3rd child - yes or no?!

(26 Posts)
CarolineDaly Tue 11-Mar-14 14:28:43

Hi there,
I have two lovely boys. We've always said we'd like three children but now we have got two (age 1&3 years) I'm not so sure. This has been the most exhausting year of my life! But part of me isn't ready to put my hold bearing years behind me yet. I'm 36 so can't wait too long. What are others' experiences?

DoNotDisturb Fri 14-Mar-14 09:50:40

Only you can answer that! Having three in my opinion isn't harder than two the issue is that you extend the exhausting period of having a baby/young toddler.. But by the time you have the third the first is so much easier grin

mumofthreeboysS Fri 14-Mar-14 10:47:46

I was where you are a few years ago- I have two older boys 3 and the other turning 5 on Monday and we now have a 2 month old boy! I turned 37 recently and was feeling the same- felt like I wanted one more and wasn't ready to 'retire' my womb! It's hard work but life is hectic with two anyway!! I couldn't imagine not having him and I'm just focusing on the fact that in a year or two it will be much easier!! The hardest for me is the bf (so time consuming) and looking after the other two though at least they are independent to an extent.

It's hard to make the decision- I definitely went with my heart ignoring the practical difficulties with 3! (Bigger car, more money etc) good luck with your decision!

WaitMonkey Mon 17-Mar-14 10:16:17

It's a massive decision, one that only you and your dh can make. I have three and I find it really difficult to be honest. I don't regret having dc3 but I am very aware just how easy life would be if we stopped at 2.

littlepeas Mon 17-Mar-14 11:16:38

I agree with waitmonkey - life would be much easier with 2. A bigger than average family comes with more of everything, good and bad. I have 3 and love it, but can appreciate that life would have been simpler with 2, although we were never going to stop there and are ttc number 4 (after whom we will stop). You have to embrace the chaos, if you like peace, quiet and an ordered life, think twice!

moogalicious Mon 17-Mar-14 11:21:50

Agree with waitmonkey - three is harder. One extra child harder.

Again, no regrets, but when I have just 2 at home I'm amazed at how much easier things are.

moogalicious Mon 17-Mar-14 11:22:43

And the cost now mine are older - all three have outgrown shoes in the last month. So, new school shoes, new trainers, new football boots etc

turkeyboots Mon 17-Mar-14 11:28:48

I am one of 3. My mothers main comment is that 3 is hard as you don't ever have enough hands.

I have 2 and no plans for no 3.

minimuffin Mon 17-Mar-14 12:03:01

I have 3 and felt like you. Had DS3 when I was 38 and the other two were 5.4 and 2.10. The thing is that I found going from 1 to 2 easy. I loved having 2, had always wanted 3, and because I found 2 so easy and so much fun I definitely thought I had it in me to have another and "complete" our family. Ha! It was exhausting from the week after I found out I was pregnant until about a month ago when I finally stopped, took a breath, and realised that things might be getting a bit easier - DS3 will be 3 in May!

I think a lot of it depends on your family set-up. Do you have family nearby who could lend a hand if it gets too much? Is your partner around at teatime/bedtime etc? My DH works long hours so I was on my own Monday - Friday and an extra child is extra work. I know some people say you barely notice but I did! I coped for a year then I started to feel i was sinking (have no family nearby) and so I got help 3 evenings a week - we are so lucky we could afford it, it saved my sanity but I felt guilty about the expense and needing help when I had never needed it with the first 2. Looking back I think I had slight PND, but I was sensible enough to admit I needed help. DS1 and DS2 have started school during this period and I feel I haven't been able to support them as much as I'd have liked with their reading and writing because it's very difficult to carve out uninterrupted time with one child. More guilt. There is the cost, and the practicalities - things like outings suddenly became a bit of an ordeal. I used to go all over with DS1 & 2 but with 3 I felt overwhelmed - it was exhausting rather than enjoyable. Things like swimming in the school hols - you can take 2 little ones but not 3. Even more guilt! I felt I wasn't doing as much as I would have done with the older 2 had DS3 not come along.

I knew the early years would be hard but I really hadn't expected to find it so hard - and DS3 has been a dream baby, DS2 is pretty good and DS1 basically an angel. If you're the kind of person who doesn't cope well with chaos and who beats herself up a lot, think carefully. But I feel I have the "right" number of children for me and you may feel that you don't with 2 - that feeling is hard to stamp on. I had a real thing about having 3 older children and I am very glad that we had DS3 but there were many, many days when I didn't feel that way and felt bad for DS3 that I was thinking that, which was hard to deal with. There was a whole set of emotions that weren't there with DS1 and DS2 - the decision to have them was completely straightforward.

Sorry that all sounds pretty negative doesn't it but I hope it helps? I have seen other people breeze through having a 3rd so maybe it's just me. It's a hard decision- good luck with it!

MerryMarigold Mon 17-Mar-14 12:07:02

I have 3. I think I would prefer to have had 2, but I had twins. I look at 2 kids, 2 parents and it is so much easier. You get one each and time can be divided more equally etc. It's really hard work with the extra one, especially as they grow up and have more emotional needs, homework, financial help etc. Holidays are cheaper, cars are cheaper (ones where you have space to give one person a lift for example).

The baby/ toddler years are not the hardest imho. My friends have teens and it is a lot harder. I think if you are happy with 2, I would stay there.

Smugfearnleyshittingstool Mon 17-Mar-14 14:41:40

I have three, but with a 9 year gap between dd1 and dd2, it is hard to do the baby years all over again, but time flies and those years are soon out of the way. Mine argue and fight like most but 3 is no worse than 2 really.more expensive though. Much more.

I would ask how much your DP is around. If he's away for work a lot or doesn't do much at home and you already feel a bit like a single parent, I'd say go for it, the more the merrier, you will appreciate the company. However if you and your DP really really enjoy each other's company and are still totally loved up, think about it a bit longer. We thought 2 was hard but 3 really makes a dent in your time as a couple - 2 kids can be farmed out a lot easier than 3. We don't regret having a third but are seriously jealous of friends with only 2!grin We spend a lot of time dreaming about what we'll do when the youngest has moved out so if you do have a third, do it quick! I am so ready to 'move on' iyswim.

Passthebiscuitspls Tue 18-Mar-14 13:58:29

I'm in the same situation in that I have two, a boy and a girl the youngest is two. Every since my youngest was born I've wanted three but have spent some time trying to convince DH. He's agreed now. I get that three is harder than two and you are outnumbered, more expense etc etc. but I don't think I'll feel complete without another. It was never in our plan but plans change, and I cannot wait to get started!! ;)
Life's too short not to go with your heart. Good luck with your decision. Xx

Bedsheets4knickers Tue 18-Mar-14 22:00:36

Minimuffin. Such an honest response. That's helped me make my own mind up. I've been swaying towards 2 is enough. I always thought I wanted 3, since having 2 I've gone back and forth. Wish I'd left more of a gap now I think I know 2 suits us. As it's all felt abit rushed x

dementedma Tue 18-Mar-14 22:08:39

Depends on the age gap. Had dd1 and 2 close togwtjher then a 11 year gap to ds1. I was 38.
Now 50 with a 12 year old and two adult children. Dc3 has lost out in our time and energy as we are busier at work, more knackered and have already done it all twice. He has more materially than the girls did though.
3 is expensive however you cut it though. Poster up thread has 3 pairs of school shoes. I have one pair of school shoes but university fees and driving lessons!

minimuffin Wed 19-Mar-14 14:45:45

Thanks bedsheets, glad to be of service! It really is a hard one and the decision to do it or not to do it will probably never be 100% "right". And Merrymarigold yes, I feel very aware that we are now in a bit of a "calm before the storm" period! The DSs are content little things, demand very little, play happily together (mostly) and are not geared up to technology yet. I think we have a few years before we get into exams, online and gaming horrors, friend issues, angst and all the other joys of teenager-dom so I am really enjoying them at the moment.

LizzieMint Thu 20-Mar-14 19:38:33

I have three, aged 7,6 and 3. We had our first two very quickly and always felt that we weren't quite 'finished'. The only reason there's a bigger gap between 2 and 3 is that 2 was a nightmare baby who wore me down to a zombified state for a few years! (good job he's adorable)

So, having three in my experience is hard, really really hard. It's chaotic, noisy, messy etc. It's more work than I ever imagined, there's never enough of me to go around and life would have been so much easier and simpler with 2. My OH is away a lot so I'm on my own with them for half of each week.

But, if we had stopped at 2, we'd never have had my beautiful daughter who is utterly adorable and who lights up everyone's life. I cannot imagine any of our lives without her, she brings so much delight to our family.

CarolineDaly Fri 21-Mar-14 21:58:34

Thank you all so much for your honesty. I really appreciate it. I guess I'd hoped for a few 'once you've got two, an extra one won't make that much difference' comments but better to get a reality check now rather than after potential baby no. 3 arrived! I guess if I've found it so tough with two, the reality is I wouldn't know what's hit me with 3!! And I'm someone lucky enough to have family nearby, a supportive partner etc....but it's strange. Logic tells me no, a big part of me is still tempted...grin

Mandy21 Fri 21-Mar-14 22:15:58

I had twins first, one of each, no 'need' for another - as lots of people pointed out. But I wasn't done, lots of reasons with benefit of hindsight. Twins had been v premature, think subconsciously I wanted a normal pregnancy, normal birth. Wanted the chaos, the bustle of a large family. Wanted a sister for my DD.

I agree that its hard work, no way of disguising that. Expensive. Logistically awkward. Days when I look at smaller families with a new car / easy 2 + 2 package holiday / parents having a conversation with each other or whatever and wonder what were we thinking!

But I don't regret it for a second! She (number 3) has brought so much joy to us all. I know it sounds cheesy but she really has completed our family.

buffythebarbieslayer Sat 22-Mar-14 08:12:15

Wish I hadn't read this thread sad

37 weeks pregnant with dc3 and scared now

BlackholesAndRevelations Sat 22-Mar-14 19:29:19

Ah my dc 3 is 12 weeks old (3 under five) and so far, so good! Long May that last though (kind of worried about her getting more demanding.... )

Mumof3xx Sat 22-Mar-14 19:33:21

My dc3 is almost one

I have survived 3 dc and I do really enjoy it tbh

littleomar Sat 22-Mar-14 19:46:54

We decided to have a third and got twins. Ours are 7, 4 and 20 weeks. I am beyond exhausted. Not that bad when Dh is around but he's only been home for bedtime once this week.

I love the dts to bits and it feels quite special having them, but definitely some things would have been better if we'd stopped at 2. We are lucky that we can afford 4 without too many sacrifices, but I do regret the lack of time I have for my older two at the moment - hoping it will get easier but it will never be the same as when we were a family of 4.

Bowlersarm Sat 22-Mar-14 19:57:46

I was exactly the same as you, OP, with a 3 and a 1 year old, 36, ...and pregnant with ds3.

I don't exactly regret it, found the newborn, toddler, early school age easy with the new dc3.

However......life with three teens and me approaching 50 is hard, hard work-and they are easy children really.

You have to be a high energy person to successfully go from 2 to 3, I think.

Once they are here, you love them unconditionally, so that's not a problem. But it's just changing the status quo from what you happily have now.

workingonitagain Thu 27-Mar-14 20:55:51

Had 3rd boy 4 month ago and really struggling and feel guilty when i think we should have stopped at 2! It just tipped me over the the edge and only way to cope is to accept defeat and don't even try to be in control then any little things like being able to clear up straight after dinner (and not after they are in bed) is a bonus. Agree that if you are not the relaxed one and have no help around maybe 2 is better but i don't think anyone could have said anything to me not to go ahead with it at the time smile can not wait for it to get a bit easier!

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