Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Van Dorn, Party of Four (But Maybe That Should Be Five?)

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Yesterday was my 38th birthday so I'm now officially less than two years away from my 40th. How the HELL did that happen?!?!? Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining -- I have an amazingly-supportive husband (his birthday dinner toast to me was so sweet that it made me cry), two incredible little ones that have my whole heart, a wonderfully-weird extended family, fabulous friends and a career that's starting to take off (on my terms) -- but the past decade seems to have gone by so fast. I mean, I got engaged exactly 11 years and 1 day ago and it feels like he just slipped that ring on my finger for the very first time last week.

I guess there was a part of me that thought that my whole life would go by at the same glacial pace that it seemed to back when I was in high school and although it's been speeding up at an alarming rate every year, I'm still shocked at each milestone. And this birthday -- with the looming 4-0 and all its represents on certain fronts -- really has me flummoxed. You see, for the past year or so, I've been struggling with a question that just won't seem to rest either way: should we try for a third child or stick with two?

There's a big part of me that's really happy with our family of four ... but then there's another big part of me that aches to hold another baby, to watch another tiny being come into its own, to see my family grow with love. Half of me is loving the freedom that comes with my now-three-year-old's newfound abilities and additional time out of the house and half of me wants to cry watching her babyhood slip further and further away. I'm over the moon with the way that my business and blog are growing (thanks in large part to all of you!), love the projects I'm working on and things I have planned but I really struggle with the fact that having a third would mean putting my career back on hold (at least for a little while). Part of me wonders if we'd have enough time or resources to properly nurture and support a third child (heck, I worry about this with just two!) and part of me thinks I'm hemming and hawing just because I 'm nervous about the myriad of ways that a third pregnancy could (further) ravage my body.

A couple of years ago, when I was still in the post-birth throes of sleepless nights and exhausted days, I felt sure that our family was complete (and so was my husband). But now? Neither of us seems to know. And I don't know if that's because the sharp edges of those moments have dulled or if we've changed or if, at least for me, it's really about mourning the loss of being a "young mom" (in my head, I always think a "young mom" is someone with baby-to-toddler-aged kiddos). If we did try for a third, our new-found world would flip on its head (our new house is already on the smaller side, adding another human might mean another move) and our two littles would have so much more adjusting to do... not their favorite thing. But then, kids always benefit from siblings; right?

As I work through all of this, the pages of my internal daily calendar keep turning towards a time when the decision won't be mine to make anymore. And so I'm constantly asking myself the same questions: should we? shouldn't we? What if? What if? What if?

11 comments:

  1. You took the words right out of my mouth!

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    1. So glad to hear that I'm not alone ... I feel like I've got this broken record going on in my head...

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  2. I was a third child. I'm glad my parents decided to not stop at two. But that's besides the point. You're a fantastic mother and you and your husband can provide a wonderful life for another child. However, I believe that having more than two biological children is contributing to global overpopulation and, to be honest, selfish. There are so many children on this planet in need of a good home and family. I would strongly urge you to look into adoption.

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    1. That's a very good point ... and very true. Thank you for sharing that perspective; I hadn't considered it from that angle at all...

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  3. I definitely struggled with this decision a few years back. We've got it better than most 2 working parent households - my husband is a teacher and picks the kids up from school every day as well as hangs out with them all summer, I have flexible hours and can drop the kids off at school every day and work from home when they're sick or have the day off. We've got the kids involved in a lot: music, dance, swim team, football, soccer, Girl and Cub Scouts. While I would have loved to have another, we have enough - for now. When the kids are a bit older, we'll see - we've always discussed being foster parents...

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    1. Hi Kate! I like your philosophy and I'm on board with that too...Definitely hope to foster when Ronan is a bit older. Nice to hear other friends interested in that too :)

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    2. See; this is why I decided to write this post ... it's just what I needed to hear: there isn't a definitive yes or no ... just this sometimes all-consuming maybe. And I just love these ideas of fostering or adoption; it really puts a new spin on things... more to think on but with less of a distressing deadline feel to it. xx

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  4. For us having a third was a no-brainer. We wanted a big family and for our children to have siblings. Now on the brink of having a fourth I find myself going back to those same questions...sleepless nights, caring for and raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted children?! How? My time will be so divided so how can I possibly give the proper attention to each one? But then a funny thing happens, they care for each other at times. They can make each smile and feel better after a fight or slight injury better than my husband or I. While we are still in the early stages, it gives me hope for the future that I *will* have the time for each one. They have each other, which allows me to spend the special individual time with each one. It's not all rosy of course, but overall good. I think you made a good point too....your career has been on your terms. Adding another child to your sweet family will only enhance that. You can choose what you do and when you do it. Good luck!

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    1. As one of four; I know that you're right. I had/have a wonderful, very "just between us" relationship with my mom ... and so did my siblings. I know that it's possible ... I just wonder, do I have it in *me*??

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  5. As a third child myself I say go for it! I'm stealing this from a Gwyneth Paltrow interview where she said that her mother told her to imagine who would be sitting around the Thanksgiving table when she was older...I like that. When you close your eyes do you see/feel a third child there, coming home from college, joining his or her big brother and sister around that dinner table....or does it feel like table scene that feels wonderfully, perfectly just right with your family of four?

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    1. I know that exact article and think of it often because I think it rings so true! The problem is that I can see it both ways; with my existing two littles ... and with another. (yeah, I know ... I *really* don't make it easy on myself!)

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