I want to have a third child, but my husband takes some convincing
By Cori Howard
on August 17, 2011
I know you adamantly and passionately do not want to have any more children. We’ve had the discussion a dozen times, and your reasons are sound: you are 55, too old to start over; you already have three children – one is 25 and our own children are seven and 10, finally easy to take care of and in school all day; you cringe at the thought of reliving the crying, fussing baby stage and you definitely don’t have the energy to pull any more all-nighters.
But I can’t seem to stop that little niggling voice in my head that still wants another baby. When I see new moms with their fancy strollers and baby carriers, I feel a pinch of sadness that those days are gone for me. Our children are healthy and delightful. Yes, I’m grateful. And yet, there is so much I feel I missed – so much I did wrong.
With our first baby, I was anxious, neurotic and severely lacking in the self-confidence necessary to be the calm, nurturing earth mother I wanted to be. With our second, I was so involved with our toddler, that our baby basically became an extension of me, permanently attached to my boob or my body, until she started walking and then, well, it’s just a blur. So, it’s practical and rational that I would want another chance.
1. The blessingway. The latest trend to hit the baby shower world, a blessingway focuses on mom instead of baby gifts, as she waits for labour to start. It draws heavily on Native American rituals and traditions. I never had one. Not fair. I guess I didn’t have those kinds of friends. And when I went to a blessingway for a friend recently, I realized what I had missed – an opportunity to gather around with my women and talk in a deeply emotional way, about motherhood and mothering. I thought it would be a little hokey, but it was cool. I want one.
2. The doula. I don’t know what we were thinking, but why did we invite friends to each birth? It’s good they were there to take pictures, but really, all they did was talk to you – taking away your concentration from me. This time, I want a soothing voice beside me, whispering confidence in my ear. I want someone to come over to the house after to make meals and tea and sit beside me holding my hand. I just want to try it.
3. The push present. Need I say more? I had never heard of this when we had our babies and boy, am I pissed! I got flowers and a bag full of groceries from my family – but where’s my diamond ring for conceiving and carrying two children? Okay. I don’t really like diamonds. How about a new car?
4. The sling. Have you seen those gorgeous, wraparound, sweater things they have now? Nothing like the tacky, floral printed outrage that I wore, puke-stained, for two years. I deserve a chance to be a glamourous mom too. I would like the soft, brown “Buddha” please.
5. The stroller. I know my argument for having another child is weakening into consumer envy, but hang on. Wouldn’t it be cool to walk around the neighbourhood again with one of those ergonomic, stylish strollers, instead of the hulking big, hard-to-fold behemoth we had? Really, I just want to walk around again with the stroller – those long, meandering walks, high on love hormones. I would give anything for another shot at that.
6. The baby. Lest you think I’m totally superficial, I really just want to have a baby. We can give it back when it turns one. Would you really pass up another chance to hold a tiny creature, cradle its silky head, gaze upon its ever-changing facial expressions with the baby asleep on your chest?
Have I won you over yet? Didn’t think so. I would settle for a belated push present – an extended holiday to Greece?
Your Loving Wife
Cori Howard is the founder of The Momoir Project, an online writing centre for moms and our Short Story Contest partner. She lives in Vancouver with, alas, only two children, Ty and Jazz.
By Cori Howard|
August 17, 2011