To ask if for your honest view on regretting having or not having that third child?

(105 Posts)
suddenlycupishalffull Wed 13-May-15 13:44:22

...I am genuinely torn over it...DS is 4, DS2 is 17 months...DH is enjoying 'getting our lives back' & the thought of another baby fills him with dread...we have 2 healthy, happy DC & I was fine during pregnancy & childbirth & he stresses we need to be grateful for that, which of course we do...but I see their childhoods already going so quickly (eldest starting big school in September, youngest already a toddler & no longer a baby) and don't feel really to let that go yet, I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life without a doubt. Practically, it's not the right thing to do...I have no local family help, I suffered post-natal anxiety with both & don't like the chaos that lots of children brings...when I think of their futures, I hope we could take them on holidays, spend quality time with both, all of which DH says we will struggle to do with a 3rd child in the mix....and yet...my small family is not close at all and for various reasons I don't have a relationship with my relations (grandparents, aunts, cousins etc), I'd like something different for DC, I don't think a small family necessarily leads to happiness for children, I felt very isolated and alone at times. So...AIBU to ask whether you honestly have regretting having that 3rd child or regret having not gone for it?

hanahsaunt Wed 13-May-15 14:13:51

Hmm. It's a tricky question for those of us with #3 - it's a bit like asking if you regret have two feet or something - life without them is completely unthinkable. Had we not had #3 we wouldn't have had #4. Life would have been enormously different in myriad ways not least because ours come in two distinct age batches with a big gap between the two pairs. We would have been over the preschool thing much, much earlier, I would have continued on my career path properly, we would be financially much, much better off with fewer constraints on types of house, car etc. We are slightly reckless and generally assume that everything will be fine and if it's not it will be ... some time. I guess it helps that dh and I were in agreement so that area of tension wasn't a factor.

Rivercam Wed 13-May-15 14:20:43

I'm one of four so am slightly surprised I have two children.

The reason is that dc1 was seriously ill aged three and dc2 wasn't even one. The emotional scar that it left coming to terms with it took several months. Had that not happened, we may have been in a better place to consider number three.

I'm really happy at having two, but sometimes would like that slightly larger family.

Nb. Dc1 is fine and healthy now.

manicinsomniac Wed 13-May-15 14:21:16

Tricky question.

No, I don't regret her because she is adorable, special, unique, blah blah blah and I love her to bits. Can't imagine being without her.

But ... she is 1 year old and my other children are 8 and 12. I was beyond devastated when I found out I was pregnant. I felt like I was just coming out of the years of everything revolving around children and starting to get my life back. I didn't have a clue who the father was (one night stand that I was too drunk to remember - I know, I know, really stupid teenage behaviour but there you go, it happened). I'm single with a hugely demanding full time job and my children have always just had to fit in. I have mental health issues and already felt like a crap parent to DDs 1 and 2 without throwing a 3rd into the mix.

So everything in me was screaming out against this child. But, do I regret having her - no!

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Wed 13-May-15 14:24:21

We had two children, 19 months apart, and I have never had a moment's regret about not having more. All the reasons your DH has mentioned weighed pretty heavily with us. I was in my early 30s when our children were born and the older I got the greater the risks were getting. A woman I met when they were tiny said two was an excellent number because you have two hands, two knees, two eyes and two ears. Once you put a third child in there it all starts to get very much harder. She had three and I assumed she knew what she was talking about.

My own two were very hard work indeed as toddlers and I could not wait for life to get a bit easier, as it did. A full night's sleep, night after night after night! Unimaginable luxury. I could start a conversation with another adult and get to the end of it without interruption. I had free time during the day once they were at school and I felt able to go back to part-time paid work at that point.

If we'd had more we would probably have moved to a larger house - more disruption, more expense - and of course finances would have been tighter all round, especially now that they are students.

Two is a good number. My children are very close to each other and to us as they have grown up.

LucilleBluth Wed 13-May-15 14:30:54

You have to be prepared for the extra expense. Bigger cars, houses, holidays are so expensive for a family of five, our food bill is massive, laundry never ends, always outnumbered etc etc.....but we wouldn't be without her and I had her for the same reasons as you want a third op, I wanted the whole baby stage again, now I shudder at the thought of another.

smileyhappymummy Wed 13-May-15 14:31:03

I have very similar conversations with my dh, and am gradually accepting that he genuinely doesn't want another baby. I can't get my head around that idea - I look at our two amazing children and can't comprehend why he doesn't want another - I totally understand the practical reasons against (which are huge) but on an emotional level I'd love another baby, and I feel so sad that my time as a mum of small children is slipping away. But it isn't what he wants and I think we would both need to want another in order to make it a good idea to ignore all the practical stuff (none of which for us is insurmountable - but there are clear good practical reasons for stopping at 2).

What does your Dh want?

And good luck with the decision - whichever way it ends up going, it isn't an eàsy one!

wigglesrock Wed 13-May-15 14:33:01

I have three. I always wanted three, I love it but I have family support, my parents and pils are nearby, my car and house were big enough for three. I also left a bigger gap, there's 2 years 4 months between my first two and 3 years 4 months between dd2 and dd3. My eldest were in school, preschool before dd3 was born.

I've never found that spending time individually with each of them to be a problem. In fact I've found it easier with three, if I want to do something with one of them, there's not just one left. The other two can go up to my mums, can be taken to the park.

It's hard, the organisation is difficult sometimes but like I said I have family nearby. My three are now 9,7 and 4. The youngest will be starting school in September and I gave no intention of having another child. I wanted three and from the minute I was pregnant with dd3 I knew I was done if that makes sense.

fiveacres Wed 13-May-15 14:33:14

I do regret it a bit but then I never wanted 3.

I'll get flamed but I did want to experience both sexes - if I was wavering and had two boys I'd be tempted to try again. My first two were one of each.

FoxyJane Wed 13-May-15 14:33:23

I can't regret my dc, we have 4 and they're amazing. Since having number 4 though I've found my middle two have asd which hasn't changed anything but knowing why my middle two are so challenging and knowing it's not just a phase has compounded our regular parenting troubles.

We also can no longer squeeze into a 3 bed and really to be a honest in a couple of years our 4 bed will likely be to too small. I'd love a basement kid space.

So no I don't regret my 4 children but the more you have the more work, greater costs, less time and harder the holidays you need bigger accomadation and no longer qualify for a family ticket at most attractions.

I love my kids but I do not want 5, I think you know when in your heart when your brood is complete.

Jackieharris Wed 13-May-15 14:37:20

Your 2 are still so young!

I'm pregnant with number three but my other 2 are much much older.

You really don't know what it's like having older dcs who cost much more, need much more space and need ferried around everywhere all the time yet. How can you tell now how you'd juggle that with 3?

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Wed 13-May-15 14:38:14

We have stopped at two (DH has had the snip and everything) and for us that has absolutely been the right thing. The dynamics work, we are starting to get to a place where it's getting easier and our careers can thrive, and we get to spend a good amount of time with each of the DC.

yearofthegoat Wed 13-May-15 14:40:56

I am one of three but have stuck at two for all the reasons stated above. I haven't regretted it for a moment.

One of my DB's friends went for number 3 and got triplets. DB found it very amusing as his friend was a consultant in obs and gynae.

KERALA1 Wed 13-May-15 14:42:28

I am one of 3 and thought I would have 3. Stopped at 2. They are 2 years apart same sex get on brilliantly. Now 6 and 8 and we can do such fun stuff together as a family (pony trekking, meals out, tennis, chats). Having a younger toddler around would change the dynamic totally. See families with kids our age but one parent chasing round after a toddler/baby and would hate that.

I do worry that the family isn't "big enough" but then my youngest sister of the 3 of us was really left out as a child and it has affected her into adulthood so I am very wary of the 3 kids dynamic. Always felt closer to my middle sister as we were closest in age. As a (mean) oldest child I felt embarrassed by our as I saw it large family as everyone else had 2 kids. I appreciate thats very mean though!

GreatJoanUmber Wed 13-May-15 14:44:12

I've got three, and no I don't regret it one bit!

That said, we had a big enough house already and I only needed to swap cars; I still had all the baby stuff so no initial expense, and in theory I'll never need to buy clothes for the baby as they'll all be passed down wink
I had 3 under 5 and they were fairly evenly spaced. They all get along really well and adore each other. I don't have family close by and get no "help" as such, but then I found its not much different to having 2.
Food bill has gone up though, and the amount of washing seems to have tripled!
But it's what I always wanted, a 'full house', and just the right amount of chaos.

TracyBarlow Wed 13-May-15 14:47:49

I have three under school age. To be honest it's not that much different to having 2. Yes, life is busy, but it always is with children. I work part time too and we have no close familial support, nor any friends that we'd trust to babysit while they're so tiny so we don't really get to go out. It's fine though. I love big families. I think we'll probably have another before I'm 40.

Happybodybunny12 Wed 13-May-15 14:47:59

Hi op. First of all both of you have to be on board with number 3 and your dhs opinion is perfectly valid as sure you agree.

We had our 3 rd baby when our older ones were 8 and 9 and then we had baby 4 a year later.

The girls had effectivly 3 daddies as their brothers are do much older.

Now as teens we have lads in their mid twenties who have moved out locally and have girlfriends but always around to listen to the girls, help tutour them with GCSEs and bit friend woes.

It was the best thing we ever did.

Happybodybunny12 Wed 13-May-15 14:50:23

Bit obviously boy.grin

Oh forgot to add it's expensive though. Not as littlies but as teens. I had to go back to work to help uni fees etc. it's very expensive.

Purplepoodle Wed 13-May-15 15:10:38

I have 6, just turned 4 and just turned 2. Honestly no3 was a bomb in our marriage. I had no family help and dh works long hours. Dh was resentful that I was so tired and depressed after no3 as things had been going great before. Childcare has crippled us. We nearly separated a few months back. We are slowly getting back on track.

For me 3 is tough. It's hard to balance all their needs and find time for our marriage.

Wannabe2015 Wed 13-May-15 15:22:24

I had my third 6 months ago. It has been so hard. Obviously i dont regret It, or rather I dont regret her, but this has been the toughest time.

But then I had HG, hypertension, UGR and was in hospital alot. I then had a failed ECV as baby was unstable lie which resulted in a c section (a first for me). Grim.

My eldest started school last Sept and we bought and sold a house while I Was pg. It was all too much and I am only now starting to feel anything like myself again.

Think really carefully. Make sure your DH is on board. And I wish you the best whatever happens.

NRomanoff Wed 13-May-15 15:24:52

I stuck at 2 and have no regrets at all. If we had had number 3, we would have needed to move (the kids bedrooms are very small and could not fit another in either) somewhere bigger with a bigger mortgage, replaced both cars (as one of us runs the kids to school and other picks up), holidays would have been out of our budget etc.

Its all stuff we could have done, but we decided to stick with 2 and have more disposable income and savings. Ds is now 4 and I have no inclination to have anymore even though I am only 32. I enjoy our life and wouldn't want another.

Every time a thread like this comes up I always want to know what happens if the OP has 3, then decides she really wants/needs to have a fourth? how do you know you family will be complete at 3 kids?

I don't think a small family necessarily leads to happiness for children

Big families don't necessarily lead to happiness for children either. Especially if you do find 3 a struggle.

jimijack Wed 13-May-15 15:32:23

I deeply regret not being able to have a 3rd or 4th.

I'm angry about it actually.

But then when I had my first I was sufficiently traumatized that I couldn't bear the thought of another. He was 5when my anxiety began to fade and I considered another.

Simply put, we couldn't. Now with my second, who is a dream & a joy, I could have another 4 like him.

I am too old & the opportunity is well gone now.

I feel cheated.

Strokethefurrywall Wed 13-May-15 15:45:45

I started a similar thread about a month ago - OP you are me 3 months ahead. I've got DS1 (3.8) and DS2 (14 months) and I've always longed for 3 kids.
I'm one of three and I loved the dynamic. There are 2 years between my older sister and I and then 3.9 years between myself and my younger brother and if I were going to attempt a third, I would consider that a pretty decent age gap.

I like that with 3, if two aren't getting on at any particular time, then the other is always there to "diffuse or deflect" which worked when my siblings and I were young. I never really "liked" my brother (totally stole my thunder, I have total middle child syndrome!) but I loved him and as we grew up, we became very close. He was a great balance between my sister and I. And when was diagnosed with terminal cancer, my sister and I leaned very heavily on each other to help support our parents, even though I live overseas, and after he passed away, we were each others rocks.

However, DH and I live overseas and have to pay for private education here so that stops me in my tracks. It's expensive to fly anywhere but we earn good money so holidays aren't a problem, but if I'm being totally selfish, I like being able to afford what I want for us when I want, and I'm worried a third will mean we have to think more carefully about things. Not to mention university fees in the US or UK!

What I'm really hoping is that by the time DS2 gets to 3 years, I won't want to go back to the start again. I enjoy my job but it's not something that grips me at my core so I've started singing again, am back in a band and have gigs lined up, so hopefully getting "me" back will mean I'm less reluctant to give that up.

I wish I "knew" that I was done with two but I'm worried I will always have that yearning for three.

grumpysquash Wed 13-May-15 16:43:21

I also have 3 DC and always thought that 3 would be the 'right' number for me. They are 13, 11 & 9, and boy - girl - boy. They are a pleasure smile
My DH was ambivalent at best about a 3rd child, but once he was on the way it was all OK.
I am not planning any more (and TBH am probably too old at this point), however there is a little part of me that might have liked DC4. But our house is full, the car is full, I might as well get my salary paid direct to Tesco.
To answer the OP, I have absolutely no regrets about DC3, and not really any big regrets about not having DC4. As other people have said, I think you just know how many is the right number.
(Ask me again when they are all teenagers LOL)

RainbowSpiral Wed 13-May-15 17:55:21

I do regret not having num 3 but then I also lost my 3rd and 4th pregnancies. I have two lovely boys but would have liked a girl too, but by that argument I might have had to have a lot more than 3!

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