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Getting in touch with my heart- how to decide?

 
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lgp



Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Getting in touch with my heart- how to decide? Reply with quote

Having read through posts, I realize that I'm not alone in not knowing if I want to go for a third or not. I apologize in advance for a long posting... this is probably therapeutic to write it all out:-)

I've always thought I would want three kids... of course that was when I was single and no children. We have two darling boys (3.5 and 16 mos). I'm 38, husband almost 45, so we have to decide asap. Husband is on board after being on the fence for a while. While I always thought I wanted three, the past couple of months maybe my mind is fighting it out with my heart?! I'm lousy at making decisions because I like to live in "what if".... making decisions means I have to close a door:-(

I'm intellectualizing/ analyzing too much... so many families stop at two. There must be reasons? Will I be spread too thin? Can I be a good wife? Good mother? Spend the time I want with kids and hubby?

I appreciate the comments about "this season". Since I didn't fall in love until I was 31, I had my twenties and part of early thirties before kids to do my international travel/ international work/ career and athletics (i.e. open water swimming, triathlons, adventure travel). I wouldn't change that for the world. Now is the new season and maybe bc the boys are getting more manageable I'm thinking of integrating those passions (maybe not the work part;-) into our lives again.

my main concern is about time for us/ family/ adventures. Finances may be challenging, but not insurmountable.

I don't know why I've had a slight change of heart the past couple of months (after 3 decades thinking otherwise)? I don't want to confuse being in a happy place (i.e. they play together, I'm getting more comfortable with their ages, managing them, balance) meaning that I want to have another child to change that- rather enhance that. I know this is rambling, but it's not either/ or, I guess.

Ultimately, we need to decide in a position of strength- i.e. we are happy with two, vs. we are afraid of three. Or let's go for 3 because it is right for our family. I wish my heart had a true and clear answer.

So, in summary, I feel we are on the precipice of deciding to have an easier, manageable life and can do more travel, more time for sports, etc. OR totally fun, edge of chaos, but will not be able to do the travel, outings, etc.? If anyone can confirm that or allay my fears, much appreciated!

I've never been one to take the path of least resistance.

I work- part-time-ish (about 30-32 hours) and still make twice what my husband does, so I will need to continue to work. Husband is quite hands on= both with the kids and household, so it's manageable and he's supportive.

I don't know if my posting made sense at all. You can tell I'm thinking way too much about this... And brevity is not my strong suit!

It gets me depressed, but I think that may because I was thinking two might be the right number for us... but that saddened me. I wonder if I would be sad whenever we decide to stop.

16 mo old is still nursing, so I still feel like I kinda have a baby. I just don't know why I'm starting to second guess? Baby days again? Hormones from weaning?

I did read where a mom felt strongest about having another with a newborn. That seems true.

At least reasons that are fleeting, not the best reasons to go forward (i.e. being pregnant, having a newborn, trying for girl) have taken a back seat to the logistics aspect.

I know this is ultimately our decision... I'm hoping I can get some tidbit from you all who've been through this that may resonate with me!

If you read this far= thanks for your support!~
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walkbyfaith



Joined: 03 Aug 2009
Posts: 499

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi lgp, and welcome!! Wow, that's a lot of stuff in that post you wrote. :) I think it boils down to this. Having been around the block a few times (haha), I think 90% of the time when someone is fence sitting, they really want to go for it but let fear hold them back. As far as your active lifestyle, sports, travel, etc., I think maybe your thinking about that is short sighted. Yes, while the kids are little the logistics of all that stuff is harder. But keep in mind, your oldest is still a baby, even! You haven't even scraped the surface of how much fun it is when you're beyond the preschool/toddler/baby years. I have 3 girls. My youngest will be 5 next month, and the older two are 7.5 and 9. All of those fears of being able to go out or do sports...I think by the time your youngest is about 5 or 6 that won't be an issue. Two will be absolutely no different than three at that point. In my life at this moment, I think very little is different having three than what it would be if I had two. I think the biggest differences are chores (especially laundry and toy clutter), running around to activities (I try to keep all the activities on a similar schedule for my own sanity), and financial. Everything costs a little more...groceries, activities, clothes, going out to eat, movies. But, it's not a lot more, just a little more.

I think for most people, once they have two, it's possible to handle three. The key is deciding what you want and what adjustments you might have to make in your life for it to happen...both short term adjustments (the bigger adjustments in my opinion) and long term adjustments (not nearly as big).

Of course, your mileage may vary. I'm sure the other wonderful ladies on this board will share their experiences as well. From reading your post, I think your heart knows what it wants to do but your head is holding you back. :) Good luck as you decide!! I wouldn't change having three for the world. Unfortunately, I'm fence sitting on #4, and dh is squarely on the no side of the fence, so the decision really isn't mine. Haha.
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kkimbrell



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 192
Location: Snellville, GA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry I don't have a lot of time right now to respond as much as I would really like to b/c I have a 14 mo at my feet and time is short! :)

but, I completely resonate with what you have said, except I am on the fence about having a 4th. All those things you said about yourself are me too. I even did the whole international work travel in the 20s and married at 30. wouldn't change a thing, feel so thankful and grateful for it. though I do know that it's the reason I have had to have kids quickly and now it will probably be the reason we do not end up having a 4th....

all that to say, I also read the first couple lines of what walkbyfaith wrote and I totally agree. I think your heart is wanting this, and it is about fear of the unknown. For me....b/c I am the same as you, if my DH was on board, I would take the plunge though I have the same fears/concerns as you. His "go-ahead" would be enough for me. Mine however is not. I'm waiting a little bit to revisit it with him and see again, but i'm not very hopeful that he will have changed his mind.

personally for me when I think about all the "cons" mainly for us that we would be spread too thin and really want to just get to a place of sleeping more and not be so exhausted, I think "you know this is very hard, but it is only a couple of years in the span of a lifetime". this season will end and I know that down the road I would regret it when I AM well rested, LOL.... it is just that when you are in the middle of it, it is all consuming. My older two are much easier now, and it is so wonderful how they play and occupy themselves. I know in a year or so all 3 will be doing that, and my load will be a lot lighter and life will be easier.

for me though...I need to respect my DH and if he is truely at his limit, then I will be content in that. I've got 3 wonderful ones to pour myself into. I'm trying to just focus on that right now instead of what I think I want b/c Lord knows there are plenty of needs right now to fill :)
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mommy2-2



Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right there with ya! No advice from here, although we just entered a new challenge...we thought we were diving in to TTC and then Dh had surgery on his wrist...was no help around here for the last week...and just as his wrist is getting better, his back went out...and now he's really out of the loop...so it's even harder for me than when he was deployed because I have to take care of him AND the 2 kids...(he seems to always be getting sick or hurt lately...and it's frustrating, because he doesn't take care of himself!!!) so I feel like I have 2 small kids and one really big kid! It has made me rethink things...how could I care for 3 kids AND dh, and God forbid something were to happen to me! (Like most moms, I have neglected myself and could use a tune up as well, but even a simple haircut or doc appointment for me is a major chore!)

now, that said, I did get to the doc the other day, only to find out that my babymakin' days may be over...and that I may not be able to ever get preg again without intervention (DD and DS were easy peasy to get prego)so it may turn out to be not my decision afterall...and that was a kick in the pants! To sit on the fence so long that the decision is made for you, and wonder...if only we had gone for it a few months earlier...
So...my advice to you... now that I think of it...just go for it...regret sucks!
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lgp



Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:26 pm    Post subject: Thanks everyone! Reply with quote

I appreciate your candor and perspective... good this is a forum for havingthree vs. stopattwo;-) I love the support and encouragement from the moms!

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree it is short-term/ season and I can see the point about me being short-sighted, because I am so in the weeds with the little ones. I just want to be sure that I have meaningful relationships with all the kids and my husband too. Of course, I just need to make sure I make it happen.... just seems it won't be as easy with not as much time? and the logistics- ie. getting them to sports, etc.- sounds intimidating. That my husband and I would miss an event if we separate to take two of them and then one is left out?

But the potential regret of NOT having another is a big fear.

Fortunately for me, one of my husband's strengths is his confidence in making decisions. Last night, unwavering he said, "he wants another kid." He thinks I'm wishy-washy, but I think I have some fears....

My worry is how could I only be having second thoughts the past two months when it was what I wanted all along? (granted, I just got my period back so I can only get pregnant now- so maybe bc it is more real?)

Anyway, I like the comment about if hubby on-board, that's enough for her. Maybe he is the one who can push me over the fence and we go for it? Frankly, if it were up to me, I'd still be deciding between a church wedding and a wine country wedding (he made that decision;-)

I just wish I could get in touch with my heart... these gals who say they have a tugging, a feeling that someone is missing from the dinner table. That's not me. So how bad do I need to feel it is what I want, to know? Why do I analyze too much, when I need to get in touch with my heart?!

Thinking about three makes me happy. Stopping at two makes me a little sad... but I'm not sure that is enough?
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Mama Erin



Joined: 09 Jan 2010
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are just getting out of the newborn, dependent, sleepless, survival phase. It makes sense that you wouldn't want to jump back into it. I have to say, though, of all of the "on the fence" posts I've seen- and I've been lurking for about 3 years, you are one of the clear cases of "you might regret it if you don't". I bet if you did a poll on people having three kids, 80% or more would say they doubted their decision (maybe more if you polled the havingthreekids.com ladies). It's not a "no-brainer" decision like having the 2nd kid. There is fear, doubt, worry, what-ifs. I can't tell you what a relief it was to have our third in our arms and know that we were done. 15 months later, we're still certain we're done and love our family of 5!

Good luck with your decision!
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wyowyome



Joined: 01 Apr 2010
Posts: 319
Location: WY

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the statements a friend of mine (who tied her tubes immediately after her 2nd ds was born and never regretted that for a second!) made that impacted me was,

"I think most people who think they might not be done usually go on to have another child"

She was right. If you KNOW you are done (and some people do) then you are done. If you are unsure and might regret not having another...then you probably will have that baby!

It's good to analyze all the cause & effects, because you need a realistic expectation and understanding why u want one more... but if u do want one more & dh is ok with it, then what r u waiting for? Don't let fear hold u back. Somehow it all works out, just like it did with your first 2!

Good luck!
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kkimbrell



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 192
Location: Snellville, GA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="wyowyome"]

"I think most people who think they might not be done usually go on to have another child"


It's good to analyze all the cause & effects, because you need a realistic expectation and understanding why u want one more... but if u do want one more & dh is ok with it, then what r u waiting for? Don't let fear hold u back. Somehow it all works out, just like it did with your first 2!

Good luck![/quote]


ha, ha...yes, I think this first point is true! I've heard other people say this too.

also, I agree with wyowyome here too. so many of life's big decisions make us fearful b/c we are not wanting to make a mistake and there will always be an element of the unknown with every big leap. But you know I think most people on this forum, even those whose 3rd was not necessary "planned" say after the child was born there is no way they would go back and they just cannot imagine life w/o them. Esp if your DH is wanting one too, I'd say go for it! With 2 parents who are in it together and committed to parenting, you will be a strong team.
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StrwbrryMmmy



Joined: 20 Jan 2012
Posts: 87
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Thanks everyone! Reply with quote

[quote="lgp"]
I just wish I could get in touch with my heart... these gals who say they have a tugging, a feeling that someone is missing from the dinner table. That's not me. So how bad do I need to feel it is what I want, to know? Why do I analyze too much, when I need to get in touch with my heart?!

Thinking about three makes me happy. Stopping at two makes me a little sad... but I'm not sure that is enough?[/quote]

We've always wanted another child but when I started getting the ache like there was someone missing from the dinner table it was fairly clear that it is time. To me, it sounds like you truly want another, perhaps not quite yet though.
About a year ahead of our original family plan and I'm 8.5 weeks along with our third pregnancy. I suddenly don't have any doubts about adding a new bundle like I did before we conceived. I'm not worried about the age gap anymore (which was a huge worry of mine! Girls are 1.5 years apart which I love, my eldest and the baby will be 5yrs apart). I'm no longer worried about dynamics with my older two and a baby; my girls are baby crazy right now, I know they'll be great with a baby sibling. They'll love him/her no matter what..I can already picture their joy as they teach this little one things and watch him/her grow. I'm not worried about the logistics of three at all, I know I will be fine..that some days will be more difficult than others just like how it is with two kids..at the end of the day it always works out. Having a third child will just add more love to our home and we're so excited.

If your husband is on board, thinking about three makes you happy and stopping at two makes you sad, I say go for it! Good luck in your decision! (..and I think your decision is 'when' not 'will we' because it sure sounds like you'll have a third at some point :) )
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lgp



Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: An "aha"! Reply with quote

In a way it feels strange to ask perfect strangers about their experiences and their thoughts... but in a way, it makes perfect sense, since in a way, we are kindred spirits! That we've been there and can share our learnings and yearnings;-)

I appreciate that because I'm leaning toward wanting another... that that is indeed what I want! That because my husband is on board, that that is indeed what we want!

I have discovered something about myself in this process... a recent aha experience, if you will. It is probably a bit controversial, but hear me out...

It's only the past couple of months that I've had second thoughts and I've tried to get in touch with what changed, why the change of heart/ fear/ lack of certainty.

I had a bit of baby blues after the birth of my second son and I also spoke with a therapist. Probably not full blown post-partum depression (I was functional, loved baby, etc.) but was highly emotional and sad sometimes. To be honest, part of it might have been "gender disappointment"- a term I found. We were surprised with the gender of both our sons- I think one of life's remaining big joys and surprises. And while I would say my heart was open both times to whatever healthy baby we were blessed with, I think I had my heart was truly set on a boy and girl since I was little. At least the childlike/ fantasy part of me had that image. And now it's reality (i.e. like I didn't finish having kids by 30, etc.) Please don't get me wrong, I love my boys so much!

Fast forward a year and I'm very happy with the place I am now. I can now more fully realize and own I'm a mother of two boys. I wouldn't change that for the world! And maybe that is because more recently (yes, same timing, past two months) my boys began to play together. The younger one is now coming into his own.

So...in essence...I have to be true to myself that adding another baby is NOT making my current family dynamic go away... but rather an additional child to love only enhances the dynamic.

Does that make any sense? Meaning, maybe I'm confusing being happy with my two sons means I don't want (or need) another child. Hard to put in words or articulate... That just because I'm happy where I am now, doesn't mean that I won't still be happy with another. That maybe before I saw adding another one helped address my previous sadness?

That I love my life as a mother of two boys... and will still love my life as a mother of three boys (the most likely scenario:-) We would not be trying for a girl, per se.... That's not realistic and the real reason to go for #3 is to have a healthy baby!
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mommy2-2



Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 234

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

congrats on your "aha" moment! I think you hit the nail on the head...and because you've come into some clarity, it's all the better the time to move forward with your desire for a 3rd...now that you know it is an "addition" that can make even more joy rather than a way to fill a gap or hole that was sadness or disappointment. This baby can now come to your family without a "job to do"...and you can all cherish him or her!

Keep us updated!
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kkimbrell



Joined: 11 Jun 2010
Posts: 192
Location: Snellville, GA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think having "aha" moments where you understand yourself and your motivations (however embarrassing or uncomfortable they can be for you) are always a good thing. It's hard sometimes to face those things, but being truthful with yourself will always bring more freedom to move ahead in life.
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