When I gave birth to Aydra in 2012, I knew that we would have another child. In fact, we planned to start “trying” again in September 2013.
The goal was to have them two years apart. In December 2013, we welcomed Sage to our family. They were 17 months apart.
Unlike Aydra, my first thought after having Sage was “I am never doing this again.” Seriously, those were my exact thoughts. Both deliveries were fairly easy. Labor to delivery was less than two hours and I had them both without medication or complications.
However, the mental exhaustion from worrying about the health of my unborn child and the responsibility of providing for and nurturing more children was something I absolutely did not look forward to again. Or so I thought. About three months after having Sage, I debated if she was truly my last. As I watched her grow from a helpless infant to a curious baby, the reality that she could be my last wasn’t something I was ready to face. For a couple of months I went back and forth with the pros and cons of adding another child to our family. My decision was finalized when I took my 7-year-old godson, Jeremiah, and the girls on an “adventure” a few weeks ago.
Usually my husband Andra is with me whenever I get our godson but, for some reason, I thought doing it alone couldn’t be that bad. It can’t be that hard adding just one more to the bunch, right?
Wrong! I was absolutely overwhelmed by handling three children by myself. What was supposed to be a fun night out eating pizza, playing at an indoor playground and shopping for Halloween costumes turned into a stress-inducing event.
My original plan was to head to the Savannah Mall and get everything at one place. By the time I got to Richmond Hill, I didn’t have the patience to deal with Savannah traffic so we stopped at an indoor bounce house on Highway 17.
Without asking, I paid for a special pass to the bounce house for Jeremiah and Aydra. I quickly found out that they wanted to play in the arcade and had no interest in the bounce house. I returned to the ticket counter and got tokens for the arcade and allowed them to play until their hearts were content. Next we headed to a small pizza place across the highway. Even with a double stroller, getting them all out of the car safely and into the restaurant was a task. Until that day, I didn’t notice how much space the stroller took up.
After squeezing into the booth and getting everyone’s order, Jeremiah spotted the outdoor patio and began demanding we eat outside while Aydra grabbed my drink and spilled it on the table. Sage was busy with the usual — just looking and laughing. I cleaned up the mess and got everyone calm enough to wait on the pizza and salad.
When the pizza arrived I was relieved and thought everyone would be happy. That’s when Jeremiah informed me he didn’t like pepperoni and Aydra insisted on putting hot sauce on hers. After removing the pepperoni and pretending to sprinkle hot sauce, all was finally well.
The grand finale was when we went to a costume store. The stroller could not fit through the aisles. After ditching it and recrossing the parking lot, we arrived in the store for what I thought would be an exciting shopping experience.
Again, I underestimated the three. Jeremiah ran through the store changing his decision at least six times (I lost count along the way), Aydra was terrified by the masks and displays so she screamed and held on to my neck for dear life, and Sage was busy with the usual — looking and laughing. I quickly grabbed the costume that Jeremiah had in his hand and he objected because he wasn’t sure if it was the one he wanted. I made an executive decision to purchase it anyway. Needless to say, Aydra and Sage did not get costumes that night.
Finally, we were all back in the car and the adventure was over. Obviously the kids had a good time because they were sleeping peacefully in the back seat before we reached the interstate. I was exhausted and began to wonder how I would survive if this was my reality every day. I quickly decided I didn’t want to know. Two kids would definitely be the limit for us.
Many people question my decision because of my age. However, it’s not a decision that can be made by others. Honestly speaking, I know without a doubt that my state of happiness and the quality of life for my family would suffer if we decided to have another child. My grandmother always said, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” This is one of those situations that I will apply grandma’s advice and limit myself to two.