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Families of three children

(28 Posts)
Nigglenaggle Sat 15-Sep-12 20:50:44

OK I know there is a similar conversation already going on but didnt want to hijack that thread for my own questions. Am considering whether to go for two or three and wondering about the practicality of it.
People with three children, if you dont mind, would you be able to tell me:

What car do you have and whats the furthest you've taken all of them in it?

How difficult is it financially day to day compared to when you had two?

How do you find it getting away on holiday? Most seem to cater for families of four and feel it would be much pricier with three. Wheres the most exotic place you have gone as a family?

Do you worry about paying for their education (not worried about private schooling as have good normal schools in the area but as we are both university educated its likely more than one will want to go) and do you have a plan?

What is the best and the worst thing about having three?

Sorry to be nosy but just really do not know what I want to do....

EldonAve Sat 15-Sep-12 20:59:44

Volvo XC90
Not sure I understand your furthest driving question - 600 miles maybe?

Finances are much the same as 2

We went to NZ. The extra airfare is an issue but hotels are still okay as we squeeze 3 into a sofa bed

Re education we will find a way

Best thing is no 3 is fab. Worst is I cannot take all 3 swimming at the same time

OodHousekeeping Sat 15-Sep-12 21:01:42

Car- Renault scenic, about 4-5 hours. Have done an hour in the Yaris.

Uni- they will be paying their own fees , we will support them as much as possible. Big gap between dd1/2 and dd3/dc4.So that would help.

Holidays- nowhere exotic but we couldn't afford that now anyway ( big changes of work rather than because of number of kids). Would look at villas abroad rather than hotels anyway.

Worst thing- age gap means dd3 is on her own a lot ( hence dc4)
Best- I like having kids!

Sam100 Sat 15-Sep-12 21:14:22

Ford s-max. We go all over in it - furthest is French alps.

Day to day 3 is not much more than 2 in terms of cost for food, bills, etc. the real killer cost is childcare if you go to work. You find that you recycle much more on clothes, toys, kit etc and really wear everything out! Food it is just as easy/cheap to cook in bulk for 5 as for 4.

We have been to USA once with all 3 but the cost of flights etc for 5 of us makes a holiday abroad every year impossible. This is as much to do with exorbitant cost in school holiday period - we could do it if I could cope with the flak for taking 3 of them out in term time!

Holiday wise we tend to do self catering as only way we can fit everyone in.

Best thing is seeing them interact together. Worst thing is seeing them interact together!!! 3 seem to fight all the time and I constantly feel like a UN peace negotiator.

beingginger Sat 15-Sep-12 21:28:59

we have 3 aged 5,3 and 2.

We have a fiat multipla and we went to france last year.
Not much more difflicult financially, but mine are still small and i can still get away with hand me down clothes, toys etc.
we have some money saved for futher education but they will have to fund their own way through uni just like i did.

the worst thing is the fighting, constant mess and the noise! you get used to it though and i love having a family of 5.

youonlysingwhenyourewinning Sat 15-Sep-12 21:31:53

We have a Zafira. Erm, I've no idea how far, but it was around a 3 hour drive.

Financially it's getting more expensive as they're all getting older.

We've only had uk holidays so it hasn't made any difference to us.

All are state educated and we'll cross the uni bridge when we come to it.
We won't be able to fund them, so they'll have to get loans and we'll support them as best we can.

The best thing about having three is that they all have very different personalities and they teach us something new every day.
The worse thing about having three is that they all have very different personalities and they drive us potty with something new every day wink

I do have to say though, people who have three children are never going to say it's 'bad' having three, because it would be like regretting their youngest child, if that makes sense. My youngest brings us so much joy and laughter - I could never regret her. Three is fab!

Mumlar Sat 15-Sep-12 22:09:53

Three is the the magic number. We have big gaps between ours, ( 14, 9 and 3), so group activities that please everyone can be hard to find but other than that taking them places and driving them about is not difficult. Except for the fighting that is.

My three have very distinct personalities, as do all children, so at times it is wonderful watching them interact but there are also frequent clashes. This makes life rather interesting at times.

Our house is full of noise, chaos and stuff, but I love it that way. It's fabulous having three and I fully recommend it.

3monkeys3 Sat 15-Sep-12 23:24:15

My dc are 4, nearly 3 and 1.

We have the new vw sharan - it's fab - we've taken it from the midlands to Cornwall and would go further (France maybe).

I think there is a difference financially - there has been an impact on our food bill and things like shoes, which they must have and need more of as they get older. We have a good income (just under 6 figures) and have nothing left at the end of the month, but we do have a nice lifestyle.

We haven't been abroad with our dc yet - I can't summon the energy to pack for a plane with such young children - but plan to in the future. At the moment we just go to Cornwall or Pembrokeshire - we've had lovely hols, you don't have to go abroad to enjoy yourselves. We usually get a house rather than a hotel.

Uni fees are set to be utterley grotesque by the time we get there, but we'll manage.

I love having 3. The positives far outweigh the negatives - seeing them together and the bonds they have makes anything hard worthwhile.

Nigglenaggle Sun 16-Sep-12 20:28:04

Wow thanks guys great answers smile I am almost converted.... Can afford a suitable car.... the thought of managing NZ even just once cheers me... am worried by the uni fees still but think its largely guilt - my moderately well off but far from wealthy parents funded me completely (in the days before fees mind you) - graduated without debt and am comfortably well off myself, but not rich on the wage I earn now, 10 years after graduation... well guess it is a problem for all and not just big families. Plenty of time to think when no 2 pops along (and of course have to hope to be lucky enough to have the choice of having three). But you have given me some food for thought so thanks. Any others feel free to add on too smile

Indith Sun 16-Sep-12 20:42:12

My number 3 is only 6 months old so yet to see how much of a fimamcial impact he will have.

We have a zafira. We don't use the rear seats full time though, either all 3 in the back or oldest in front and adult in the back. We drove from NE England to SW France in June. It was a long way. Our car only has a tape player. No dvds etc. It was suprisingly painless.

I think in terms of holidays etc it doesn't/won't make much difference to us because even with 2 we still wouldn't be able to afford big holidays or holidays abroad apart from trying to visit family in France every few years. We tend to either camp or get a cottage somewhere cheap. Obviously they will need more food and shoes are expensive so yes that will be hard at times but most clothing will be handed down and I buy second hand/charity shop anyway.

As for education I don't think it an issue really. Both dh and I have large amounts of student debt. I agree really that you should have to pay for university, the debt belongs to the student not the parent and while if I am in a position to do so I will of course help my child lower their debt but if I can't then I can't and they will cope. Currently those who get lo paid jobs will hardly pay any of it anyway and then it will get wiped so it works well I think. Realistically what you actually have to hand over to your child in cash to help them pay rent etc if the loan doesn't cover it all is no more than you have to pay to have them live at home with them so as long as you accept that you will be paying for them until 21 rather than 18 then it doesn't matter.

I love having the 3.

LostInWales Sun 16-Sep-12 20:53:10

Last year we drove with all three of them to Italy via the French alps and back via Provence in a Fiat Multipla. This year we cheated by getting the ferry to Spain and then driving back in our Skoda Estate (only need one car seat now so are going back to normal proportion cars)

Exotic holidays ^^ see above wink

They are 12, 10 and 5 now, it is more expensive, food wise, travel wise (hard to find hotels that will let us share but dooable) and we holiday by tent which saves a fortune. Visiting amusement parks/zoos etc is more expensive and as mentioned above three pairs of shoes/trainers seems a lot but Sports Direct is my friend. You don't notice the extra expense when they are small but now they are bigger it is more obvious.

They are my absolute best thing and life seems so easy/dull if one of them is away. Although it is utter chaos too. Can't imagine only having two but then nor can I imagine having any more either grin

onedev Sun 16-Sep-12 21:04:37

We have 3 boys (5, 3 & 16 months) & they're brill grin

We have a Ford S Max & go all over. We need a roof box when camping but otherwise all our stuff fits.

Don't notice much difference money wise with 3 rather than 2 although we do still squeeze into 1 hotel room etc so I guess holidays will be more expensive as we'll need to go for different accommodation.

It is brill to watch them all interact with each other & now the baby is a full participant in their wrestling etc, they always have someone to play with. I love it.

I do worry about finding uni etc as we'd like to help as much as possible so we do have funds / trusts for them which we put money into each month. I also worry more about having enough 1 on 1 time with each of them but am trying to find ways of this without the others feeling left out!

It is such brill fun & I love it - definitely worth it grin

conorsrockers Sun 16-Sep-12 21:16:58

Cars - Toyota Hilux and a Verso Corolla. Scotland and the South of France respectively.

Education - Had signed DC1 up to prep school before we discovered there was a surprise DS3 - so 3 lots of school fees to suck up now! I wouldn't encourage my kids to go to Uni unless they were going to be a surgeon/vet.

Holidays - first 2 years OK as DC3 flies free. We are now into booking an additional room or upgrading to a suite which adds an extra grand or two :/

Dynamics - went from fun and games to fucking chaos in 24 hours, but we love it! DC2 definitely has 'middle child' syndrome though. You just have to bear in mind that you become outnumbered so it's not ideal if you are a control freak wink.

LostInWales Sun 16-Sep-12 21:38:40

DH on the other hand drives a Fiat Seicento and before that a Daewoo Matiz. We may have looked like a troupe of clowns when we all unfolded out but it was no problem, could even fit a pushchair and bit of shopping in the boot. grin

naturalbaby Mon 17-Sep-12 13:57:28

My oldest has just started school so we've not had huge expense yet. We have 3 boys so don't need to buy loads of clothes, ds3 is 19months so doesn't really cost much!

Dh has a huge, complicated financial plan which involved a financial advisor and re-mortgaging. We now have a huge, complicated pot of savings and spreadsheets to split it into 3 lots of education. They are all signed up for private school and we assume they will all go to uni. I have no idea how though!

We've stuck to cheap and easy holidays but mainly because our dc's are all still young. We are desperate to get back into snow holidays so that won't be cheap! We drove to Germany earlier this year and had a great time, but they were young so fairly easy to entertain.

Cars have been quite complicated but we have squeezed 3 car seats in the back of a golf - probably shouldn't though because the car seats touch. I'm planning on getting a 7 seater people carrier.

Nigglenaggle Mon 17-Sep-12 20:50:26

Haha I am far from a control freak all spirals out of control here already so that will be nothing new lol!

conors my best bud is a vet and pay wise they arent anywhere near the same league as human surgeons so beware of that one especially if you hope they will keep you in your old age ^^

Toughasoldboots Mon 17-Sep-12 20:57:30

Car is Volvo xc90

Financially, yes, now that they are older it is really starting to get very expensive but we manage.

Holidays, never gone very far, tend to stick to hiring a cottage somewhere in UK but that's just as much because they don't like leaving the dog behind.

I love having three, I was listening to them hiding away in the back of the garden playing and singing this evening. They can fight to the near death though too.

Theas18 Mon 17-Sep-12 21:07:29

Big kids here . Now 19/16/13.

Car, had a few over the years. Just about to change a very old touran. We've been to the south if France and back in that. BUT.... My biggest tip fir younger kids is get a big prope carrier ( we had a synergie when they were small -and sit them so they can't poke each other at all!

Beware, when they can sit 3 across and not argue, they start bring too long and gangly to o it though lol

Finance day to day? No idea. We never have any spare money, though we do save and go on holiday ( see my post about the exasperation of paying £22 fr bloody DT!)

Holidays. We do the best we can as cheaply as it can be done lol. Camping is great when they were little. We've caravanned and gited in France etc etc. best ever "holiday of a lifetime" was driving rod Iceland staying in youth hostels .

Now they are big, eating out is lovely but expensive.

Education wise they will all go to uni. We will then be poor beyond poor. Though they will take out the basic tuition and maintenance loans and hopefully earn something as well we will try to give them some allowance .

However they are all 3 academic years apart so hopefully minimum overlap..and the mortgage will at least be paid up!

surfingluby Thu 20-Sep-12 12:47:28

Having three is wonderful and I have number 4 on the way!!
I had no choice but to have three as my second pregnancy was twins but I have to say the more you have the easier it is as they all play together, they all share their toys, clothes get passed down which saves me loads in school uniform! I drive a VW T4 which my friends call a mini bus! I did have a sharan but as the kids get older there's no boot space and if we go away there's no room for all our things so we had a roof box with the Sharan but now we don't need one. Having an 8 seater is great too as they can all have a friend for tea or if we go out for the day they have the choice of bringing a friend each. We don't very often buy new things but as they don't know any different it doesn't seem to bother them, I buy most things off eBay! The only thing that cost the earth is going to clarks!
We used to travel 600 miles 4 times a year to visit my nan when she was still alive and it was fine, we do stick to camping as its easier for us as we're into the outdoors and we have dogs. We are going to Florida in 2014 and I'm so looking forward to it.
I never think about the extra cost as this is how it is and I love it, when they are all in big school I will work full time and I'll start saving for uni, cars, deposit for house! But I was a child of two and my mum earned a lot as a doctor but I wasn't offered uni nor a car nor a deposit for house so it doesn't matter about money as long as they are all happy and well cared for.
The teachers seem to make more of an issue about the cost of trips for me, I just don't know any different.....if they say it's £100 I just know its £300 and if it's £5 I know it's £15. I only let them do after school activities that are free except swimming lessons which again is the cost x 3.
My only cons are we don't go swimming enough as I'm not aloud to take them all but that's no hard ship really as I take my mum :-)
It costs us the earth and we never have a spare pennie if I'm honest but we love every second of it, there's lots of play, smiles and I think when you don't have much money you learn to play kids love making things and playing outside yet their friends like gadgets! Mine have DS's as they were bought them as a gift but they don't seem to play with them as they can't do it together.
I feel I can't spread my time evenly between them all and worry I will miss it if one of them is unhappy but that is so not the case, I think because time is limited we are so busy it makes us close as we all have to do things for each other..they are all exceptional in school and we are always praised on their behaviour in public. They have chore charts so the house stays tidy and a reward chart to earn things!
I don't think I can say anything negative about it!
My DPs sister has 3 and constantly moans at the time they take up, it's hard work, they argue, the price of everything, how much it costs to run her big car.........she is talking of having another one and I do wonder why! Why have 4 if your moaning about 3 so I think if someone moans about 2 don't go for 3 but if you love it then you have as many as you want :-)
Good luck x

NightLark Thu 20-Sep-12 13:59:57

I may be a rare voice in finding three both harder work and more expensive than two! DC 3 is a magnificent bundle of infant joy, but I am exhausted,and very aware that I have reached my coping limits.

BUT none of mine are good sleepers (all still baby/preschool/primary age), which makes a huge difference, and I have no extended family support so have to find three lots of childcare fees. Which is crippling. And I'm trying to hold down a professional job, p/t.

For uni (if they go) they will just have to cope.

We do cottage holidays in the UK, and drive a very dull Scenic. Our house is too small (a tiny bedroom each but only one downstairs room, so lots of conflict over the TV/Wii/table).

If we'd stuck with one or two I'd always be dreaming of the third, but it is hard, hard work.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 20-Sep-12 14:08:34

What car do you have and whats the furthest you've taken all of them in it?

-Mitsubishi Grandis, Cornwall (we live in Yorkshire)

How difficult is it financially day to day compared to when you had two?

-not very because I'm a SAHM; if I had been working it would have made a massive difference. I'm expecting the costs to kick in later when he eats like a grown up and can't have hand-me-downs.

How do you find it getting away on holiday? Most seem to cater for families of four and feel it would be much pricier with three. Wheres the most exotic place you have gone as a family?

-We don't do exotic. We camp/cottage with other families/youth hostels. Holidays are fine. It will be more of an issue when dc3 is older.

Do you worry about paying for their education (not worried about private schooling as have good normal schools in the area but as we are both university educated its likely more than one will want to go) and do you have a plan?

-I don't worry as such but it will be expensive.

What is the best and the worst thing about having three?

-Best: I like them all. Worst: They're so untidy.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 20-Sep-12 14:11:27

It is hard work. And noisy.

LadyofWinterfell Thu 20-Sep-12 14:22:21

I drive a Renault Grand Scenic, and have been to the very south of Italy in it (from Birmingham area) Camping in France and North Italy.

Exotic? see above.

All my money goes on the DCs, DH covers the housing costs. Uni, we will help out if we can, but no firm plans in place as we dropped out of Uni and still have good jobs.

Best thing? When they get on. Worst? Being contantly on the go, they always need something!

I wouldn't trade them for the world though.

flubba Thu 20-Sep-12 15:57:13

What car do you have and whats the furthest you've taken all of them in it?
Citroen C4 Picasso. We've driven 10 hour journeys up to Scotland in it.

How difficult is it financially day to day compared to when you had two?
Not much harder day to day - an extra mouth to feed, and prolongs not being able to go back to work. We make it work. Hard but fine.

How do you find it getting away on holiday? Most seem to cater for families of four and feel it would be much pricier with three. Wheres the most exotic place you have gone as a family?
We don't do exotic (currently!) - so Scotland and France (camping). Self-catering places are your best friends I reckon.
We are planning a big round-the-world trip in five years' time which will be just that - all around the world smile

Do you worry about paying for their education (not worried about private schooling as have good normal schools in the area but as we are both university educated its likely more than one will want to go) and do you have a plan?
Yes - also not interested in private education but we do worry about uni plans, but saving for that will start once we've done the round the world trip. They have some savings (nominal amounts), but we'll probably start topping those up for uni.

What is the best and the worst thing about having three?
Always a friend to play with.
You only have two hands! grin

Nigglenaggle Fri 21-Sep-12 09:03:30

Thanks again guys these are all giving me food for thought! Nightlark thanks for the balance - DC1 is not a great sleeper, so maybe we'll assess when we know what DC2 is like!! flubba just wow! I had never considered taking the kids round the world with me but what a fab idea (and you are very brave!!!) what a wonderful experience to give them smile Hmmm what to do.....

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