Do you ever wish you stuck to 2 kids?

(39 Posts)
ayesar Tue 19-Apr-16 20:43:47

I wanted to post a similar thread to SquareholeRoundPeg about whether you regret your decision to have more kids.

I currently have 2 and thinking about adding a third. I have numerous doubts and constantly hear people say if you don't have one more you might regret it. No one says they regret having the 3rd or would change their decision after having 3. So I'm just wondering, do any of you wish you had stuck to 2? Obviously you love your 3rd child but if you are honest with yourself do you think life would have been easier with 2?

NickyEds Tue 19-Apr-16 22:00:29

I'm sort of going through the same thing op, except a third is looking really very unlikely as dp isn't on board. And we can't really afford it. I've talked about a third a lot (too much!) with my sister who has three and she has gone out of her way to put me off. There is a big age gap between me and my sister and she had her dc younger than me so her three are now older teenagers do she's sort of coming out the other side. She obviously adores her children beyond measure but says that there a so many draw backs. Cars, holidays and houses are built for families of 4; shoes, uniforms, pocket money, Christmas presents. ...three lots of everything. At one point my sister spent £45 a week on music lessons. Having three teenagers has been hard. She had plenty of money (lots in fact), was a SAHM, family support (her dp was crap though), large car, lots if holidays, cleaner, beautiful home and yet still found it so incredibly hard. I think her life would definitely been easier with two, or at least a bigger age gap (she had 3 under 3).

ayesar Wed 20-Apr-16 05:01:51

Oh boy, thanks for your insight. That's exactly what I was looking for, someone's insight who has 3 kids who are older. When you first have babies you will almost always defend your decision and say it is the best to have 3. But latter years of parenting I think parents aren't afraid to admit things that were difficult or that they might have done differently if given the chance again.

My husband is also not on board do I don't even know why I'm thinking about this. I do think of having a third, even though I KNOW that it's not a good idea due to all the reasons you mentioned in your post. I'm hoping I just snap out of this crazy mindset I have and just accept the fact that 2 is easier and there is no need to complicate life.

KeyserSophie Wed 20-Apr-16 05:43:22

The issue with these sort of questions is that it's very difficult for people to admit that they effectively wish one of their children didn't exist, or to reconcile "my life would be easier and nicer with only x children" with " I love [last child] and would not now be without him/her".

I think it's actually harder to say "I wish I had fewer kids" than "I wish I hadnt had kids"

Therefore, I dont think you ever really get an honest answer. Most people will "talk their own book", so to speak.

I was a bit like you- I wanted 3, DH only 2, but I think he might have been persuaded. In the end, I decided to defer until DD was 2, and by then I was getting some good opportunities at work, had got back into a sports hobby, and decided to stop at 2. Also, we're expats so school fees are a big consideration for us, and there's no economies of scale on those. However, for a while I'd get a little pang of jealousy when someone told me they were having No.3.

They're now 6&4. I definitely dont regret my decision to stop at 2. I just CBA to tail around after a toddler anymore and I definitely dont miss the meal mess or the nappies. That said, if I had an 18 mo I doubt I'd seriously regret that either.

OrdinaryGirl Wed 20-Apr-16 06:18:16

DH & I wanted a second baby, after our DS (now 2.5). I am typing this as one of our 3 week old twins snoozes happily on my chest. grin

I had always been someone who was absolutely definitive about only wanting 2 kids. I'm still absolutely shocked at being a mum of 3 kids under 3, and have no idea how it's all going to work, but am trusting that it's somehow 'meant to be'.

I guess all I'm saying is that if you choose to have another DC, you might end up with more than you bargained for, and it's worth considering beforehand whether that would still make it an option for you. HTH. smile

ChalkHearts Wed 20-Apr-16 06:22:19

I'll be honest. smile

My 3rd DC misses out on a lot. DH and I can only split ourselves 2 ways. So we can take 2 kids to different sports, but not 3. So our youngest misses out.

It's always the youngest that misses out because by the time he's old enough the other have already committed to their Saturday club.

They won't do the same clubs because they don't want to be compared to each other.

When parents evenings clash it's always the youngest that misses out. Because the others are always in a more important school year.

It's a lot more expensive, because we needed a bigger house and car.

And they don't get on. I don't think my DC benefit from being one of 3. In fact I'm sure they'd each be better off being one of 2. They'd have more of our time, and more of our money.

Roonerspism Wed 20-Apr-16 06:26:03

We have three. And I echo a lot of the above.

We have no familial support.

I wouldn't change it for the world though. I would have a fourth if DH was up for it

It is seriously hard work at times - but I'm lazy so take short cuts smile

Undercooked Wed 20-Apr-16 06:37:13

I don't regret it for a second. I had all the reservations aired on this thread but the idea wouldn't go away so we went for it. It's been amazing. I love the bustle and warmth of a larger family, I love seeing my kids as a team, I love the fact I stretched out the baby and toddler years because actually I enjoy them. My older kids adore their younger sibling and have been quite a help.

Some practicalities are harder but not so hard. I don't get the car thing: most cars accommodate three kids, we don't do package holidays and finding an apartment or house for a holiday as a family of 5 is fine, meals out are no harder. Yes it's more expensive so do factor that in.

I loved it so much that we went for number four. Now THAT has been a hard transition...

Nannygrandma Wed 20-Apr-16 06:50:49

I have 3 only one was planned ! There in their twenties now and it's still hard. I love them dearly but I hope they only have 2 each it seems everything is for 4 cars holidays when I was pregnant with my third I was worried about now being able to hold all their hands at the same time when crossing a road !

Dellarobia Wed 20-Apr-16 07:03:21

I wouldn't change it now (youngest is 6) but for some years I might have replied differently. DC3 was a terrible sleeper, by far the worst of the three (and I'd thought DC1 was bad!) and a very stubborn and wilful toddler. And I had three under four so that was hard. He's a lovely 6yo though!

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Wed 20-Apr-16 07:23:49

Different point of view here but here's my experience:

I had 2 DCs with my ex and was happy to stick with that for various reasons - my health (I couldn't do another pregnancy), my age (too old!), money, space, but mainly not wanting to go back to sleepless nights, weaning, toilet training etc. Not enough energy for that!

But in the back of my mind I always liked the idea of having a hoard of adult children when I'm older!!

We have since split. I then met my DP who by coincidence has 2 resident DCs of his own, similar ages to mine.

That has its difficulties and I have wondered in the past if meeting a man with children was a good idea.

But things are going really well now and future is bright and one of the things I really love about it is that between us we have 4 DCs and so will go forwards with a nice big family, full of challenges but lots of fun and 4 people all with their own personalities that are growing and shaping as they get older.

To get to my point, sorry this is long, I would have been very reluctant to have more 'babies' but now that I have more children in my life, I'm really grateful and looking forward to having them all around for our future.

I suppose I'm saying try to think ahead past the early years to consider what you want. The baby, child stage is fleeting, but you will have grown children for much longer, so that's the part to really think about, I think.

As for giving them what they need in terms of time, money, attention etc. Plenty of large families have to go without things because resources won't stretch, but there is a plus side that they have a big team of people around them that they can play with, learn from, lean on and grow up with, and will have their backs (hopefully) through adulthood, and I think that counts for a lot.

Undercooked Wed 20-Apr-16 08:17:57

OneMore makes a great point. Pregnancy and early years are a tiny proportion of the time you will share with your third child. Having a third is an investment in all your family having a wide support network throughout life. Your DCs will have each other, you will have all of them, your grandchildren will have more chance of cousins, you will have more chance of grandchildren. It's so much more than coping with another year of sleepless nights.

Kim82 Wed 20-Apr-16 08:26:30

My elder three kids are now 8, 11 and 14 and I don't regret having the 8 year old at all. She was very much a wanted and planned baby, I don't feel as though she has missed out on anything, she has a lovely relationship with her siblings and I don't regret our decision to go for a third child one iota.

I now have a fourth child, however, after a large gap and though I adore her our lives would be easier if we had stuck at 3. She is only 21 months so it's been tough going back to the baby years again, she obviously doesn't have the same interests as her siblings so family days out are hard work, we needed a bigger car and money is in short supply. We wouldn't be without her at all but if I had our time again I'm not sure we would have gone for child number four. (I feel so guilty for saying that!)

Laquila Wed 20-Apr-16 08:48:50

kim82 please don't feel guilty! You sound like a great mum and I think everyone understands that it doesn't mean you love your third any less.

NickyEds Wed 20-Apr-16 09:10:28

At the moment op we're very much on "no" to another. I think another child would possibly be the difference between renting and ever being able to buy out own home. Chalk, it's things like that I worry about most, clubs, music lessons etc. Just the opportunities we could give two. Dd is 9 months now and I'm 36, I feel like if we don't ttc in the next year we never will, the dc will get easier, going back to work will get nearer and we just won't do it. We're doing a baby sale in a couple of months and I know my heart will break.

For dp it's different, I think he struggles to see past the early years, he also worries a lot about twins or a disabled child. I am also not a very nice pregnant person! I also worry about the strain three would put on our relationship. We are rock solid but two under two has been hard. If we won the lottery we would definitely have at least one more.

I think I will regret not having three but it might just have to be one of those things I want but can't have. I am still very, very lucky.

ayesar Wed 20-Apr-16 15:03:17

Chalkhearts and Roonerspin - can I ask what she's your kids are? I'm wondering if the third is left out when there is a big gap between siblings? Or if it's a lot harder when they are all close in age?

Oncemore - I agree with you and whenever I think of kids I think past the baby stage. I want lots of grown children, not babies. My husband doesn't see past that though. He thinks about diapers, tantrums, sleepless nights, and of course not being able to go on fancy vacations etc. My mom says that having lots of kids doesn't mean they will be close to each other or to me. It just means I will be spread thin and my kids will suffer. That's her perspective and I've heard it from other parents too who say 2 is MORE than enough, ESPECIALLY when they get older. She said I should not have more kids to give my kids another sibling and that I should only do it for myself.

I want to give my kids the best in life and I don't want to regret having another and making my kids struggle. I want them to have s good education, be in activities and go on vacations. I just wish it was easy to do it with 3 as it is with 2. It seems though, like 3 is the breaking point for many.

ohforfoxsake Wed 20-Apr-16 15:18:44

God no! On having the third that's when I felt everything came together. Everyone has someone, if I'm with one of them they have each other.

DC3 is the most active and I'm forever ferrying but no one misses out as I've built up a strong network. We all help each other. I went I to have DC4 and then became a lone parent. I can honestly say it's never too much. Tonight is a good example with one at the dentist, one at the doctors, one at a footy match and the other at training. I have written out a schedule, dinner is cooked and snacks made, and I'll work tonight to make up. It sounds hellish but it isn't.

It's all in the organisation and support. I have no family and XH isn't very engaged 90% of the time. But I do a lot of favours and it's reciprocated.

ChalkHearts Wed 20-Apr-16 15:44:41

ayesar - my 3 are close in age, and they're now all teenagers. And it's now, that they're teens, that I really feel the youngest misses out.

Because when teenagers are committed to their extra curricular activity it can be a lot of time. And I just can't possibly do that times 3.

If they were all couch potatoes it would be fine smile

But odds are on a Saturday you'll need to be in 3 different places.

AndNowItsSeven Wed 20-Apr-16 15:57:10

No , my life would be very different without my large brood. I love seeing the different relationships my dc have with their siblings.

LifeIsGoodish Wed 20-Apr-16 15:58:34

No regrets about having three. Oh life would have been vastly easier and cheaper if we'd stopped at two, but so much less interesting.

There's 6y between dc1 and dc2. For a few years it did feel like we had two families: and older pair and a younger singleton. That was challenging, a bit frustrating, and we did often feel that we missed out on opportunities. But as they get older the dynamics change constantly.

As they get older the opportunities trickle down IYSWIM because dc1 becomes more self-reliant and dc3 less dependent. And dc3 gets to do things earlier than dc1 or 2 did, as well as be dragged off into mischief by them.

We find that it's generally the middle one who misses out, in terms of parental attention. Again, that's something that changes over the years: dc3 no longer has to have parental attention, so it gets easier to ensure all dc get attention (even teenage dc1, who 'does not want' the attention!).

LifeIsGoodish Wed 20-Apr-16 16:01:45

I agree with OP's mum that you don't have kids to give your kid a sibling, you should only have kids because that's what you (the parents) want.

MagicalMrsMistoffelees Wed 20-Apr-16 16:46:04

Mine are 9, almost 6 and 1 (just last week!). All three boys are fantastic. They all get along brilliantly, they're all healthy and they are all good-natured, happy and easy going.

But this has been the hardest year of our lives! We are permanently utterly exhausted! Splitting ourselves between three is so hard when you factor in everything that needs to be done and all the places they need to be.

Our house doesn't feel big enough and we had to get a new car. Money is tighter - especially as my mum is unable to provide (free) childcare any longer due to ill health and leaving the baby with a childminder (which we'll have to do from September when I'm full time again) will be heart wrenching.

Maybe it's because we're older (41 and 37 when our youngest was born); maybe it's because there was a 5 year gap between our middle and youngest ones; maybe it's just that three is too many! I don't know.

My husband wanted two but I persuaded him one more baby would be good. You wanted honesty and honestly I should have listened to him.

But of course I feel awful saying that when our little boy brings us so much joy and we all adore him. I wouldn't change it now he's here is an old cliche but it's true. However, if someone asks I'll definitely be advising to stick at two!

Strokethefurrywall Wed 20-Apr-16 18:49:33

I feel like I'm finally coming to accepting the realisation that my life is good with my 2 boys, no - in fact it's perfect.

But I'm one of 3 and have always wanted 3, so its a lot to get my head around a different number. We could afford 3, I would love my boys (4 and 2) to have a sibling. But watching them play together now, rambunctious, giggling, wrestling, is wonderful and they're only just coming to the years where it's really starting to develop well. If I threw a 3rd into the mix it would be another relationship that they would have to develop and frankly I already feel like I miss out on DS2's life as he's number 2 and DH and I both work full time. I don't want to give up any more one on one time with him and I would have to if I had another baby.

And the more I analyse my feelings around this, the more I know that it's a fantasy that I have, and the reality would be a million times harder. I love being pregnant, and I love giving birth and holding a newborn life in my arms. I love the attention and the time off work and all that amazing joy that a new baby brings. But it is over so so fast (in my case I get 16 weeks mat leave!) and then I would be having to juggle my career, 3 young, active kids, 2 dogs, a big home and still find the time for DH and I to put some time and effort into our marriage.

I love the idea of a 3rd, but I believe that I would massively regret it and potentially ruin the amazing life that we have already.

ayesar Wed 20-Apr-16 20:42:26

Thank you all so much for such amazing responses and insights. It is so helpful to have the honest responses here. Sometimes I think that it's not s good idea for me to have another because I mostly think of all the negatives associated with it. I'll be so busy, have to breastfeed again, be pregnant with 2 kids around, I'll have to make 5 lunches in total for school and work eek, vacations will be so expensive, and how in the world can 3 kids do 2 activities each without me going out of my mind trying to take them everywhere. I want 3 kids and don't mind the work, but I don't want to be the kind of mom who doesn't get a minute to herself because of constant driving around, cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids. I want to have my own life too. When I think of these thoughts, I think 3 is probably not right for me.

But then I see one of my coworkers, who has a 2, 4 and 6 year old, works full time and looks absolutely great, I think maybe 3 kids is doable and won't completely destroy me lol

Strokethefurrywall Wed 20-Apr-16 22:54:16

I see the same thing ayesar and know many professional women here with 3 kids, a full time job and manage to look amazing. It's definitely doable here because of the proximity of office/home and the majority of families have excellent helpers/nannies. Probably less so if you have a huge commute.

But I just don't think I can divide myself mentally between 3 kids and still maintain some semblance of "myself". DS2 just turned 2 years old and it's only been in the last 6 months that I've started to feel less like "mum" and more like myself, with my own social life, career and interests. And I like it. I don't want to be just "mum" and I fear with another one, my whole life will be devoted to it because of the sheer demands of 3 children.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now