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Do you feel more babies is unfair on older dc?

(19 Posts)
uptherear Tue 25-Sep-12 17:50:39

I have 3 dc (8, 6 and 4). I would love another child and my 3 dc are always saying they'd love a baby (esp the girls who are baby mad) but tbh the thing holding me back is how fair it would be on them.

It is only now that I feel my head is above the water and am getting slightly more organised. Previous to this I have felt like we were swimming underwater. Sleepless nights, breast feeding, mess, three kids all running off in different directions, car seats, carrying one, one in the buggy, need I go on!! Now it is quite calm, they can amuse themsleves for periods of time (also half kill each other at times!) but we can get things done.

I feel it could only be easier than before. At one stage I had a 4 year old, a 21 month old and a new born. Surely with 3 older dc a baby would seem a breeze hmm

It is only because I feel they would be held back by another baby that I am unsure. Oh and feeling like I would be pushing my luck. 3 normal, lovely deliveries, 3 healthy babies (although one miscarriage which was hard) would I be tempting fate?

Anyone else felt like this?

baskingseals Tue 25-Sep-12 22:06:53

i feel pretty much the same. i also have 3dc, 10, 5 and 3. i would love another one, i've always felt that four was the magic number. but i was a late starter, and as i am now 44 i feel both that time is running out, and also worry about the impact of a baby on everybody.

if you are still fairly young and sprightly i would go for it. i know that i would even if i was just a couple of years younger - i still look round for my fourth child, and i think a part of me always will. seriously, if you want one, have one, your family will adapt.

popcal Wed 26-Sep-12 20:57:07

My 4th was born when mine were 7(nearly 8), 5 and 4. The 2 older ones were at school and the younger one at pre school or nursery most days. Like you my 3 were close together and I look back now and think how did I do it! I've had lots of one to one time with ds3 while the others are at school. He will be 3 in January and his brothers and sister all adore him! I do try to spend time with each of them and ds3 likes to join in the battles with them. Life is busy as I work part time too but so glad we had him (esp after 2 m/c). I remember my dd sitting at the table for dinner and saying why are there six seats when there were five of us! Had to fill the empty seat!!!!
Do what feels right for you as a family .

Itfinallyhappened Wed 26-Sep-12 21:16:19

I have the same gaps as you, though my older 3 are currently 7,5,3 and dc4 is 3 weeks old, I appreciate its early days but this longer gap is a big change. I do feel a little bit like I'm starting again with three out at school/ nursery and all out of nappies, going back to a tiny one has been daunting but its so much easier fitting everything in than it was with dd3. Now if I can just get some sleep it will all be great.......

GaribaldiGirl Wed 26-Sep-12 22:03:12

i had my 5th child when my eldest girls were 9 and 8. They have been truly marvelous with her - my eldest daughter particularly. She is the first person they want to see when they get back from school and their baby sister follows them around adoringly. i would say she has enhanced their lives - and mine of course. lots of laundry, cooking and clearing up though. house is a pigsty.

uptherear Wed 26-Sep-12 22:19:02

Ah lots of positives! My broodiness is growing.....
Other thing i worry about is losing the closeness i have with my current 'baby'.
I have, I suppose looked on her as my 'last' and so partly due to this and the fact that there was no new baby to shift things along, I breast fed her until she reached 3 and at 4 she still comes through to my bed every night. I suppose I feel a bit guilty to think I'd have to stop that although i know myself i need to sort it out regardless.
Hard tho... I love waking up with my little bubs snuggled beside me.
Thinking aloud now but I know its silly to feel guilty as dc3 has had more of me than the others. By 2yrs 2mnths my eldest had to share me and then my middle child was only 22 mnths when dc3 came along. Actually dc2 had the least of me. She has grown up whilst I have been underwater. sad

WinkyWinkola Thu 27-Sep-12 11:14:48

I'd say go for it!

I've got 4.

7, 5, nearly 3 and my new ds3 of 4 weeks.

I do not know how I coped with 2 pre schoolers mind. Looking back, I think I was amazing at that point to cope.

Now, my eldest two are in school and my nearly 3 year old in nursery part time, I'm so enjoying my new baby. I don't find it at all as hard as when I had 2 preschoolers. I mean, he cries a bit longer than the others did because I've got more to attend to when they're all here but he's fine, cuddled lots etc. The others are used to lots of children around. We make sure they each have individual time with the parents though - daddy-daughter days etc.

I'd have another in a couple of years but I'm 41 and reckon I'm pushing my luck in terms of energy levels!

festiemum Thu 27-Sep-12 11:27:14

Hello! Another mum of 4 saying go for it!

Early days here - dd3 only 12 days old but my other kids (dd1 9, ds 6 and dd2 3) are smitten with her and it's very manageable with the 2 older kids at school and 3yo at preschool. I also have 2 step kids (dsd 11 and dss 6) who stay regularly and they too are very taken with the new addition. Yes, it's chaotic and messy and sometimes stressful, but it's mostly lots of fun and very very loving!

I can listen to the older two read/ read to 3 yo while feeding baby in the evening and as long as I ensure I'm approachable when they need me, everyone's happy.

Obviously, a very supportive dh/dp helps too! smile

workingonitagain Thu 27-Sep-12 13:26:15

hi uptherear and Itfinallyhappened sorry to hack your thread as i can't offer any advice but desperately seeking mums who have already done the 3 kids with age gap of 2 years each (4,2, newborn) as just decided to go for dc3 but worried about how the age gap will affect dc1 and dc2 relationship and how it will all turn out so if you have some time and don't mind please would you share your early days with 3 dc and tell me how you survived
thanks and sorry again thanks

megandraper Thu 27-Sep-12 13:33:12

working - I have an almost-5yr old, a 3-yr old and a 15 month old,so that fits your question. It takes a while to settle into a new pattern, but it's been fantastic. My older two are both boys, and I do tend to group them together - so, for example, they get a joint bedtime story (actually two, and choose one each) etc. which helps when dividing them up.

To begin with I bathed DC3 separately but as soon as poss I had them all in the bath together. For me the secret is in getting them all to do each activity together - like getting dressed, toothbrushing etc. That way you know everyone's done it, and you get the task finished and out of the way.

It's brilliant, I love it. I actually find it much easier than when DC2 was born, maybe because DC1 is older and more sensible/helpful. And DC3 is so easy-going, and constantly entertained by her siblings. On the minus side, I am seriously sleep-deprived and no sign of improvement on the horizon.

DC1 has just started school and DC2 pre-school which also helps smile

imip Thu 27-Sep-12 13:56:22

I have 4 dds with less than two yr gaps (19 mths, 20 mths and 22 months). The eldest is six in nov and the youngest just turned 8 months.
up I think families come in all shapes and sizes. I experienced the usual jealousy with the first three, but with dd3, the was seriously put out by the arrival of dd4. She would cry at the door for her daddy to come home when he was at work, seriously crying. She hated me, didn't want a bar of me. I had been in hospital having dd4 and readmitted with infection csection scar 10 days later. Hard hard days. Move forward 8 months and we are back on an even keel and dd3 experiences the usual jealousy, but it was very hard for the first 3 months. Dd1 and 2 love no. 4, they are coming a cute little gang with the usual ups and downs of kids that age. But it is a lot of hard work and I am constantly knackered. I do think it is fair on the older ones to have babies, because you are giving them siblings, it is just a bumpy ride while everyone adjusts to the new arrival.

working I cannot deny that it is hard work. It is really hard, but I love the age gap. So much so that we planned a less than two year age gap with dd4. Sure there will be negatives (four teenage girls in the house!!!) but I think definitely outweighed by the benefits. The challenge I now find is that they are bucking th eroutine. They don't want baths together one night, the next night they do, the next night only two of them want to be in the bath together. But, I'm hoping also that these problems will sort themselves out a little as dd4 gets older and becomes more of a mate with dd4.

As others mentioned above, I am knackered. I haven't slept through the night for years, and it won't be anytime time soon. But I am so pleased that we did it this way and had them so close together. Occasionally here there have been great threads about how people manage eg the school run etc. I've picked up great organisational tips from mumsnet that I feel has made family life flow easier, and I am always on the look out for more!

DamsonJam Thu 27-Sep-12 14:00:56

As one of six children, I definitely wouldn't think having another baby would be unfair on the older children - think of all they have to gain! I love having lots of siblings - I think it gives you a real sense of security in the world knowing there are so many people who are there for you if you need them. I have 3 dc and the only thing that stops me from having a fourth is MY OWN ability to cope (OK well that and a hatred of pregnancy and childbirth/my getting older/ practicalities of finances etc). But I would never doubt that it would be a positve for my children.

Working - DD2 is 22 months younger than DD1 and I found the first year with two really difficult. In comparison, having DD3 (currently three months old) is a breeze. The age gap was easier (2 months shy of 3 years between DD2 and DD3), and it helps that DD3 is an easy baby but I think generally the jump to 3 is easier than to 2 - the older two entertain each other and the eldest can be genuinely helpful. Also with the older two at school and preschool I can get sometime to focus on just the baby. Would definitely recommend it.

uptherear Fri 28-Sep-12 13:55:57

Thanks for all the interesting replies. Damson also very interesting to hear how it felt growing up with a large family so thnanks for that.

working I would say dc3 was the least of a shock. With the first you can go back to bed when they sleep so although my 1st was the biggest adjustment for me this was the saving grace. With dc2 my dh worked away and I had often been up most of the night only to be woken by dc1 at 7am when dc2 was asleep. This was a struggle. I remember feeling at my lowest on these mornings.

When dc3 came along I was accustomed to sleeping in fits and starts and the general chaos of a house with small kids.

Also with each child I became more confident and worried less. Dc1 i had very rigid ideas about them being in a routine, sleeping at certain times and in their own bed etc. It took having him to realise what kind of parent I was going to be. My other 2 felt easier because I put less pressure on myself to do what was expected and instead I just did what worked for us.

I love having 3. Up until the last few months I was pretty certain i would stick at 3. I have had this broody feeling inside me throughout my whole life yet after dc3 (who was a lovely much wanted home birth and delightful baby) the broody feeling just left me. I was so worried about it I was on here asking what was wrong with me 3 days post natal!!! I think at that time I had gone deep enough into the water but now i have surfaced I am ready to go again!! grin

Good luck with whatever you decide. x

Chubfuddler Fri 28-Sep-12 14:00:56

Well you posted in larger families so you're bound to get responses from people who think its great. I only have two children, eldest is nearly six and there's a 4.5 year gap between them. He has accepted his baby sister whole heartedly but I think for us having another baby now would be unfair to him, I really do. Particularly if it was another boy, his nose would be right out of joint.

LimeLeafLizard Sat 29-Sep-12 14:46:16

Chubfuddler has a good point - if you post in larger families, you're more likely to get positive responses. (Maybe that's what you want?!)

I was one of 4, and am pg with DC4, so I agree with most posters on this thread that it is great!

But judging by how many people think I am bonkers wink, a lot of people think more along the same lines as Chub - i.e. that a larger family wouldn't be for them.

Only you can judge what is right for your family... good luck.

DamsonJam Sat 29-Sep-12 17:52:54

Chubfuddler may have a point, but I didn't even know there was a larger families section on Mumsnet - I only tend to look in Active threads and posted because I spotted this there - so not entirely self-selecting - my spotting it was completely random. Agree with Limeleaf though that only you can judge what is right for your family.

uptherear Sat 29-Sep-12 22:43:17

i can see chubs point but simply chose the section I thought was relevant to the question.
I have always felt I wanted a big family, 4 or 6 was what I thought. Of course at that point I had never experienced being the mother of 3 under 5 and I felt i had reached full saturation when I got to that point.
Now I have recovered Im back on my feet and rethinking things. I was never 100% sure but i got as far as shipping out the pram, cot etc.
For ME id have another tomorrow. For my family Im still unsure. I feel I can give my kids a bit of me each at the moment for the first time ever. My head us clear and above water. My dh is not good with helping at night and so its always me left to cope during the night. We have plenty of rough spots in our relationship but tbh these were less when the dc were tiny. I suppose with them being older they can stay home with dh while I do food shopping etc and so perhaps he prefered when we did things mostly together with all the little ones and of course I was tied with breastfeeding.
Im not sure how another dc would affect my relationship with dh. I have lots of happy memories of the baby stage. We both love little babies and pregnancy bit but obviously most of the hard work is mine.
I guess there is more thought required and we will see what happens.

Mosman Sun 30-Sep-12 03:24:22

I had number four when D 3 was 6, having had three under four and I thoroughly enjoy him I have time, energy and enthusiasm for him and the older three give me a break from time to time. They still all get their love bomb of one to one time when the little one naps or we send him off to a babysitter for a few hours in the week. It's cheaper to pay a babysitter and do the Maths/spelling/whatever coaching yourself I find.

whoopsfailedagain Sun 30-Sep-12 17:15:53

I have a large family! I've had 5 myself but have step children too. I would say that individual attention is virtually impossible but they gain in so many other ways. I would say it's an advantage being in a large family, but then I would wouldn't I! wink

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