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Selfish, pathetic, slightly embarrassing reasons for wanting a third kid

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Let me preface this post by saying I am not pregnant nor planning to get pregnant. I got an IUD last week—that’s how not pregnant I want to be. But, as many of you know, no matter how many kids you have, people will ask: “You gonna have more?” Over the past 21 months (since Nora was born) my answer has gone from “probably” to “possibly” to “we’ll see” to, “maybe not” to, most recently, “%#! no.” That said, there are still some reasons I do want a third. Here goes:

Naming kids is fun and I still have a few names I love (runners up from Alex and Nora).  It’d be great to be able to use them, particularly since we’ll likely never have a pet (more on that another day). John Patrick or Patrick John (after our fathers). Timothy. Natalie. Kate. Maryanne.

All my friends are doing it. Ok, not all of my friends, but there are a good chunk of them (many with kids Alex and Nora’s age) who are going for, will go for or already have three. Two of my closest girlfriends are currently with child number three. The “I want to be like everyone else” junior high girl in me is starting to feel left out.

I don’t ever, ever, ever want to have to hear the following phrase from my mother or sister (or any above mentioned friends): “You think you have it rough, try having three kids.”

My liver could use a break from all the wine consumption.

Along the same lines (and probably related!), I feel really healthy when I’m pregnant. The prenatals, the extra sleep, the good eating, the relaxing, the not taking my cancer meds. It feels like it does a body good.

Being in labor and giving birth—drug free with Nora—made me feel like a rock star. It was hands-down the coolest (and craziest/most painful) thing I’ve ever done and while I’d be nervous, I would be up for the challenge again. I realize being pregnant and giving birth are often on people’s list of reasons not to have another, but I found the whole thing kind of awesome and, more importantly, was always acutely aware of how lucky I was.

Because I’m one of three so I always assumed I’d have three. I actually explored this reasoning—and why it’s flawed—in a feature I wrote last month for Self on five-year plans—check it out.

More kids to take care of us—and each other—when Nick and I are old. Maybe it’s not so much take care of as it is hang out with us. I see how much my parents love having my sisters and I (and our respective families) around and I just hope I’m as lucky one day. For my kids and for me. OK, so maybe this one isn’t such a crazy reason.

I could use a longer reprieve on doing something about my belly flab. I’m at a weight where I’m really happy but I definitely have some serious jiggle in my midsection that wasn’t there pre-kids. I have been putting off the sit-up routine thinking eh, if I’m gonna have another kid what’s the point? But if I’m not, well….

I have a ton of great clothes (girl and boy!) and baby gear that it would be a shame not to put them to use one more time. I’ve already given away countless bags and boxes full of clothes and toys (and my friend, Erica, just asked to borrow my bassinet—for her third kid—which makes me so happy because it’s beautiful and has been in the basement far too long) but I still have a ridiculous amount of stuff. Some of which has never been worn or touched, which is a travesty!

I love the first few months after having a baby when everyone wants to help out and no one expects anything of you because you just had a human come out of your vagina (that one’s for all of you who read the blog last week!) You don’t have to return emails, you don’t have to go to events, you don’t have to justify your Real Housewives watching, you don’t even have to answer the phone. Heaven.

I wouldn’t mind one more chance to eat the following things and not feel gross/guilty: the egg and cheese biscuit from Dunkin Donuts, an entire bag of Cheetohs, the Friendly’s peanut butter cup sundae.

I want my friend Erin to be Godmother to one of my children; my sisters snatched up my first two kids so….

I look pretty good pregnant. I’ve always had thin arms and legs but my midsection requires either A: constant sucking in, which gets tiring. B: a completely empty stomach, which I rarely allow or C: Spanx, which, well, Spanx are pretty awesome but still. Being able to let my stomach do its thing and have that thing be cute is perhaps the greatest thing about pregnancy.

OK, I’m stopping now because this list is making me rethink my “%#! no!” response above. But seriously, to me, all of these reasons (and the lack of any sincere, heartfelt, real reasons) amount to the fact that we shouldn’t have a third* Thoughts? How do you/did you decide on how many kids to have? Were any of your reasons a little on the selfish, pathetic, slightly embarrassing side? (Also, this should go without saying but I'm saying it anyway: I realize that I am lucky to be able to write about such a serious topic in such a lighthearted way.)

* Stay tuned for any changes in my thinking. We will revisit this topic again for sure!