I’m expecting our third child at the end of August. This has been a decidedly different experience than being pregnant the first or second time. My first two were winter babies and a summertime pregnancy is just ridiculous. That’s all I have to say about that. And I’m tired and achy in ways that I don’t remember with the last two. But mostly, this pregnancy has been different in regards to people’s comments to me regarding having a third child. It’s hard to tell if people are well-meaning or just plain nosy! You’d think I was planning to have an extra head attached to my shoulders the way some have looked at me. So what IS it about three?
Here’s a sampling of the comments I’ve gotten this go round:
Was it planned?
Do you really want to know the answer either way??
Oh. Oh…okay. Wow.
This one I heard whenever I told people that I was pregnant … yes, again! With the first baby, people literally cried tears of joy with me. Second baby, people were excited because it was “time.” When it turned out the second was a boy, people were overjoyed for me: I had a girl and a boy – all I needed! But when I announced the third, people thought I was crazy. A few people I love dearly were excited but the majority of reactions – even within my own family – has been to all but tell me that I’m crazy (and a few have outright said it!).
You’re going to need an extra set of arms.
Well, that isn’t possible, so I guess we will do the best we can. I plan to wear the baby as much as possible when we are out and about and I can use a stroller for the other two. It’s going to be fine. Chaotic for a while? YES, but fine. I’m already frazzled … so I guess it’ll be about the same.
You’re never going to leave the house again.
Negative. I’m not saying that we will be going on outings everyday, and I’m not saying that we will be going on long outings immediately. I expect there will be a learning curve – for me, especially! And we will have to work our way up to longer outings as we get to know the new baby and adjust to a new schedule. But we will leave the house. I mean, eventually.
What are you going to do with THREE? (Maniacal Laughter)
This one bothers me about the most, because it is always said at the worst time possible … both kids are melting down or crying or clinging to me, so somehow this comment seems like a good idea. How about, instead of standing there being critical, you offer a helping hand? Or just keep your thoughts to yourself. THANKS.
From experienced mothers with 4+ kids: Three is the hardest number of kids. After that, you can have twenty if you want to and it’ll seem like no big deal. But three? Three is the hardest.
Errr … I mean, I guess THANKS for the heads up?? Is this supposed to make me want four? It doesn’t. I think about when I was student teaching, and many experienced teachers told me, “The first year teaching is all about survival.” They were right, and even now, I have found myself saying that to soon-to-be-teachers myself. I wonder if this comment about three being the hardest is the same: the absolute truth. And that scares me more than anything.
I’m aware that three children is going to be a huge adjustment in every area of our lives, but I’m excited for the change. I know three children wouldn’t be everyone’s choice, and that’s okay. But it is our choice, and it’s one I’m stoked about. I can’t wait to meet this baby, who deserves to be celebrated just as much as Babies #1 and 2.