Ever since my son, my youngest, turned two, I've slowly been realizing that yes, I do want more than two children. I wasn't quite ready then, but over the two and a half years since then, I've moved from a tentative "yes" to a resounding, definite "Yes! Now, please!" My upcoming 31st birthday probably has something to do with that progression.
My husband, on the other hand, is difficult to convince. I have no idea if or when he will ever want another child. If he doesn't, I will of course be perfectly happy with the two amazing kids we already have. But right now I have this nagging feeling that our family isn't yet complete. When he asks me why I want to have another kid, I can't really put it into words. I can't think of one concrete reason to have a third child. But then, did I have any concrete reasons to have a first child? Did anyone? It's not about reasons. It's about love.
Now, I'm not actually in the throes of baby fever. Ideally, I'd love it if I could start the parenting thing with a two-year-old. Or even age three would be better! I do not relish the idea of going back to diapers and bottles and/or breastfeeding. Nor do I especially want to be pregnant again. I was miserable last time. But I want my kids to run as a pack. I want them to love each other, to rely on each other, and to be best friends. All of them.
But since I'm only one half of that decision-making duo, I will have to wait until my husband comes around. (I'm hoping its sooner rather than later...I'm not getting any younger!) Until then, here are my tips for assuaging the desire for another child.
- Hold your friends' babies. This way you get your fill of the sweetness of a sleeping newborn without actually having to deal with the crying or sleepless nights or exploding diapers. It's great.
- Get rid of all the 5+ year old baby gear and clothing you have stored away. That car-seat is expired anyway. I don't even have my maternity clothes any more. That's ok, I didn't like most of them. But for some reason, I still have a stash of bottles and receiving blankets. I've got to clean out that closet!
- Recall the last time your daughter stomped her foot at you or slammed the door. Or the hours and hours your son takes to do the most mundane tasks. Or any of the other unpleasantness of parenthood, like the 9 months my daughter would not sleep for longer than 45 minutes in the day or 2 hours at night.
- Tell yourself that you can't afford to re-buy all the baby gear, especially the cute versions your friends have (but then your brain counters with the fact that you really didn't need or use most of that anyway).
- Try not to remind your husband every day that you really really really really want to have another kid (every other day will do).
- Enjoy your big kids for who they are growing up to be. Soccer starts this week for both kids. My son is in U6 for his first year playing, and my daughter is in U8, on an all-girls team called the Raspberries! I love being a soccer mom.