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June 28, 2019
The question everyone inevitably seems to have asked me ever since Gus was born is “do you think you’ll have another?” It seemed to be the question on everyone’s mind when he turned one, two, three and started school. My vague response probably has people thinking I am already pregnant, but the reason for it is simple: I just don’t know.
My husband is one of three and as the only boy sandwiched between two sisters, he is and always was treated like the family prince. While most people I know who are one of three say they hated it, my husband liked it. Since he was the only boy, he never had dealt with the middle child syndrome we’ve all heard about.
I was the youngest of two and grew up very close to my older brother. We had a very small family and I was always envious of my friends who had larger ones. There was always something going on at their house. I thought if I was one of three (or more), I’d never be bored and my life would be perfect.
Siblings are the only people who experienced life relatively the same way you did. My brother and I are the only ones who understood our strained relationship with our father. We were travel buddies whenever we were sent to Boston or Florida to visit my dad and his family. We definitely had rocky patches in our relationship, but overall we stuck together through his short life. We were all each other had.
After my brother suddenly passed away when I was 23, I made a vow to myself that I would have three kids. If, God forbid, anything ever happened to one of my children, I wouldn’t want my other child to go through that alone. Once my brother passed away, I watched my mom crumble unsure if she’d ever come back. My relationship with my father got even more estranged and I felt like it was my responsibility to hold everything together. I felt really alone and scared and never wanted either of my children to feel that way.
Once we adjusted to our new, emptier life without my brother I was adamant that I had to have three kids. Looking back on my more naive self, I can confidently say it’s really easy to say you want three kids. We’d potentially be that house that I always wished for when I was younger, that loud, rambunctious house that always had something fun going on. Olive and Gus would instantly have another sibling to love and play with, but in reality, the thought of it all makes me anxious.
Three kids are really expensive. Three kids are that much harder to travel with and three kids feels really chaotic to me right now. Two kids, while often feeling chaotic, feels very manageable. Michael and I can easily each take a kid for one on one time and I feel comfortable traveling with both of them by myself. Additionally, starting this week, both kids are in camp/school 5 days a week. I finally have larger chunks of time to focus on growing my business while also getting in some self-care.
The question that I often ask myself and I often get asked is, do I think I will regret not going for a third? While I do feel like I may look back in thirty years and wish I had just done it, I also recognize that I really love my life. I have two healthy and beautiful children, a loving husband, a helpful family and a growing business that feels like a child in its own right. I am more in the moment than I have ever been while at the same time dealing with that internal struggle of should we have one more kid. I often have a thought in the back of my head that maybe I’m being greedy. I got pregnant the first month we started trying with both kids, they are healthy and thriving, I have a girl and a boy - what more could I want?
So when I was recently stressing about this decision, I decided to not decide. I decided that I am 36 years young and have a good few years to make the final decision and while having two young kids is definitely still chaotic at times, I’m really happy. If we decide to have a third in a few years, I’ll be more ready for it and if we decide not to, we are ready for that too. While asking someone if they are planning to have any more kids seems harmless, I am going to try to stop myself from asking them. They may be struggling with the same internal debate I am, they may be trying and having difficulty, there may be a whole slew of reasons why they haven’t had another kid (or any at all).
I know that whatever we decide will be what’s right for our family, but for now - I’m just going to enjoy the moment because these moments seem to be going by quicker and quicker. I’d be curious to know though, have you had the same struggle? I’d love to hear what you decided.
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