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"The fact that Ben wants another [baby] is true," Garner, 40, told Extra earlier this week. "I can tell you that would be a pretty uphill battle with me. I am not anticipating having any more kids!"
Even though Garner makes being a harried mom of three look normal and even cool (see her in a mom bathing suit, mom jeans and the underwear we all wear), I can empathize with her. My husband and I always thought we'd have three kids -- we both came from families with three children, after all. But after having baby number one at 31 and baby number two 25 months later at 33, I was not ready to go for a third with that kind of turn-around. Now, at a year younger than Garner, I can't imagine going back to middle-of-the-night wake-up calls, changing countless dirty diapers or, shudder, potty training again.
My husband? He'd still love another baby, but, thankfully, he has made peace with being a dad to two precious little girls.
Friends have had similar experiences. One pal is seriously done with two kids, while her husband frequently lets it be known he wants more. All he seems to be getting is an icy glare. Another had two boys, and while her husband was okay with that, she really wanted a girl. Two more tries and two more boys later, he finally convinced her four kids was plenty.
Then there's the friend whose husband wanted no kids at all, which she reluctantly agreed to. Several years after a surprise pregnancy made them parents, he one day mentioned that maybe they should try for a sibling. She quit taking the pill that day ("I wasn't about to give him a chance to renege" she told me), and now they have a boy and a girl.
The thing is, you can't know what parenthood is going to be like until you actually become a parent. And fairy tale notions of the perfect family -- whether it be 2.2 kids, a brood of four or some sort of Angelina-Brad clan -- don't always end up a reality.
So, sorry Ben, but we're in Jen's court on this one. After all, Mama knows best.