“THREE BOYS! ARE YOU GOING TO GO FOR A GIRL?”Anne Tergesen
When I walk around the city with my three sons, I’m asked that question all the time. The answer has varied over time, from “definitely” (shortly after # 3 was born) to a more realistic (and beaten-down), “well, maybe.” Today, while I still have flashes of baby envy, I’m more inclined to say, “I just don’t have the stamina.”
I find it very hard to close doors. Never very decisive, I envy people who—after one or two or even three kids—are adamant that they’re done. I also envy people who know—just know—they want to stay home with their kids or continue to climb the corporate ladder. Me? I work part-time, so I can avoid having to choose one way or another.
I can relate to colleague Lauren Young’s August 2 post “One and Only?" about her simultaneous desire to have a second child and her reluctance to take the plunge. I, too, know what it’s like to think about having another child nearly every day. As one of four kids, I’ve always assumed I’d have a fourth—and another boy would be just fine, thank you. I’m close to my siblings. When I’m with my kids, I can’t shake the feeling that someone’s missing.
But I also know how hard it is to “do it all.” I fear that I wouldn’t have enough time or attention to divide among four—especially while working. With three healthy kids, I worry about pushing our good luck. And with my youngest about to turn four and increasingly content to play with his brothers, I’ve also become reacquainted with how nice it is to have some free time.
But while I seem to have finally managed to arrive at a decision, I reserve the right to change my mind. I’ve been feeling pressured by my biological clock. But my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, both near 50, remind me that there is another way. They’re about to travel to China to adopt a second daughter. Now that’s a sure way to get a girl.