(Not) Having a Third Kid After Twins

After I delivered my twins, people would regularly ask me if I was going to have a third child. Honestly, at my 6 week checkup, I raised the prospect with my OB/GYN nurse and she suggested I try and survive the early years with twins first. Since then, I've gone back and forth, and there were two times I almost pulled the trigger.

Wanting Another Child
When the kids were 2 and then 3 years old is when I would say we felt the strongest pull to have a third. We could see very clearly that they were entering a new stage in life, and we wanted to hold on a bit longer. With twins, I felt like I didn't get to savor each phase as much as I would have liked, since it felt like a hamster wheel of making sure their needs were met and trying to keep it together. More recently, when my husband and I had our first weekend trip away together in 4 years, we talked seriously about having a third child.

How We Decided Who Decides
The thing is, my husband would be happy either way. He always says that it's my call because more of the onus would be on me. I agree with him on that point, since I am currently home with the kids. Though I have applied for a Master of Social Work program to start in the fall, I would still be the primary caretaker for the children even if I do get into school. My husband is extremely engaged with our kids and childcare, but he commutes over 3 hours a day round-trip for work and is just not around as much as I am.

Why I'm Sticking with Two
I have read a lot of the wonderful articles and blog posts online about what it's like to have a third kid, and other people's wavering decision-making processes (there was an especially good one that I can't find right now and I'm kicking myself, but I'll definitely link it here if I can dig it up). What I observed is that people generally weigh the same considerations for either having or not having another child. For me, ultimately, it came down to who I am as a person. Even though I am sure another child would bring so much joy to our whole family, and really enrich my kids' lives, I just don't think I can handle it with the aplomb and finesse I would like.

The fact is, I'm an introverted person at heart. From a practical perspective, for me, that means that I don't do well with noise and I need time by myself to re-energize. As much as my children are so lovely and funny and loving, sometimes I find that all the outward displays of love can make me cranky. Like the requests to be picked up, and the constant touching, and the repeated, loud declarations of love for me. I usually revel in it, and I always appreciate it all and savor it on an intellectual level, but there are times when it feels like too much and I crave some quiet time.

In Conclusion
I just know myself, and I don't think it would be fair for another child or my current children. I'm sure that divided among three, my patience would run thin sooner, and each child would have less of my attention and care and time (the same being true when going from one to two kids). This is ultimately why we aren't planning to have another child, but if you want to read all the reasons that went into our decision, check out the full list here.

It's totally possible I will change my mind or God will have other plans. And then I know my husband and I will step up to the challenge and we'll all feel very blessed. But as far as I can see now, our family is complete and we're going to enjoy our time with the kids at home with us as much as possible.


Popular Posts