Sunday, February 2, 2014

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6 Reasons I Fear Having a Third Child

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Mel is due in May. I really love my kids, and I am excited to have another child. However, I do have my anxieties.

1.    They will outnumber us.
I think this is a common fear for most parents when moving into the world of three kids. It is not uncommon for Mel and I to split the kids, each of us taking one, while shopping. But three is an odd number. Even if we split the kids, one of us will be left with two. This could result in a mob mentality, all three kids wanting to go with one parent, and Mel and I will be forced to separate the children like a prison gang. Sometimes I worry that our children will discover their strength in numbers, revolt, tie us up, and raid the top shelf of the pantry where Mel hides her Oreo’s.

2.    People will judge me.
Mel and I are Mormons from Utah, so having a third child is about as normal to us as having Jell-O with every meal (for those that don’t know, Utah has the highest level of Jell-O consumption out of any state. Mormons are also commanded to, “multiply and replenish the earth”, so it is common to see Mormon families that require a 15-passenger van.) But we live in Oregon now, and I’ve already started getting questions from co-workers and friends about having a third child when we already have a child of each gender. "Was this one planned?" "Jeez. How many are you going to have?" "Aren't you done yet?" They make us out to be baby-making machines without a care for over population. I am already anticipating some sideways glances and snide comments the first time we take out all three kids.

3.    Financial burden
Let’s face it, I work in education. I have a lot of education, which means I have a lot of student debt, but I make jack. We are already living on the wire. For example, we really should have a van, but we can’t afford one, so we are planning to cram all three kids into the back seat of our Mazda Protégé. I don’t know if this is legal, safe, or if it will actual work.

4.    I will be 50 before all my kids are out of high school.
We were done after having two kids. But then Mel got the itch. And like afool, I prayed about it, and felt inspired to have another. And I am easily seduced. Due to us dragging our feet, there will be almost five years between Norah (our now youngest child) and Aspen (our unborn baby). Tristan and Norah will be done with college by the time Aspen finishes high school. She is going to be this lingering child in our home, meandering through life, taking her sweet time growing into an adult and move out so Mel and I can have sex in the living room again.

5.    Each time I have a child I gain 15 pounds.
I gained weight with both Tristan and Norah, but I was still young enough to work it off. Now that I’m about to turn 32, I don’t know if I am going to be so lucky.

6.     There will be more women in the house than men.
We are having a girl. This means our family of five will be 3 girls and 2 boys. I have no idea how this is going to impact my masculinity, but what I do know is that I already have a lot of tea parties and watch an alarming amount of Barbie movies. I also get my hair “made all pretty” at least twice a week. 


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Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, and a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His essays on parenting and marriage have been featured in Huffington Post Parents, Huffington Post Weddings, and The Good Men Project. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Anita said...

Do you realize there are only SIX bullet points in your seven reasons you fear having a third child? ;)

Clint said...
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Clint said...

Ha! Perhaps this is why I studied English.

Brett said...

The trick is to get the oldest one to join your team. But you can't do this explicitly or he'll be on to you. Just gentle, positive feedback when he occasionally defects, combined with knowing winks and rare, but important secrets about what the other kids don't understand yet. Then it will be better than two -- you'll outnumber them. And he will babysit and have his hair made all pretty.

Clint said...

Brett: This is truly valuable advice!