Reasons to NOT have a third baby

I’ve often told my husband Charlie that three kids would be more fun than two. Not as boring, you know? But then you start thinking about what it really means to have three kids. Is it worth it? Here are the arguments you could make against having a third baby:

1. Logistics. When you have three kids, the parents are outnumbered. In numbers, yes. But in reality? Even one kid can sometimes outrule both parents. Plus, in daily life with two kids, it is often only one parent looking out for both kids anyway. There are occasionally divide-and-conquer situations, but deciding who gets which kid can be more trouble than it’s worth.

2. Money. According to statistics, raising kids today costs a bazillion dollars each. Of course it does if you want to lavish them with the biggest and best of everything. Our kids mean the world to us, but giving them more stuff is not necessarily good parenting. And since when are parents required to pay for every last thing like cars and (GASP) college?! We aren’t exactly in the most lucrative profession, so we may not even be able to pay for one kid to go to college. Does that mean we shouldn’t have any kids at all? We are, however, living a debt-free lifestyle and putting money away for retirement (even a teeny tiny bit is in college funds). That is decent parenting even if I say so myself.

3. Time. How can you possibly coordinate a third kid’s schedule along with all the others? This mentality is just a result of our over-busy society. Children and even teens shouldn’t have adult schedules. Choose the basics and use your time more wisely in teaching your kids to master the things they are best at. There’s something to the old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

4. Sanity. I can’t afford to lose any more of my sanity. But really, I lost it all the moment I became a mom. So this argument is almost not even a valid point.

5. Favoritism/Divided Attention. I would do my two kids a disservice to add another to the mix. Is that so? From what I’ve seen, bringing another sibling into the world has been a great benefit to each of them. My oldest is a fabulous big sister. It has grown her in ways she otherwise wouldn’t. Yes, a second child loses some of the special one-on-one time. But the relationship the two have together far outweighs any loss. Basically, love doesn’t divide with more kids, it multiplies.

Have I talked myself into having a third? I haven’t met a good, loving parent who regretted having too many children. Most of the arguments above have selfishness at their core. Would it be selfish to say I don’t want to live with the regret of not having another baby? Maybe so, but it’s too late for any of these reasons to not have a third. Because we are having another baby! Due around the end of May. We are nervous, yes, but so excited!

“Children are a blessing
and a gift from the Lord.
Having a lot of children
to take care of you
in your old age
is like a warrior
with a lot of arrows.
The more you have,
the better off you will be,
because they will protect you
when your enemies attack
with arguments.”
Psalm 127:3-5 (CEV)

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