A Third Baby for the Corporate Mama

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?

Pesca
04.27.12

Good Luck ! This is a tough decision especially being a working mom. I too want a 3d, but am worried about the impact it will have on my family and my career. We definitely need my income. It is strange though how most women avoid the 3rd if they can.

JM
05.19.10

Kerry, you will do well with your 3rd child. You are obviously smart enough to plan for it and make enough money and have enough brains to work out day care. As an old timer, once you get past one kid, you are considered a freak in Corporate America . The rules have changed and you cannot be discriminated against for having children. Many work places offer daycare and you have an EEOC lawsuit if they prevent you from breast feeding.
God bless you and your family and I wish you a happy and a healthy baby girl. My ex-attorney I used to work for at a previous job had 5 kids and worked a full-time job with part-time hours (she was only allowed to work the set number of hours when she requested to be part time) She was one of best and smartest attorneys I have ever met. Her friends helped her out with work when she was not there and she helped us out the same way as being available when she was not at work (She got the short end of the stick so expect this). If you are good at your job, kids will not hold you back. I personally love the dedication I see from the moms of young kids at work. Might be my prejudice but they seem to work harder and are happier because they have something good going on at home.

krivera
05.18.10

Thanks for the words of encouragement. My husband is definitely very hands-on with the kids and household duties, so that helps. We may be looking at doing some outsourcing though to relieve the strains. erandsi - my kids are 3.5 and almost 6. Your kids are still very young and both at very physically demanding phases, so it will get better. Mine are both potty-trained, can dress themselves and play with each other, My older one can even make his lunch. Now I'll be heading back to the newborn/infant stage, but I always try to tell myself that everything is a phase. Sounds like I have my work cut out for me, but as one person noted, we'll "adjust."

gemdeluxe
05.18.10

Good luck!

lharalampus
05.18.10

I too am a three-kid full-time working mom. And let me prepare you for one of the realities. You are going to be tired like never before. Figure out how to get help with "homework" - laundry, shopping, food prep, billpaying. I thought my husband and I had done a pretty good job sharing labor and setting up routines. The good news is that the older kids can be a huge help, if you give them specific directions. For example, I tell them that they are on "baby patrol" which means playing with the baby while I do X,Y,Z. Or they have to clean up a room and pick up every single thing that is on the floor or on the furniture including toys, trash, clothes, plates/food, etc. Also, I think the baby is benefitting from the exposure to "big kid" stuff. And I take off work for half-a-day, once every 6 weeks, just to have some time for myself (hair apt, nails, reading books). It's a lifesave

Michi
05.18.10

Well your third makes up for my lack of a second, statistically speaking. I'm sure you can do it, we've a woman in my office with an intense job, a husband who also works and five, yes, five children. I see them all when they're at the backup daycare (days off school etc.) and everyone from mom on down to baby seems happy & well adjusted. I think we all just, adjust as it goes.

sarahfancy
05.17.10

You are not alone, and you will be ok. Eventually...I am also in the corporate world, albeit in Germany, where the working mother is looked at with even more disdain than at home in the US. And I have four! Yes, you will juggle. Yes, you will be exhausted. But it is all worth it in the end...Don't panic. BTW, I don't work full time, but I work 75%. That is enough at the moment. But I have a husband who helps out A LOT and that makes all the difference.

erandisi
05.14.10

Just curious - how old are your sons? I just had my 2nd boy, so I have a 2 month old and a 2 1/2 year old, and am struggling enough with work-life "balance" with the two - congratulations on #3!