We Chose 3. Don’t Judge Me.

I grew up playing the fabulous game of MASH and all the variations that were made up through the years to see what my future life would look like…I would have a black sports car. I would marry Leonardo DiCaprio. I would live in Europe. I would be a doctor. And I’d have four children.

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Fast forward 20 years and while most of my MASH predictions did not come true, I did have children. Not four, but two. First a girl, then a boy. We were blessed to have two healthy children and so very excited to have one of each gender. At that point, we were assumed to be finished having children. Friends and family alike couldn’t imagine what more we could want. Because the only reason people have more children is to try for the gender they didn’t have, right?

Wrong. So very wrong. I came from a very small family and for generations and generations behind me, everyone did. We never had the great-great-grandma that came from the family of 13 children with so many aunts and uncles that we had never even met them all. While growing up, I always dreamed of having big crazy holiday get-togethers like big families did and knew from a very young age I wanted to have several children. And while we don’t know what the future holds and four may or may not be what is right for us in the end, for now…

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We chose 3. Don’t judge me.

Parenting and all things about parenthood are such big topics that many are quick to judge, offer their wanted and unwanted advice about, and critique your every move. I had no idea how opinionated, and openly opinionated, people would be about having a third child. The comments were completely unexpected. “What were you thinking?” “How are you going to manage? There are only two of you and now three of them.” “Are you guys crazy?” Who knew that the number of children we had was up for discussion between anyone but my husband and me? No, this was not an “accident.” This was planned. And we couldn’t be more excited.

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Sure, life will not be a walk in the park. It will be hard and we know that. There will be even more sleepless nights and less time for showers. There will be another germ pool to add to the circulating illness. We don’t know where everyone will sleep, where everyone will sit in the car, or how to get all three from the car into the store. We will need to learn to play zone defense and how to squish all three into a grocery cart. But these challenges are part of life and this part of life is a beautiful one.

Have you thought about having a third child or do you already have a third child? Share your experience and the reactions you received spreading the news below!

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27 Responses to We Chose 3. Don’t Judge Me.

  1. Jessica January 11, 2016 at 8:34 am #

    Yes! I love this. I too come from a small family and have always known I would want a lot of children. I am only pregnant with baby 2 and already the comments have started about being done. I just smile and say we want to have more. It is a personal decision and not a one size fits all answer for every family. Congratulations on baby 3!!

    • Kara January 11, 2016 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks Jessica! Congratulations to you as well!

  2. Jaclyn Levy January 11, 2016 at 10:18 am #

    Congratulations! Joy to you and your growing family! I hope to have a third kid someday too. Since I have 2 boys I’m sure I’ll get all the “so you’re trying for a girl?” comments. Your post showed what not to say, so what should people say instead? And of course the decision is between you and your husband, I don’t think anyone would assume otherwise. Why as moms are we so easily offended? I don’t think most people mean harm, I think they are mostly curious and just express it weird when on the spot.

    • Kara January 11, 2016 at 11:37 am #

      Thank Jaclyn. While I wouldn’t say I was offended, I was just surprised at the initial negative connotation associated with some responses instead of the more common congratulations being in order. Of course once adjusted, everyone is excited there will be a third baby and offer nothing but well wishes. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Anna January 11, 2016 at 11:06 am #

    I have two older siblings, and when my parents decided to have a third people were just as weird. Someone told her, “Don’t have a third child. Restaurants are set up for families of four. You’ll always have to pull up an extra chair.” Someone literally thought that was a good enough reason to not have a child you want!

    • Kara January 11, 2016 at 11:32 am #

      Yes Anna! There have been some interesting questions proposed so far! Thanks for the comment!

  4. Whitney January 11, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Congratulations on baby #3! I grew up as an only child but to a large family with lots of cousins, aunts and uncles. We were like you and were blessed to have a boy and a girl but knew we really wanted to have 4 kids. We just had another sweet little girl in November and while there are hectic moments, it is not as bad as people made it seem like it would be. If you think people looked at you like you had two heads when you said you were having your third, imagine the looks I get when I say that we still want one more. Congratulations again and Goodluck!!!

  5. Kara January 11, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    Thanks Whitney! I have heard numerous positive things about the third child in particular from lots of friends and family friends that have chosen to have larger families. I’m really looking forward to the additional chaos!…says the one who has never dealt with it haha. Congratulations to you on your third as well! And best of luck on yet another! We are taking it one by one these days and while we haven’t said this is it just yet, we shall see what the future holds! ?

  6. AME January 16, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    First of all, congrats. Hope you have a healty, happy baby. Second, this whole article is ridiculous. Have as many kids as you want. People say silly things all the time about EVERYTHING. Don’t be so easily offended. Relax and enjoy your pregnancy!

  7. Lori January 17, 2016 at 9:41 am #

    Congrats!!! We have a boy and a girl and everyone assumes we are done but we want one more. When I’ve mentioned this to close friends I get the restaurant comment, the comment about needing a new car, not being able to be accommodated in a hotel, how can we travel when 5 can’t fit into most taxis, etc. I grew up with 4 kids in our family all 2 years apart and we travelled, went out to eat and had so much fun. Any number is the perfect number as each child is a true blessing. I hope you have an easy pregnancy and delivery!

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

      Thanks Lori! And thanks for reading!

  8. Kathy January 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    I simply cannot conceive of a situation where ANYONE other than you and your husband would believe that have the right to say anything, much less offer an opinion on your family size.

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

      Thanks for reading Kathy. I have found it quite surprising how open people are about their personal opinions regarding family size!

  9. Sarah January 19, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

    Just YES! I have 3 and they are 18, 16, and 14 and people STILL say things like “you had one of each, why did you have another?” Because we wanted to, planned and loved! I love having THREE kids!

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

      That’s great to hear Sarah! Thanks for reading!

  10. Kate January 20, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    I completely understand everything you have shared! I have four, sweet little boys, and after my second child, have heard these comments and several others as well. It always make me laugh at how opinionated people can be when it has nothing to do with them! My husband and I have talked about having one more child, and I have already been thinking (and dreading) the comments that follow if we do end up adding to our family. Every family has their perfect number, and what works best for them. I discussed this very topic with friends just last night and it was fun to hear each ones heart on their thoughts and feelings about the size of family they each wanted to have, and we all had different “numbers.” That is what makes our world so fun and different, we all get to decide what that “perfect” number is for each of us. Congrats on baby number 3! What a blessing, enjoy, and celebrate the fun, excitement, and joy this new addition will bring to your family!

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

      Thanks Kate! And thank you for reading!

  11. Cinella January 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    Yup, with every pregnancy announcement we didn’t get the reaction we were wanting. We have 3 girls right now and we will take as many children as God will give us! We were excited for each one of them and currently trying for baby number 4!

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks for reading Cinella. Best of luck to you as you expand your family!

  12. Ashley January 20, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts! We just had our third baby and you will certainly experience chaotic moments and there will be a lot of adjusting to go around, but let me just tell you how sweet it all is!!! We waited quite some time to decide whether or not we wanted to be done with growing our family. Our daughter had just turned 9 and our son would soon be 8 when I found out I was pregnant with number 3! My older 2 love their little sister in such a special way, I just cannot imagine anything different. Best wishes to you and your family!!! Enjoy and cherish every single moment, they sure fly by fast!

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

      Thank you Ashley! And thanks for reading! We are super excited for #3!

  13. FeistyIrish Wench January 22, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    We didn’t choose any. We did not intentionally set out to create new people, they arrived as happenstance to my husband and I loving each other fully. We created 6 lives, and got to keep 5 of them. My living children span 20 years oldest to current youngest. I don’t know if we will have more kids. I’m not always the one with the final say. I get to stay in touch with multiple stages and ages, and stay young at heart despite feeling weirdly old for having kids who can make a beer run while I deal with diapers. I get to witness my adult children play with the younger kids, teach the younger kids the lessons they themselves learned the harder way, and share with me their appreciation for those lessons that I managed to impart.
    And the number of comments, people making them, and the distinct lack of originality to them was surprising, and at the same time it wasn’t. In a culture that expects you to stop at two, the third is the last safe place to land because “yanno, accidents happen”. But when you allow a fourth, fifth, or more to brighten your horizon, all of a sudden you are perceived as no longer intelligent, sane, or wise. I was incessantly on the defensive, preferring to hide my pregnancies to safeguard our own joy from being smashed by the insensitivity and intrusion of opinions that had no business being shared. And then our 6th left us too early to be viable and I vowed that if ever another child graced our lives, I would not hide another one. To those who have a barage of not-their-business comments and questions, feel free to get snarky as I have done, and tell people to bugger off where they belong.
    http://feistyirishwench.blogspot.com/2013/08/originality-and-humor.html

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

      Yes, the reactions we have received have been quite a surprise at times. Thanks for reading!

  14. Heidi January 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    Kara, CONGRATULATIONS!! I have 4 blessings!! Mine range in age from 14 to 35 and I wouldn’t trade having any of one them for ANY reason whatsoever!! Children are a gift from God, whether you have 1 or 10, and each one is uniquely special & perfectly designed to be a part of your family. People are so funny about things like the number of children one “should” or “shouldn’t” have. I think it’s a projection of their own concerns, fears and insecurities about what they “should” or “shouldn’t” do when it comes to having children. My Dad was one of 13 children, my Mom is one of 6, and I am one of 5. I know many families who have one child and are happy. I also know many families who have 4 or more children and are very happy, too. I’ve never personally encountered the restaurant or hotel comments, but have experienced other equally ridiculous comments. Pregnancy and the choice to have or not have a certain number of children are personal choices and private decisions to be made by the parents-to-be. Count yourself triplely blessed! Enjoy each one individually and collectively. Yes, family dynamics change with the addition of each child, but as far as I’m concerened, only for the better! Older kids are helpful with younger ones and they’ll certainly always have someone to play with and keep each other company. You’ll have extra hands to help you and extra cheeks to cover with Mommy kisses. Have as many as you and your husband decide you’d like to have. Cherish every stage of their development – each one goes by so quickly!! Congratulations again!!

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

      Thanks Heidi! And thanks for reading!

  15. Nicole January 24, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

    It’s nobody’s business how many you have. It’s between you, your husband and God. Period.

    • Kara February 9, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Yes, I’d have to agree. Thanks for reading Nicole.

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