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8 things that worry me about having our third child

8 things that worry me about having our third child

Our friends weren’t at all surprised when we announced our third pregnancy. We had always said that we were planning on having a bigger family. After having Amelia though, we revisited our plans for a while. Rationally it wasn’t the brightest of ideas: Elliot and Amelia aren’t very far apart in age which has huge advantages, a family of four is a standard which makes traveling and outings easier, with many a sleepless nights we were tired and we were – sorry for bragging but we were – doing a great job managing our family with two little ones. But the heart wants what the heart wants, … and so here we are six months pregnant and looking forward to meeting our third baby. Although I do still have moments that I panic!

Will I be stressed all the time?

Recent research shows that mothers of three children are the most stressed out,… Not unusual then for it to worry me. At the moment I’m a relatively calm mother. Okay, I like to stick to routine and do get a bit edgy when we for some reason can’t but in general we have smooth mornings, uncomplicated drop-off and pick-up routines, fun afternoons and easy evenings. I have lots of patience when it comes to messy playing or eating, so much so that when Bart is home during the day, during vacation for example, he’s baffled at what I let the place come to! However, I do like to have a clean and tidy house, and up to now we succeed in having the place in order again before we sit down to start our evening after the kids have been put to bed. I wonder whether we’ll be able to keep that relaxed vibe up with a third child?

Will I be able to survive sleepless nights with three kids to look after during the day?

It’s no secret that our other babies were terrible sleepers (read more here) and of course the prospect of another year (?) of sleepless nights is daunting. Most of the time I feel confident that, like the previous times, we’ll do just fine on little sleep. Other days,  when I pass out on the sofa feeling like a train wreck after a regular day, a panic comes over me: how am I going to do this when the baby is actually here? I try to talk myself out of these doubts by convincing myself that being pregnant is tough on my body too, and that that too is a valid reason to be extremely tired at times. 

Is this the time my body won’t bounce back?

I actually really like my body when I’m pregnant. I’m always a little surprised when I hear people say that they’re scared of getting a belly, getting fatter,…I’ve never owned a body scale and haven’t weighed myself during these last two pregnancies either. It just seems completely besides the point. I love my pregnancy curves and feel pretty sexy to be honest. (there I’ve said it!) 

Also I am so wowed by my body being able to do this all so I have no trouble giving it some time to bounce back. However, I do sometimes worry that I won’t go back to my original body eventually. After Elliot, I left the hospital in my regular jeans (yup I was that gal :p) and I’d gotten a Victoria’s Secret Show worthy bust to go with it. After Amelia however, I sported a belly for a few weeks and just as I started to worry, it started to go back to my original flatter stomach. My breasts though, I’ve had to say goodbye to. I went from a small but perky C to a small and relatively flat B. I try to look at it from a positive perspective: I’ve been spared from stretch marks and a smaller cup has given me fun new fashion options – however I do sometimes entertain the thought of a boob job,… 

 And here we are, my third pregnancy was off to a rocky start with extreme nausea getting the best of me but now I feel great and am rocking a curvy preggie body again. No stretchmarks, no varicose veins (this was what my mom was prone to), but … a biiiig appetite. So we’ll have to see how that goes! 

Won’t it throw off the amazing friendship Elliot and Amelia have?

Elliot and Amelia are the cutest together. They literally miss each other after a day of school (E) and daycare (A). They look out for each other, are in tears laughing together, and snuggle up giving each other prompt kisses during their bedtime story. Of course they get into fights sometimes, but these never last long. Sometimes I worry this will change with adding another sibling into the mix.  

When Amelia was born Elliot was only 17 months. He was excited when she was born and then just never knew any different. He was too young to make a problem of getting less attention or being jealous and all of that. This time around Elliot will be four and Amelia two and a half. I wonder how they will react and I hope it doesn’t throw off their good mojo.

Will we ever go on holiday again?

Bart and I love to travel and have been lucky enough to have seen a fair share of the world already. I’m thankful that we both feel the same about traveling with kids. Everyone is different when it comes to taking trips with kids and I really hadn’t expected us to be the careful travelers we have become buuuuut we both don’t mind. At all. Traveling with kids at the age they’re now at, to us is not very relaxing. Especially when the kids weren’t sleeping well yet we didn’t get the point of not sleeping somewhere else, and feeling like a zombie somewhere else. We have gone on vacations but prefer to stay close to home and opt for trips that are child-friendly and easy on us as parents. A few days at the seaside with family, a car-trip (this was already quite a challenge for me :p) to Italy with the grandparents,… these trips make us happy. We went on holiday to Malaga in an all-in hotel when Amelia was just six months and although it had its moments, we found it a bit of hassle and weren’t quite sure if it had been worth it.

So we’ve pressed the pause button on exciting travel and don’t mind,… however at some point I would like to go off to unknown places again and I sometimes wonder if this won’t be more difficult and (too?) expensive with three kids to take along.  

Will I be able to keep our home clean and tidy?

Although I’m not very excited about spontaneous visits and rather be given some time to prep for visitors, our home is generally neat and tidy. My mom is my big example in this, with four kids our house always looked impeccable. We were trained as young girls to immediately put away our clean laundry and although the kitchen was used throughout the day, there was no physical evidence of that. (okay, so my mom was a bit of a Monica :p)

 I have to admit I have had to let this standard go a bit. My mom was home with us girls, for which I’m eternally grateful but as a working mom, it’s just impossible – or for me it is at least – to, for example, have a free laundry station… There is always a load waiting to be washed or a heap to be ironed. I’m still quite proud of how we’re staying on top of things, but just to make clear that we’re far from perfect. I wonder what it will be like with three kids to clean up after, do laundry for, …Wish us luck, I guess!  

Will I be able to work and be a mom?

I love being home with the kids but I really like to have a job of my own as well. However, after having Amelia I found it difficult to do both jobs well while working full-time. I went back to work half time and am currently working four days a weeks. I’m not sure what will be best once we are a family of five? I’m planning to stay home until our baby is eight months again, just like I did and loved with Elliot and Amelia and am thinking of working four days a week again. We’ll see if I’ll be able to keep all the balls in the air. If not, I’m not the type to worry about it too much. These years, are years that are tough but are to be savored: I’ll work out a way to work less. (although I do understand, this isn’t an option for everyone).

Will we have the energy to parent our third child with the same standards?

Not to brag, but Elliot and Amelia are such well-behaved, empathic kids. Every day we have moments we’re so proud of them that our hearts could just burst. Obviously a child’s innate character has lots to do with this but we also strongly believe that you have to invest time in parenting and are very aware of setting the right example as we see just how much they copy from us. I wonder if we’ll be able to keep this up with another baby in the family though?  

Even more than with a first or second child, we found deciding to go for a third child a very conscious decision. It really does kind of seem like a game changer and we are constantly reminded of that: when people find out we’re expecting they’re first reaction is: “wow that’s brave!”. I saw a meme once of how people are always asking about what the next step is and could really relate to that. You get married and they want to know when you’re going to have a baby, they visit you and the baby and want to know if you’ll have another, but then when you announce to the world that you’re expecting a third baby, everyone’s like : “well that’s just weird!”  

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