day of week

Thoughts on Parenting : Two vs Three

14 July 2006

My 3.5yo and 1.5yo boys seem to be settling into an easy-to-look-after stage. Most parents of two say that it just gets easier. They play together. They eat the same food. They bath together. They sleep at the same time. We pretty much manage them as one unit, so it’s like looking after ONE kid.

Our life in general and the whole bringing-up-kids aspect, has settled into a nice balanced routine. And I like it.

Each week goes by. There seems to be just enough time for my husband and I to have plenty of one-on-one time with each of the boys, for us to spend time together, alone and with friends, AND for all of us to hang out as a family.

But I’ve always wanted three kids. I’ve grown up in a family of three kids. My husband grew up in family of four kids. I like big families!

We’re up to that stage where we are considering the actual implications of having three children.

If we have another child… how will it tip the balance? Does someone always get left out? Does noise, work and happiness multiply by three? Will we NEVER have time for ourselves? Will we forever be utterly family absorbed individuals?

Is it possible to have a balanced, non-stressful life, outside the family, while being a fulltime mother with 3 kids?

Or will it zoom by so quickly, that having two or three kids is pretty much the same?

I suspect that my worry and uncertainty is fuelled by the fact that I don’t have any friends who have 3 kids. Thus I haven’t quite seen 3-kid family dynamics in action (from a parent’s point of view), how they function, how the parents are coping and living etc.

Most people I know are absolutely resolved on having 2 kids AND NO MORE. And there’s this certain unspoken view of madness about upgrading to 3 kids!

Lots to think about.

In the end, our final decision WON’T be based on “whether I can dash out for a quiet hour in a cafe”. We’re going to give ourselves a year or so of soul searching before we make any decisions.