To ask for information from parents with three children..(73 Posts)
Posting for traffic. When considering a third baby, the uniform response so far has been "what about your car, and holidays". I'm just wondering how much more work a third is, and how much more the cost, in relative terms to two. Are the cars and holidays the big deal everyone assumes? Thank you
Cost of childcare is something to consider too if you work.
3rd has been easier than going from 1 to 2. We already had a big enough car and i am a sahm so no child care costs. Holidays are fine for as we only visit family in another country. Depends on your circumstances
A bigger car was not such a deal when they were younger, but now we have 3 strapping teens we need a bigger car for longer journeys just for comfort. I think we would have had more holidays if we'd only had 2 children. Even travel lodge type accommodation doubles in price because we need 2 rooms. We camped a lot when the children were younger and have had some lovely holidays in a tent in France. I suppose it will depend on your budget?
I don't get why the car question is always asked. If you have 3 then there is still enough room in the car without having to get a 7 seater. It's when you have a 4th that the car becomes an issue!
Food, laundry, holidays and childcare.
Not so much the car as ours was big enough already. It's not a decision I regret, but with them being 9, 6 and 3, it's hard work and my monthly salary pretty much goes on childcare - at the moment.
The answer is: it depends.
Car-wise, it can be tricky to fit 3 car seats in, depending on what type you need.
When ds was due, I needed to be able to fit 1x hbb, 1x 5 point harness (can't remember - stage 1? the toddler one!) plus obviously a rear facing infant carrier. It proved tricky. And car seats have dictated the type of car I now have (ds is now 4) when I was due to change cars.
Holidays: again, it depends what type of holiday, and what budget you have. It can be tricky finding hotel rooms for 5, once the littlest is out of a cot. Interconnecting rooms can be similarly hard to come by. It is often more cost effective to hire a cottage or similar, but then you are self catering, which loses some of the holiday effect!
Mostly, it depends on age gaps, and how independent your older children are. It is only now stopping being a nightmare travelling (airports etc) for us, but then dd1 has severe ASD, so even at 12 is not at all independent, and needs more looking after/hand go,ding than 4 year old ds! At least now ds can manage stairs etc on his own, as it was tricky ensuring one hand on dd1 all the time, making sure dd2 was at least tagging along, and carrying ds as well, while H was left to sort out all the luggage...
To answer PP, its because of the size of car seats. If you have 3 in highball boosters you need a wide car.
We've upgraded to a 7 seater to fit the 3 in a row with massive boot for stuff. Holidays make no difference to us as we self cater and never stay in hotels. I always think the holiday thing is massively overstated on MN. 3 is brilliant, but I'm pleased I went for a bigger age gap with #3 (4 years after #2).
Yes it costs more to have 3. Sometimes a lot more, specially for holidays. We have a normal car so that's not an issue. It doesnt make sense financially and practically and it was madness at the beginning but if you don't feel complete with 2 then have 3. All my friends have had this debate and ended up with 3. All feel happy and complete, no desire for a 4th.
It's more work than two to three. Not just the car or the holidays.
You are outnumbered. There's always more children than adults, so one on one time requires more planning.
Most deals - hotels, theme parks, are for two plus two.
It's another set of after school activities and homework.
There's also the childcare expense.
I in no way regret having a third, but I am very aware how much more time, energy (when they are small) and money I would have to offer if I had one or two.
We did buy a bigger car but that was 9 years ago and we are still driving it. It has not stopped us going on holiday but they are more expensive because the kids now argue if they share rooms and so we stay in 4 bed room places usually and that is a big extra cost. Most people with 3 kids don't do that though (perhaps their kids are nicer!). I didn't feel the extra cost when they were small but now the shoes, the unforms, eating out, fares and entrance fees etc is a third more expensive. When I had three at primary school I found supervising homework a bloody nightmare.
We had a big car but had to get an MPV when dc3 outgrew 1st car seat, as our car could not fit three forward-facing car seats.
Hotels are an expensive pain. We tend to self-cater, camp or YH. The massive boot comes in very useful!
Most days out places have family tickets for 5 now, but they didn't 10y ago.
DS3 was a very easy baby as were my older two so in terms of work it wasn't too much extra effort as they were all very placid.
I found it expensive from secondary school age; clothes, gadgets, school trips abroad etc and the food bill was horrendous.
Lots of people I know with three are far more dependant on other people to help out. E.g. Pick up from school and nursery, take to and collect from clubs when all three are doing something different in different locations etc. Never help out other parents with a lift because their car is always full! Many go self catering due to room problems and getting rooms to take 5 or 3 plus another room. The juggling seems immense without help from friends, grandparents or a nanny. On the other hand I know families where the children don't do clubs and just sit at home as it is too much trouble to organise it all. Depends on money and circumstances really.
I do think it depends on your lifestyle. My DC are now 12, 10 and 7 and I have to regulate their clubs/social lives more than I would with 2 children because of the logistics. We do only have one car which doesn't help. I'm looking forward to when DC1 can drive!
The main difference with moving from 2 to 3 is the increase in noise 😄 It is lots of fun though.
Car is only an issue while you need to fit 2 or 3 different car seats in the back seat. The age gaps between ours meant we only needed 2 seats at a time, so not difficult to find a car that fits them.
Laundry depends on ages (i.e. messiness etc) of kids. We are now down to one load a day now youngest is 4 (including bedding once a week).
We don't have holidays, but this is because our household income is 22k. It is probably doable with more income.
Food is about £70 pw. Meat 3 or 4 times a week, tons of fresh fruit to feed the bottomless pits.
For me going from two dc to three was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I suspect this is in part related to the personality of DC number three though. He's hard work and was from day one. The other two were easy as pie. That's why I thought it'd be fine
Car wise we have two as both DH and I use one each for work. Mine is a rust bucket held together by gaffer tape and prayer because we can't afford another to replace it. Which leads into financially.
We earn a decent wage between us but still live pay day to pay day. This is due to needing a bigger house (and the history behind our house buying is a bit of the reason for our financial situation.)
Holidays, we have done all inclusive in Greece a couple of times but in October when it's cheap. (And mostly shut.)
I can't imagine it would be much different if DC3 hadn't come along in terms of all that stuff.
Childcare issues have prevented me applying for some jobs because the cost would make it financially pointless though. Again, not sure if that would be similar with just two.
Hols are the biggest issue, especially in Europe where they won't even squeeze in a cot to a family room - seem to be strictly 2 adult, 2 children. Aparthotels can get over the "don't want to self cater" bit, but we probably go to campsites more than I even would have with only 2.
Depending on ages childcare can just be extending the period, more than an increase. DD came along just when DS was in school, so instead of seeing the drop in costs we might have anticipated we remained at higher-than-expected for longer.
Car wasn't really an issue, but again will depend on age of others.
On the plus side, our 2DS love love love their DSis and she has brought out a whole side of them they would never have experienced if she didn't arrive (unexpectedly )
For me the main consideration is the logistics of weekends. If all 3 have parties to attend alongside the usual weekend activities of swimming and dance.
Also when they all need new shoes or coats and the clothing only gets more expensive as they get older.
It's 3 first cars to buy, 3 school residential trips etc etc
I also think your less likely to get unpaid (family or friend favours) babysitting with 3.
Car depends on the age of children and their car seats. We had to get a bigger car as we need 3 baby seats.
Holidays only a factor when the youngest is bigger and out of a cot. We prefer holiday lodges anyway so no difference there.
It is hard having a 3rd child in regards to time and attention. But I wouldn't swap her for the world
I'm not sure that it's much more work really, i mean once you've got one child you're busy anyway. It's more the length of time that busyness goes on for. I had reasonably large gaps between my 3 (4 yrs between 1 and 2, and 6 yrs between 2 and 3) and i seem to have been stuck in 'small children fatigue' forever (dc3 is in yr 6 now so i am finally, after 17 years putting primary school behind me). We didn't take cars or holidays into the equation if i'm honest - seems like small reasons to put you off a third if you you're really keen otherwise. Our dc3 is a complete joy
most of the time so any extra work has been well worth it.
As others have said, car is not such a big deal. We did upgrade to a 7 seater to fit 3 carseats without having to put a child in the front.
I would agree that holidays are a pain. Even self catering cottages, you need 3 rooms instead of 2, unless one is a big room that can fit 3, so it costs more. Hotel rooms, most family rooms are for 4, you can't book rooms for 5 online, you almost always have to phone up and ask. Or you end up with 2 rooms which again adds to cost. Lots of family deals from theme parks to cinema to swimming etc are attached for 2 adults 2 children or 1 adult 3 children. Once they're old enough, you always end up having to buy a separate child ticket for no. 3.
It's harder to get people to babysit. Unless people have 3 of their own, they can be a bit reluctant to take on 3. It's also harder to share lifts to places as other people won't be able to fit their own 2 kids plus your 3 in one car.
That said our no.3 is the funniest cheekiest cuddliest thing and I'm glad we have 3. There will be no 4 though!
I found 2 under 2 much harder work that 3 under 5. There was a 3 yr gap between 2 and 3 and no. 1 had just started school, which made it much more manageable.
The general logistics of having 3 is not much to having 2 imo, I started with twins so never knew any different
The holiday thing is a pain we cannot use travel lodge etc as they only cater for 2+2 and you always need another room when using cottages etc. Now they are getting older their activities are costing a fortune. We've been lucky that we've worked our jobs around childcare as paying nursery fees for twins was a no go. Also speaking as 1 of 3 in an Argument, game etc it always 1 against 2. Saying that my 3 are really close a lot closer than my nieces and nephews that are 1 of 2. It's always noisy in our house and trying to give one on one time is high on impossible. Of course I love the pants off my 3 and would never have it any other way.
Holidays go way up as they don't let you squish in to one room. Car becomes a 7 seater as you can't safely get three car seats in most cars.
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