I’m at a crossroads in my marriage. One where each road is a potential path to resentment. You see, my husband wants a 3rd child, and well…I don’t. Let me be clear. He wants a 3rd child like you may remember the way you felt wanting your first. He dreams about it, he yearns for it, he feels incomplete without it. When I think of having a 3rd child I feel anxious, overwhelmed and exhausted at the thought of it.
He’s one of 6, I’m one of one. As an only child who cherishes her rare, and increasingly- hard-to-come-by alone time, having two children can often feel to me like 10. Never a break, never a moment’s peace, never a minute to just do nothing – or at least not enough of them for me. As one of 6 children, to him, 2 kids feels like a blessing, but just the beginning, one that isn’t finished yet. I feel done.
So where do we go from here? He feels how he feels, and I damn sure feel how I feel. I’ll be 36 this summer, he’ll be 42. If there’s a time, its now. I mean, my kids are the biggest blessing I’ve ever been privileged to receive, but they also embody the cliché “anything worth having is worth working hard for.”
I watch them grow and wish I could freeze time, I watch them hug and feel my eyes well with water, I watch them get a snack or put on their pajamas by themselves and recall how short a time ago it was that they couldn’t do that. But I don’t romanticize what it took to get here, my husband does. The working all day and staying up all night with a child that didn’t sleep through the night until he was going on 5 years old, the 2 plus years it took to potty train, the never, NEVER having nothing to do. He brushes that all aside, in a way that sometimes makes me ask myself if I’m weak. Why is what seems so life-altering to me, so trivial to him? Who cares. I said what I said, I don’t need validation for my feelings.
I hold the power. It’s my body. He can’t MAKE me have a baby. But I love him, I love my kids and I vowed to care about his feelings right? (Rolls eyes). So. Do I make a lifelong decision that affects us both based on his wants or mine? Does the expansion of our family and another person to love outweigh my concerns?
You see, I fear that with a husband, two kids, a full time job, a growing business and countless other projects that already require more of me than I have to give many days, another child will break me. Break me in a way that I cannot foresee the repercussions for those around me. I work hard to be the best wife and mother I can be, but I truly feel like if one more thing is added to my plate, something is going to have to give.
Ever have those days where you’re in a bad mood and you can’t put your finger on exactly why? When you snap at your kids for even the slightest of mishaps? On those days I call myself the Dragon Lady. She tends to rear her ugly head when I’m overtired, overextended and/or overwhelmed. You may not have a Dragon Lady in you, good for you. I do. What I don’t want is to bring another child into this world only to become a permanent Dragon Lady to this beautiful new baby and the two we already have.
You know what else I don’t want? For my husband to resent me. Resent that the person he vowed to love and be faithful to won’t give him what only I can. I mean for God’s sake, there are women out here raising 4, 5, 6 or more kids and thriving. God bless ‘em, but couldn’t be me. Or could it?
How many kids do you have? How many did you plan on? Did going from 2 kids to 3, 4 or more feel any different? Could I do this? Should I do this? Weigh in below and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss Part 2 because we’re not getting any younger and a decision has to be made soon…