Tuesday, January 19, 2010


“I don’t know how you do it with three kids, Anita. I only have one, and she keeps us running non-stop.”

A friend said that to me years ago when my daughters were five years old and under. His daughter was eleven and already well seasoned on the activity circuit. I was a new mother, oblivious about what was yet to come.

When my husband and I were dating, we planned to have three children. I was already thirty-six, but somehow I felt that I would conceive easily…it helped that I was able to feel myself ovulating. TMI?

The children came, although not the way I envisioned.
- They were all born by c-section, but…the experiences were not that difficult. (Ignorance is bliss.)
- I thought I would have a boy (for my husband), but…I didn’t, and I don’t miss having one of the precious little testosterone filled creatures. (My nephew comes for a week in the summer, and a few other quick visits during the year. I kinda get the "boy" experience - just a little.)
- When I was in my early twenties, I thought I’d be married before thirty and finished having children before thirty-five, but…I didn’t get married until I was thirty-six, and I still feel like a mother - not a grandmother. :)

Having three children is work. (At one time, I wanted a fourth. Ahhhh!!!!) Having one child is work. Having eight children is work. For many, “trying” to have a child is work, be it physically or by adoption. Still, most of us desire children, knowing all that it involves – joy, fun, nurturing, time, energy, exhaustion, and love; but also sadness, concern, and heartbreak.

I’ve heard moms respond when asked questions about the number of children they have. One mom was asked why her children were so far apart in age. She didn’t actually answer with this quote, but reading between the lines, I heard, “Duh, because I didn’t get pregnant for ten years.”

I was once told that I was microwaving babies, which I didn’t get initially. It had to be explained to me that that meant I was having them quickly. “Ohhhh…” I said. Too bad I didn’t get it at first, because I think it was supposed to be friendly and funny.

Or many of you, I’m sure, have heard, “You’re having another BOY!” (or girl) And what about, “You only have one. Ohhh…”

But there’s also, "I’m so happy for you!” and, “Congratulations!”

I digress.

There was a period where I wondered if I would be a mother. My doubts led me to think of other ways to have a fulfilling life. Just as I was contemplating a huge change, the husband and kids happened.

Just wanted to tell you I’m glad I have my husband and children, even as I enter the teen years. Really…I do. :)
What influenced your decision to have children and how many?
The children of Haiti need our help. Contact your charitable organization of choice if you're willing and able to donate.


Anonymous said...

I hear ya!!! Right now Im pregnant with our 3rd...this will be 3 in 3 years and we want 2 more if possible. My mother inlaw calls me the baby machine. People dont understand why Im doing it this way and think Im nuts! I have 2 boys and am pregnant with a girl...when I was pregnant with my 2nd boy people would say "aww, maybe you can have another and get your girl"...WTF, who are you to assume I care? I couldnt stand those comments and they came from EVERY single person that asked the sex of my baby!

Now that Im pregnant with "my girl" (whatever that means) people are assuming Im over the moon to FINALLY have a girl! Im just happy to be having a baby, boy or girl! Im actually kind of scared to be having a girl...I mean I live in weinerville...what do I do with a girl?

OH that was quite the rant....so sorry! =)

Anonymous said...

Oh, the teen years! We had so much fun with all their high school activities, dances and sports. Boo hoo, I miss those years now that they are 28, 22, and 20.

If I had it to do all over again I would have had 5 kids. It seemed like 3 was enough but the more I had the easier it got to actually parent because I stopped trying to be the perfect parent. I just let it happen and didn't analyze everything. My poor oldest got all my anguish over everything I did right or wrong. I wanted so much to be the perfect mom and it took me years to realize that would never happen.

In spite of me, my daughters are amazing, smart, loving, wonderful young women.

Unknown said...

I envisioned at least three kids but as it turned out, I have two girls and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

I used to wish that I had a lot of kids until I spent time with a friend who had 9 kids and then, I saw that for me, it would be quite hair pulling.

Dori said...

Always said I wouldn't have biological children--I would adopt or foster or whatever. I love kids--I just felt there were enough that needed homes already. Even after my husband and I were married, we decided no offspring--me for my reasons and him because he was terrified of being a dad. Then he and his unit went out on an exercise mission that turned into more of the real thing and I almost lost him. And I realized that if anything ever happened to him--this man I love with all of my heart--and I had nothing left of him, I would be devastated.

After five years of trying, infertility treatments and 3 miscarriages (yeah, the irony wasn't lost on us either--didn't want kids and not we can't have them) we gave up. We decided our marriage was more important. Two years later I was pregnant again and this time he stuck around. We were overjoyed. And we decided to not tempt fate with another attempt. We were thrilled to have this child and we never expected it to happen again. Imagine our surprise a year and a half later when it finally dawned on me I hadn't had a period in two months.

And then the comments we got when we found out she was a SHE. "Oh, how perfect--one of each." Whatever...we were just thrilled with healthy HUMAN. Didn't give a crap about what plumbing he or she came with!

But, yes, I know why MOST women have their babies in their 20's. Having babies after 35--I'm worn out! But, wowie...I wouldn't give these two up for anything! I'll eat them up, I love them so! And for the record--he's the most amazing dad anyone could ask for!

Chapters From My Life said...

As a teen I had two options in my mind for future. One was to become an astrophysicist and work in ISRO or have children and enjoy life with them. I wanted to have 4 children of any sex... but first I wished to have a girl. The day I was married I got worried what if my husband is not able to give me children? Why there is no option for us check it out? etc. LOL. But we did have one son two years into marriage and he is 18 now. I was pregnant again 3 yrs later .. nearly had a miscarriage but later on had a daughter (who ended up with atrophy to her brain ) who is 14 now. I was planning on few more kids but Breast Cancer put a stop to it. Going through cancer I did not feel confident to bear children and finally when I had enough courage .. nature did not help. I have two wonderful children and a beautiful relationship with them. No arguments, no punishments, no chaos .. just happy three people who enjoy each others company. OH NO!! I did not throw the husband after he fulfilled his purpose. He works in gulf and takes care of us.

Buckeroomama said...

We had wanted 3. We have 2 now. I'm not sure if we'll have another one. Tick-tock, tick-tock...

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

I don't know why we had four, but I can tell you I never expected them all to be BOYS!

But they're great, crazy fun and I wouldn't trade them for the world. I love a crowd and the boys have learned so much from their sibling.

Enjoyed your blog!

Annie Z said...

Always encouraging to hear these things about the joy and gratitude in amongst the challenges! I posted today about how I don't have expectations on what it will be like. Thats a good thing!


People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

I wanted three children over the course of 3 years. They'd be 18 months apart; I'd be back to work; life would be grand.

I had the first two and that was enough. They are 17 months apart and grown up. It was not storybook picnic every day.

I also knew when I was ovulating and I knew each time I got pregnant within 24 hours.

Tabor said...

I had only two and sometimes wish I had the courage to have the 4 that I really wanted. I do think having children close together is not as good as spacing them so that you can actually enjoy and help them develop.

yonca said...

I wanted 2. But i have only one kid. Lol,i don't know how was i living before him. I am 42 and i don't think i am going to have another one.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Anita, I have three daughters too and yes, I too wanted and still on occassion think I want another. I think women in general never know when to stop, good thing God does!

Together We Save said...

I also have 3 girls, all wonderful and I could see mayself with another, I love babies. But since one starts college in a little over a year I better say 3 is enough.

Anita said...

TRISH - you can rant anytime you want to on my blog. I understand everything you've said.

MARLA - I hope I will be saying the same things you've said when my kids are adults. So far, so good. :)

CHOCOLATE - It's amazing how it turns out to okay even if its not exactly how we planned it. :)

DORI - thank you for telling me (us) your story!

FARILA - another fascinating story. I'm happy that you're happy! And glad you kicked breast cancer!

BUCKEROOMAMA - Let us know if you get planted with that third seed! :) If not, two will be your perfect number.

LAURA, If I had four boys, I believe it would have been perfect too. It really doesn't matter.
Hats off to you though. :)

NEWMUM - When you have your child, you will go with the flow and wing it like the rest of us. :) You have a good attitude about the whole child rearing thing.

Anita said...

PJ - It's good that we have the right to change our minds. :)

TABOR - Yes, I agree that there are probably advantages to having them spaced, but...I'll never know. :)

YONCA - You said, "I don't 'think' I'm going to have another." Hmmmm... Either way, I sense such a loving and satisfying relationship that you have with your son. :)

EILEEN - I used to jokingly say to my friends that God knew not to give me a boy - usually when I was pulling my hair out with the girls. But also, I couln't imagine having to go in different directions, like to football, or whatever, when they were young. Now that they are older, I'm not spared from going in different directions because their interests are different. Thank God for carpools.

TOGETHER - THE three girls club! :) I'm sure you'll make the right decision about the fourth. One in college...you must have started early; I guess it gave you more time to think about when to have the kids.

Lee said...

LOL!!! I am WELL out of the teen years and so dang tired, I can't stand it!!

Morgan said...

I like the "congratulations!" or, "I'm so happy for you!" type of comments.

Being an only child had a huge influence on the number of children I wanted to have. I have always longed for siblings, even now that I'm an adult. At least my children will have the chance to have siblings for friends. : )

Karen said...

First, love your blog:)

I always thought I'd have my kids early in life, but it wasn't to be. I married at 26 and after 5 years we were blessed to adopt our first baby and then two more after that. So, I have three kids, which I always hoped for. There's exactly 3 years, 8 months between the 1st and 2nd, and 2nd and 3rd. Sometimes, I think it would have been nice to have started a little bit earlier -- my menopausal hormones tend to collide with my teenager's. God has a weird sense of humor:)

Abby said...

Gosh, I just always "knew" I'd have kids. Didn't think about it much, didn't put a whole lot of planning it to it, just had them. Talk about your ignorance being bliss!

Microwaving babies, yeah, that sounds a bit morbid.

Iva Messy said...

hmmm....well...I am an only child, so I always knew I wanted lots and lots of feet running around my house ;)

Anita said...

LEE, MORGAN, KAREN, ABBY, IVA - As usual, I like hearing your stories. Gives me even more of a "picture" of you. :)

Thanks Karen for the blog compliment!


Tammy @BeatriceBanks said...

I'm the one who's always asked why are your kids so far apart in age, 8 years between 1 and 2 and 7 years between 3 and 4. My answer is the same one given in your post. Really didn't plan it that way. Another famous comment is "I bet your teenager is a great babysitter!" Not. She almost doesn't want any kids b/c she's always had a little one under her feet, in her business, etc. I don't require her to babysit often either. Occasionally, I'll look at hubby and say, "let's have another baby." Love the look that comes across his face. Thank goodness we closed the shop or I might still be having babies. Most days I don't want another one though, just temporary insanity. I'm very happy with the family God has blessed me with!

Unknown said...

What stands out is that you have three girls and they are entering the teen years. God bless you.

Chapters From My Life said...

You have been tagged http://chaptersfrommylife.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-got-tagged-by-fierce-httpfierce.html

Dorraine said...

I've heard it said that once you have more kids than parents, one might as well just go on and have some more kids if they enjoy them. I always thought that sounded off until we had three girls. Now I know what that meant.

I'll bet your house is full of drama and and laughter. You'll get through those teen years too. Wine helps at times. But I've throughly enjoyed our three girls. I wouldn't trade them for anything.

MissKris said...

"There was a period where I wondered if I would be a mother. My doubts led me to think of other ways to have a fulfilling life. Just as I was contemplating a huge change, the husband and kids happened."

You echo the thoughts I once had exactly. And I was contemplating moving halfway across the country to see what might develop with a young man I'd met while visiting there, then carried on a 'torrid' flirtation thru letters with for several months! But along came "Dear Hubby" and my course in life was changed forever. And with the BEST of results! Great post, Anita!

angsiaufang said...

I'm not married yet. LOLOL
This is an insightful post tho. :D thank you for sharing... *hugs*

♥, Ms.P

Arlee Bird said...

I had 2 brothers and 2 sisters and loved it so much that I always hoped for a large family. After my 2nd wife delivered our 3rd daughter she must have figured she was missing something somewhere else and left the 3 girls for me to take care of. Looking back I'm amazed that I managed fathering them and managing a business, but I must have been doing something right--now I have 3 intelligent, level-headed off-spring who are young women and doing well for themselves. So far one has blessed me with a beautiful granddaughter who is 16 months and the kid sure wears me out. How did I ever manage 3!

Anita said...

TAMMY - you represent another different mix of a family. Thanks for letting us know your feelings.


FARILA - I'll come back over to your blog and read your questions and answers, which are always fun to read.

DORRAINE - There "is" laughter and lots of drama in my house. Thanks for sharing your "three girls club" good feelings with me!

Wow MISS KRISS, it's interesting that we have those past feelings in common. Thanks for the "post" compliment. :)

PINK - Thanks for reading all this stuff about kids. If you ever marry and have kids, I hope you'll still be blogging and tell all about it. In the mean time, enjoy your freedom.:)

ARLEE BIRD - I think your story is very special. Even though things started off rough, I imagine, it obviously got better and turned our very well.
It's always nice hearing from one of the "guys." I hope you'll visit again.
And, I will hop over to your site today.


gayle said...

It was so long ago I can't even remember..just remember wanting them..one I got right away and the other it took a year...always wished I had had another..

I worry about my oldest daughter ..she wants kids but is doing nothing about it...she 39 and living with a........I know she wants to get married and have kids but doens't press it ...sorry TMI

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

My grandbabies are just 15 months apart. It wasn't really planned that way, but it's turning out fine. The kids will be lifelong, very close friends (the oldest is now almost 3). My hubby and I provide daycare every weekday and it's SO much fun.

Sohailah said...

Funny that I happened onto your blog today and read this. I was just thinking of you and went through all of my posts until I founds your comment, because I wanted to read something you wrote.

I always thought I'd be married by 25 and done with kids by thirty, too. I turned 43 on Sunday, and am still unmarried, with no kids. I try to live as full a life as I can, but in the midst of the pain of disappointment, this post gave me hope. Thank you.

Anita said...

GAYLE - I hope your daughter will realize the value of her life and that her needs are worth having and pursuing.

BLISSED OUT GRANDMA - So glad you're really enjoying the grandkids! I gotta get over to your site and hear all about them. :)

SOHAILAH- I'm glad you looked me up! And also that the post was a source of hope for you.
You never know, as "they say." Children may come into your life one way or another. :)
I'll stop by your site soon for a visit.

Happy Gramma said...

I had 6 and now I have 13 grandchildren! I would not trade it for anything. We just had a family vacation and there were 26 of us. What fun!!! Memories were made forever.
Happy Gramma

Anita said...

HAPPY GRAMMA - I just visited your blog and found it to be quite an inspiration; just your introduction alone is good. :)
With six children, lots of grandchildren, and a long and successful marriage, I'm sure you can share your wisdom with a lot of people.
Thanks for visiting. :)


Alicia said...

What a great post!! I've been thinking about this a lot lately since I just had my third. I always knew I wanted to be a wife and mom, but I didn't think I'd start having kids until I turned 30... turns out I finished when I turned 30. I don't want anymore kids and I can't see me changing my mind about that.

I also get the "microwave" comment a lot (though that's the first time I've heard it worded that way). My oldest will be 4 next week and I can't wait so people will stop looking at me cross-eyed when I tell them I have a 3, 2 and 3 month old. And everyone thinks I "tried" to have the 3rd because I have 2 boys at home and I "needed a girl." I was quite happy with my boys though. I couldn't stand comments like that. Oh, and if one more person asks me if I got my tubes tied.... how is that anyone's business but me and hubby?? grrrr

Ok, I'm rambling.. Little Girl still isn't sleeping through the night yet so I'm tired... this is a sleep deprived comment! haha

Anita said...

ALICIA - I'll bet you've also been told several times how you have your "hands full." :)

Congratulations of the birth of your daughter!

Many blessings!