M.S. asks from Albany, CA on September 02, 2010
Irresponsible to Have a Third Baby?
Hello. My husband and I have decided we want to have another baby - this will be #3! We are very excited but we are expecting negative reactions from our family. We have a wonderful relationship with my parents and my husbands parents - we visit them often, they love our kids very much and are very involved in their lives. Unfortunately, both my husband and I come from families that believe 2 kids are plenty and having a third is never mentioned or even thought about. It is assumed two is it. When we announced our pregnancy with my daughter, they we not excited at all (our son and daughter are only 16 months apart and they thought we had lost our minds! To this day they still don't believe us that she was 100% planned!) We were so excited and it was heartbreaking when they didn't share our excitement - we are expecting the same thing this time. I can deal with it, because I know they will love their new grandchild, but I get so jealous of people who talk about how excited their families were when they got pregnant. We have discussed telling our parents when we decide to start trying, so they won't be completely surprised when we get pregnant, but I'm not sure that is information I want everyone to know. I guess after all that, my question is this: Is it irresponsible to have a 3rd child? Why? How can I deal with the disappointment if nobody shares our enthusiasm? Any advice on the subject in general?
Some additional information - I stay home with my kids and am finishing school. My husband has a really good job, and we have very little debt. We will be able to have another baby without having to cut back financially. We have decided that by the time I finish all the school I want to accomplish (several more years), we want to be done have kids and enjoying the rest of our life. Our other kids will be 3 & 4.5. THANKS!
G.B. answers from Tulsa on September 03, 2010
I wouldn't tell ayone until I was several months just to not have to hear the negativity for those extra months...congrats on the decision to go for baby #3. I htink everyone should have as many children as they want.
B.C. answers from Norfolk on September 02, 2010
It depends. If you can't feed the kids you've got, adding more to that situation would not be the greatest planning in the world. If you can provide for them, I see no reason not to have as many kids as you want. It's up to you two, not the grandparents, to decide how large a family you want.
D.C. answers from San Antonio on September 02, 2010
It is ONLY up to y'all! If you can afford to have more kids AND want to ~ GO FOR IT! My husband is one of two, and his sister & BIL have two and they are each married each have two. I am one of five and in my family most have three or more. My husband had two before we met, his ex had a third child bt another man few years after divorcing my husband, and we had two: so we decided five was enough :) Do what makes y'all happy and complete!
P.M. answers from Portland on September 02, 2010
I suppose it depends on what you mean by irresponsible. Here's my take on it – as a general rule, it's probably no longer responsible to have more than 2 babies (the replacement number for the parents).
This is a growing concern, being brought into sharper contrast each decade: the human population is rising steeply (if you see this on a graph, it's shocking), and the negative impact of all of us people on this beautiful planet is increasing in measurable ways. For the past 50 years, science has been warning us that increasing population pressures is putting the futures of our children at risk, through pollution, resource shortages, climate change, and even social stresses. It doesn't take too much investigation to discover for ourselves that these concerns are worth taking seriously.
So, we might consider asking ourselves what's more important. More children to satisfy our immediate wants, or chance for our existing children, and their children, to have a better chance to meet their needs?
These trends were apparent 40 years ago when I was considering motherhood. I chose to stop with one child, and I never regretted that choice. Now my daughter and her husband have made the same choice for the good of all babies who are born. A desire for more babies is programmed into us by nature. But we also have brains that allow us to override that and other "natural" impulses – otherwise there'd be no such thing as civilized society.
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S.H. answers from Huntsville on September 02, 2010
My opinion? They need to keep their nose out of your business!!
If you can financially (as you said you can) afford a third and you and your husband agree that you both want a third - then there's nothing wrong!!
How many & when you have your kids is up to you and your husband, no one else. Shame on the family for thinking it's up to them!
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M.L. answers from Colorado Springs on September 02, 2010
I'm an ol' grandma, and had my children when the societal attitudes were fairly strongly anti-child. Women weren't supposed to want families; they were supposed to want careers. And if you did have a family, you were definitely supposed to stop at two (or one) or the responsibility for the destruction of the world as we know it would be laid in your lap. Seriously.
Our relatives didn't worry about the destruction of the world, but they did look down their noses on large families. They thought having several children was something only ignorant people did. But they all lived way out of town. So... we simply didn't announce the new babies until just before they were born.
On paper (well, virtual paper), it sounds either mean or cowardly, I'm not sure which. But I wasn't interested in any hassle; I wasn't into our trying to defend ourselves or get our kinfolks' approval. (I did receive unkind remarks from neighbors and even strangers.) We both knew also that once the relatives met the new addition they would be properly delighted. And... they were.
Don't be jealous of others - it's a waste of time. You don't know what secret burdens they're carrying. Make yours the very best family you can. Your children are going to be wonderful people and everyone who knows them will be enthusiastic about them. Please don't allow yourself have hurt feelings right now. This is a time for confidence and strength (and a sense of humor!).
2 moms found this helpful
P.G. answers from Tulsa on September 02, 2010
If you can take of your kids without financial help from others, it's not irresponsible. If you are on any public assistance, then it is. If you have the time and energy to devote to raising your children, it's not irresponsible. If you don't, and they spend more time in the care of someone else, then it is irresponsible.
Some people are happy with one, some with two, and some with 6. As long as your children are well cared for by you and your husband, go for it. If others can't share your joy, it's their loss.
1 mom found this helpful
L.L. answers from Topeka on September 02, 2010
Bringing more kids in your life is what you want and will make you happy go for it your not here to please the rest of us...
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C.C. answers from Fresno on September 02, 2010
My parents were against us even having a second child. (I was an only child.) I thought, oh, they'll get over it once they meet our second child! Well, they haven't really. I mean, they like our younger daughter, but never once in her life (she's now 5) have they taken her by herself to do anything, and it's like pulling teeth to get them to take both kids. They often offer to do things with our older daughter, as they have since she was born. I have spoken with them about it and they don't perceive any issue with this. I don't think it's going to change, bottom line.
So my only advice is, of course it is your family and if you and your husband are excited to have a third child, then that is your decision and not your family's. However if you think the third child would be treated any differently than your first two by their extended family, that's something to think about. YOU will be the parents, but this child will not exist in a vacuum.
Just my two cents, having decided to have the "disapproved of" second child myself...
Best of luck to you!
1 mom found this helpful
S.L. answers from San Francisco on September 03, 2010
As long as you can afford to care for your kids, there is nothing irresponsible about having another child. If I were you, though, I wouldn't tell them you guys are trying. You'll just have to deal with all the negative comments for a longer period of time. In fact, I wouldn't even tell them when you get pregnant. When it becomes obvious you are pregnant and they question you about it, say, "Well, you all responded so coldly when we announced that little Jane was coming, and you've made it clear how you feel about large families. But we have been trying for a third and are SO thrilled to be having a third that we didn't want any of you raining on our parade." Maybe having their attitudes reflected back at them will give them pause. Then, how they respond is up to them, but enjoy every minute of your third pregnancy!
J.C. answers from San Francisco on September 03, 2010
I am so sorry your parents are reacting this way. I think having a third child is wonderful! You and your husband are obviously very responsible people and parents...you're the perfect family to be having another and another and another! It would be a different story if you were having to rely on your parents financially, etc., but this is not the case. I wish you lots of luck. I too hope to have a third child some day.