Saturday, June 17, 2017

Why You Should Have Another Kid, Even If You Think You Shouldn't

When you first get together with a romantic partner, after you’ve introduced them to family or friends, the first question from everyone you encounter becomes “when are you getting married?” After you’re married, the first question becomes when are you having kids? After your first child is born, shortly after the placenta is delivered, the big question evolves into “when are you having another one?” This process seems to continue until you eventually become a grandparent.

Asking about someone’s potential reproductive plans is not only nosy, it’s not a simple question as there are always myriad factors that go into these decisions. When Mrs. Dude and I began talking about starting a family, I wanted 3 kids (because I came from a family with 3 kids) and she wanted 2 kids (you can probably guess why). We got married in our early 30s, became parents a couple years later, and then again 3 years later, so time was not working in our favor. But thoughts of “what if?” lingered in both my wife’s and my mind after the Littler Dude was no longer so, um, little.
As our 40th birthdays approached, the conversation continued, and we went back and forth on how we could potentially add another child into the mix, if we could even get pregnant again, that is. Then one day, I read something that helped solidify the plan for me. In a Facebook group I belong to, someone mentioned that you don’t only have kids for yourselves as parents, but it’s important to consider having kids for them to have each other, as time passes and life evolves. Nine months later, give or take, Little Miss Dude was born. 

Beyond my prognostication that we were only ever going to have boys, having baby #3 changed my mindset toward parenting. We were never the type to sterilize the baby if they encountered a speck of dirt, so laid-back parenting has always been our M.O. But it’s the knowledge gained via almost 7 years of parenting experience when she was born that has made my daughter a different type of gift. She was a gift for my wife and for me, but also for her brothers, who at almost 7 and 4 when she was born couldn’t believe how lucky they were to have another life to help shape.

From day one, which began early one Friday morning at 4:15am with Mrs. Dude’s water breaking three weeks before her scheduled C-Section date, Little Miss Dude has made the perfect punctuation for our family. Unlike after our boys’ births, I was able to take paid paternity leave after she was born, and the almost 10 weeks we spent together day in and out, helped lay the foundation for our now complete quintet.

Now that her first year is 3 quarters over, I can’t imagine life without this little girl, whose infectious smile helps her makes friends in every grocery store line, restaurant and little league game she attends. I know how lucky I am to have three wonderful children, even if they usually wake up too early and are sometimes too picky with food. They are happy and healthy, which helps me feel confident that they will live long healthy lives, as wonderful children, siblings and hopefully parents themselves.


We usually think about all that we are thankful for later in the year, with turkey and pumpkin pie, but with Father’s Day upon us, I’ve partnered with Life of Dad and Pampers to say #ThanksBaby for helping complete my family.

I’m sure you have stories about your kids and what you are thankful for, so please use the #ThanksBaby hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with a picture and a few words about what your little ones have done for you.

Also, take a moment to check out this great video that Pampers put together to honor all kinds of fathers on Father’s Day: