should i have a THIRD CHILD? Anyone rergret NOT having a third?

(42 Posts)
noonar Thu 29-Oct-09 17:09:59

i am 37 with dds aged 5 and 7. we have fun together. they are very independent and family life is good.

we have been badly hit by the recession but long term our financial circs will almost certainly improve. for now, however, my p/t job is our main, regular income.

there seem to be many very sensible reasons to 'stop at two', but i've been v broody for over a year now.

i'm worried about having a big age gap. i'm worried that the dds might feel neglected. i'm worried about returning to sleepless nights. but most of all i'm worried about getting into my forties when it really might be too late, and realising that i really shouldve had that third baby.

does anyone out there regret their decision not to have a third? ( sorry if its sensitive).i'm just not sure what to do.

noonar Thu 29-Oct-09 17:21:39


madwomanintheattic Thu 29-Oct-09 17:27:19

do still occasionally feel this way about a fourth lol (dc3 is 6, so similar age)

complicated by fact that dc3 suffered birth injury and has brain damage - dh was rushed off for snip asap as everything was obv v raw.

i have mentioned the prospect of vas reversal. dh not keen, so that's our decision then grin

(not after sympathy re dc3 btw lol - she's v lovely. but thought would share that there are all sorts of possible outcomes, and generally we just deal with what life throws at us - a third child, no third child - a fourth child, no fourth child etc. whatever will be, will be, and all that jazz grin)

good luck with whatever happens grin

brimfull Thu 29-Oct-09 17:30:24

I wish I had a third.
If I was younger I would have another one.
We have 2 with large age gap due to fertility problems.

HArd to give advice though- how does your dh feel?

Cluckyagain Thu 29-Oct-09 17:33:47

WE had a third - I regretted it occasionally in the incredibly hard first year (small gap)but have loved it ever since. I don't love the bills however!!! If I could I would now have a fourth but it would really put us way over the edge financially.

moosemama Thu 29-Oct-09 17:34:49

I know its not exactly what you asked, as I don't have a story of regretting not having a third child but I thought you might like to hear my story, as I was in your position eighteen months ago. I was 38 and had two dss aged 4 and 6. We hivered and hovered back and forth between going for another or stopping at two, we weren't in the best financial situation but felt that time was marching on and we couldn't leave the decision any longer.

In the end we had a really long, completely honest talk about whether we just liked the idea of having another 'baby' or we actually wanted another 'child'. (To begin with it was me that wanted another and dh was totally anti.) Once we talked it through properly though, we were happy that we both felt we would like another child felt we would both regret it if we didn't go ahead. So, we went for it and I now have a beautiful 9 month old dd.

She fitted right in straight away, her brothers absolutely worship her and there has been no jealousy whatsoever (unlike when ds2 was born and ds1 was 2 years old).

For us it has been a really positive experience. Dd is an absolute treasure. I found going from 2 to 3 easier than 1 to 2 (probably as the boys are at school all day so I have time to spend with dd when they are out and then don't have to feel guilty if she has to wait while I spend time with them after school).

When I thought about having a third child, I imagined in my head our little family of four as a sort of square shape, when I imagined adding another child into the mix the square sort of morphed into a circle and felt much cosier and more like a hug. [daft old hippie emoticon] grin

I know that sounds daft, but it has been a bit like that for us. Before it tended to be dh and ds1 and me and ds2, but now we seem somehow to be more of a family and there aren't two separate factions these days, we all muck in together.

I'm not saying its all been plain sailing. The pregnancy was hard as I was quite poorly for most of it. (Nothing major, just nasty morning sickness, anaemia and total all encompassing exhaustion). It can be tiring having three dcs who all want/need things 24/7 at times and we do get tired, but all things considered, we are both very happy with our decision and wouldn't change things for the world.

I wish you all the best with your decision making. Hope it all works out for you, whatever you decide. smile

Singstar Thu 29-Oct-09 17:38:50

I am so so so broody for our third but we can't cos of medical reasons. I know that I can't cos of my health, we have a close age gap between ds1 and ds2 (would it be fair anyway??), financially we've made commitments based on just having the 2, the car we've got wouldn't fit in extra car seat. . . etc etc BUT that doesn't mean the emotional ache for another baby goes away. I really regret not being able to have a third. I would desperately love to have another.

noonar Thu 29-Oct-09 17:57:11

thankyou so, so much everyone. esp moosemama for taking the time to reply in such depth.

well, dh has a little twinkle in his eye at times when we've toyed with the idea. i would say that he could be persuaded, rather than being totally in favour.

having said that, we have friends/ rels with 3 dcs who had small age gaps and look totally harassed most of the time. this has not escaped dh's notice. i have pointed out that it would be v different for us. you cant compare having 3 preschoolers with our situation.

very interesting idea, moose re your visualisation of the shape of your family. i can really see that. there's a certain convenient tweeness about the 'family of 4' and i like the idea of a larger family.

those with big age gaps, did you have a sense of 'going backwards' in terms of losing your freedom all over again, due to having a new born? or is the transition inot babydom more seemless 3rd time round?

noonar Thu 29-Oct-09 18:06:18

i just feel a bit panicked, as if the longer i leave it, the harder it'll be. i've felt like this for a good year. and i'm no more (or less) sure what to do! i wish i had a crystal ball...

yada Thu 29-Oct-09 18:12:48

i also have two aged 7&5.

after a few years of should we/should we we have decided to go for it, it feels like there is somepeice of our family missing and i really dont think i will feel complete until i have another.

if someone could look into a crystal ball for you and tell you how many children will be visiting you when you are 80 how would you feel if the answer was two?

boodeniites Thu 29-Oct-09 18:20:52

i have 2 16 sn and 18 i would have loved another 2 but its too late now not physically though at 46 would be a bit of a miracle just realtionship wise hope i dont get all bitter and twisted when im even older

peppapighastakenovermylife Thu 29-Oct-09 21:08:02

I am feeling the same - but perhaps have time on my side (I am 27, DS is 3 and DD is 1).

I have been broody since DD was born but DH kept saying no. I was very upset about this...then he suddenly turned round and said yes to number 3! I am now in shock and not mentioning it as now its a possible reality all the 'what if's' come to mind...

notnowbernard Fri 30-Oct-09 11:52:19

I've got 2 (nearly 6 and 3) and I want another one. Have Ummed and Ahhed about it for ages (not right circumstances, no space, finances - similar position to OP) but have decided to just go for it

Reason being I just KNOW that I will regret not going for a 3rd, but am pretty certain I won't ever regret having one, even if it is majorly stressful

LongStory Fri 30-Oct-09 13:30:37

The chances of twins increases with age and with the number of previous children. How would you feel about this? (happened to me, with an unplanned 4th pg). Still smiling, though feeling a bit battered!

LongStory Fri 30-Oct-09 13:31:08

and no, I'm not broody this time round. strangely!

StephHaydock Fri 30-Oct-09 13:33:55

I feel the same as you, OP. I have a 4 yr old and 1 yr old and DH has said 'No More!'. There are a multiple really good reasons why we shouldnt have another, but I still wonder if I will regret it in years to come...

aWitchForLifeNotJustHalloween Fri 30-Oct-09 13:39:31

we had a great debate too, dh not a fan of having a third, but somehow hmm in the middle of all the debating and umming and ahhh-ing, well let's say we sort of managed to hatch one anyway. The 'want' for another in my case was - if I can now truly admit - I wanted a dd as we had two dses, which is precisely what we got. Not that I would have only wanted a third on the basis of gender of course, that would be a mad situation to get in - I think I also wanted three because I'm one of three and it was fab growing up with a big brother and sister. And fwiw the age gap between me and my elder sibs is much bigger than the one you'd have. As the others say, no jealousy with no. 3, which sadly was not the case when ds2 arrived and ds1 was almost 3yo.

PacificWerewolfwoohood Fri 30-Oct-09 13:47:22

I am currently expecting DS4, so maybe not ideally qualified to answer your question wink, however:
DSs1 and 2 were 4 and 5 when DS3 came along. The age gap did and does mean we as a family had to adjust to baby demands once again ie nap times, 2 million things to take along when going out, etc. Having said that DS3 is an absolute darling, he is so much fun (now 19 months) and his older brothers adore him. They are also very excited about another baby, bless them!
I also understand the "shape" of the family, for me bizarrely it was always going to be an even number ie either 2 or 4 children. I have no rational explanation for this blush. And no, we were not "trying for" a girl, and there will most definetly not be 6 wink.

Much as only you and your DH can make the decision whether or not to have another child, OP, personally I think you are less likely to regret a further child rather than a childshaped void, IYKWIM.

Good luck to you. smile

PacificWerewolfwoohood Fri 30-Oct-09 13:47:59

BTW, I was 37 when I had DS1... you do the maths wink!

noonar Fri 30-Oct-09 15:56:19

gee thanks everyone. its good to know i'm not alone in having this dialogue with myself.

one thing that i would say re sex of baby is that i did at one time pine for a boy. i felt terribly guilty about this when dd2 was born. however, i now couldnt imagine having a boy as i'm so used to girls. i would expect to have a 3rd girl, and if it turned out to be a boy, it would be a surprise. but i most definitely would be delighted with a girl.

in fact i think that getting 'closure' on the whole wanting a boy thing, is one of the reasons why its taken a while to consider a 3rd. ie- for years i knew i didnt want to go on some mad quest for a son, but hadnt let go enough of this issue to have a 3rd child and not mind about the sex.

for 2-3 years after dd2 was born i felt that i'd def have a 3rd if it was guaranteed to be a boy. i just dont feel that now. funny how feelings can

oh, and pacific, thanks for making me feel young wink.

peppa, you have got time on your side, but to be honest i think that the feeling of time running out has just as much to do with wanting to avoid a massive age gap, as it has to do with my age.

mummymoodie Fri 06-Nov-09 19:54:58


This is my first post, just discovered this website as I have just found out I am pregnant again with my 3rd child. I have a 2 ds, one just turned 4 and another 18 months. We pondered on having a 3rd but it was just chat as a lot of my younger friends are now having babies and I have never felt finished. But I did not expect it to happen so soon and feel as I have had the decision made for me. I am feeling very nervous at he moment and have moments of happiness as I get very excited at another little ds/dd coming into our family but I am also getting overwhelming scary feelings like 'what have I done' what about my kids' can we afford it etc am I going to feel like this till the arrival hmm

FourArms Tue 10-Nov-09 10:29:23

Congratulations Mummymoodie I felt very overwhelmed when pg with DS2, but it diminished when I started to feel him move etc. I'm sure it will all be fine... well, it has to be doesn't it!

Noonar - I completely know what you mean about needing closure on wanting a DS. I have 2 DSs, and would love to have a girl. However, I'm still at the stage where I want a DD, not another baby/child. So I won't be even considering a third unless I get over this, and I'm not sure I ever will. That's not a problem though! I do feel like our family is finished now.

RachLeighmum Wed 11-Nov-09 11:00:03

I have a ds, 5, and a dd, 3. I have tormented myself since dd was one about having another one - "just one more" - but my husband made it very clear that he was happy with the two we had and did not want anymore. He refused and wouldnt budge. We had lots of arguements over it, he always put forward his reasons which were mostly practical (finance, space etc). We even asked our two dc whether they would like another baby (ok, i asked them) and they both said "no way". They said they were worried that if another child came along they wouldnt be best friends anymore. This was actually quite sweet and really made me sit up and think about the prospect, in real terms, of having a third child. There are a few things that I now realise (though its taken a while to get there). Firstly, no child should be brought into the world without being 100% wanted by both parents (i.e. there will be no little "accidents" here). Also on this point, I think no one person has a "right" to have a child. Me and my hubby may have agreed when we got married that we would have 3 or more kids, but as he rightly points out, that was before we knew the hard work involved, knew the expense involved, etc etc - he has changed his mind and I feel I have to respect that. Our house (3-bed semi) is perfect size for the four of us, if we had any more kids then things, quite simply, would not work so well/easily imo. I am a SAHM and have been lucky enough to have been off since my ds was born, but money is now tight (we have a very nice life but have to be careful) and when I return to work next year when dd goes to school the extra money will be very welcome.

I think the final thing for me was that I realised, after a lot of soul searching and being honest with myself, is that I dont actually have a burning desire for another child - but I DID have a burning desire to be pregnant (I loved it both times) and to have a newborn. If im honest, over the last couple of years, each time someone has told me they are pg or have had a baby, im genuinely pleased for them but I also felt envious. Now I realise that, in fact its just because the child bearing days are behind me that I felt this way and no matter how many children I gave birth to I will probably always be broody and will always feel a little wobbly around baby news! However now I have identified those feelings in myself I feel so much happier and confident that, for us, sticking with two children is the right thing to do. I love my two so much and happy with our family of four.

Anyway, that was my very long answer to whether to have 3! - sorry! x x

tanmu82 Mon 30-Nov-09 15:47:44

I just posted over on another thread about this, but my husband finally changed his mind and decided - rather out of the blue I might add - that he wants us to have another child. For practical reasons we will wait until next year to start trying, but I am soooo broody! I also worry about the age gap. My DS is 6 1/2 and my DD is 5. Also, I am still quite young, 27, and think that once I've had 3, it would make sense/be easy to take the plunge to have 4......Like RachLeighmum said, I also like the idea of being pregnant and having a newborn and will probably always go through periods of broodiness......

I'm new to MN but have noticed on many threads that I've read, that some people are happy to keep having children regardless of finances/space etc....(not judging btw) but for me personally, I feel that I want to be able to provide better for the ones I already have first before having another - and that means space, money, time for each etc....

sorry this is a bit rambling and uncoordinated...I'm just glad to find a thread that deals exactly with my situation and all my thoughts have come tumbling out !

doesntplaywellwithothers Tue 29-Dec-09 10:31:40

So happy to have found this thread!! DH and I have two lovely children, ages 3 and 2. Because I am 37, and DH is 40, we kind of thought we were done, but I am feeling irrationally broody, and we are seriously talking about a third. It's not a baby thing...I am not a baby person, but I love the toddler phase, and the idea of having three children...I am an only child, so have always imagined having a big family. There are some doubts, of course, but the positives of having a bigger family, and knowing that my two dc's would just adore a baby sibling. I just think if we really want another, we'd regret NOT having one much more. DS starts reception in September, DD will be in morning playgroup, and I am not going back to work until DD is in school, so it seems like it's the perfect time, too. I also loved being pregnant!!
Anyway...I'll keep checking back with you all, and let you know how it goes!!

emy72 Mon 18-Jan-10 10:15:10

I think a lot of us who have 3 or more have been in your situation or similar and can relate to your dilemma. I have 4 very young children, my eldest has just turned 5 and my youngest baby is 3 months old. When we had our first 2, (a girl and a boy), we went over that urming and arring too. My DH would have been more than happy with 2 tbh, it was me who was really broody. Of course you will never regret having more children, but all I can say is that we do unfortunately live in a society that is tailored for the 2+2 family and that everything is much harder. We do most things but we found that you will need larger car, larger house, more money and more resources IF you want to keep the same standards of living you are used to. We find having 4 hard in comparison to the lives of people we know who have young children. I am assured that once they are out of nappies/etc it will get easier but I am not there yet. Good luck in your decision, whatever you decide it will be the right choice for you xxxxx

emy72 Mon 18-Jan-10 10:17:43

ps I am 37 too so I understand the clock ticking thing....that is why we had such small gaps between ours...xx

tilbatilba Mon 18-Jan-10 10:21:30


Breezey Tue 19-Jan-10 01:29:58

I am in a simailar situation, 38, with ds 51/2 dd 4, and seriously considering a 3rd.
Have looked at all sides and the biggest reluctance is physical cost of pregnancy / childbirth to me, which sounds very selfish. I feel our family would thrive with another child, not sure what the answer is, but you'll do whatever is right for you

sam86 Mon 28-Feb-11 11:55:00

hi, Just wondering if you made a decision?
I have two dds - one is 3 and the youngest is almost 7 months. we have always said we would have three and are both keen on having another, dh seems happy tostart right away but i want to wait at least another year - although at times i am not sure if this is the best idea or not. I am mostly happy with the gap between my daughters but sometimes wish I had had them closer together so they could be closer- playing together etc, although I hope once my youngest is able to play more then this will change. I was happy with the gap in terms of being able to look after each of them properly and had no jealousy - i worry if i had the next baby too close then i wouldnt be able to manage. I really dont know what to do! also know what you mean about wanting a DS, I have felt that way for a while and feel I am now starting to come to terms with not having a DS and would be happy either way if we have a ds or a dd.
It seems people around us think 3 is too many but we would be happy with 3 and think that would be perfect for us.

slipperandpjsmum Mon 28-Feb-11 13:35:46

If you do not feel your family is 'complete' you may well regret not having a third. The majority of people on here with larger families will say go for it because we have larger families.

Prob for the majority of people the biggest change is from 2 to 3 in terms of day to day logistics and people's belief they then have a right to judge.

Small gaps are very hard work and the older they get the more they cost!

But I have 4 and I love it!!

threecurrantbuns Tue 01-Mar-11 11:29:25

I found the transition to no4 HARD! But thats just me and i had 3 under 4 so bit different.

Although its getting easier, just not the youngest is 1next month i still look at them all together and feel so happy and know i could have never stopped with two, although had a couple of breif moment in the first couple of weeks thinking...what have i doneill never cope!

I am younger so had time on my side but agree it was more about age gaps and how that effected the sibling relationships etc for me!

Now i decided whether to have a fourth and final but not sure if i could cope or if im just completely mad and if me and dh would survice another newborn wink so similar position but diff no.

threecurrantbuns Tue 01-Mar-11 11:29:48

*transition to no.3 hard!!!

threecurrantbuns Tue 01-Mar-11 11:31:00

Sorry jsut read that back and its awful was rishing and cant type well!!

nicobean Wed 02-Mar-11 20:00:05

threecurrantbuns I think that 3/4 transition slip means you are destined to have another smile

My 3rd is 7 weeks and although things are settling down now, it's been intense. I think that if you have 3, you struggle to have any life outside of your kids while they are small. I can't imagine one right now...

I envy people who can feel complete at 2, I knew I wanted 3 straight after having dd2. This broodiness and longing for more babies knocked me sideways. I never imagined having lots of babies and thought my neighbour with 4 was crazy. And now I know I'll want 4 too (whether I will is something else).

Best of luck with whatever you choose.

threecurrantbuns Wed 02-Mar-11 20:45:38

nico been i was the same there is a couple in our village with four and before i had children i was like, omg 4 shock

I always wanted children but i always thought two, i liked the idea of a big family but never thought it would be me having one!! How things change i think if i could have stopped at two it would have been ideal in a way but now i dont like the no3 feel like i need an even number hmm

But youve decribed it well moving to 3 have been intense, and it is alot harder to regain some me time and we have found we are starting to go out very occasionally now in the evening once they are all asleep in bed but cant imagine leaving the with anyone in the day if we needed to would need to maybe send the two eldest to someone and youngest to someone else, being as mil is about our only reluctant babysitter that makes things tricky.

I also find it hard asking for help as i feel like people may think you shouldnt of had three if you cant deal with it etc but thats prob just my prob im not great at asking for help!

mosaica Thu 03-Mar-11 23:23:10

Interesting thread. We have two children and would like to have a third. We have space in the house but worry a third child would mean no time for each other as a couple. We hardly have any now as it is!

So a difficult question now... does any of you with three or more children regret having so many? Please be honest!

nicobean Fri 04-Mar-11 20:09:08

I definitely wanted 3, but got pregnant with DS far earlier than I expected (previous fertility probs let me assume I didn't need contraception blush). So now I have a 4 y/o, 2 y/o and 2 month old.

Now he's here he's an absolute joy, but it is hard. Expeditions out have to be planned like military operations, and I do envy friends who have finished the nappy stage with both DC's and have freedom to go out and about with ease.

I don't regret him, but I do regret the timing.

FlouryBap Tue 08-Mar-11 16:03:01

I will have a no 3 next year after having 17 months between dd1 and dd2. DD2 will be three if things go to plan. ideally i would like toh ave them closer but can't cope.

what made my mind up was that i met a series of older women (one in her 80s) who told me they regretted not having more children. The one in her 80s had had four and was still mourning that fifth!

I think in teh short term it will be hard work, but when they are older it will be lovely to have three (or more!)

MrsTittleMouse Tue 08-Mar-11 16:24:23

Interesting that you posted this on the Larger Families board - is your subconcious trying to skew the results?

I will buck the trend - I am glad that we didn't have a third, even though I have been incredibly broody, and still have pangs now.

Perhaps we are "lucky" that we are 100% infertile, and so every child that we have has to be very planned. I think that it might be different if we could "forget" the contraception and get carried away in a romance of new baby smell and the downy fluff on their heads.

Pregnancy is pretty dire for me, and I know that it isn't just me who suffers. When I was pregnant with DD2, I couldn't look after DD1 properly and needed lots of help from family. Even though I had that help, I felt very guilty that I had withdrawn to a certain extent from DD1's life, because I had no choice. Then after pregnancy, I've had two babies who didn't sleep (and still don't need as much sleep as "normal" children hmm) and fed like demons and I was exhausted. The thought of putting two children through that again just makes me too sad.

The other thing is that pregnancy has done a real number on my body - I am still struggling to repair some of the damage more that two years after I was last pregnant and a third pregnancy would mean that there would be basically no hope for me.

So it's a very boring and logical conclusion that the best thing for our whole family is to stop now. It would be risking the family members that we have got, over the dreams of a third child, which as just that, dreams.

sydenhamhiller Thu 12-May-11 14:50:09

resurrecting this thread... what did you do in the end OP/ moosemama?

I am 38, have 7 yr old and 5 yr old, and had mmc in January... I was VERY tired and nauseous for the 3 months I was pregnant, and now I wonder if I can go through all of that again. So I am very interested in the 'regret not having a 3rd' idea... I change my mind daily. I am not a huge fan of being pregnant, or little babies, but LOVE toddlers (and childmind)... If only I was 25 and didn't have the clock ticking!

ElanaH Wed 22-Jun-11 11:55:10

WOW, this thread is full of everything I needed to know! I am 28, I have a 7 year old daughter, and a 5 year old son.....and for the last two years I have wanted a third child, but have tried everything to convince myself that I dont! After reading all your comments....I want one even more! We live in South Africa, and decent education is very expensive here, so the only thing stopping me from having my third child is that I would have to give up my salary. I know that we will make it on my Husbands salary alone, but we will have to be VERY cautious, and I dont want to take away from the two beautiful children that I have.

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