My husband and I have been thinking about having a 4th child. Some of our friends say, ‘Why the thoughts of insanity? Whilst other simply say, ‘Well, you’ve got 3 already –what’s 1 more?’ Both points of view are true. There are days when 3 is insanity but there are times when I think that 1 more would slot in just nicely. So how do we make the decision? Flip a coin? Tails for yes and heads for no? Write down all the plus points and minus ones too, well, you’d never have any children if you did that surely? I analyse the reasons for wanting another baby, would it be a good idea when we’re just getting the boys a bit more independent so we can have older days out? A baby would stop that again for a while especially with 4 as I could only really do days out with hubbie and not on my own. Is it that I am not wanting to admit that our family is complete and that 3 is considered a ‘large’ family nowadays anyway?
Or is it that I just don’t want that part of my life over…?
Maybe I don’t want to say that I am no longer a woman having children but a woman who has had her children? I think that’s it. The sad but inevitable truth that although I am of childbearing age I will probably not be bearing any more children. This is a bridging point in the path of my life where I will go from one section to another so I want to do something to mark this passing of age; it is a rite of passage worth marking surely? As I pack away the baby clothes this one last time and wonder at how they have all grown I do cry. Not out of pity but the mixture of being amazed at the babies who are boys I have but how I coped with the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding, (the non-breastfeeding), the first smiles, first cuddles and the first ‘I love you Mummy…’ all wrapped up in a few little baby grows that I’ll put in a box and never see again.
So I don’t think we will be having no 4. I have to face this feeling sometime it is inevitable after your last child however many you have. I just don’t want to feel like a boat on a lake that’s hired by the hour ‘Come in no 35, your time is up!’ So how should I mark this end? Should I do a skydive?? Buy myself an expensive diamond ring? No, I’m setting up a small business that specialises in taking those packed away baby grows and memories and making them into something new and exciting to use and enjoy again. I am going to do the same for other Mummies with confused husbands who’ve found their wives weeping over a box of old baby clothes. I make something new that takes some of the past and carries it forward into pastures new. Our memory blanket is made from 3 of Tobias’ old baby grows cut into hearts and then appliqued onto brushed cotton squares of a cot bed sheet all the boys have used. I look at it and remember…
…and then I see the boys snuggling under it and I have new memories.