We were “two and through.”
We had two under two, and we.were.done.
Imagine my surprise seeing two pink lines when my last baby was just 13 months old. We were shocked and scared, but eventually we knew everything would be okay. What I didn’t bank on was how many benefits came with this bonus baby.
First off, I have zero, I mean zero sadness about their “last firsts.” Just after my then youngest turned one, I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child. Until that time, I soaked up every milestone with my now middle son as though it was my last. I always had a twinge of sadness as my last baby started walking, my last baby started talking, and there may or may not have been actual tears when we threw the last first birthday party. Then, I got the pleasure of experiencing all those milestones once again. Don’t get me wrong, I always appreciate the big moments, but having a bonus baby means I no longer mourn the end of certain things the way I did before he came along.
Another benefit, I am much more laid back. When I had only one child, I was the epitome of a hover mother. I didn’t exactly want to be, but I couldn’t help myself. When my second came along, I was forced to ease up a bit. Adding a third child in just over three years turned me from a helicopter mom to basically a free-range parent in order to survive. As they’ve grown, I have found a healthy (though not perfect) balance between hanging back and letting them figure it out on their own and intervening when they need it.
A few other bonus baby benefits that aren’t long enough to warrant paragraph:
– I don’t sweat the small stuff.
– My boys each get to grow up with a brother.
– I don’t freak out over them not hitting milestones.
– We now have enough kids to start a rock band.
If you would have asked me 6 years ago if we could handle a third child, I would have laughed and told you “No way … two is more than enough!” Now though, we can’t imagine life without our little guy. He’s hilarious, strong-willed, sweet, generous, and he keeps me on my toes in a way the first two never did. My bonus baby completed our family; we were missing him without even realizing it.