On Having a Third

I know. Three baby posts in a row from me? When am I going to drop it? Well sorry folks. It’s kind of on my mind at the moment, ya know? And I had some more thoughts I wanted to get down, so you’re just going to have to bear with me–or go looking for non-baby posts on some other blog today.

I wasn’t sure I wanted a third child.

Let’s get that out in the open. Maybe one day MC (baby girl) will read this post, and if that’s the case, MC–please don’t take it personally. After all, I didn’t know you at all at the time, and I had no idea how awesome you turned out to be. Had I known then when I no doubt will know in the future, I never would have hesitated for a moment.

But I didn’t know that, and there seemed to be an awful lot of reasons to not have another baby. Allow me to enumerate:

  • Trips to Slovakia–I know that might seem like a luxury to a lot of people, but one of the things I really wanted to be sure of when I married Denisa was that our children would have a good understanding of the Slovak side of their heritage. We’ve raised them bilingual (which is sometimes quite the struggle, and takes a lot of effort), but I wanted them to know what life is like over in Slovakia–to see it first hand. Denisa and I have tried to go over there once every three years, and we’ve been successful thus far. But one thing it’s not is cheap. Tickets get more expensive each year. They’re up to around $1000 per person. If we had another baby, would we still be able to afford it?
  • For that matter, traveling in general becomes a fair bit more complex. Driving with five is more uncomfortable, hotels are more of a pain. We like to travel. (I know all of you with bigger families are already saying “Big whoop.” Well back off. I don’t criticize you for your bigger family size.)
  • More importantly, we were happy as a family of four. It’s a good balance. TRC and DC are well adjusted. Denisa and I have time to do the things we want to get done. Having another family member join up would undoubtedly upset that balance. Would we be able to find it again?
  • Was I up for being a father to three children? As well behaved as TRC and DC are, there are times when they can be a bit much for me. If I couldn’t handle two sometimes, could I honestly expect to be able to handle three?
In the end, the reasons all boiled down to money and happiness. Children are expensive, and why should we have another if things were already good? I’m a creature of habit. I don’t like risking current happiness for a gamble on future happiness. Not normally, at least.
So why did we choose to have a third child?
We felt like we should. Denisa and I prayed about it, and the answer was “Yes, have a third child.” I don’t make a habit of ignoring answers like that. Even if they scare me somewhat.
And I was fairly scared in the days leading up to this delivery. Not wake-up-sweating-in-the-middle-of-the-night scared, but full of doubt. Would this all work out okay? Would TRC and DC be happy in their new roles (particularly DC, who would be bumped out of the coveted “Youngest Child” category)?
Once that baby is in your arms, though . . . all doubts cease. It was the right thing to do, and I’m very glad we did it. That isn’t to say it’s the right thing for everyone. I respect anyone’s decision to have fewer children. In fact, I try to butt out when it comes to the number of children people have in general.
I couldn’t help but be reflective at a time like this. Think back on what life was like when TRC was born, and DC. I was at very different stages for each of those birth, just as I am for this one. With TRC, I was in the middle of my Masters program at BYU. I was going to be an English professor. No doubt. With DC, I was a new librarian in a new state. New friends, new surroundings, new everything.
I don’t have any more time. I have to clean the house some and get ready for Denisa to come home in a few hours. The kids are very excited to have them come back, as am I. Many many thanks to all of you for the numerous well-wishes. They’re all appreciated.
See you on Monday.

2 thoughts on “On Having a Third”

  1. Wow, I relate to this post SO much! I’m very on the fence about having a third for all of the reasons you mention and yet still feel an urge to do so. One and two were no-brainers for me, but the third is such a tough decision! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more about your life with three.

  2. Glad it was helpful, Rachel. It *is* a tough decision, and one everyone needs to make on their own. I’m very pleased with the decision I made, though. 🙂

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