What The Heck Was I Thinking When I Thought I Wanted A Fourth Child?

Years ago, when the twins were still in their diaper/bottle/sweet cuddly baby phase, I was sure I wanted us to try for a fourth baby. “Wouldn’t it be so sweet to have one more?” I’d ask my husband each night. “Maybe it’d be a boy,” I’d say. Eric would just shake his head no at me. Two had been his limit and I had originally wanted three kids. I got my three with the twins, but having a fourth sounded so amazing. We’d have an even number of children. Maybe we’d end up with a son. We would have a little one to still cuddle, rock and sing to. I’d dream of that fourth child often.

As the twins grew and got potty trained, learned to talk and became more independent at doing things on their own, I came to the realization…what the heck was I thinking when I thought I wanted a fourth child?

Seriously. What. The. Heck.

Truth be told: I can barely handle three kids as it is. My girls are good students, have good manners when we are outside the house, and they are loving. But they are a ton of work. One is anxious and worries constantly about grades, friends, and doing things “the right way”. Another can talk non-stop for hours to the point that I end up nodding and “uh-huh”-ing during her talking all the time. I seriously tune out almost everything she talks about because half of the stories are so long-winded. The third one wants to watch You Tube videos of kids cracking plastic eggs open all day long (and I am too exhausted to argue or limit her time on the computer). There are after-school activities that I drive the three girls to every night and each weekend. There are three different kids that need 30-plus minutes of homework help each night. Three girls that need help fixing their hair, need time to talk about their emotions or school drama, and need snuggle time with mom. Three girls to feed, and no one likes the same things at all. Three girls that never, ever want to go to bed at night and grumble each morning when it’s time to get up for school.

How in the world would I have managed a fourth one? I have no idea where he/she would fit in. I imagine the poor child would be thrown into the family car and would just drive around with me all day dropping off and picking up kids from school and sports. He or she would be eating out often. We’d never be home to play because I’d be carting him/her to school events, grocery shopping, or trips to Target. He/she would never get a chance to talk or do anything because his/her sisters would fill up any silence; and they (and I) would probably do everything for the baby instead of letting him/her do anything independently because it would be faster to do so.

Honestly, now that we have gotten years past the diapers and bottles, I now know that I was a crazy person to think I could have handled one more child. Half the time I need at least three coffees to perk me up from lack of sleep, I have on old workout clothes I’ve owned for five years, I have no make-up on, and I’m screaming my head off for the kids to get ready because we are already 15 minutes late to wherever we are headed. One more might have just thrown me over the edge.  Now that I’ve gotten past the baby phase, I know our family is perfect with three children.