To potentially ruin a lovely life with a 3rd child!!

(252 Posts)
Noideawhatimdoing12 Fri 07-May-21 12:31:53

I need wise advice mumsnetters and I'm secretly hoping you tell me exactly what choice to make (although I know it that's not how it works unfortunately).

So I have 2 lovely dd 11 and 8 and they are the best of friends (99% of the time). But me and dh love the idea of a 3rd child.

I'm 33 and he is 40, we come from small families. Dh is an only child and I have one sister who is my best friend but she doesn't have or want any children. I've loved being a parent and having a family and I saw a big busy family as I got older. So...

Are the age gaps to big?

I'm so worried that my dd11, who loves the idea of a big family will love a baby, but my dd8 will not cope with her big sister choosing a baby over her and feel rejected (she's more sensitive and a bit needy and hates the idea of another sibling).
She will be the poor middle child. Is this a silly reason?

Is it selfish to have a 3rd for it to spend most its childhood an only child when the other two have gone off into the world?

What if I ruin such a lovely comfortable life? For all of us.

What if its lovely, and busy, and everyone gets on, and it makes my dd8 confident and capable.

I'm driving myself crazy...
Anyone any words of wisdom or experiences of 3rd babies with age gaps or regrets?

OP’s posts: |
ssd Fri 07-May-21 12:34:45

I dont have 3, but it sounds like you would be bringing a baby into a lovely happy 'normal ', whatever that is, family, which is all any of us really want.

Chipsahoy Fri 07-May-21 12:38:38

I have three. My oldest was 10 and middle 7 when dc3 was born. All are boys.
My middle has always been the hardest work. He is amazing but he struggles with life a lot. Anxious a lot. Honestly having dc3 has helped him immensely. They are so close. They sleep together every night, they are 10 and 3 now. The oldest is 13 now and my youngest sees him as a third parent.

Honestly it does change things but it’s been wonderful.
We make a fuss of dc2 with a “middle child day” once a year where he gets to choose food and activities for the day to acknowledge the loss of his baby of the family status.

NanBoleyn Fri 07-May-21 12:40:05


Less of an age gap but my DDs were 8 and 6 when DD3 was born. I was a little worried about DD2’s reaction but they both absolutely loved having DD3 and have always been great with her.

We also now have DD4 - 5 years younger than DD3 so quite a spread of ages!

It’s very busy and loud but most of the time they have a fantastic relationship despite being very different characters.

DD4 is pushing for another baby but I am definitely done!

LatteLover12 Fri 07-May-21 12:40:27

It's probably not what you want to hear but I'd urge caution.

My third is 8 months old now and I have two older children about the same age as yours. My new baby is with my new partner.

Honestly, it's been a hell of a step back. Obviously I knew what I was getting myself into but I wish I'd said no and stuck to my two.

The independence I've lost is huge and despite all the promises of help and support I had none of it has materialised. I'm breastfeeding so all the nights are left to me. He's the neediest of all three children & I'm genuinely looking forward to going back to work.

I'd say think about your life now & what you can do/enjoy freely because your children are older. Are you happy to lose that for the next 5-10 years to have another baby?

Good luck with whatever you choose x

Noideawhatimdoing12 Fri 07-May-21 12:40:46

Thank you. I'm a chronic over thinker- whether it's a baby or a new sofa!! Sometimes hearing things put simply is what I need to get through the chatter in my head.

OP’s posts: |
JonSnowedUnder Fri 07-May-21 12:41:42

I've got three and honestly it is tough! There always seems to be an odd one out, although mine are closer in age than yours would be (9,7 &3). Sometimes I just want to have a chat or play a game with the older two and the youngest is having a tantrum or just being difficult.

Bedtimes are more complicated as the youngest doesn't understand why they have different times. Holidays are more awkward to book. Days out are harder to accommodate everybody's wants.

I know I'm being negative, I wouldn't change our family for the world but I really didn't appreciate how big the jump from two to three was.


DrinkFeckArseBrick Fri 07-May-21 12:43:08

I think you can think about the effect on your other children but I don't think they get to have a say in it. They will adapt. I'm not sure your 8 year old will have any typical middle child problems as the gap would be so big, she would be more equal with the older one in comparison to the young one (say like having twins then a younger child). I wouldn't personally want to go back to the beginning with sleepless nights and working around nap times etc with a teenager and another child, I think I'd find the lack of freedom frustrating. But other people have had a third and loved it.

Shelovesamystery Fri 07-May-21 12:43:33

In your situation I wouldn't, no. Purely because of your 8yo. I would feel that I was sacrificing one child's happiness to have what I wanted. Not that I'm saying that's what I think you would be doing if you had another, just how I would feel in that situation. You know your DD, is she extremely opposed to having a baby sibling or just not keen?

Chipsahoy Fri 07-May-21 12:44:36

It depends doesn’t it? I love the baby and toddler stage and I’d do it again if I don’t have to be pregnant and give birth. I’ve been happy to give up work and do baby groups again. It’s been far lovelier this time as I just don’t have the stress of being a new mum or having a baby and toddler and being frazzled. It’s like all the benefits of being a new mum without the downsides of panic and worry all of the time.
I love the chaos.

However as another poster has said, if you enjoy your life as it is with more freedoms and such then it could be a big shock.

Orangebug Fri 07-May-21 12:45:07

It’s a tricky decision OP, with pros and cons as you already know. But I really don’t think one of the pros should be to make your DD2 confident and capable! Sorry but I think that is unlikely to be the outcome.

NanBoleyn Fri 07-May-21 12:45:15

I am one of 3 myself - 2 brothers - and I would agree that sometimes it feels as though someone is always the odd one out.
I had 4 to get round that but that’s not for everyone grin

Orangebug Fri 07-May-21 12:46:29

I have three btw, it is lovely and busy but the third child was the hardest by miles! A terrible sleeper and a tricky toddler. He’s lovely now though.

Sprig1 Fri 07-May-21 12:48:34

Don't do it. You have a great set up now. A new baby will mean compromise for everyone. Back to baby friendly activities, rather than more grown up things that you can do together. Be grateful for what you have, it sounds like a good dynamic.

Frenchfancy Fri 07-May-21 12:48:48

I would urge caution as well. You still have "children" but very soon you will have teens. Their relationship with a bbaby or toddler may well change. Do you really want sleepless nights just at the point when your older children are awake longer in the evening? Do you want a toddler whilst older dcs are studying for exams? And DC 3 will essentially end up an only child before the age of 10 and you will have a child to look after just as you get your freedom back.

becca3210 Fri 07-May-21 12:50:15

Perhaps also consider how you would feel about if a third child had special needs and how this would change the family dynamic. Writing this as someone whose only parents had this scenario when they had a third child, who we all love to pieces, but has no doubt come with challenges

Noideawhatimdoing12 Fri 07-May-21 12:53:33

Oh you are all so good, thank you.

I think that's the fear. My 2 dd are growing into cool little people and I'd hate to not be able to give them everything I can now because I selfishly chose to bring another child into their lives. It makes me not want to.
But will I be able to get over the what ifs...

What if they dote on a new sibling and when they are older they love a big family?

I love being a mother and I never liked going to work or ever found 'my thing' so I wouldn't miss my independence in that way. It forced me to be more sociable and I'm happier for it.

I'm going round in circles. I hate this part of my personality.

OP’s posts: |
999Alex Fri 07-May-21 12:58:35

I think it's fine as older kids don't need as much care/help. Ur girls I'm sure wld love a baby brother or sister. Go for it if it's what h really want.

Although I've got a 17 month old and god it's tough. My other is just turned 4 and I often think oh I can't wait until youngest is closer to 3. Even this time next yr I'm hoping she's not as mental and a bit more settled down. I do feel quite restricted about doing stuff and she's a right handful.

Pottedpalm Fri 07-May-21 13:00:34

Have 4 😄

ChequerBoard Fri 07-May-21 13:01:58

I wouldn't. The thought of going back to nappies, teething and all that baby paraphernalia now that my DC are teens brings me out in a cold sweat. But obviously you feel differently!

I did consider a third when the DC were much younger. I didn't partly because I knew that a 3rd child would change the quality of life for the my DC. Less money to go round for education, holidays etc. It sounds cold and it is, but I'm glad I didn't have a third. I can do things now for my DC such as buy DD her first car that I just couldn't if I had a 3rd Dc to do it all for as well.

IsItSafeToBeOptimisticYet Fri 07-May-21 13:03:10

There's 6 years between my middle and my youngest and three years between my eldest and middle. The youngest is now six and they all adore each other. They row but they are so close for the most part.

Allegra82 Fri 07-May-21 13:04:25

Oh I wish I hadn’t read all the comments here!
I’m pregnant with number 3, and my 2 girls will be 9 and nearly 7 by the time he is born. They are so close, my life with them is so easy, I am wondering wtf I have done.
I’ve always wanted 3, it just took a while to happen and now I’m hoping it wasn’t a huge mistake

Dishwashersaurous Fri 07-May-21 13:06:06

My third is by far the hardest work, physically and emotionally.

Your eldest is just at the stage of starting secondary school. It will be very difficult for you to support them in their interests and activities with a baby in tow. Eg bike rides, sports etc

When you are out of the baby stage that child will be a teenager and you will have less opportunity to be together.

You have to recognise that if you have a baby then the older children miss out on your time

gwenneh Fri 07-May-21 13:08:01


I dont have 3, but it sounds like you would be bringing a baby into a lovely happy 'normal ', whatever that is, family, which is all any of us really want.

I have three, same age gaps as the OP, and that's exactly what it is -- bringing a baby into a happy family. It IS lovely, busy, and everyone gets on.

DD is nearly 2 now and just none of the dire circumstances predicted have come to pass. We haven't had to compromise on family holidays, days out, time spent with the older two. A lot of this is down to the pandemic though -- DH and I have had much more flexible schedules, we've had a lot of external family support, and I suppose it can be said that we're a pretty quiet bunch in general so maybe our expectations are lower. We also make very good salaries so money was a concern but not a panic when we found out I was pregnant.

We have a small (ish) house so the most difficult part was making space for the baby, which involved some rearranging of bedrooms, and will likely involve a more major home renovation later to add a master suite where currently we have a playroom, losing that nice second playroom space. And the car is starting to feel a bit too small now, as DS1 gets older -- when we went on our holiday over the summer we rented something much larger, and it's clear we may have to upgrade in that area too.

Emotionally, my middle DS needed some extra support in the beginning but now no one makes the baby laugh the way he does, something he does every chance he can get. My older DS was besotted the moment she was born. My older two are very close but they don't exclude her when it's possible to include her, and they both have places that they can retreat to when the chaos is too much.

I love the baby & toddler stage, so the sleepless nights and food-flinging and nappies and all haven't felt like a step back. If I wasn't over 40 I'd do it again (though I suspect DH would disagree!)

oakleaffy Fri 07-May-21 13:08:29

I’d say no, don’t upset the Apple cart.
A friend had a third, but said it changed everything.
Her older two were not happy in practice, in theory they liked the idea.
Two settled kids, count your blessings and stick to those🙂

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in