Two weeks ago we got a pop quiz from someone who is currently pregnant with their second child, last week we heard from a mom who is "one and done" and today we're getting advice from a mother who advocates having THREE.
I had the honor of sitting next to Margaret at a Blogher dinner where she told me that having two kids was easier than having one.
Not once had anyone told me such a thing.
And then Maragaret explained that the more children you had, the more likely you could run a successful clothing company from your basement.
How awesome! I've always wanted to have my own fashion label!
So we spent the next few hours discussing child labor loopholes and sewing machine age restrictions and the least amount of sunlight needed to insure good health.
It was a very productive dinner and by the end, I was practically impregnated.
That conversation may or may not have happened. But Margaret really does advocate growing your brood. Or perhaps she is just trying to reassure herself that getting pregnant with her third child in four years is a good idea.
Of course it is!
Are you thinking of having a third child? Congratulations! I’m thrilled for you.
Though I feel I should warn you that others may not be as accepting of your chosen reproductive plan. Some of your friends and colleagues may warn you that having a third child is a bad idea. They will tell you that a third child means you are technically one hand short when it comes to wrangling your offspring. They will scold you on the environmental impact of your decision. They may speak in dark tones and use words like “tuitions” and “mini-van”.
But, I am here to urge you to ignore the naysayers and take the plunge!
And I’m not just anyone giving you this go-ahead. I speak as a woman who has made the ill-advised life choice of having three kids in under four years! (OK, technically this is only an ill-advised life choice in progress, as Baby #3 is due in February, but still – heed me!)
In fact, so committed am I to the joys of producing multiple children in close succession that I’ve chronicled the many upsides of this plan in handy list form!
1) THE VALVE SIBLING: As one of three sisters, I’ve found that having a third sibling serves a simple but profound diplomatic purpose. Simply put, when one of my sisters gets on my nerves, I find it invaluable to have another sister to complain to. It takes the pressure off the one-on-one relationship, hence the term “valve sibling”.
2) YOU’RE ALREADY DOING IT: When you are already a parent of a young child, the truth is that adding another child to the mix just isn’t that difficult. You’re already changing diapers, wiping noses, and heating up chicken fingers all day long. Throw another child into the mix and you’re just doing a little more of it. When you go from zero children to one child, you give up a lot. You’re sacrificing things like your freedom, your ability to be spontaneous, and your personal sanity. But once you’ve walked into that fire, the worst that can happen is it gets a little bit hotter.
3) YOU NO LONGER NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MONEY: And by this I mean that having a third child will free you from any concerns about what to do with your disposable income. Because, with the USDA estimating the cost of raising a child to 18 at $170,406, you won’t have any. So go ahead and cross that off your list of concerns!
4) THEY ENTERTAIN EACH OTHER: The Holy Grail of multiple siblings is that eventually, if you can make it through those fraught early years, there awaits you the nirvana-esque payoff of SIBLING PLAYTIME in which:
– They will chase each other about the yard merrily!
– They will spend time playing together with trains and dolls while you get chores completed!
– They will even, occasionally, keep each other occupied long enough for you and your significant other to enjoy a cocktail or two!
And it is awesome.
Of course, they will also fight like meth-fueled maniacs about a whole list of things that will never make a lick of sense to you. But we’re not going to speak about that right now, because we are trying to keep it positive here, OK?
5) IT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT The truth is there is no good reason to have any number of children. Children are hard work, they rob you of many of the things that make life enjoyable, and they often aren’t all that rewarding on a daily basis. But from my experience, they are kind of the whole point of living, and once there’s one of them around and you’re living in the chaos of it all, there just might as well be a couple more.
I’ve never been the type to tiptoe slowly into the water — I’d rather dive into the deep end all at once and get it over with. So, with that said, I guess now I’m just trying to keep my head above water and then every once in a while take a moment out to enjoy the swim.
How many children do you have? How many would you like to have? Are you buying this "more is easier" business?