Will I Regret Not Having a Third Child?

The author with her two childrenThe author with her two childrenLife feels very complete these days, and I count my blessings on a regular basis. My husband and I have two lovely, wild and wonderful little girls that leave us exhausted yet fulfilled. Lately, I'm feeling especially grateful that I'm able to work-from-home (despite the fact that I've never been busier, even when I worked a traditional 9-5). Nevertheless, I'm doing what I love to do --writing and social media managing-and taking my kids to the park in the middle of the day. Life is good.

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Our younger child is almost two, and we've started giving away all the baby "stuff" that she's outgrown and no longer uses. My "out with the old" philosophy is handy for apartment living (where space is always at a premium) but I have to admit all this reorganization leaves me feeling conflicted and a bit melancholy. Will I someday regret not having another baby?

If we were to try and have another, now would be the time to do it (no pun intended). At age 35, my pregnancy would already involve more tests and scrutiny. A third child would force us to make some significant changes (most likely in where we live). We could make it work -- I envision a beautiful little three ring circus -- but it would not be without its challenges.

If I'm really honest with myself, though, I think part of the sadness comes from the possibility that this phase of my life is, potentially, now over. I spent my entire childhood wanting to be grown up, and now that I am, officially, "a grown up," the time is slipping away entirely too fast. I guess part of me just doesn't want the "new mom and baby" phase to be over yet.

Thankfully, my days are full with an almost 4 year old who's learning to ride a bike and pick out her own clothes, and an almost 2 year old who starts her day with outstretched arms and a music-to-my-ears "Mama!" in my direction. I am so very lucky and grateful for this life, that the greatest gift I can give myself is to be present in it - and to appreciate every moment.

Because this "just getting a handle on motherhood" phase is pretty amazing, too.

-By Ellen Schmidt

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