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To be soo confused about having third child - Did you stop at 2?

(112 Posts)
daytoday Wed 28-Jul-10 13:54:34

Basically, not sure where to post this. But can totally see benefits of having third child . . . obvious really, another munchkin!

And totally see benefits of stopping now - my youngest is about to start school. We will not need to pay for childcare anymore - life will be much, much easier, financially and practically. Hurrah! at last!

However I am totally torn - I swing wildly between the two.

I am in my late 30's so feel its now (in the next year) or never. The age gap between each child would be roughly equal and I have a boy and a girl.

Would love to hear from those who stopped at 2, who struggled coming to this decision. How do you feel - 5, 10 years down the line? Honestly? Wish you had gone for it - or have enjoyed the last 5 or 10 years?

Onetoomanycornettos Wed 28-Jul-10 14:01:06

I have no great advice as in exactly the same position. Now or never really. And I still can't decide...

missnevermind Wed 28-Jul-10 14:03:42

I stopped at 2 - for a while, I was never sure about having another so we didnt.
Then DS1 was 10 and DS2 8 and I really wanted a baby again. The very big age gap suits us as it is like having an only again

and DS3 18 months now has his own slaves and playmates.
Of course now I would like a DC4.........

BabyDubsEverywhere Wed 28-Jul-10 14:05:24

ooo I'm marking my place, as we are mid discussions, again, about a third!

For all the reasons above and more my head says to stop ad really start enjoying my two now, but my heart skips a beat at the thought of another....

so I'm no use either confused

BabyDubsEverywhere Wed 28-Jul-10 14:07:55

missnevermind, we have looked at waiting a decent length of time and starting again, but i worry that a new one when the older ones and 10ish will hold them back in some way? family time going to the strength of the little one etc, cant explain really, but if you understand a word ive said whats your take on it? blush

tittybangbang Wed 28-Jul-10 14:09:22

Feel for you.

I planned to have 2. Had difficulty conceiving second dc at 37 and assumed I was unlikely to have a third, but couldn't quite bring myself to close the door on my childbearing.

Conceived 'accidentally' at 38 (by 'accidentally' I mean we were being lazy about contraception....) and gave birth to third dc at 39.

Wouldn't trade my youngest in for anything. I adore him and he's made me so happy, but TBH I don't cope very well with three and it's put a lot of stress on me. Also, after having two really easy kids my third dc is quite hard work - very hyper and shouty, although he was an easy baby. Maybe it's because it's hard being 44, fat and mum to a 5 year old..... wish I had more energy - I'd enjoy all three of them more if I wasn't so knackered all the time. 3 is hard work.

Sorry if I've made you more confused. It's so, so hard to shut the door on the idea of another baby, which is why people like me avoid making a decision and just let things happen to us.

tittybangbang Wed 28-Jul-10 14:12:08

On a practical note - having 3 kids makes taking holidays, buying cars, buying houses and paying for after school/pre school childcare or activities much more of an issue. Even the cheapest childcare - after school club, now costs me £10 per hour.

Lulumaam Wed 28-Jul-10 14:15:38

We stopped at two.

for a long while, i did want a third, but when i examined it really, i wanted a third pregnancy , birth and a newborn. did not really want a 3rd child. ifyswim

DD is 5 tomorrow, and we are both happy with teh decision to stop

DH works v v long hours, i'm often on my own and can cope fine with two. a 3rd one would really alter the dynamic for me, in a negative way

i also want to go back to uni at some point and i do feel a 3rd baby would stop this ever happening.

I am glad now we did not go for a 3rd. it is such a personal decision and depends on so many factors

the other thing for me, i think if i had a 3rd, i'd have wanted a 4th !

mumofthreesweeties Wed 28-Jul-10 14:16:37

Our third DC, a DD is now one and I was totally against having a third baby. One morning I woke up and felt so broody, discussed it with DH and we started working on it straight away. I didn't weigh the pros and cons tbh as we just felt that having a third baby would complete our family. SHe is so adorable, and after two DS's was over the moon to have a DD.

I found that a third baby fitted in straight away and I didnt find it too taxing as the transition from one to two DC's. Having said that I still find it a bit strange walking around with three DC, although DS1 is nearly 12, DS2 is 5 so the gaps have helped in not making me too stressed. I am also toying with the idea of DC4......My DH thinks I have now lost the plot. I am 34 this year so would ideally like to have DC4 next year or 2012. If I go past 36 without DC4 then that will be it for us. Good luck with your decision

daytoday Wed 28-Jul-10 14:21:06

tittybangbang (love the name!) thank you for your post.

Once a baby is here, you cannot envisage being without them - can you?

But my dilemma feels so superficial to me - I am really looking forward to the youngest starting school and not being so stressed about money. The money we spend on childcare we can spend on ourselves! Holidays etc.

It seems such a vacuous reason not to have a child - but we've struggled on since the first one was born. We have got to a place where we have good careers (mine part time). The thought of going back and starting again, mushing food, naptimes and nappies is daunting.

But I love having the other two - sitting on the sofa - playing and arguing.

But then despite everything, all the financial reasons - I think, it would be so lovely to have another child! To know that this was it! The last time . .

ARghhhhh! Confusion reigns!

auntpolly Wed 28-Jul-10 14:21:43

It's a tough one, what does your other half think? We've got two, a boy and a girl, I definitely haven't written off having another one but my DH has. He doesn't want any more purely for practical and financial reasons. He's thinking about long term things, like if they all want to go to university, bigger car (and cars when they can drive), more expensive holidays, more uniforms, childcare etc etc. I'm still in my twenties though (only just), so we have agreed to see how things are in 5 years time.

Do you think you would live to regret not having another baby or might you come to terms with it? How would a baby affect the other kids? Sorry I haven't got answers, just more questions!

daytoday Wed 28-Jul-10 14:22:00

Is there anyone who stopped at 2, who can give us advise?

MorrisZapp Wed 28-Jul-10 14:28:09

Money and practicalities are not a vacuous reason, they are a very important reason.

You can't magic up a bigger car/ bigger house/ third uni education out of love and scotch mist can you.

Strawbezza Wed 28-Jul-10 14:29:02

I planned to stop at 2, did stop at 2 and have absolutely no regrets. I have 2 DS's so also had to endure the "won't you be trying for a girl" conversations!

Also, I was one of 2, my parents also planned for and stopped at 2. I have a very close relationship with my sister and genuinely think it wouldn't be as good if there'd been 3 or more of us.

twolittlemonkeys Wed 28-Jul-10 14:29:33

Oh, I'm in the same boat. Can't decide. We have 2 DS, 4 and 2. DS1 starts school in September, DS2 starts kindergarten. I'll finally have a bit of time to myself! But I get broody when I see babies and DH and I had decided having a 3rd felt right. I had fertility treatment (have PCOS so rarely ovulate naturally) and conceived but MCd at 9 weeks. Since then I haven't felt a strong urge to ttc again but if I do have another I want it to be sooner rather than later. Argh. I'm so torn.

The financial aspect is weighing heavily on my mind at the moment. DS1 is v bright and has got a substantial bursary for a very good prep school, no way we can afford fees, but if we did want DS2 to go, I would have to work school hours and use basically all my earnings to pay for it. There are good state schools around and if we had 3 then DS2 and DC3 would both go to state school. Oh I don't know what to do!!

daytoday Wed 28-Jul-10 14:30:55

Oh Lulamam, thank you. So you have reconciled your decision to stop at two?

I can see the positive of both stopping and having a third.

Oh lordy, I wish I were four or five years younger - then I could play for time.

daytoday Wed 28-Jul-10 14:34:06

Strawbezza - I'm one of three - very close to both.

Almost lost one, due to illness, I feel very strongly that having two siblings has been brilliant for me.

Tinuviel Wed 28-Jul-10 15:33:10

Wouldn't be without my 3 DCs. It does mean having a bigger car; it does mean we have to book 2 hotel rooms as family rooms only go up to 4 people; (we generally go self-catering and it's fine although a bit more expensive); when mine were small it was tricky - 2 hands and 3 children. But I can't imagine life without DD - she is gorgeous and cute and sweet. DSs are fantastic to but I would have felt incomplete without a third.

They all get on very well most of the time and play well together.

Chrysanthemum5 Wed 28-Jul-10 16:04:08

For a while I really wanted a third, DH was quite clear all along (even before we had the DCs) that he wanted 2. He is absolutely happy with 2, he thinks it is an ideal size family. DC2 will soon be three, and I have come to terms with not having more. I can see the benefits of stopping at 2, and I find the DCs now happily play together and have such a great time as a duo. If I had really pushed for another child I could probably have persuaded him.

Maybe they would also love a sibling, but they have lots of cousins and both the DCs enjoy having a bit of time on their own with us when the other one is away at a party or something.

The decision was sort of taken out of our hands though because DH has a health problem that means more children would be a bad idea. So may be that helped me become reconciled to it?

ReasonableDoubt Wed 28-Jul-10 16:32:40

Stopped at 2.

Like LuluMaam, I realised I wanted the third pregnancy, birth and snuggly newborn. I do not really want to be schlepping three kids around, if I am honest with myself.

There are lots of practical reasons (finances, space, my career, my health, the balance of my two children's lives etc), but when push comes ot shove - it just felt like it was going to be too knackering!

I do still get pangs of broodiness big time, but NO. No, no, no grin

tillyfernackerpants Wed 28-Jul-10 16:42:34

I've stopped at 2. For a while after having ds2 I did want a 3rd but realised that it was just my hormones. Once they cleared up I realised that having a 3rd for me would be a mistake. I enjoy having 2 and find I can split my time with them nicely, I'd worry one would get left out with 3. Ds1 starts school full time in Sept so I'll have some one to one time with ds2 plus I'm ready to go back to work as well, even just part time. I couldn't do that with a 3rd and it would be another couple of years before I could think about working.

Anyway, hope that helps. It is hard, I have 2 ds's and have had to reconcile the fact we'll never have a girl. But the boys are great, they play well together and I know we've made the right decision.

Good luck smile

Lulumaam Wed 28-Jul-10 16:43:21

totally reconciled

not to say i don't get the odd pang

but no more than that

I thikn that money /quality of life are important enough reasons to stop.

i know that a lot of people advcocate the 'you'll manage somehow' approach.. but i personally could not live like that

i also felt for me, after severe PND wtih DC1 and being fine with DC2 , a 3rd would be pushing our luck. I have a DS, a DD, they're fine, i'm fine.. our family works, it's a good dynamic

now that they are older, I am appreciating having more freedom, it is easier to find baby sitters, easier to go out for the day,i have more energy, i can have the odd lie in as they can get themselvels brekky.. DS is getting to an age he is going out with friends...having a DD who is old enough to pootle around , without needing constant attention/feeding/changing etc is for me a good thing

i am 35 and have had the odd feeling of grief over my childbearing age being over, especially when lots of other friends and family are just starting their families..

but the benefit is being 35 with two healthy children and no worries about decline in fertility, not being with the right man, worrying about TTC and the increased chance of chromosomal problems or multiple birth ..

i think sometimes being grateful and thankful for what you have, rather than yearning for something else, is a good thing

Casserole Wed 28-Jul-10 17:04:48

<thinks Lulu speaks utter sense and would quite like now to run all my future life questions past her for advice!>

PlanetEarth Wed 28-Jul-10 17:06:35

I wanted 3, OH only ever wanted 2. Once our 2nd had arrived though, I decided 2 was enough. The main reason was quality time with the kids. It was completely different with #1 - when she was little I could arrange things around her, I didn't get cross, was always patient. She got lots of one-on-one time, and was patient herself, doing jigsaws etc. With 2 kids (2nd one born when 1st was 21 months) my time would get split. The toddler needed attention, and sometimes the baby had to wait. When we got to the jigsaw stage, the younger kid would start it and the older one would butt in and finish it - she's still less patient, and I blame her older sister wink.

Having a bigger age gap doesn't always help eotjer - I know people who don't take their 3rd child to say swing parks, as the older ones would be bored. Yes, kids have to learn that life isn't all about them, but some of it should be I think.

PlanetEarth Wed 28-Jul-10 17:07:49

That would be either...

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