by Kerry Rivera
I’m about to become an anomaly in the office, daring to go where few corporate working women go. This September (or maybe late August if I’m lucky), I’ll give birth to my third child.
I don’t know if that makes me crazy, ambitious or greedy … all I know is when I walk the halls of our corporate headquarters, I can probably count the number of women sporting three kids on one hand, so it got me wondering if I have gotten myself in over my head. Not that there is anything I can do about it now! I’m five months pregnant, and this was very much a planned pregnancy … no accidental nights of passion or getting careless with the birth control.
My husband and I are thrilled, and after we had No. 2, we always thought we might want to round out our family with “just one more.” So we debated, reviewed finances, looked at room configurations and family support. We considered the two boys we have, and the life we want to give them. We also discussed how adding a third, despite increased childcare costs and crazy carpool schedules, would still require us both to work. Perhaps we’ve underestimated the jump from two to three kids, but again … there is no turning back. So now, I can’t help but get a little worried.
What if I turn into super bitch? What if there is never enough of me to go around? What if I just increased the odds ten-fold that I will screw up at least one of my kid’s BIG TIME? What if, what if, what if?
I know in America, the average woman still has 1.9 kids, so making the leap to three is certainly a digression from the norm. But as I started counting on one hand the number of professional women – at least in my office – who have more than two kids, I started to get a little panicked. I should point out our corporate office has about 800 associates – and our working population is relatively split even when it comes to men and women.
As an aside, there are definitely a greater number of men in my office who have more than two kids, but very often they also have a wife who manages the household full-time. Hmmmm … I wonder what that is like?
So am I crazy? Are full-time working moms simply not created to raise three children? And why is this the case?
In the corporate world especially, I guess there are certainly a lot of women who simply put off having kids until their mid-to-late thirties, so the biological time clock simply runs out of batteries. In other cases, one or two is probably the threshold when it comes to time and love. And then there are probably the logical reasons for stopping at two – limited physical space at home, need for a bigger car or inability to afford one more child.
Still, my husband and I are going for it. No more man-to-man defense. We will be shifting to a zone come September. Will our game crumble? I guess only time will tell.
What I do know is that we already love our baby girl immensely, our entire family is ecstatic, and we will do whatever it takes to give all three of our kids the love, attention and resources they need. I’m sure we’ll make mistakes … but we would do that regardless of whether we had one child or three. The next few years especially will likely be a challenge with the physical demands of a baby, coupled with juggling the needs of an elementary-aged child and a preschooler.
And my career? Who knows where that will go? I know since I’ve shared the news in the office, I’ve definitely received some looks of utter shock. “You’re pregnant again?” And, “Wow, how will you guys manage that?”
Now, more than ever, I’ll need to rely on my super-duty time management skills, ability to stay calm under immense pressures and the support of loved ones. But in the end, my guess is this third child will be worth the insane juggling acts we’re about to take on. In fact, I know she will … because she’s family, and we already love her like crazy.
So if that makes me an anomaly, bring it on.