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4dcs - advice about whether to stop at 3 dcs or to take the plunge

(22 Posts)
wiggetywac Fri 29-Jul-11 10:33:08

I know this has been asked before but I would really appreciate some MNetters thoughts.

I have 3 DC (ages 4.5, 2.9 and 14 months).  My younger two seem to pick up every bug going and so we have had a lot of sleepless nights, but in general we are ticking along fine. I work part-time and on the days I am home with the girls I am fortunate enough to have a couple of hours help.

So, the rational part of me thinks we have reached a lovely stage and that  it would be great to move away from babydom. (I tend to think this most during the night when I am looking after a teething baby!)

But the pesky emotional side won't go away. I see four children in our family though the thought of the logistics, the night-wakings, the noise etc fills me with horror. Plus I don't know any other families with more than 2 kids.

My husband is supportive if we stay at three or have four but he feels it must be my choice as in a way it affects me more. Either way he is 100% committed in whichever path I choose.

We do not live in a big house so bedroom sharing will be needed, as will a new car...

How do those with 4 function? How do you juggle it all and make time for each of your kids? Am I over-thinking it? Would I regret not going for it?

Thank you for reading this far. 


wheresthepimms Fri 29-Jul-11 12:40:27

We found 3DCs was an odd number, one was always left out. Now we have 4 and it is great, will get better in September when youngest starts school and I have more than 30seconds to myself for once grin. As for the logistics it can be hard, we currently have 2 5 seat cars so if we all want to go out it is a 2 car trip, but we can't afford a new car right now so are just coping (had big car and it just broke sad). The great things is that as we move a lot they always have built in friends to play with, there is always someone else to help out when they are stuck on homework. My DH has always done a lot when he is home (he works away a lot) so if he has been away for a long period he will spend time one on one with each child maybe overnight camping, swimming, bike ride, whatever they choose. Meal times are always fun but you eat what is put in front of you and that is it, no I don't eat that in my house. My biggest annoyance is the reading every night, but now the older 2 are 10 and 8 they read to themselves I listen to the 7 year old still and the 4 year old often asks for the 10 year old to do her bedtime story.

It is great fun having a full house, chaos at times but my mum told me one thing :
cleaning house when kids is growing
is like shovelling snow when its still snowing

yes sometimes my house is a bomb site, which bugs my OCD, but it usually is when we have had a fun day baking, painting etc. Holidays are now always involving a tent, we don't like being in separate rooms in hotels. We still do what we did with 1DC you just have to be creative about how you do it

I'd say go for it smile

wiggetywac Fri 29-Jul-11 15:19:19

Thanks for replying, Pimms.

It sounds like you have got to a good stage seeing as you littlest is the same age as my oldest!

I do find the day to day tiring because my three are so young, but ultimately I enjoy the fact that they are close in age. I just wonder if a fourth would 'break' me and push my husband and me that bit too much. For example when we had two we could give each other some time off. With three it isn't particularly easy and I suspect with four, it is impossible.

At some level I wish the rational part of the debate would win, but you cannot ignore the voice in your head either - or can you?

wheresthepimms Fri 29-Jul-11 18:29:53

We get by ours are 10,8,7 and 4 so did the 3 under 5 which was hard, then no 4 came along. We do book a babysitter, nice kid next door, once a month to go out even if it is just to a movie together (sometimes we end up asleep in the moviegrin) Would also say that after 4 the voice in my head suddenly said NO MORE!!!!grin but you muddle through and it is worth it as they get older and easier, not sure I am looking forward to teenage years and university fees but then they smile at me and I forget all the practical worries and think wow we were right 4 is great

wiggetywac Sat 30-Jul-11 13:52:24

i love the fact that you knew you were done after 4!

sorry to pry, but did you always intend on 4?

Lollyheart Sat 30-Jul-11 13:56:05

Watching as pregnant with dc4 grin

feckwit Sat 30-Jul-11 13:58:18

I also found 3 just seemed unbalanced as somebody else has said further up the thread. I actually always imagined we would have 6 but had c sections and decided 4 was plenty!

It seems everything is geared towards pairs really - fairground rides they can go in pairs etc.

I love having 4. Mine are a bit older now - 13,11,9 and 7 and I wouldn't ahve it any other way. My 11 and 9 year old boys share rooms, the girls have their own bedrooms.

Sure they fight at times and I have to say we are lucky as they are hardly ever ill, but there is plenty of company for each other and they can go out into the village together as there is definitely safety in numbers!

Go for it!

P.S. I had no help and had 4 in 6 years. My husband is a chef and works very long hours so I did weekends, school runs, bedtime etc on my own always. You find your own routine x

sambageeni Sat 30-Jul-11 14:06:17

I have just logged on to ask the same question and found this thread! I have three girls, 5, 3.5 and 13 months. Love it but can't get the nagging urge to have another out of my head! I think my mum would emigrate though! The only thing I worry about is money. I am a full time stay at home mum and intend on staying that way for a while so I do worry about finance particularly as child tax credits will stop for us in 2-3 years. Should I just not worry about finance?

rainbowtoenails Sat 30-Jul-11 14:06:29

Id wait until your youngest is out of nappies, buggy and night wakenings, then go for it.

ragged Sat 30-Jul-11 14:06:59

3 was much harder than I expected and 4 has been insanely harder (just saying I have been an idiot). I LOATHE the bigger car, for instance.

If you do have 4th I suggest sooner rather than later, for all the obvious benefits of having them fairly close together. My 4th is a bit of an afterthought which is awkward at times.

4 is so much better for pairing off, works even with our age gaps. 3 is truly an odd number to balance out.

startail Sat 30-Jul-11 14:10:44

I have a friend with four and huge expensive cars do seem to be a major drawback

feckwit Sat 30-Jul-11 14:14:23

we don't have expensive cars by the way. I drive a Nissan Almera which fits me and the 4 kids in fine and my DH drives a Multipla - ugly but smaller and much more economical than the Galaxys we had before, and with a MUCH bigger boot space.

sambageeni Sat 30-Jul-11 14:16:43

We have a touran which is pretty cheap to run compared to our 407 we used to have. Depends on engine size though!

wheresthepimms Sat 30-Jul-11 14:17:34

Well we don't have the huge expensive car we have 2 old bangers and go out in them both if we all want to go out, although has caused issue this week with us both driving to Tesco and DH taking 15 mins longer as he knew a "short" cut grin

wigget I only wanted 1 DH wanted 5 so I guess he fluttered his eyelids at me and I swooned grin he still would have more but only if we won the lottery, he works long hours (sometimes 100+ hours a week) and can be away abroad for 6-8 months at a time and does now realise how hard this can be on all of us. Although must admit coping with him away for 8 months is easier than the in and out schedule he is on at the moment with him being in 3 days then out for 2 in for 2 out for 4 etc etc no routine to it is driving me madangry

4 did just feel right, the 2 girls pair off and the 2 boys pair off even though there is 6 years between the girls they play so well together its lovely to watch. She says as they suddenly on cue kick each other and start screaming

wheresthepimms Sat 30-Jul-11 14:19:23

feckwit new or old shape, we are about to scrap our old shape multipla as it has finally died, v expensive to fix so really not worth it as we can buy another for the price of the parts alone sad

I did like it though once you get used to the ugly shape grin

wiggetywac Sun 31-Jul-11 10:12:45

Wow! Thank you all for your replies.

I am sorry I didn't get much of an opportunity to post yesterday. My younger two are both suffering from ear/throat infections which they get fairly regularly. Last night was a complete disaster. I was up most of the night and I am broken today. Thankfully the sun is shining which makes passing the following day far more possible.

The thing is, the constant illness is the thing that really holds me back. When all is well, my three sleep very well. I am lucky in that respect. BUT we do seem to go through months where one or the other is suffering and I get pretty run down. My husband is great and we both do our bit, but I do wonder if a fourth would just be too much.

And then of course I keep telling myself this phase doesn't last forever and I should stop thinking of the short-term (and all the hard work, broken nights etc) and I should think of how life will be with a fourth regardless of illness, less sleep etc.

feckwit Sun 31-Jul-11 10:19:13

wheresthepimms - the old shape, ours was one of the last ones before they chaged the shape. We've been looking into upgrading though because we don't want to run ours in to the ground.

wiggetywac I think the illness bit would put me off, it sounds terribly stressful.

wheresthepimms Sun 31-Jul-11 10:53:27

feckwit if you need any spare parts pm me in the next week we are going to get someone to come scrap ours this week the high pressure fuel pump has died and the job is just too big and expensive for my overworked DH to take on right now, the kids think he is the lodger as it is before playing on cars grin

HarrietJones Sun 31-Jul-11 14:39:00

We want dc4 but the biggest issue is the 3 bed house. Dd1/2 share and the third room is a single and no chance of bunks. At a push dh & I could have it. The biggest problem would be if dc4 was a boy. Could he share with dd3 until they were 8/7 when dd1 would go to Uni?

wheresthepimms Mon 01-Aug-11 13:07:21

HarrietJones we had a 3 bed with 4DC last year we put 3 DC in the largest room eldest DD shared with the 2DSs and the youngest DD had her own room. We put up a washing line with a curtain on it to divide DD away from 2DS worked well for us as they had the largest room, we had the second largest and then little DD had smallest room. We thought DD10 and DD2 couldn't share as DD2 just trashed all of DD10 stuff

HarrietJones Mon 01-Aug-11 14:54:15

I've 9 years between dd2/3. She can't share with them especially as dd1 becomes a teen with a social life & homework!

We aren't likely to be moving any time soon either

buttonmoon78 Mon 08-Aug-11 09:21:51

grin at 'the kids think he is the lodger'! Are you me wheresthepimms?

I am 3 wks in to having 4. Life is utterly chaotic (but then it is with a 3wk old, whatever # dc it is!), but I'm loving it already.

Ours are 13, 11 and 4 plus the baby. The older 2 are a massive help to me.

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