I have been described as “scatter-brained”. I prefer inspiring terms, such as “free spirited” and “beautifully right brained”, but typically I am a text book hot mess. Over the years, I have made resolutions and drawn up plans to combat this personality trait. The one that has stuck around the longest has been making lists. Life is full of check lists, to do lists, and pros/cons lists that I scribble on post its, notecards, or the last blank piece of paper from a college notebook that is still, for some right-brained reason, hanging around in my third house since college.
It is hard to believe that I climbed the professional ladder and have kept the wife and mother gig for all of this time and have not moved on to a better system for life organization. Unfinished Pros/Cons lists have evolved from topics such as “Where to Go On Vacation” to the more seriously permanent and life changing topic “Do We Have a Third Kid?”. Just writing the title of the list makes me run to my Panic Wine. I guess I can put that in the Reasons Why Not category: “The mere idea makes me panic drink”. Alrighty, then…. Off to an interesting start. Shall we delve deeper?
REASONS WHY NOT TO HAVE A THIRD KID
MONEY AND THE LACK THEREOF
Each little gene bundle we create costs a legit fortune. Every college is packed full of mom-proclaimed geniuses and scholarships are diminishing faster than the hope that I’ll fit into my high school skinny jeans.
Some days, wine is just not enough to get me through… and that is life with TWO. I envision myself cleaning up the poop trail that begins at the diaper on the basement floor and trails to the upstairs bathroom while I breast feed an infant that is strapped to my chest with a towel and duct tape. “Why duct tape?” you ask? Because my son tried to clean up said poop trail with my Moby wrap. Yes, these are the hypothetical situations surrounding three children that manifest in my brain. PANIC. wine.
“NICE BODY, BABY” TURNED “NICE BABY BODY”
I am positive that there is no way my body can forgive me for asking so much of it a third time around and will definitely not do me a solid by going back to its original shape and size. Body says, “Once? OK, you’re young and I’ll happily bounce back for you. Twice? Girl, don’t you remember how I felt last time? That was crazy, confusing, tedious, and gross. Three kids? Don’t come around here telling me you’re going to do it again. I quit”.
ONE INHABITANT PER BODY IS ENOUGH
Having kids close together makes me feel perpetually pregnant. If there wasn’t a baby in me, there was one attached to me for most of a three year stretch, not including the time it took to get back to a size and shape I recognized as a version of my own. I’m now used to my body being mine again as opposed to a vessel on loan. I can do, eat, and drink at my own risk.
MY CALENDAR IS BOOKED
The older I get, the less exciting and frequent events become on my calendar. Weddings, parties, and vacations have dwindled to play dates, doctor appointments, and baby shower RSVP deadlines (which I frequently miss). So, the fact that I have a wedding and school reunion on the docket this year is quite exciting. Could I really subject myself to watching my college friends play our old drinking games and waddle my pregnant self behind them on the bar shuffle? Could I really be the sober option to drive the wedding party through Taco Bell at 2:00 AM? My immediate thought: “Oh, Hell no!”. So, you see, pregnancy just doesn’t fit into my schedule this year.
These are just the first few reasons off the top of my head. I’m sure I could go on as I slip deeper into my Panic Wine stupor. In the interest of fairness and sticking to the method of the Pro/Con List, though, let us consider the Pros.
REASONS TO HAVE A THIRD KID
I’m not entirely sure that I want to give up the ability to sing Laurie Berkner songs at full volume anywhere at anytime without witnesses feeling it their due diligence to refer me to a psychologist. What other job would allow me to blow bubbles while drawing an imaginary friend with sidewalk chalk? Under what other circumstances could I make up entirely fictional, yet totally enchanting stories and not be scorned for 1. lying or 2. not being in touch with reality? Being a kid is so fun. Pretending to be a kid is flippin’ awesome!
PLAIN, STUBBORN, PERSISTENCE
My body will not shut up. Every time I see a baby, bottle, or pacifier, I start talking in baby voice. The smell of any product made by Johnson & Johnson makes me want to cuddle the nearest small thing and bite its cheeks. I can’t explain it nor can I stop it.
That’s it. That’s all I can think of. Body wants what it wants and I love cartoons. I suppose that what the Pro list lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. Women that had taken the plunge in the mom pool before I have told me from the beginning that I’ll never be ready, there will never be enough time or money, and I’ll never be able to be sure how anything is going to turn out, nor control almost anything. It sounds terrible and anxiety inducing to this day, yet here I am living a life I love after already going through it twice. 2016 has interesting decisions and calendar additions to consider…. right after I stock up on my reserve supply of Panic Wine.