be honest please! how was the first few years of having 3?

(37 Posts)
workingonitagain Wed 19-Dec-12 13:38:22

i know there a lot of " if i should have no 3" threads out there but im sure nobody regrets having 3 or says that it wasn't worth it. so im more interested in how difficult the first few years of having 3 children with around 2 years age gap in between them was.
i recently had a mmc with no 3 and apart from the obvious disappointment of losing a pregnancy (although it was very early on) it also really made me think if i want to get pregnant again at all. i really struggled with the tiredness and sickness and hardly had energy to feed my dc not to mention giving them quality time with me and to be honest if having a 3rd means although we'll be a big family, i'll not be able to spread out my time, im not sure if i want to to it

thanks for sharing ur experience

WinkyWinkola Wed 19-Dec-12 14:40:28

Hideous morning sickness made it hard.

After that, fine. Add extra 20 mins to each departure times mind for the inevitable poop in nappy just as you're about to leave.

I pretty much carried on as before. Baby would lie on rug whilst I read other two bedtime stories / in the bath. In bouncer or breastfed him at mealtimes.

I coslept too but I realise that's not for everyone.

You will find your own way. Not least because you have to.

I've got 4 dcs now so it can't have been too bad!

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 19-Dec-12 14:44:57

I'm only 5 months in, but so far it is super intense and very rewarding.

I feel like I'm at capacity now with 4yo, 2.5yo and baby.

NAR4 Wed 19-Dec-12 22:09:15

I really enjoyed my boys when they were all under school age. All that time to do what we wanted.

I bathed them all together, read a bedtime story to them all together before putting in their own beds and played games with them all together. I just kind of treated them as a small group and they enjoyed doing everything together.

When the youngest was a baby I used the baby sling a lot as I found it more practical than being restricted by a pram and it kept baby happy and close to me whilst I did things with the other two.

I always gave them responsibilities from a very early age, such as putting their clothes out ready, but getting them to dress themselves. Feeding themselves, when I dished up dinner. I also worked hard at improving their independance in preperation for the baby being born. ie they were all potty trained and dry day and night by 20 months.

Cold lunch such as fruit, cheese and sandwich can be prepared the night before (once they are all in bed) and put in the fridge for the next day. Try to prepare family meals to freeze at the weekend or whenever your husband/partner is about to help, that way you just have to defrost in the fridge over night and put in the oven when needed. I also used to make up a large jug of juice each evening, ready to simply pour out as needed during the next day. Basically prepare as much as possible for the next day, once they are in bed.

Do as little housework as possible and remember your children and your own happiness are far more important than an immaculate house and they are only young once. Enjoy them.

Bowednotbroken Wed 19-Dec-12 22:14:13

Would not be without no 3 now, but he was an accident and it was very difficult at first. Found it deeply tedious having to do sleepless nights, teething, tantrums (and so on) for the third time - just felt like groaning 'do we really have to do this again?' Interestingly, the other downside was that it made child 2 into the middle one - which was harder than I expected.

pleasestoparguing Wed 19-Dec-12 22:26:55

Our number3 was a surprise, we have 3 years between each of ours - it was harder I was older more tired torn 3 ways but DD2 just fitted into what we already had established, We love her to bits, DD1 doesn't relish being middle but I don't think she is different than how she'd be anyway TBH she is so like me and I wasn't a middle child. The best bit is that they are all good friends so when we are out away etc they have a ready made friendship group - obviously there are more opportunities for arguments 5x4x3 etc but we love having 3 .
Don't have 3 if you want to stay in hotels you can't have just one room when the LO gets out of a travel cot and have to book 2 rooms. That's hte only downside i can think of.

Arcticwaffle Wed 19-Dec-12 22:32:38

The first 6 months was hard work, we had 3 in 4 years, and it was a bit tiring. I did wonder at times why we'd done it. But after that it got easier and these days (youngest is 8) life seems quite calm.

itsallinthememories Wed 19-Dec-12 22:35:05

It was horrible. All the things I loved about babyhood the first time round bored me rigid, I had got used to doing things as a family and suddenly my elder 2 were going off with daddy to do fun things and I was stuck with the baby. I found it very hard which was a real shock after breezing through in the past. But, my youngest is now 3 and it is a breeze and he is just the best thing that happened to our family so it was all worth it.

bigbadbarry Wed 19-Dec-12 22:36:12

My youngest is 3 tomorrow and I love having 3 smile She is definitely the stroppiest of the three, she has to be! But apart from the hotel room thing, and having to buy a car very carefully to fit 3 car seats across, I don't think she has changed things very much but just sort of slotted in. I would say you need a good support network if your eldest is at school, I can't tell you how many times I have called on people to do random school runs because the baby is sick/ pick the middle one up because the eldest is home sick/ take one somewhere because I cannot be in two places at once.

workingonitagain Thu 20-Dec-12 12:40:06

thanks for all ur honest answers. well what i don't have is a support network no parents nor dp's parents. first when my 2 boys were born in sept, i thought how lovely i'll get to have an extra year with them at home (before they start school) but now thinking about no 3 and knowing that the eldest won't start school for another 20 month, i relly don't think i can handle it mentally despite of the strict routine and lack of house work smile
and i have to admit that babyhood is not my favourite part either, i found it less enjoyable with no2.
ds1 just started pre school and a new kind of stress i'll have to learn to live with is being taken aside and told what he's done that day (showing off his bits, hitting) wasn't preapared for this but now will have to take it into account as well and work hard on it....

thanks again for all ur comments

bigbadbarry Thu 20-Dec-12 13:21:07

I don't have any family here either. You have to construct your own support network by doing loads of favours for other people when it suits you! Then you can call them back in when you need them smile

3monkeys3 Thu 20-Dec-12 14:28:46

I have ds (4.3), dd (3.1) and ds (16 months), so I've been through 3 under 3, 3 under 4 and now have 3 under 5! Ds1 is a September baby, so he is still at home most of the time. I found the end of the 3rd pregnancy harder than having 3 children tbh. It's hard to answer this, as I enjoy the baby stage and haven't found it that difficult - ds2 is hard work now he is walking, but with each new stage you adjust and manage, just as you will have done with your older children. The hardest things for me are getting out with all of them on my own (but I get around this by arranging play dates/go to a safe park on days where I have them all and do my errands on days where at least one of them is at pre-school) and making sure I have time for each of them individually - I actually diarise this, to make sure they all get time with me and/or dh at some point during the week. I have found it quite a jump financially too. I had been considering a 4th, but now feel that I am at the point where it is sensible to stop. We don't have any middle child issues as yet, but I think we can probably avoid it mostly as middle child is also the only girl. Everyone copes differently and has different parenting styles/priorities - you have to find what works for you. It is hard work, life is probably much simpler if you have 2 children, but it is absolutely worth it.

maxmillie Thu 20-Dec-12 14:30:11

hectic, but fun (and not massively different from 2 really)

pepperrabbitanddesultorytinsel Thu 20-Dec-12 14:43:59

First year was really tough, DS1 had just started school, DS2 had just started pre-school.
I looked knackered all the time and really struggled to get everyone everywhere on time - and collect them again.
The extra year with DD, as she starts school next sept has been quite tough as she's convinced she's as old as the boys....

Smudging Thu 20-Dec-12 14:49:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dottyaboutstripes Thu 20-Dec-12 16:27:55

I honestly found it pretty easy. We've never had any family around either so it was just a case of getting on with things. Helped of course that dh has always been pretty hands-on. Our first 3 came along in just under 4 years. All girls
Then we had quite a large gap and had 3 more in 4y9m. All boys. And not as easy! But not hard either. I think dh and I just really are the type to just get on with it!

Thinkingof4 Thu 20-Dec-12 17:15:26

I'm 18 months in now and (mostly) loving it, though it gets tricky when someone is sick. My first year I had all at home and it was hard but going to things as much as possible kept me sane (toddler groups, park, out for walks etc)
Funnily enough my 3rd pregnancy was the easiest I'd had till that point, though I am now pg with no4 and not felt too terrible so far (12+ 2) and I'm hoping I'm getting better with pregnancy with practice. But this is definitely my last!!

wigglybeezer Thu 20-Dec-12 17:21:56

I have three but no.3 wasn't born until the other two had just started primary and pre-pre school, so I had time alone with the baby (mostly to nap!).

wigglybeezer Thu 20-Dec-12 17:22:47

Three lots of homework and three lots of after school activities are a bit of a nightmare now they are older though.

workingonitagain Thu 20-Dec-12 19:40:07

thanks for all ur comments, it seems that the way forward is having another one when at least the middle one has started pre school and i think that would be sensible too. a lot to think about but will try and not overthink it...

workingonitagain Fri 21-Dec-12 13:53:26

how funny as if these 2 little buggers knew about all these converations. so in the last 2 couple of days i've finally experienced the long waited "play together" they were sitting in the bath and had a flannel's each end in their mouth and were laughing their head off. i was almost crying and felt all the pain and stress was all worth it just to see that 3 minute of giggles. then again today the seemed like real friends.
Amazing! smile

ILikeWhisperingToo Fri 21-Dec-12 13:58:06

Marking place - I love the even-numbered-ness of two but want to make another blush
I think the whole pregnancy, belly kicks and urge for a 'thrid time lucky' birth is about 80% of it though - the practicality and knackeredness of 3 puts me off, plus it's a big decision to disrupt the 'neatness' of a famaily of 4 (bedrooms in house, car size, weekly food shops, tickets to places, divided attention etc).

workingonitagain Fri 21-Dec-12 20:07:05

ILikeWhisperingToo i completely agree with you although unfortunately i only felt the same thing about the pregnancy bit after the first as all my other experiences were not nice.
if only we could sleep through the first 12 month (well 22 including pregnancy smile ), i'd happily go for it.
also keep thinking about the age gap and if i should listen to the part of my brain that says leave longer age gap otherwise i won't cope or listen to my feelings that say they will be better friends if they are closer in age and the 3rd one will be less likely to be singled out hmm

3b1g Fri 21-Dec-12 20:08:56

I have never had three children, but having four definitely got easier once the youngest were 7m and easier still once they were 3.

maillotjaune Fri 21-Dec-12 20:13:14

I had a bigger gap - DS3 born when the older 2 were just 5 and 6.6. That meant DS2 went full time in reception the week DS3 was born which made a huge difference (although when I was pregnant I still had lunchtime and afternoon pick ups and was exhausted walking to and from school 3 times a day.

The rest - well I found going from 0-1 hardest, then 1-2 and actually 2-3 was fine because DS3 just slotted in. I know that's partly down to his personality, buy I was also ultra- relaxed and not self-critical about all the things I did badly like cleaning!

Curlygirly Fri 21-Dec-12 20:22:23

I found the baby stage hard. DD spent a lot of time strapped in the car/pram for school run, playdate to ing and fro ing etc.

Now easier as DD now at same school as the boys. Love that they can all do their own seat belts up. Little things like that make me happy!

Hardest part is making sure they get equal amounts of time alone with either me or DH.

Goober Fri 21-Dec-12 20:24:30

I had 3 all under 5.
I couldn't drive.
Youngest was not a sleeper.
But
It was great.

They are now 14, 16 and 18.

StuntNun Fri 21-Dec-12 20:28:24

Why not leave a bigger gap? I took a long time ttc then had a MC so my third (now five weeks) was born when the other two were 9 and 6. They're able to dress themselves, get their own snacks, answer the phone and will play with the baby when I need two hands free to do something.

Nigellacakes Fri 21-Dec-12 20:33:08

3 under 3- not by choice DTs came along when dd was just 2. A year on and I must admit 3 is brilliant. But this is someone who ALWAYS having 2.

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 21-Dec-12 20:43:13

I have 2 DS's and now a DD. the DS's were 7 and 5 when DDwas born. DD slept through the night before DS2. She's 2in Feb and by far the easiest of my 3. I have no regrets even though we're on the cusp of terrible two's with not very good attempts at proper tantrums. The DS's love her dearly and DH spoils her rotten. She gets away with far too much. I had four miscarriages between no 2 and no3. I thought many times maybe it just isn't meant to be. My DS's are very much a twosome but now DD makes them a threesome.

I'll admitI prefer it as they get to be a little person, language kicks in and they can tell you what they want. But the baby phase went by so quickly this time, as she's been such a contented little thing. If i'd had another like DS2 It'd have been a very different story though.

weegiemum Fri 21-Dec-12 20:51:56

I had 3 under 4 - when dd2 was born, dd1 was 3.10 and ds 1.10. She was an accident, I'd been very sick when I was pg with ds, and it came back 100x with her. I was in hospital 30 times in 30 months during and after the pregnancy. Due to this I also had rampaging PND.

It was ghastly. 9 years on, I've got an (almost) 13 year old and an (almost) 11 year old as well as my 9 year old. It's very busy, crazy getting them anywhere on time, with the recent introduction of hormones!

I'd not take a minute of it back. She's amazing as the others are too. It wasn't complete without her. No matter that it's hard, it's worth it, every minute of it.

workingonitagain Fri 21-Dec-12 21:23:11

Thanks for all the great stories i don't mean to offend anyone but really curious .
do you think that time has made the experience seem not as bad as it really was?
for most of you who replied the youngest is already 1+ and i found that hardest time was from about 4month+ and it all starts to get easier from the age of 1+
please tell me if you think otherwise

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 21-Dec-12 21:35:26

My DD was just easy. Mainly because she slept through pretty much from day 1. She also slept for a few hours each day. She still likes her nap at approaching 2. She loved just being plonked and entertained by watching her brothers who would interact or just be busy being boys. It was all fascinating to her. I do find now that she eats as the rest of us its very much easier/ no real extra work and i do look forwards to the end of poo nappies when i get around to potty training.

DD was not interested in being mobile, late walker at 21 months,so i guess that helped with her not getting into too many scrapes.

3b1g Fri 21-Dec-12 21:38:31

Totally agree with maillot that the hardest adjustment was going from 0-1.

workingonitagain Fri 21-Dec-12 21:41:02

Thanks MisForMumNotMaid that's very interesting. also a very happy ending that after 4 mc you got a lovely baby.
if you don't mind me asking how did you cope with the mc and did you have very difficult pregnancies?
i never thought i'd ever be one who has to go through mc but i guess it's so common that it's not surprising any more...

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 21-Dec-12 22:14:51

The first one i brushed off, it was a shock but i'd conceive straight away after trying so thought its just a blip, i cried a lot but it didn't break my heart so to speak. The second hit me quite hard. It was new years eve, we were on our way to stay with family having had people staying all Christmas and everyone knew i was pregnant because i didn't drink. I felt a failure. We left it a few months, using contraceptive because i felt very bruised and run down. Conceived again straight away lost it very early at 6 weeks. One cycle later tested positive on due on date but bled two days later and bled so much i ended up severely anaemic and the doctor gave me tablets to stop the bleeding and iron tablets to help. It was a bit of a shock to then not have a cycle. We hadn't been active in the bedroom (or any other room) just the once. I was still anaemic and when the test was positive i felt there was no point taking it seriously. I had mild morning (all day sickness) then after a few weeks thought i'd better contact GP. Got sent straight for scan and i was 9 weeks pregnant.

It was an easy, healthy pregnancy but I didn't enjoy it. I was rather cynical and scared of getting attached. At the third scan, around 18 weeks, this apparently perfectly formed little being growing inside me petrified me and i just started to hope that maybe this one would go to term. I spent rather too much time googling statistics of surviving being born prematurely.

At 31 weeks i was at the consultants to book c- section dates, i'd had one emergency and one due to being overdue so they said i needed to go that way, i was seen by the registrar at the local hospital, we're rural, and rushed to the big hospital because something was up with mine and babies heart. It was called junior doctor misreading the bleeding instruments and they couldn't find anything wrong! The c-section at term was lovely. DD had perfect scores and just fitted in to our family. The DS's laid a place for her at the table on her first day home and were disappointed that she didn't need a knife and fork.

My mum had problems conceiving but when we chatted about things after DD was born she made an interesting observation that in her day you didn't confirm a pregnancy till 12/ 14 weeks so two of my miscarriages would have not even been known about and the other two would only have been suspicions. She's not a fan of early testing.

I think the worst thing about it all was that i felt i'd been permanently pregnant for nearly two years - all that not drinking at Christmas, Easter,Weddings and parties. It looks scary on your notes when they say pregnancy no. 7 too.

I should mention i was 37 when DD was born so age wasn't on my side either.

workingonitagain Sat 22-Dec-12 14:07:50

oh MisForMumNotMaid it must have been so hard for you. i had a little cry reading ur post.
i felt exactly the same as you about this first mc. im not heartbroken (which sometimes worries me). maybe it's also because it happened straight away while with the other 2 it both took about 6-7 month. so there i was pregnant and very very sick and really struggled looking after the 2 ds. i knew almost straight away that there was something wrong. i had some left sided pain around 5+3 so went for a scan and they said it's not ectopic but very very early and can't see anything and this went on for about 6 more weeks and each week they saw progress but not as much as it should have been. finally around week 11 i was told there is no progress since the previous week and baby stopped growing around 6 wk, if i had not had that pain at the begining (which later on disappeared) i would have not found out that i had a mc until the 12 wk scan as i was so sick even after i was told baby died. no bleeing no cramps. so i had to have an assisted mc and went for the tablet option and this was 2 wks ago . just stopped bleeding and as the sickness just started to ease off and as my 2 ds just started playing together everything seems so much easier and feel that im ready again. feel worried to tell dp as i struggled so bad just 3 weeks ago and kept saying that i was almost happy that this pregnancy ended as i could hardly cope. so we agreed that this pregnancy was not meant to be for us and won't try again (not a while a while anyway and it was my sugesstion too) so really not sure what to think. maybe i just need some time to get the real view of how i feel.
im really happy that it all worked out for you and i hope that i can soon get to the right decision too smile

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