I just signed up my oldest child for driving school last week. Every time we hit a milestone like this I think, It’s slipping away, this is happening too fast, more years with them are closing in and if I’d had one more child, there would be more time.
I had three kids in three years and wanted to go for number 4 so bad I felt it on a spiritual level. One day on the beach, when my babes were 7, 5 and 4, a lady came up to me and asked if they were all mine.
After I blurted out, “Yes, and I want one more but I’m not sure if it would be too much,” she told me she’d had three children, then waited 7 years and had a 4th. “It was wonderful. A huge surprise but so wonderful,” she said smiling.
Her story made my heart sing. In that moment, I was able to look past childbirth and tearing and the sleepless nights. I forgot about the year I had three bottoms in diapers at the same time and felt I had the strength to take on all the meltdowns.
All my hesitations around having another were washed away, and my ovaries screamed at me daily for the next few months.
However, my then husband (very clearly) did not want another and because it takes two and I believe it’s best to be in agreement with such a huge decision, I let it go. I didn’t push, and I shut those feelings down. But oh, I wish I’d pushed a bit more.
If you’re thinking about having another child and you were looking for a sign, here it is: DO IT. Have another child. You won’t be sorry.
Yes, adding another baby into the mix can be chaotic and expensive and stressful. But damn, you will not have any regrets.
Having another child means the love in your home will grow. It means your youngest will be promoted to big brother or big sister and there will be more memories made and more birthdays to celebrate, which will multiply the joy in your family.
There will be more cheeks to kiss and more laughter and more moments and all of that counter balances the hard parts.
If you want to expand you family and are worried about how it will all work, remember this: you can get the extra car seat and make room for them. You can manage a larger family. You know how to flip a few extra pancakes and wrap one more baby up at night and hold them close and love them because you are already so good at this.
The woman on the beach that day told me she was afraid when she’d found out she was pregnant with her fourth — afraid of starting over, of having to do the nap thing and buy more clothes and food, of making room for another bed — but it all fell into place in the most magical way, she said.
“Now they are all grown, and I’m lying on the beach alone and I’m fulfilled because I had that last one and wasn’t left having an empty nest too soon,” she told me. “And the love my daughters had for their younger brother was worth every second of me feeling frazzled, which was a lot.”
These days as I drop off my three gangly teens at junior high and high school, and watch the backs of their sweet bodies open the door and give their friends a friendly push or wave, I realize I’ve always held space for a 4th and I wish I’d made my desires and wishes more clear when I had the chance.
It’s not to take away from the kids I have now; I’ve committed to being the best mom to the three I’ve been given, and my gratitude is immense. But I wish there was one more to preserve these years because I have so much more to give, and so do my kids. I feel like there’s a piece missing still.
I want more wet sloppy kisses and someone needing me to rock them to sleep and I want to inhale that baby smell just a bit longer.
And if there’s ever a day when I’m on the beach alone and I see a woman with young children and she starts talking to me about having another, I will tell her to just go for it. I’ll speak from experience and tell her she’ll never be sorry for having another if that’s what she truly wants, but there will most likely come a time when she’ll be sorry she didn’t.
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