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Should we have another baby? The pros and cons of having a third child

Even with logic urging me to stick with two kids, I could not manage to get the idea of a third out of my head.

should i have another baby

My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed" phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!


We welcomed our son, Liam, the following spring and we were so in love with our little family. Parenthood suited us.

We knew we always wanted two children, with hopes of having a boy and a girl. Two seemed like a manageable and practical number for us. There were two of us so we could handle them individually , and I have a pair of hands—one for each child to hold. Heck, even carnival rides came in pairs. So, when we welcomed our daughter Emilia, two years later, we felt blessed.

However, I did not feel like our family was complete.

This was odd considering that we had always discussed having two children, and we were very fortunate to have a boy and a girl. What more was there to want?

But a voice inside sparked an internal debate regarding a third child and I couldn't shake it. I struggled with this internal dialogue for months going over every pro and con that a new addition would bring.

When Emilia was roughly 15 months old, I expressed this desire to my husband. Admittedly, he said that his heart felt full with our two children but he enjoyed the idea of a third. However, he truly had no desire to regress back to the newborn days.

Honestly, I couldn't blame him. While precious, those early days are rough.. They are filled with sleepless nights and sharing my body for nine months, plus additional time for another round of breastfeeding.

At this point, we were spoiled in parent terms. We were just about out of the diaper phase, both children were consistently sleeping through the night, traveling (even to the grocery store) was a breeze, and financially we were stable.

Even with so much logic urging me to stick with two kids, I could not manage to get the idea of a third out of my head.

I turned to friends and family for opinions and first-hand experience on the topic hoping it would definitively sway me one way or the other. My husband's grandmother, having raised five children herself, offered that with each additional child, things get easier. And after the second, it makes no difference how many you have. While on the other hand, a dear friend and mom of three, offered that a third will either 'make or break us'. Yikes! I wasn't sure which side of the fence we would fall on.

It wasn't until I heard some words of wisdom from my mother that I found peace. She reminded me that bringing home another baby will be filled with sleepless nights followed by early mornings caring for the older two. That the mess and noise will be amplified times three and I will feel like pulling my hair out. And that there will be days where I feel like everything is a juggling act instead of a well-balanced life.

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And just when I thought I had made up my mind, she shared this: she regretted not having a third baby.

My mother explained that she and my father just could not see past the early days with me and my brother. It was draining, mentally and physically, and she felt like another child would break her.

With a tear in her eye, she went on to say, “But no one told me how beautiful the bigger picture is."

That's when it dawned on me. We were only looking at our family on a micro-level, grumbling about the day-to-day tantrums, messes and lack of sleep.

I closed my eyes and saw us 10 years out. I saw family vacations hiking through the redwoods and surfing at the beach. I saw a full house with lots of different experiences being shared around the kitchen table. I saw us as a family of five. And I felt at peace for the first time.

In May, we welcomed our third child, Isla Elena.

What seemed so difficult the first two times around felt like second nature with our third.

But, this is parenthood. What we originally deem difficult eventually fades, making way for the next phase. And in our tenure as parents, I am certain that there will be many, many new challenges as our children grow.

My husband and I now greet these difficult times with the mantra, “This too shall pass." The difficult times are so temporary and pass as quickly as they come, so why not enjoy the ride?

Isla has been in our lives for almost three months now. There are still days where I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread and wonder if I am equipped to be a mother to three, but then I remember those words of wisdom from my mother.

Those words keep me going through the sleep depravity and waves of tantrums, and remind me that I am laying the groundwork for what is to come.

Looking to the future as a family of five and all the adventures we will share warms my heart. And in the meantime, I choose to enjoy these early days no matter how messy and sleepless they may be. I know, together, we will figure it all out as we go.


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These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

1. Go apple picking.

Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

4. Have a touch-football game.

Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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