Posted by: Lisa | June 29, 2010

When is a family of 3 not enough?


Ok, now that I’ve made that very clear, let’s talk about when to give your precious little darling a sweet baby brother or sister.  This isn’t on my mind because we’re considering giving Jacob one just yet.  It’s on my mind because everyone else seems to think we should.  And some of our friends with kids Jacob’s age are already up to bat in the 2nd inning while Jon & I are still resting in the dug-out.

Since June ’08 our lives have been all about the baby.  Trying to conceive.  Crying because we didn’t conceive.  Living on Cloud 9 when we did conceive.  Planning, planning, planning for the baby.  Childbirth classes.  Doctor’s visits for the baby, both pre- and postnatally.  Toys for the baby.  Clothes for the baby.  Breastfeeding, diapering, car seat safety.  Home videos of bathtime, eating solid food, and first steps.  Swimming classes, storytime, visits to the park.

And then, before we even celebrated Jacob’s first birthday, we started hearing the same seven words, over and over: “When-are-you-going-to-have-another?”  (Recently I learned that my grandmother thinks I need to hurry because I’m nearly menopausal.)  The first time I heard that question I thought I’d misheard.  No one actually thinks we’re trying to have another baby while this one’s still a baby, do they?  But they do.  And some people actually want it that way.  At the very least I just want one single full night of sleep before we even start to consider an addition.  Hopefully that will happen before we get our AARP cards.

I know there are some great reasons for having your children close together.  But here’s my case for spacing them out, and I’m almost positive my husband agrees with me on every point:

1.) I don’t just want Jacob barely potty-trained.  I want him beyond potty-trained.  i.e., no nighttime pull-ups, no weekly accidents, no “I HAVE TO GO, MOMMY, NOW, NOW, NOW” in the middle of the grocery store while I’ve got a newborn hanging off my boob.
2.)  I want Jacob well past the days of sleeping in a crib.  I don’t want to fight a 2-year-old over a big boy bed when my own ginormous preggo bod would crush said toddler bed.
3.) My sister & I were 4 years apart.  I loved it.  As teens, we were close enough in size to share clothes, but I was definitely big enough to knock her around when we were younger.  And since she was gorgeous, smart, flirty, adorable, etc. & I was the goody-goody nerd, I was always thankful we weren’t competing for the same boyfriends.  I’m pretty sure she would’ve won.
4.) I don’t want to worry about Jacob regressing back into wanting to be a baby.  I want him to enjoy being a big boy.
5.) Double strollers are expensive.
6.) I can’t take these flailing, wailing toddler tantrums while also trying to hold a flailing, wailing newborn.  I never have been a good multi-tasker, and that doesn’t sound like the smartest way to become one.
7.)  I’ll need someone to fetch diapers, wipes, a pacifier, my bottle of wine…
8.) We can’t afford to have two kids in college simultaneously.  So either we space ’em out or the kiddos duke it out for dorm life versus work force (hmmm…good old fashioned dual, perhaps?)

So those are my opinions.  I’m sure all you efficient, well-rested, multi-tasking wonder parents with seven children under age 5 can give me the reverse side of the argument.  I’d love to hear your thoughts…just don’t expect us to toss out the birth control yet.  🙂



  1. Lisa, my husband feels the same way. We have decided to start trying in 2 years once Brooke turns 3. That way she can truly be a “big sister” and help out with #2. The only part of this whole plan that worries me is that I’ll be 36 and Brian will be 41 if we conceive right away.

  2. You couldn’t have written this a little sooner . . .. let’s say, about 6 months ago?!? 🙂 Haha!

    I agree with all of the things you said, but with Joe’s age, we would like them closer together. Me and my brother were 11 months apart and I liked that a lot. My mom said it was easy to raise me, cause we did a lot of the same things at the same time. I guess it all depends on your experiences. I do worry now about all the things you said though . . . guess I’ll find out if my mom was right!!

  3. LOVE this post!! Especially since I keep hearing those words over and over. And mine is only 9 months. I think it started when she was four months. And now my sister in law is two months pregnant with number four when number three just turned a year old. I told her congratulations and i’m glad it’s not me. I have another reason to add to your list. Morning sickness and chasing around a toddler do not mesh well together.

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