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.
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…
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.
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.