Three is Enough
There, I’ve said it. Three kids are definitely enough for us. It’s taken me a while to come to this conclusion but it is definitely the right one for me and my family.
Gemma from My Big Nutshell asked on her Facebook page earlier this week whether anyone else knew their family was complete and what was the trigger for that decision. And for the first time I could confidently say that we were done. Finished. Complete.
My head has always known that having three kids push beyond my natural capabilities as a parent. And my body was sending me definite “let’s not do this again” vibes towards the end of my third pregnancy. But my heart was set on four, not three, and was stubborn for a while there in holding it’s ground.
Four was our “magic” number, you see. I was one of two and am not especially close to my brother so I wanted more. My husband is one of three and wanted to avoid the whole middle child issue. So four was the logical next step for us.
We had Gilbert and Matilda 18 months apart which was good and bad. Good because they were close and we were still doing the nappy thing but bad because those first few years were completely full on. We decided to wait a while before considering a third so we could just get through that period as best we could.
An autism diagnosis for Gilbert and depression and other health problems for me also played a part in delaying our decision. Once we were able to get Gilbert placed in a specialist school and after my health issues were resolved we looked again at adding to our family, still marching towards the goal of four.
After a few months though, we were ready to call it a day and declare our family complete. Surely we should just stop at the two and devote all our time and energy to them? Unbeknownst to us, by the time we reached this decision, Delilah was already on her way…
So we prepared for number three, putting the goal of number four to the side for a while. We’d see how we’d cope with three before considering any further additions to the brood.
Once Delilah arrived we had a feeling we had reached maximum capacity. Gilbert was stressed out with her arrival and the turmoil and upheaval she brought to the family. Matilda felt the lack of attention and her Aspergers traits became stronger and and more pronounced.
I was beside myself trying to get myself and three kids ready on time each morning and my husband would come home to chaos every night.
It took a while but my heart’s yearning for number four slowly began to die out under the strain of the reality of three. It was little steps at first – I was able to give away my maternity clothes before I returned to work and I gave all Gilbert’s old clothes to a friend with three boys.
I slowly began the process of accepting that having another baby just to reach a pre-determined number wasn’t a good enough reason to have another.
And while I will miss the excitement of being pregnant, the wonder of another bundle of joy and the chance of using more of our favourite names, having another baby would not be the right decision for us as a family.
So yesterday, in the middle of my This Is It organising drive, I packed up the bottles, the steriliser, the breast pump, the baby carriers, the baby bags and the newborn clothes. They are in boxes in my room awaiting donation or sale. And I’m cool with it, I really am.
I look at my three cherubs and I’m proud to be their mum. I want to be the best I can be for them and I know that looking forward, not back, is the way to do that.
Three is most definitely enough for me!