The Trend of the Third Child

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Even though it is none of their business, people -- relatives, friends, strangers on the subway -- are always asking about the next step of your life.

As soon as you get married, everyone starts asking when the babies are coming. Have one baby and soon everyone is asking you when number two will show up. But once you have two, the question changes. No one assumes you will have a third unless of course you make the dire mistake of having the same sex for the first two. Then the question is:

"Are you going to try for that girl (or boy)?"

Sometimes people really annoy me. But I digress.

The third child question is a biggie and seems to have somehow, mysteriously, become a bit of a status symbol.  Because nothing says, "I'm loaded" like a house full of kids, I guess? Currently in my house, the discussion is really heating up.

I am having some health reasons that make the decision imminent. In addition, I really had this vision of being done with childbearing by age 35. But I just don't feel "done" yet. Three-child families seem very happy and my kids have been asking for a "new baby" in the house.

What to do?


1.) I don't feel "done"
2.) I always envisioned a 3-child family
3.) Two feels too small
4.) The kids really wants a baby
5.) I miss my babies


1.) No space right now
2.) Money. Three kids are expensive and so is pre-school
3.) Going through pregnancy and babyhood again is very mixed, a bit good, a lot bad
4.) Losing sleep again and going all the way back to zero is hard
5.) Fear. We have two gorgeous, healthy children. Why tempt fate?

I certainly don't want to do it as a status symbol, but there is something awesome about three child families. There seems to be a fair amount of judgement out there for three-child families, both in terms of population growth questions and the inevitable, "you have a boy and a girl, why bother," attitude.

Also, it also always comes down to one question: Am I dealing with the reality of who I am or some early life fantasy about who I wanted to be?

I may want to be the kind of person who can handle three children more than I actually am.

How do other people make these decisions?


Image via MyAngelG/Flickr

Read More