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to sometimes wonder what possessed me to have a 4th DC?

(16 Posts)
FrustratedFrannie Thu 25-Aug-11 22:33:45

I can never say this out loud and feel terrible for even thinking it but sometimes I do regret having DC4. I was 38 and feeling that last flush of broodiness (older DCs were 12, 8 and 7) and wanted just one more baby. DH and I agreed to try for a few months, both hoping that the broodiness would pass and nothing would happen, but BINGO, it happened in the first month. We were all delighted.

It was crazy and irresponsible as even with both of us working full time, we were struggling financially.

DS3 is now 13 months and I adore the bones off him. DH has shown a side he never had with older DCs in that he wants to do everything for him even the shittiest nappy is not too much, and he is worshipped by everyone but when all the DCs are in bed, I wonder what the fuck I have done. This last year has been really hard, we have had to downsize housewise and I hate the house we live in, we can't buy the older DCs the stuff they want, no holiday last year or this year and thinking about the anxiety I am going to go through AGAIN about illnesses, finding and paying for childcare (I am not working but need to very soon) and worrying if he will be taken care off properly, development etc, fills me with complete dread. I know I got through it before but I can't for the life of me figure out why I put myself in this position again. Yes I know I am lucky to have 4 healthy DCs yada yada yada, and I would never give him back but I am shocked that I feel like this.

I feel guilty for the older DCs as this summer (like last one, DS was born in July), we have not done much and have not been able to go away due to the hassle of having a young DC and of course financial constraints. I feel like they are missing out due to my selfishness in having another DC!

I admit to wondering how much easier things would be if I had not done this, me working, nicer house, DCs old enough to look after themselves, holidays and even family bike rides that we can't do anymore as we can't afford a trailer to fix onto my/DHs bike and anyway I would be terrified of it detaching and him flying into the road!

I am so BU I know! I need a virtual slap don't I?

Confuseddd Thu 25-Aug-11 22:41:32

Yanbu for having a wobble about it, but he is here now and you can't undo this decision. And you can get bike seats for the back of bikes quite cheaply(Argos) - safer than a trailer IMO.

rhondajean Thu 25-Aug-11 22:51:24

Stop feeling guilty about your other DC. I was an only child and always felt very deprived because I had no siblings. I had 2 children in the hope that though they fight now they will grow up to have each other as good friends in adult life. It wasnt a good idea for me to have more but I probably would have if things had been different, and ended up feeling like you. If you love them all, feed them, clothe them and teach them to make their own way in the world, they will be fine.

And they get big sooooo fast, its scary.

You are doing just fine.

FrustratedFrannie Thu 25-Aug-11 22:55:42

Just looked at the bike seats and will probably need to find the courage to use one! Good idea though, thanks.

Thanks Rhondajean, I know I am being ridiculous and it was pass very quickly, cathartic to get it off my chest though.

racetobed Thu 25-Aug-11 23:02:28

I am the eldest of 4 and was 15 when my youngest sibling was born (my other siblings were 12 and 10, so not that far of yours) Speaking on behalf of the three elder siblings, NONE of us have EVER felt we were deprived of holidays, possessions etc bc of sibling no 4. It never even crossed our minds that we were missing out on xmas presents bc my parents were strapped for cash. Obviously they were, but the joy of having a much younger sibling outweighed any material loss. It was absolutely magic having a baby in the house - we enjoyed it all the more because we were older. In fact, I'd say my parents' 'selfish' decision to have a 4th was one of the best things that ever happened to me. So please don't feel you have deprived your elder three. A sibling is the most precious of gifts, no matter how many you have.

nothingnatural Thu 25-Aug-11 23:16:28

Racetobed that's a lovely post.

YANBU to feel a bit overwhelmed, 4 kids is a LOT. But try and lose the guilt about the older ones, it doesn't help at all does it, and we didn't always go on holidays or get exactly what we wanted all the time as kids and I remember my childhood (one of 3 kids) as brilliant. Really happy because we were all loved.

Obv there are practical realities - space in the house, money, etc which are going to be more difficult with 4 rather than 3 kids but you and your dh are gonna have to try and figure out the best way to deal with that.

Best of luck, focus on the positives. Try not to dwell on the negative thoughts.

rhondajean Thu 25-Aug-11 23:24:38

Oh you are not being ridiculous!! We all feel we got it wrong somehow - the guilt is a symptom of parenthood. But please do be kinder to yourself.

madmomma Thu 25-Aug-11 23:40:13

Siblings are far more precious than anything money can buy (and I say that as someone who hated her brother until he was 25). As you've said, your youngest is treasured by the whole family. The family shape has changed - that's all, and you're probably having a kind of delayed reaction to the change. Babies always bring hassle, but you know he's worth it. To everyone in the family.

CardyMow Fri 26-Aug-11 01:28:08

I sometimes have a wobble about DS3 (7mo), my older dc are 13.5yo, 9.4yo and 7.10yo, so a fairly similar (large) age gap. BUT they all dote on him, I think it's just made harder by the fact that my Ex-P walked out when DS3 was 4mo. I love him to pieces though, and my family feels....complete, IYSWIM.

BUT with a good buggy, I am able to almost all of the things that I would have done with my dc anyway. We went to the beach last week, took him paddling in the sea, and I still got time to help my older dc dig a boat out of the sand, turn My DD into a sand mermaid, turn my oldest DS into a sand octopus, go on lots of rides on the pier with all 3 older dc, stop DS3 from eating the sand hmm, play on the penny machines in the arcades (DS3 helped!).

We have also been on lots of picnics and ds3 has had great fun rolling around on the picnic rug gumming sandwiches while I played frisbee with the older dc. Spent a lot of time in our local country park with DS3 marvelling at the butterflies and all the newts the older ones caught when pond dipping.

I wouldn't change the fact that I have had a 4th dc for the world, he is my little gingerbread man, and we all love him to bits, it is just taking a bit of time to get used to the way the family dynamic has changed.

I am worried about Christmas though - DS2's birthday is 4 weeks beforehand, and DS3's is 4 weeks afterwards!

Unreasonablyfedup Fri 26-Aug-11 04:23:47

I am 40, 39 weeks with DC2 - and I have some of the same wobbles as you do OP. Much more so than with first child. Maybe it's just an age thing? Particularly at the moment when the world seems to be a much tougher place than it was even 5 years ago?

Runlolarun Fri 26-Aug-11 06:59:01

I don't think it is the mother's age that is relevant here though. I think it is the age gap of the children.

ZonkedOut Fri 26-Aug-11 07:47:11

I am oldest of 5, when DC4 was born, we were 10, 9 and 7, then DC5 was born when I was 16.

I never wondered what it would be like without the younger two, even though it was difficult at times. Particularly before we could afford 2 cars, fitting 4 of us in the back of a Cortina estate was a squeeze. (No seatbelts, you wouldn't do that these days). Holidays were visiting my grandparents in Second once or twice a year.

So you might be having a bit of a wobble, but you have 4 loved kids, and I bet the older 3 adore the baby, and help out a bit too, just like we did with our younger brother and sister.

ZonkedOut Fri 26-Aug-11 07:48:40

Bah, phone autocorrect... My GPs lived in Devon, not Second!

toniguy Fri 26-Aug-11 08:24:08

I completely Agree with the others that you should not beat yourself up with guilt about the older kids. That won't be productive at all. Instead, focus your energy on how to get round as Many of the problems as you can. I know a lot of posters are saying they wont feel they are missing out .... Hmm not sure I completely agree. They may not always voice it but realistically they will be feeling the effects of having moved to a smaller not as nice house, and not having outings and activities they did before. So things like a bike trailer are a great idea.'

I also think its not 4 kids which is the issue- many people have largish families, but the age gap, whereby you almost have one little family with the older 3 and then a 'singleton'. Realistically with an age gap like this, the children wont be going through similar phases at the same time, and are unlikely to have shared interests. That doesn't mean they wont like eachother- that's a different issue - but it does mean that your family dynamic has changed. I think its entirely normal to feel a wobble. You're just being honest in admitting it. No one regrets having a child once they're here, but I suspect some people do deep down wonder about how the family would be different if they'd had a different number.

CardyMow Fri 26-Aug-11 17:45:50

It's definately the large age gap - having 3 in 5 1/2 years was FINE. Having a fourth dc 7 years later - BIG changes needed.

Unreasonablyfedup Fri 26-Aug-11 20:32:21

I was the youngest of 4 - age gap of 11 years between me and next one up. It probably wasn't what my mum planned at all - but she once confided to me that she found it much easier to bond when she had one little one, rather than 3. And it was like having an extra 3 parents/carers. I got a lot of attention and they all seemed like having me around!

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