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Advice - considering number 4!

(46 Posts)
babyblabber Wed 05-Aug-15 11:52:38

I know no one can answer this for me but hoping those of you with 4 or more can be honest and tell me what it's really like!

We have 3 age 5, 3 and 6 months. Am thinking if we go for another I'd like to do it soon so the youngest two are close in age & stages! Already I feel bad that we don't get to do some stuff we used to with the older ones as we've the baby so I don't want to prolong that for years.

What I'm worried about is stretching myself too thin. DS is in school now so has birthday parties & play dates at the weekend, as well as swimming class and he wants to start football. Some weekends are quiet, others we're driving him from one thing to another. I already think it'll be mental when the other 2 get to school so what's 4 like?!! We could have 4 different classes, 4 different birthday parties etc all on a Saturday for example! And midweek all the different drop off and collection times with after school activities etc (our local schools are not mixed so boys in one school, girls in another down the road).

In terms of travelling is 4 very different to 3? (If we can even afford holidays with 4!). For example when they're bigger I guess we can rent normal saloon cars on holidays with 3, not with 4 though. What about hotel rooms, is it way easier to accommodate 2 adults, 3 kids?

There are other concerns, finances, my work etc but they are particular to me so just looking for honest (be brutal) advice on any big difference you noticed once you became a family of 6!

Lightbulbon Wed 05-Aug-15 12:43:13

I'm having a similar dilemma.

Both DP & I would like another (4th).

Our concerns are the need for a very small gap as being over 35 I'm very worried about the risks esp as several friends in mid 30s have had problems associated with age. I always hated the thought of double buggies & 2 in nappies but that would be what we'd be letting ourselves in for.

Dc1 & 2 are a good bit older so we dont have the logistical problems you would have. Eldest can be left home alone and travels to schools/friends etc independently. Dc2 will do soon enough.

So for us it'd just be 2 little ones.

Holidays/cars aren't really issues for us either.

What is a problem is bedroom sharing depending on age/sex. We will need a 4 bed.

Do you have gps to help? They do after school classes for us which helps enormously. Unless you have clubs within a few mins walk I dont think it's very realistic to do many with 3/4 DCs.

There's also the cost once they are bigger & eat more and need adult (vat added) clothes. Teens are a lot more expensive than toddlers!

I'm hoping we can save some ££ on babysitting though!

babyblabber Wed 05-Aug-15 12:51:18

We do have help from grandparents but I don't want to factor that in too much as I don't think it's there responsibility iykwim. There help is a bonus not a given.

I'm burying my head in the sand re the cost of a 4th child. Although even things like swimming classes x4 would be fairly significant!

babyblabber Wed 05-Aug-15 13:23:17

Their not there!!!

Lightbulbon Wed 05-Aug-15 18:48:05

Well because of the age/adult supervision rules at swimming pools it's likely to be a very long time before you can take them swimming anyway!

notascooby007 Wed 05-Aug-15 22:56:24

Watching with interest also considering a 4th although we only have 2 bedrooms currently and can't move so that maybe no.4 out the window sad

Buttwing Thu 06-Aug-15 20:03:38

I have 4 and if could turn back time I would make sure I left a bit more of a gap between dc3 and 4. I've found the jump huge but I think it's because I have a 13 month gap. I've had 3 under 5 for a year and some days have been really tough (lots of fun too)
Dc2 starts school in sep and dc3 will be doing 3 mornings at nursery so hopefully things will become a bit easier.

Tsotofamily Thu 06-Aug-15 20:29:48

Also watching I would love a 4th but my worry is taking away things from the older 3 (if that make sense) Although saying that they have been very happy with being around at home so far this summer hols, as haven't planned big trips out as been house sitting for last two weeks so maybe I'm worrying over nothing

IndigoBlue Fri 07-Aug-15 08:29:24

7 months into having number 4, I have definitely found it a step up from number 3 in terms of tiredness and how busy we've been. Eldest nearly 9 and just under 4 year gap between 3 and 4. Happy with the gap for us, for me having a close age gap has become less important with each child as there's always someone around to play with.

With the 4 year old being in school nursery this year and finishing at lunch time it's been 3 school runs a day, sometimes 4 if older one doing after school club and that has made it tough trying to juggle everything around pick ups. I tried to do too much with taking the baby to a few baby groups in the morning and had to cut it back to once a week.

My part time business I had that I fitted round the kids has become too stressful with lack of time so I'm having to take a break / give it up.

Holidays we're waiting til the children are older to try and go abroad so do UK self catering which was fine, we needed a roof box to fit in all our stuff.

Birthday parties, get togethers etc have been a crazy amount so we've started blocking out dates some weekends and declining invites just to get some family time together.

babyblabber Sat 08-Aug-15 15:43:44

Thanks all. It's defo the practicalities I'm thinking of, too much so maybe. Like big deal if the older 3 don't get to do quite as many trips to the playground/play dates etc and maybe I restrict them to only doing extra curricular activities at school so I don't have to drag 3 siblings with me to watch karate/ballet/whatever. We used to do loads of stuff but spend a lot more time at home since number 3 arrived.

I keep changing my mind, driving myself demented!

Lightbulbon Sat 08-Aug-15 21:26:01

Yes I think having 3/4 means more time at home than with 1/2 DCs.

worriedmother7787 Mon 10-Aug-15 00:09:17

Well i have 11 DC (2 of them are 8 days old!) and we live in a 5 bedroom house and we get on great and i love all of them there aged (19,16,14,12,10,6,5,3,2 and (2) 8 days old) and i love them all i have time for all of them i have child weekends where every saturday and sunday i have 3 hours where each child decides what they won't to do! travelling not that different most hotels have under 5 for free so!

onlyoranges Sat 05-Sep-15 17:02:36

Worried how fantastic! Sounds like you have a great time. The logistics interest me. When you are having 3 hours time is your dh doing something with the other little ones? My dh works weekends and very long hours running his own business so home very little. And in terms of school/pre school runs etc do you do all that yourself? Also washing so you get everyone to pitch in. I have 4 and find this really interesting. Hope you don't mind the interrogation!

yeOldeTrout Mon 07-Sep-15 11:30:37

I have 4 & am fairly shit at being parent to them (although not like criminally shit). I didn't seem so crap at it when the eldest were 5, 3 & baby. If I could wave a wand I'd have stopped at 2 and certainly not exceeded 3. Going for 3/4 with no family support was colossally stupid. My 3rd seemed fine until he reached 18 months.

Hotel rooms: you need one adult per room & no room will officially sleep 6.

notaprincessbutaqueen Tue 08-Sep-15 13:15:48

currently preg with dc4 (unplanned!) but also have a step-child so have to plan holidays and days out with 4 dc already.
firstly, hotel rooms for 6 just don't exist. so forget them. that doesn't mean no holidays but you will be looking at self-catering unless you don't mind having a separate bedroom from dp. We go to caravan parks (haven/eurocamp) each year then every 2 years book a villa abroad. you will need to hire a 7 seater but that's not so bad.
ours are a bigger age gap (11,6,6&3). days out can be a pain - try and find an activity that both an 11yr old girl and 3 year old boy can equally enjoy! but then learning to compromise is not a bad trait to have. going to the beach is very stressful (but they all love it!) as you have to have eyes EVERYWHERE as, like in playparks, they will all be running off in different directions but will all want to show you something.
then there is the bickering, the endless laundry, school trips etc. oh and expect at least one person to moan at dinnertime as unless you want to cook 6 different meals for each person, then someone will not be happy.
its not easy, but it is worth it. somedays i wish i had stuck to just the one, but then others you look at these wonderful little people and couldn't imagine life without them. plus Christmas with 4 children is wonderful!

workingonitagain Wed 09-Sep-15 20:35:39

That is interesting yeOldeTrout as i thought/thinking the same about hving 3. No family support and dp away a lot but even when he is here, our family is bit disfunctional. Naughty kids, resenting parents, chaos! Imjust feel my love/patince fir kids had reached its peak when first 2 were 3,1 and stupidly decided to take on more! Anyway sorry Op for putting a downer on your post smile good luck tho

Zippidydoodah Mon 21-Sep-15 14:53:59

I'm reading with interest. We were dead set on 3, and felt like we couldn't possibly have another. Goodness knows why, but I'm starting to wonder.......partly because I've quit my job and am so much happier! interesting to know how others find 4 young children.

loveandsmiles Tue 22-Sep-15 13:15:07

worried wow - 11 - amazing!! I have just had my 6th and people think that is a lot.

OP - I think if you over think having children you would never have more. Mine are ages 13, 10, 7, 5, 2 and 6 weeks. Life is very busygrin. Whilst the others are at school I take the toddler to a couple of activities during the week. On school nights there is either football or swimming club, sometimes both and weekends tend to be football matches or parties. Sometimes we 'block off' a weekend to do something as a family.

I am super organised and just love my big family. DH is self employed so works non-stop, his family are abroad and I have no family but somehow we manage. I wouldn't change it for the world.

babyblabber Tue 22-Sep-15 19:05:30

Thanks girls. I still flip flop daily but am leaning slightly towards going for it!

Zippidydoodah Tue 22-Sep-15 21:10:31

I've done loads of googling and everything I've read has said the fourth just slots in! You're outnumbered anyway, so you might as well throw one more into the mix! grin

I know my parents would be shocked and worried, as we did struggle when the third was born for a while. Like I said, though, things are infinitely better now. Hmmmmmm......

Zippidydoodah Tue 22-Sep-15 21:14:08

Swimming lessons for four would be £104 a month for me!!

MaltaVestrit Wed 23-Sep-15 19:33:04

we're expecting DC4 (DC1 will be 6, DTs nearly 4)

we already have a 7 seater car and the house is big enough (with room sharing - boys room and a girls room) and we already holiday self catering so those things weren't really on the radar.

And we haven't yet got into clubs/after school stuff yet as DC1 is only Y1.

Our tipping point was that we felt it was more important to give the DC a bigger support network for the future rather than them being able to do after school clubs every day. (DH and I both only children so no extended family of aunts/uncles/cousins)

I am a SAHM and couldn't imagine coping if I wasn't at home and able to drop everything to pick up/look after a sick DC, bring in forgotten kit as they get older, be able to attend all assemblies/shows etc. this is obviously a personal choice etc but for us having 4 is only workable as I'm at home.

I look at my friends with 1DC and think 'wow that looks blissful and easy' but then, as a PP said, I think of Christmas and the future and it excites me.

so basically it was a long term decision, we wanted another person in our family, not particularly longing for another baby/toddler, but for another son or daughter in our future.

Zippidydoodah Wed 23-Sep-15 20:36:32

Malta- lovely to read your message! My dp has just surprised the hell out of me by saying he wants to go for it!!

MaltaVestrit Thu 24-Sep-15 08:06:14

oooh! good luck zippidy !! we were umming and ahhing about it and it was DH who finally said 'lets just go for it' which I wasn't expecting - I was sure it would be me making the final decision!!

we are going into it expecting the first couple of years to be very very hard, thankfully my parents are local and very hands on with the DC.

pretty sure I read an article once that claimed mothers of four are the happiest/least stressed - although this could be because we are past caring about housework/other people's opinions on our parenting etc etc....

DH's final argument for it was 'you will not wake up in 10 years and regret having number four, but I think you may well regret it if we don't'.

Zippidydoodah Sun 27-Sep-15 14:55:34

Thank you, Malta! smile

I have gone from wanting number 4 to thinking it would just make life far too difficult. However, there's a chance it might be too late blush I don't think the dates are quite right but if my period doesn't come in the next few days I'll be doing a test.

Then I will be terrified if it's pisitive, and disappointed if it's negative!! I suppose it'll help me decide either way. Dh is happy for me to make the final decision but I think he's leaning towards wanting another.

Why do I like to make life hard for myself?! Wish I didn't overthink things so much!

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