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To have a third DC

(125 Posts)
hannahsp84 Sun 24-Mar-19 19:35:58

Just looking for some advice and perspectives from mums of 3, or mums who decided to stick at 2 but considered a 3rd.

We are a professional couple in our late 30s who have two beautiful DCs aged 2 and 4. We have fairly well paid jobs, a modest mortgage, and recently much to our surprise inherited a second home in France. We have two cars, a couple of credit cards but no major debt except the mortgage etc.

I would love a third child. My DH will take some persuasion but he is amenable. He loves children and he would really like a third person to be part of our family but he’s convinced that it’ll be very very expensive and that the baby years with potentially three under 6 or 7 would be hellish and perhaps not worth it.

Am I missing something? Is a third child really so much more expensive than the amount extra we spent on each of the others? I know kids are expensive but is this some kind of tipping point? We would need to replace one of our cars, and already have one XC90 which sits 3 adults in the back no problem. We plan to holiday at our own home in France most of the time so no worries about package holiday prices etc. We have a live out nanny already as due to our long work hours some days it already worked out cheaper than nursery and makes our lives so much easier too. I’m sure she’d be able to manage a third child with a bit of a pay rise.

Is a third child a huge amount of work? Enough to make the first few years intolerably shit? Or just in the “a bit stressful but worth it” category.

Mums of 3, it’s Sunday evening...are you happy? Or are you crying into your wine counting down the hours until a relaxing break at work tomorrow?

MrBeansMother Sun 24-Mar-19 19:39:04

All my friends who had a third said its amazing and never regretted it despite it being tough at the beginning. I frequently hear the phrase "a little gang" used to describe them. I think 3 these days is pretty normal plus (personally) the perfect number for some people. Not so little as 2, not so much as 4. If i could....

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 24-Mar-19 19:40:22

If you’re 50/50 stick at two. So much easier.

brummiesue Sun 24-Mar-19 19:41:53

I have 3 under 5, its bloody hard work, however you have a nanny so i'm sure you will manage hmm

autumnkate Sun 24-Mar-19 19:42:25

Why wouldn’t you?! I have a 7,6 and 3 year old. It’s crazy at times but I have never regretted it. I’d love another tbh.

HoldMyGirl Sun 24-Mar-19 19:45:29

Mum of 3 here drinking wine

In your situation, I would go for it!

Mammyloveswine Sun 24-Mar-19 19:45:43

With your set up Sounds more than manageable!
I have two and want a third, DH doesn't. We've agreed to reassess once the youngest starts school...

I think the consensus is that generally speaking once your child is here you won't regret having them.

Good luck!

GoldenHour Sun 24-Mar-19 19:48:29

There are quite a few reasons we didn't go for a third despite me wavering a bit, most aren't relatable to your situation but the one that might be is the fact we too are a working couple with somewhat demanding careers. It can be a stretch enough making sure our 2 children get enough time with us 1 on 1 on top of family time, couple time and week commitments etc, to have a third would be dividing our time once more and effectively taking some from our children.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 24-Mar-19 19:50:53

Environmentally it is the wrong thing to do. Probably we shouldn’t have more than one per couple. I don’t think many people can be that self restrained though.

I’d have had a 3rd, DH was adamant we’d stick at two. In the short term it doesn’t sound like a third would cost you that much in the first few years as the childcare/holidays are sorted. What about tuition fees/classes? How stretched are you willing to be on weekends if they have different interests/activities/friends? How many years of Saturdays in soft play parties can you cope with.

For us we could cope pre-school financially but it would make private school impossible whereas at the moment it’s our plan B if the local comp is shit. We couldn’t cope with the demands of another child.

How much time/attention have you got for a 6-7 year old right now?

TunstallTansy Sun 24-Mar-19 19:51:23

We decided not to in the end and I was sad. Now my dc are late teens I'm very, very glad - I naively had no idea how much teenagers would cost.

Huntress2020 Sun 24-Mar-19 19:51:54

I have three, similar age gap too. I fretted about the impact but it really was negligible in comparison to going from one to two. I have three sons, it's really helped to balance out the dynamics, there is always someone to play with. I have yet to come across something that is awkward for three - I was told holidays and cars and all sorts would be difficult but it hasn't been yet. We tend to go to Europe to holiday and three seems to be very common. It's definitely another expense in terms of childcare and the basics but it wasn't a huge increase in terms of our capacity - just an elongation of the baby stage. Mine are 10, 8 and 6. I think three is pretty ace.

CIT80 Sun 24-Mar-19 19:52:08

I would say go for it ! I absolutely loved the experience with my 3rd - I had 3 in five years and yes it can be chaotic but once you accept that it’s lovely ! I was so relaxed with him and really got to enjoy him and we knew once we had him our family was complete !
Side note I do drink wine and gin but not daily 😂

CheshireDing Sun 24-Mar-19 19:52:52

We have 3. They are 2,4 and 6.

There was somebody missing when there were 2 of them.

We are early 40’s now, both worth full time. we have spent a fortune on nursery over the years but no regrets at all !

Inliverpool1 Sun 24-Mar-19 19:53:00

Utter madness. 1 DC is lovely. I say this as a mum of 5

missmillimentscardigan Sun 24-Mar-19 19:53:11

I have 3 under 6 at the moment and it's amazing, but exhausting, but lovely, but completely draining!
I always wanted 3 children and I love seeing them playing together. The older two are so sweet with the baby. And I definitely felt much more relaxed with the third, in terms of parenting, which I think makes it all more enjoyable. But 3 is a lot more work than 2. The 3rd child doesn't just fit in and your older children have to fit around a baby to a certain extent, at the beginning.
I would say go for it though - for me the huge positives massively outweigh the tiredness etc.

Witchtower Sun 24-Mar-19 19:54:40

When I found out i was pregnant with my 3rd I looked on MN and it wasn’t very positive.

It makes a huge difference financially. The work load increases by a huge amount. The difference from 2-3 is shocking BUT I wouldn’t change it for the world. Best decision I have ever made. Number 3 has completed my family.

Oysterbabe Sun 24-Mar-19 19:59:02

I have little fantasies about having a third but I think we'll stick at 2. I'm already knackered and I'd worry that I wouldn't give each one enough attention. Also I have a girl and a boy so worry that I'd be making one of them left out.

Sparklingbrook Sun 24-Mar-19 20:05:09

You need to think what it would be like we three teenagers rather than a family of 3 little children who are fairly amenable. grin

I have two teenagers (one's at Uni) and that is plenty for me. I am very happy to not be doing it all a third time.

Sparklingbrook Sun 24-Mar-19 20:05:25


formerbabe Sun 24-Mar-19 20:09:12

I think it sounds like you can afford it.

I have two...wouldn't have a third..not especially due to money but because it seems like too much work for me!

spinn Sun 24-Mar-19 21:09:47

Third meant there was more of them than us. This resulted in the change in focus of the family as a whole and it became a more family oriented life instead of us living our lives as adults. We can no longer follow our own activities as easily, everything becomes more of a challenge to coordinate, if you go out then one person doing triple bedtime is really hard work.
Days out, meals out, activities suddenly now cost loads paying for 5 people so there was a conscious change in what we do.

Illness just feels like a constant battle, we've had a horrible cold virus and at least one person has had a sick day every week for the last month.

I seem to make loads of food and have little left at meal times!
Giving everyone time does mean you have to sacrifice other things (own activities, a clean house, work capability)

I'm part time and just don't think I'd cope with the full time and the extra headspace that third child takes up- I knew I had thenphysical stuff sorted when he was born but did not see the headspace thing coming at all - I have a calendar which documents everything!

However it's carnage, it's noisy but there is always someone up to no good, making you laugh, causing some mischief. The youngest is something else, he's been taught by 2 masters and uses it effectively, he rules the roost and capitalises the minute you are busy with one of the others to do exactly what he knows he shouldn't. He was a runner (other two weren't), he challenges every decision (other two didn't!) and is incredibly clever, articulate and emotionally aware (compared to siblings especially).

ImNotTheDramaLlamaHere Sun 24-Mar-19 21:14:26

We're considering a third. Second is only young though.
In your situation I don't see any negatives tbh. The holiday situation and childcare is covered which is what I'd say we're the two big things.
Do you have another bedroom or would they share with one of your other children, that might be worth thinking about. 🤷🏼‍♀️

ImNotTheDramaLlamaHere Sun 24-Mar-19 21:15:14

Oh if we were in your situation we'd definitely go for it and I had hellish pregnancies both times.

3in4years Sun 24-Mar-19 21:16:58

I have 3, aged 5, 3 and 1.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
It's constantly exhausting. I never get a good night's sleep.
But the kids are awesome and full of love and fun and love each other to bits and give me purpose and keep me busy and oh so very happy and tired.

eastereggtime Sun 24-Mar-19 21:21:39

A mum of three here and today I gave them lunch and asked if they could go in the garden with a picnic blanket and i had tears watching them together chatting, messing around and playing. I couldn't love having three more and it feels like a little tribe.

It's Sunday and I'm shattered but everything is sorted just need to load the dishwasher.

- clothes can be and good shoes, but that's my choice as I like them wearing nice clothes.
- holidays, as they get older you have to book 3 bedroom places and hotels are a nightmare. But we do find reasonable and nice holidays just need to make more effort.

Hardest thing is not having enough time to do 1:1 with them, but this is because I work full time. I'm feeling really guilty I sorted out a room ready for decorating next weekend, and helped my eldest with home work as he's in secondary school but didn't get time to do middle child's homework or reading.

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