I have 3 young DC who I adore. Also have full time job which can mean long hours.
My heart is totally crying out for a fourth and age wise I don't have long to decide - am v early forties. Come from a big family myself, adore babies and children.
BUT I am worried that it will make a big difference to our lives, that holidays will become much more expensive, that we won't be able to help them as much with uni fees if they go, friends won't invite us so much etc.
Financially, we are not rich but comfortable so no problems with day to day finances and DC 4 would not change that although would need good quality childcare for longer.
Dh is ok with having another, though not jumping for joy, and says I should decide.
I know I would cope fine. Easy to say I guess when I work full time!
What are others' experiences of the practical downsides of 4?
I think you need to be sensible here. I am not saying early 40s is 'old' or not do-able even but you need to be realistic. When you are 55 ish you will have 10 year old child wanting to go swimming, walking, bike riding, on adventure holidays etc.
Think how you will cope with sleepless nights again, how much energy will you really have going into his or her toddlerhood as well as working full time and dealing with 3 older children? I think if you can honesty say you can do it and not let the other children suffer then go for it.
I know even at 29 I feel absolutely exhausted by all the different demands on me. The physical work of having a baby and a toddler is enormous. My back and hips ache from sitting on the floor playing with our 14 month old and I have absolutely no idea how people who are older do it but maybe it's just me who is unfit?! I find myself dozing off to sleep when I am reading with our 5 year old in bed. If you can honestly say you want to do all the 'hard' stuff again not just looking through rose tinted glasses of a snuggly newborn then I take my hat off to you and you are clearly meant to have number 4!
Something which isn't nice to think of but is a real possibility is the risk of disabilities increases over the age of 40 quite dramatically. How would you feel if the child had some form of diability? How would it impact on your 3 existing children? Of course chances are everything will be fine but it's something to consider. Good luck whatever you decide.
I have 4 & youngest born when I was 40. It's made it a devil to get back to work, you haven't mentioned affects on work for you. You haven't said ages of DC you have, how long ago did you have to "start over"; and how would you feel about antenatal testing?
DC4 is a delight but his impact has been pretty difficult.
I guess I am a pretty energetic person like my own Mum who at 65 is running a successful business so my age and ability to cope don't worry me. Am still on sleepless nights as youngest is under 2.
Oldest is 5. Would get maternity leave from my job - though would not expect that to be popular given I have already had 3 mat leaves in same job. Don't think they would sack me though as I am a good worker and valued.
Ahhh well in that case I say go for it! I didn't realise your other chidren were still so young. You are still in the toddler/ baby phase really. I love our DC4 obviously but I can not deny he has been hard work though. I've found it a bigger strech than from 2-3 but that might just be my experience of it. It's certainly not impossible and since your others are still young it won't be a shock to the system.