Every single day.
I ask myself the same question.
Sometimes I ask my wife too.
I've been doing this since the day our second son was born.
I'm not exactly sure why.
I never have an answer.
She never really does either.
Well, I take that back. Some days I have an answer but the next day it changes. Then it changes back and so on over and over and over. Sometimes my wife and I have different answers on the same day. We both go back and forth. It's crazy! I've never struggled with coming to a decision like this before. Most of life's big decisions have come pretty easy for me. They've come pretty easy for my wife and I as a couple too.
Not this one.
When it comes to answering this particular question I'm like a teenage girl from the valley trying to decide whether to stay with my high school sweetheart or to break up with him and go get crazy at college. I'm constantly weighing out the pro's and con's and pondering the best and worst case scenarios.
(Cue the valley girl accent)
"OMG guys!! I mean, like, he is such a sweet guy, like, total marriage material. He drives a Range Rover. He sends the sweetest texts from his I phone 10...not to mention the snapchats. OMG! He bought me the most epic pair of rainboots. His parents are like totes rich and he has a totally sexy bod...but girls just wanna have fun you know...like, How am i supposed to rage at my sorority parties with my besties when I've been dating him for 4 years?!? We're practically married old people already...ew... and there are so many other fish that swim to see in college...er, whatever..."
Or something like that.
What do the cool folks say these days on social media?
Oh yeah, "The struggle is real" only I'm not an 18 year old sorority girl. I'm a 34 year old father of two young boys trying to make a tough life decision with the help of my wife and it's really difficult.
The question is:
Should we try to have a third child?
Toughest decision ever... but why is it so hard?
We were incredibly excited to have our first child. As soon as we felt like we had a decent grasp on parenthood we forged ahead with baby number 2 with no hesitation whatsoever but for some reason it's different this time.
When we first started out as a married couple we thought we wanted to have four kids. However, we got a late start. We didn't start having children until our thirties. We also had no idea how much work a child is when that child is ours... full time.
We have plenty of love to give to a third child but do we have the patience to go back to a life just trying to stay afloat in a sea of breast milk with a constant barrage of mid-night feedings and diaper changes, gas, indigestion, teething and God forbid...COLIC?!? Our first child was an easy baby. Our second child tried to kill us in his first 5 months of life. They were both perfectly healthy but I think our second child has scarred us. The "What If''s" and "Will we's" are constantly rattling around inside my brain. (Her's too, I'm sure... though they may have different priority and she may not ask some questions with the same frequency that I do.)
What if we have another baby? Will we have enough time to give all three of them the attention they need and deserve? Can we afford it? Do we want to afford it? Will we ever have sex again? Will our children miss out on fun because of the change of family dynamic? Can we have a third child and still be friends? Will we still find the time to go on dates? Will my wife go crazy? How will our boys react? Once they out number us will they start a mutiny and overthrow us? Things are as easy as they've been in years. Do we really want to take the chance of messing that up? Will we ever have sex again?...
What if we have another miserable baby? What if we have twins? What if we have a baby with a birth defect or some kind of developmental delay? Downs Syndrome? Autism? Some kind of rare disease I don't even know about?
Or worse... what if we have A GIRL!?!?!?!
We are both scared to death of having a baby girl. My wife often says that she "speaks boy fluently" and would be lost trying to learn "girl." I think she's more scared than I am of having a girl, which is odd to most people. She's said on more than one occasion that if we could guarantee a third boy then she would sign off on getting pregnant a third time. The only difficult thing about having a boy in our eyes is having to care for the circumcision as it heals. Your heart breaks for the poor little guy. What made it easier for us was just looking at it as a pretty small price to pay for never having to buy a prom dress, tampons or pay for a wedding.
I guess it's all about perspective.
Oh, speaking of that, I left out one "What If."
What if the baby is PERFECT? What if he is the perfect final addition to our family no matter how he turns out? What if she is the perfect blessing we didn't think we were ready for? What if we just need to pray a little bit more and have faith that God won't give us anything we aren't capable of handling?
I think we'll be just fine whether we try for a third or not. It's just crazy to me that we haven't come to a conclusion after putting so much thought into it. Patience. Patience. I know. It'll work itself out.
Do you guys have any advice on the subject? Have you struggled with a similar decision? The same decision?
...and oh yeah, I can't believe I forgot to mention this...
If we did have a third child I wonder if we'd be able to find time to have... oh, nevermind... maybe I did already bring that up once or twice.