This summer, we welcomed our third baby — another boy — and as the congratulatory messages continue to file in, they are almost always paired with a one million dollar question. If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked if we plan to try again for a girl, I would have enough to pay all my kids’ college tuition. While my motherhood experience has been ah-maz-ing, people are often a bit shocked when I tell them absolutely not. The thought of more children may sound enticing, but the reality is that it probably would not be.
The Jordan baby shop is officially closed.
From day one, my husband knew he wanted three children. He has two siblings and has always felt three was a perfect balance. On the other hand, I always thought two kids was a nice number to complete a family, so we decided early on to get to two and then decide if we would try for more. After being blessed with our first son and eventually our second, I realized that our family was incomplete. I longed to experience pregnancy again and knew I had more love to give a child. Plus, I genuinely adored our older boys’ bond and knew that deep down in my heart, I wanted another baby to enhance their sibling connection. Luckily, my husband agreed. Fast-forward to today, and our little answered prayer is a healthy, happy, and lively three-month-old. Though he has been the perfect addition to our little family, guess what? He is the last.
So, how does one know when their family is complete?
The decision can be daunting and might be more complex than imagined. In my experience, I truly felt that I would never regret having another child, but I might regret it if I did not. We felt two was not enough for us and knew four was not in the cards, but three was our sweet spot. It is what we decided we could comfortably afford financially, being able to supply them with the necessities and expose them to the extras in life like extracurriculars and vacations. Three is the number we felt we had the mental capacity to handle. Then, being that we have little boys, three is what our sanity could handle. I often joke that we run a circus because of the chaos that is my home. Just the thought of another child joining the madness completely overwhelms me.
Beyond this, there is the whole carrying a baby part. I had my first in my early thirties, but our latest little one entered this world during what they call geriatric years. Ha! The current term is Advanced Maternal Age and means one is delivering at 35 years of age or above. My body had aged in the six-year span of carrying my first and third, so the experiences differed drastically. In my younger years, pregnancy was a breeze, but it was not so much as I inched closer to 40. Each of my pregnancies got progressively worse, perhaps with age, from the nausea to the aches and pains of growing a human. After I had my youngest son, I knew that was something I did not want to do anymore.
Then, there is this irrational idea that families blessed with one gender must experience the other. I know that people mean no harm in asking if we want to try for a girl, but how do they not know that our family dynamic is what we have always wanted? While a little girl sounds so sweet and like a new adventure that would be fun, we are perfectly content with the little guys we have. Maybe one day, we will get girls through our daughters-in-law and granddaughters, but for now, we will cherish the three little rascals we have.
The decision of whether or not to expand your family is not to be taken lightly. There are many things to be considered and discussed. Even on my most challenging days, I genuinely enjoy being a mother. However, in order to show up being the best version of myself and be the kind of mom my kids deserve, three children would be the best number for us. Though the realization has been bittersweet, I am completely fulfilled with my portion. Now, as we close this sweet chapter of adding babies, I excitedly look forward to the next chapter of raising them.