I never should have had four."

I had a talk with a close friend last week and she gave me her honest opinion (which I asked for) about having more kids.  She knows that it's as crazy as I think it is.  After our conversation, I half-considered going home and packing up the rest of the baby clothes for good, and donating them to someone who actually needed them, as many generous people have done for us.  That would be just one more step towards our Journey Towards Vasectomy.  Yes, my husband is perfectly willing to get sterilized, and I've been begging him to do it without telling me.  I don't know if I could take the anticipation.  (For the record, my husband agrees that we shouldn't have more babies, but doesn't seem very committal in his answer.)

So why even consider having more kids?

After my son's recent baptism... can you see my "oversmile"?

Another "oversmile" with my first daughter, almost five years ago.
Because kids are freaking amazing.  Because my gut tells me everything will be fine.  Because all I've wanted to do in my life is have a big, happy family.  Because, dammit, I want to do it before I can't.

My husband and I have happy, healthy, lovely children and a happy, healthy, strong marriage.  We have an involved extended family and we live in a great community.  We talked about having a big family - 10 kids was our original number, haha - since we were first dating.  Obviously, I am not trying to compete with the Duggars or even the Gosselins, but four young children seems like a great number.  We could stop there, right?  Four is perfect, right?  Or is this baby-fever taking over and making me think irrational thoughts?


  1. If there's more of you, Melinda, and Alan in the world it will be a very, very, very good thing. :D

  2. I say go with what makes you happy. Research shows that having kids tends to make people unhappy (or less happy, I suppose), but for those who find true joy in having and raising kids, I think that it isn't a burden on society to have a large family. In fact, I think that kids who come from such an overabundance of love and nurturing will be such a positive influence on society that any environmental impact will be negated.


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