I went to visit my friend last week. I say visit but a more appropriate term would be observe because she has three children under the age of seven and being in her house is like being in the eye of a Frozen themed storm. I'm fascinated by the functioning of this family because she has a full time job, a healthy relationship and a consistent social life. I have one, not very big for his age, two year old and my life sometimes feels like it's falling apart at its poorly stitched seams.
I don't know why anyone thinks it's a good idea to have more than one child, maybe two in a moment of prosecco fuelled weakness. Perhaps I'm the only one but here's what I'm really thinking when you tell me you're pregnant with your third child.
1. You want a do over
I had dreams of a drug free, hypno-tastic, earth mother birth and of course I was on gas and air before my first internal examination. It's natural to want to improve upon your first run, if it wasn't there would be no children because who would have sex again after their first time? If I delivered again I would give birth naked by a stream, as my loved ones sing Bavarian Chants but I'm not giving birth again so you'll have to take my word for it.
2. You've got gender goals
If you've got two of a kind and you're claiming you don't want to see that pee pee or wee wee in the next round, I've got a seat reserved for you in the side eye section. If we were happy to have the same thing every time there would only be one flavour of ice cream; variety would be the natural yoghurt of life. Who hasn't seen their dream shirt and been tempted to buy one in every colour? If this is you and you think the addition or removal of one appendage is going to make child care any easier - Godspeed.
3. You don't care about our planet
You can run around switching off lights 'til the cows come home. You can walk around swinging your non bleached, organic, cotton shopping bag and stifling your smug smile all day long but if you're having another child, can you really care that much for the environment? A child comes with a carbon footprint the size of a yeti and they will stamp any offsetting ambitions you have into the dust.
4. You need a hobby
It wasn't until I had my son that I realised how many exciting things there were to do in the world - drink hot tea for example. I don't want to wish away his childhood but I have a long list of stuff I'm gonna get done when he is old enough to entertain himself for longer than an episode of Peppa Pig and I'm not letting another home invader get in the way of that. Of course once you've had a child it can be tough to get out there and try new things but there are many home based activities that are extremely rewarding. Dig out that Suduko puzzle book.
5. You neglect your children
I have one child and he takes up 100% of my attention. Despite Apprentice candidates everywhere trying to claim otherwise, I know 100% of my attention is EVERYTHING I HAVE. If I have another child they get 100% of nothing. It doesn't take a GCSE in Maths to work that out but luckily I have one. I'm thinking that the happy, smiling, enriching home life thing you've got going on is just set up for show. When the guests leave you're just lying around in onesies sharing a family bag of soggy Doritos. Am I right?
6. You're a better woman than me
Of course all of the above is a nappy sack of crap and the reality is what I'm really thinking is you're a better woman than me because I have one child and I feel like I'm hanging onto a cliff edge by my (much in need of a manicure) fingertips. What I'm really thinking is how can you do this joyfully when the thought of more responsibility fills me with nothing more elegant than good, old fashioned fear? I'm thinking I'm less than a woman because society has made me think that nurturing children should be a skill imprinted in my DNA. I'm thinking there's a secret to pulling off what you have achieved and I may never know what that is and worst of all I'm thinking the only way to reveal the truth is to have another baby myself.Suggest a correction