Having a Third Child


by Amy Doran
Home-Based-Parents and the APPP Ezine

New Year's Day 2004 marked a new beginning for both myself and my family. We added a brand new little member, Maggie.  Margaret Kay Doran was a huge surprise for everyone. Her older sister is nine and her older brother is twelve. Big age difference!

Yes, Maggie was quite a surprise. After years of failed attempts to add a third child to our family we had resigned ourselves that our nine year old would be the last baby. One super romantic anniversary weekend at the coast changed all of that.

For me it means starting over again. Our family was a well-oiled machine. We worked like a team, knew our roles and happily relied (with rare disappointment) on each other to handle the task at hand with very little supervision.

Maggie is almost 5 months old and I've spent the last eight months frustrated at not being able to keep up with everyone physically. I've felt guilt over having someone pick up my slack. I've also watched proudly as my children and husband stepped in, without being asked, to assist wherever necessary.

When I'm out and about people often ask if this is my first child and usually compliment me on how relaxed I appear with her.  Then they find out that I have two others and realize that I'm  somewhat of an "old hand" at this. The next observation is usually the children's ages. I find that anytime someone realizes the age difference between my children I usually get the same remarks,

"Wow, bet that was a shock!"

"Well, at least you have TONS of help!"

The remarks may vary but they are usually in one of those two categories.

The older kids are a huge help, no doubt about it. But,
when they aren't... mom and dad both are exhausted
from the constant reorganizing and planning it takes to get three and half kids out of the house whenever there are errands or simple shuttling to and from school. 

Just this morning I found myself soaked in spit-up standing in the kitchen, baby on one hip coffee cup in the other hand, arguing with my daughter over what pants she would wear today (the pair she had chosen were too wrinkled) and convincing my son that although he felt nauseous he could probably try to make it to school. Ten minutes later we were finally loaded into the car, already late, the baby gurgling and cooing in her carrier oblivious to any other drama in the vehicle. My son looked doubtful as I assured him he’d be fine and if he wasn’t I’d happily (yeah, right) come get him. It was about that time my daughter’s nose started to bleed and I found myself grasping for the Kleenex while wondering why traffic had come to a screeching halt. As if things couldn’t get any worse, what looked like a mile long train was creeping along the track in front of us. 

The good news is that everyone made it school safely. The baby drifted off to sleep and I was able to make it to the mall to "power" walk for an hour with my mom. 

I've learned over the last five months that nine years means feeling like you are starting all over again. I now understand why my mom is so patient and relaxed with my brother who is fifteen years younger than me and 12 years younger than my sister. It's partially the fact that she's and "old hand" at it, partially because when you get to start over you get the gift of really enjoying each new baby stage without the apprehension. Mostly it's because through all the trials and tribulations of the first 9+ years and the work it takes to bring the new addition on to the scene, you are just too whipped to fight it anymore. That's also when you realize that your "worry" and "apprehension" with the original new task of being a parent was really just that, a fight. At some point we all make things harder on ourselves than they need to be. 

I never want to get into the debate on who has it worse, moms who work outside the home or the moms who work INSIDE the home. Both take a lot of effort and for a mom neither is easy. I've done both, personally, I've found working inside the home to be more rewarding. 

No doubt, some mothers have had it worse, some better. That being said, I'm beginning to have a whole new understanding of the following quote:

"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class."  ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The funny thing is - it doesn't matter whether you work outside the home or not, as long as you are a mom you are always on duty. Well, I suppose the only exception are the Hollywood types who can afford to have a nanny.  But, look at how much they are missing!

Amy Doran is an Ezine Publisher, and Full time Mom!
She started Home-Based-Parents and the APPP Ezine in
early 2000. Subscribe to the APPP Ezine at:
© 2000-2004 Amy N. Doran All Rights Reserved 
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Having a Third Child


Having a Third Child