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to ask MN if we should have a 3rd dc?!!.............................................can we have an honest conversation about moving from 2 dc to 3?

(132 Posts)
mammyoftwo Fri 12-Jan-18 21:31:10

They say you know when you're ready. They say you know when the time is right. They say your body will tell me. BUT I don't know if I/we're ready. I/we don't know if the time is right. The only thing my body is telling me is TICK TOCK!!!!

So here's the deal......
Dh and I have 2 dc (two year age gap) of the same sex and gender. That is not in any way an "issue" or consideration; if we did have a third dc it would be to have another dc, rather than have a child of the opposite sex.

Originally when we got together, we always dreamed/planned of 3-4 children, leaning towards 4. However, owing to medical issues (I'll not bore you with the details, as it's a done deal and won't change) if we decide to "go again" we really only can have one more pregnancy and child (assuming it's not twins).

I've always been adamant I wanted a "bigger" (subjective, I know) family. However, it's only recently I've begun to waver. Suddenly two feels "easier" or more manageable. Looking to the future, it would mean
* not changing cars
* not moving house (if we had a third, two children would have to share a room, or we'd need to move for them to have a room each. There is a "play room", but I'd be reluctant to give this up to a bedroom, as it would leave us no social spaces outside of the living room and the kitchen).
* holidays would be easier to book (e.g. smaller, cheaper apartment/room etc)
* so many packages, tickets for things are for a "family of four"
* my sanity. I feel like I've barely scraped through 2017 intact (dc are 3 and 1, and VERY ACTIVE!!!!!)

Owing to my age, if we were to try for another child, it really need to start now. I don't have time to mess about, as I would be a "geriatric mother". I feel under pressure to decide, don't want to rush it, but don't feel I've time to wait any longer.

So my questions to you, the MN collective are:
1. What do I do???? Head (stick at two) or heart (go for a third)
2. Are my reasons for possibly sticking at two logical/materialistic/realistic/not important??? What would you base the decision on?
3. What have your experiences of moving from two to three been? Do you regret it? Was it harder/easier than you expected? What were the practical implications?

Hoping for some pearls of wisdom! Thanks in advance MN smile

mammyoftwo Fri 12-Jan-18 21:35:23

I should have said, I've been meaning to post this for a while now, but every time I went to I chickened out, for feat of "outing myself", but giving the age situation and timing of things it's now or never (really would need to start ttc in Feb).

Itsjustaphase84 Fri 12-Jan-18 21:36:09

Sorry no advice but im in the same boat. Watching with interest.

Prusik Fri 12-Jan-18 21:40:17

I guess if you have a playroom then sharing a room won't really matter. Can you afford a new car? Is it financially manageable?

I'd say go for it

KindergartenKop Fri 12-Jan-18 21:41:21

I'd stick at 2, it's much easier.

beautifulgirls Fri 12-Jan-18 21:43:45

For me someone was still "missing" after we had the first two. Couldn't explain why but knew we would be complete with the third. We had two DD and were not specifically into having a different gender for the third - as it happens we had another DD and that was brilliant for us. The family feels complete and I cant imagine life without them. From time to time it is a little annoying having to fit a family of 5 into a family of 4 type set up but it's not as unusual as all that and it's never really caused us any major headaches. Yes three costs more but wouldn't change them for the world.

I think you need to ask yourself if you will regret not having had a third when the time has passed for you to have the choice. If the answer is you would regret it then you know what you need to choose now. If you think you wont regret it then focus on the great kids you already have and enjoy watching them growing up with your support.

LittleBirdBlues Fri 12-Jan-18 21:45:46

I'm currently pregnant with number 3 so can't tell you anything about what having 3 is like. Current dc are nearly 4 and 2.

The choice to have 3 was very much a "gut" decision. I wanted a little "gang" of kids and also felt like I simply wasnt done with beim pregnant and becoming a new mum.

Had it been a purel rational choice I think we would have stuck with two kids (or one!). We aren't rich, although we are doing fine. We live in a four bedroom house and one of the rooms is being used as an office which won't change, so we have two bedrooms for three kids. I think they can share for quite a whole that way, but we will likely have to move in around 3 years time. Holidays may be less frequent but we should still be able to manage them every year. It doesn't have to be fancy.

Overall, for us the pros of having another human outweigh the cons. But it's such a personal decision. What does your dh feel?

mammyoftwo Fri 12-Jan-18 21:46:24

We could afford a new car prusik, but I'm conscious it would always mean buying a "bigger car" on an on-going basis in future years. Family aren't nearby, so seeing them often means an overnight stay, packing up all "the stuff" to take with us etc, giving lifts to dc and their friends when they're school age (more dc = more friends???)

NorthernLurker Fri 12-Jan-18 21:48:31

My age gap was much bigger as dd2 was 6 when dd3 was born. I have loved having three tbh. It's a lovely dynamic. I think with your age gaps you would find it quite hard going but you won't regret it. With two, when your plan had always been for more though, I think you will turn round and wish in years to come.
Sharing a room is fine for at least ten years btw

mammyoftwo Fri 12-Jan-18 21:49:15

littlebird dh would have a minibus full of children!!!! So he is definitely very PRO ttc dc3, however, to be fair to him he is in no way pressuring me, and recognises the pressures it would be on my body (pregnancy, section, and then looking after three very young children).

thecatsarecrazy Fri 12-Jan-18 21:49:39

I had 2 sons. At the time were 7 and 9 when we decided to try for 1 more. We did and have another boy. That's fine by me as you say you try for a baby not boy or girl. Only thing is other people making stupid comments. Oh poor u better luck next time etchmm. It wasn't an easy start he was in hospital for a few weeks because of a floppy larynx and unfortunately is moderately deaf the same as my eldest, and has hearing aids so definitely our last. But he's an absolute joy and has slotted right in. He's almost 1 now and the time has flown by.

Ohladedah Fri 12-Jan-18 21:50:48

We went for a 3rd and he's amazing, as is the relationship between the 3 kids.

It seems like you've got practical considerations on one side (2 kids) vs emotional considerations on the other (3 kids) - it's never easy to resolve something when you look at it like that.

The concerns you've raised are real. But looking forward to our future they seemed insignificant to the image we had of having a larger family and the hustle and bustle that goes with it.

It's been easier than I expected (5, 2 & 10 months), but I'll be honest, when it's hard its REALLY hard. But then we have no family around to support us.

I look at friends with 2 and feel envious of how easy it looks, but I'm excited to see our family grow and having a busy household..

Good luck with your decision (wink do it)

whatsittoyou Fri 12-Jan-18 21:51:41

Well, I've got 3dc and my third is still only 4 months.
Plus sides are that we have a big enough house already (4bed) and changed the car pretty easily. We tend to do self catering/Europe holidays anyway so not much more expensive. I was lucky in that the pregnancy and first sleepless nights were better than I expected, you really do take it more in your stride third time around. I've been molded into someone who has way more patience than I had with my first. Nothing really phases me now, I'm way more relaxed (on the whole!)
And the obvious one is that now he's here I love him so much I couldn't imagine life without him, and so do his siblings.

Cons are than I do sometimes feel ever so slightly overwhelmed with it all, like I'm coping but I could drown at any given moment. Three times the worry. The worry that you can't give them all the attention they need, you do quite literally have to juggle them you physically can't cater to them all at once whereas you can with two. Taking a toddler and baby on the school run is a pain. You won't sleep through the night, one will always wake you or get up early. Play dates or trips out on your own with all 3 is difficult. It's expensive. I worry a lot more. 3 times the guilt.It's noisy.
Would I do it again? Absolutely!

StinkPickle Fri 12-Jan-18 21:52:14

Mine are 1, 3 & 5

Stick at 2! It made no difference when mine were all pre school but my eldest is in school and we have reading, spelling, play dates, homework, swim class etc. It’s only now I realise that it’s very hard having 3. Honestly trying to help with phonics whilst juggling a 1 and 3 year old too is tough.

3luckystars Fri 12-Jan-18 21:53:42

It took me a good number of years to give in to my feelings and admit I really wanted a third child. I had 2 and it felt like I was gambling.

I feel very very lucky to have gotten through it all and now have 3 children, but it’s so hard I can’t even describe how tired I am all the time. There is not a minute to switch off, it’s very hard!
But I know it will get easier again in time and I know I did the right thing.

That’s my experience.

My dad gave me this advice ‘You have your own brain, use it, and fuck everyone else’ and honestly he is right. This is a decision only you can make and very best wishes with it.

Good luck.

Zippyzulu Fri 12-Jan-18 21:53:54

We have three dc and love it. We have big age gaps (youngest 4, oldest 14), which makes it easier in some ways but harder in others. Honestly, it is so much harder than two... you’re torn in so many directions, expenses increase massively, as does mess and laundry and the logistics of managing extra curricular activities, holidays and social lives can be tricky.
HOWEVER, I absolutely love having three and knew as soon as dc3 arrived that our family was complete. They get on well most of the time, our house is full of laughter and teasing and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Dc3 is my little friend and I just love spending time with all of them!

dontlikebeards Fri 12-Jan-18 21:56:18

I have three and as previously mentioned, we just never felt that the family was complete with two. Now we certainly feel that way! It is sometimes a little chaotic but lots of fun and my dc have a level of companionship that is wonderful to watch. My youngest is 4 and I am now looking to downsize my car as I no longer need pushchairs etc so the big car issue doesn't last forever.

We followed our hearts rather than our heads with the third, financially it was a struggle at first but I don't regret it for a second.

1ndig0 Fri 12-Jan-18 21:56:28

Go for it OP if you can! Three is a crowd, as they say, but hopefully in a good way when it comes to DC. The main difference, is there are six sets of dynamics flying around at any one time (i.e. each child to the two others), rather than two. You have more kids than hands, literally. I think one of the best things is that they are forced to bond together more because no child ever wants to be the one left out or the "third wheel, " whereas it's quite easy to become disconnected if it's just the two and they actually don't have much in common.
Holidays are more hassle because "family rooms" are out. You may well buy a 7-seater car anyway, even with 2 DC, if they often have friends to transport or bikes etc, so don't worry about that.
Mainly its a lot more tiring, but a lot more fun. I have 4 DC and if even one of them is on a sleepover, the atmosphere and buzz in the house just isn't the same.

Crispmonster1 Fri 12-Jan-18 21:57:21

Ok, I am now 40. Had my 3dc last year. 2 is definetly cheaper, definetly easier for car seat, flights, hotel rooms, Christmas presents and anything else that costs money or requires space. I have days when I think WTF were we thinking this is bonkers because it is full on. However, my 3rd is the one I have wanted. The one imagined. My older 2 just adore dc3. It complicates things but what in life that’s worth having isn’t complicated? We were also told by someone that going from 2 to 3 is easy. This turns out to be total shite. If you get pregnant it will work. If you don’t then holidays and cars will be easier!

Wakeuptortoise Fri 12-Jan-18 21:58:34

No advice. I'm in a similar position but dh is happy with 2. Due to financial and practical implications. Such as paying for triple meals, extra hotel rooms and lesser holidays. Too many for babysitting. Future uni fees and driving lessons. We would like ski holidays and summer holidays, to regain our hobbies, etc.
But my heart and hormones feel there's one missing.

Growingboys Fri 12-Jan-18 22:00:49

Do it. Having DC 3 was the best thing we ever did.

KatharinaRosalie Fri 12-Jan-18 22:05:38

Mine are 2 and 4, and we were recently considering the same thing, in fact I had a post about it.
We decided not to, because Dc are just becoming interesting little people. DC1 is already no trouble at all and a pleasant company, DC2 will get there. DC1 and 2 are close in age and interested in same things - DC1 and 3 would not be any more. We could now enjoy the golden childhood years before they become teenagers. If we had another, that would be another few years of being preoccupied with tiny baby and tantrumming toddler. Totally different experience.

mammyoftwo Fri 12-Jan-18 22:05:47

Love hearing everyone's experiences, keep it coming! and THANK YOU for your honesty, I know it's hard to reflect on something and sometimes acknowledge you would/wouldn't do the same again if you knew how things would be.

I love the idea of a "busy household" and the chaos that comes with it. I think it is a good training ground for the "real world" eg the fighting/arguing/negotiating/making up with siblings builds resilience for dealing with the challenges outside of the home. That is my gut instinct and firm belief (at present). However, I'm not sure that my personality type would be able to cope with any more chaos. I can get stressed, more often at the little stuff rather than the big stuff, so worry I wouldn't be able to handle the chaos myself!, and as a result it wouldn't be a relaxed or happy home with another child.

I'm also worried I'd end up being jealous of those who stopped at two (they have nicer stuff, more holidays, things just seem "easier" with two). But I'm not sure if I can trust my own judgement on this at the moment, as I know I'm in tunnel vision of surviving the toddler years. Both dc are super active, can't take my eyes off them (we've already had fractures and plasters, accidents happened right under our eyes!!! ie they weren't unattended doing something they shouldn't have).

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Fri 12-Jan-18 22:06:40

You haven’t listed time with your existing kids as a consideration, though I’m sure it is. There’s very little one on one time to be had in a bigger family. I had twins the second time around and I feel so stretched all the time. I do my best but i’m hugely aware of the drop in quality parenting with DS1. I hope it pays off with love and sibling relationships in the future but what if it doesn’t?

We bought the huge car, we pay for loads of petrol and they will be sharing a room here too. I really wouldn’t change anything now, but I think we were right to plan to stop at two. It would be so much easier.

Having a baby is very stressful on kids. They may act out a lot because of it. Though they will get over it I suppose, just another consideration.

BackforGood Fri 12-Jan-18 22:06:41

I have 3. No regrets at all.
I don't really count how much it costs per child to do things - I just don't think of it in those terms. Your finances change over years, and you always do things to suit your budget.
I mean, if we didn't have any dc, I guess we could have afforded more expensive holidays of cars or whatever, but you can't count how lovely it is to have your family in terms of money, and, in the same way, I can honestly say I've never thought 'If we'd stopped at 2 we could afford X this year' ~ it just doesn't come onto the radar.
I found adjusting to our first dc really difficult. I was overwhelmed and really struggled, but I found 1 - 2 MUCH easier, and 2 - 3 a doddle. dc3 just fitted right in. I was a much more relaxed mother to dc3.

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