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Calling all mummies of 4 or more children...

(61 Posts)
Skookiemomster Sun 13-Nov-16 11:23:43

Okay so I have 3 children at present, 3 boys aged 7,4 and 2.
And I feel very very very broody. So broody my heart aches and my womb hurts. My partner has agreed to trying for baby number 4. As soon as he agreed, suddenly I had all these doubts. Could I manage with four? Is it much harder? I'm so so so close to getting "my" life back and now I want another baby to fill my days with. My partner works long hours, sometimes away for days at a time, and I'm currently doing a degree in criminal psychology with the aim to go into the police force but behind the scenes. I've started going back to the gym and trying to be "me" again instead of just mummy .But this urge just will not shift. I'm confused. Like this post probably doesn't even make sense. I have a life plan ahead of me and another baby would put those back a few years again but I just don't feel complete yet and it's an awful feeling. You would think 3 boys would be enough, and they are, I love them all to pieces but I just don't feel complete or that my family feels complete yet if that makes sense?

So...calling all families with more than 3 children..what's it like truthfully??? Chaos in a good or bad way? Does the new baby just fall into the routine? Do you ever truly feel complete?

Needmorechocolate Sun 13-Nov-16 21:31:03

I could be you but in a year or so! I have 4 boys, aged 7, 5, 3 and 1. I have to say that 4 has tipped me over the edge. I love them all so much but I do often find myself wondering how much easier life would have been if we hadn't had a fourth (or even a third!), something I can't really admit in real life!.

I wouldn't change them but 4 has tipped the balance for me. I sememd to manage with going back to work after each of the others but going back to work after number 4 has been a killer and I'm questioning whether I can continue with my job (something I never thought I'd say, I never saw myself as a stay at home parent). My husband works quite long hours so all the childcare drop offs etc fall to me, number 4 just seems to add that extra pressure and stress and I am definitely struggling with it this time.

I'd also say you need to think about the impact on your other children. I feel constant guilt about not giving enough 1-to-1 time to any of them. This is especially a problem with the older two, I feel like I'm never able to give enough help/support with their school work etc.

All of that said, I absolutely wanted my fourth child and nothing anyone else could have said would have changed that. He is the most adorable little boy and gives the best cuddles so I wouldnt change him for the world :-)

Sweets101 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:36:34

I thought 3 was hard work, and then I had 4!
I have never been more organised, and yet still I am chasing my tail. Sometimes I look around and think 'this is a crazy number of children' but, I love it. It's really helped DC2 & 3 bond, and I'm a working single parent with 4 under 8 so it was never going to be easy. But, in a funny way it is easier then I thought.

Sweets101 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:41:14

I'd also say you need to think about the impact on your other children. I feel constant guilt about not giving enough 1-to-1 time to any of them. This is especially a problem with the older two, I feel like I'm never able to give enough help/support with their school work etc.

This is the only bit that really gets to me. But, I make it a priority and by and large I get the balance right. I don't find they need a lot, just 15 mins each day each keeps everything balanced. But when you add in music practice, hobbies, reading, housework, cooking, working and a couple of hours in the evening to yourself, it's sometimes hard to find enough hours in the day.

ThornyBird Sun 13-Nov-16 21:48:26

No4 broke me! Mine are all much older now, 15 down to 7.

It was a difficult pregnancy from the 12 week scan onwards due to a congenital health problem. I was neurotic for the first few months after birth and still have moments in of panic although he remains symptom free and is checked regularly by the hospital.

Like NeedMore I do look at friends with 2 the same age as DC 1&2 and think how different our life would be if we'd stopped after them. I was a SAHM for the best part of 15 years and only recently returned to work full time so haven't had the same pressures of school/social logistics.

But for all that, I don't regret the choice we made to have DC3&4, I mostly enjoy the chaos and they all make me very proud to be their Mum! smile

Aderyn2016 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:50:12

I have 4. I am a sahm though, so the stuff people say about not being able to give them all individual time is not true at all for me. That might be more true if I was also trying to work ft.
Mine are 19, 16, 15 and 9, so more of an age gap than yours would be. I'm really happy to have had 4 and would much rather have had my dc than anything else in the world though.

I guess you have to weigh up whether you would be sadder to give up the potential new career (or at least seriously delay it) or the chance of another baby. You also have to take a long term view regarding money and the impact of a 4th child on the other 3 - can you house them all comfortably, give them a good childhood, finance them through university. It is about more than 'just' having a baby.

Afreshstartplease Mon 14-Nov-16 23:09:51

I had DC4 last month

Mine are 8,7,3 and 4 weeks

Number 4 has slotted in perfectly. However I will say I am not sure how I will manage when back at work, my days are so full ATM. The school day flies by and I don't seem to get much done at all! House is a tip. I keep trying to sort things out clean and declutter but it really is baby steps because there is SO much to do

MakeMineADouble81 Tue 15-Nov-16 09:40:17

I'm in exactly the same position as you OP. I have three boys 5, 2.5 and 15 months. I always wanted four but my youngest has reflux and was not an easy baby it put it mildly! He still doesn't sleep through the night which is putting me off going again. Every night I swear I'm done but every morning I really want another. I'm in such a dither I wish I had a crystal ball or at the very least somebody to tell me what to do. To add to the pressure DH is 40 and wants to either start TTC asap or not at all as he doesn't want to be an "old" dad. Watching this thread with interest!

Skookiemomster Tue 15-Nov-16 11:13:09

Firstly, thank you everyone for the replies. Certainly gave food for thought. I am so torn right now. However, I do think I'm swaying more towards holding off for now. Focusing on my degree and things like that. But then as I'm writing this, I can't help but feel a little bit sad. My head is all over the place with this. But if I was 100% certain, it wouldn't even be an issue right? So it clearly is an issue for me to be so divided. Speaking to the mother in law, who has had four boys, she said that I'm about to have more time for myself once my youngest starts school, and that she found it hard with four. But I'm not sure if she's just saying that because she doesn't want us to have anymore. X

nennyrainbow Tue 15-Nov-16 11:28:10

I have 4 - 2 boys and 2 girls with roughly 3 years between each and the next. DC4 is 2. Life does seem to have got a whole lot more hectic since having the fourth. In my case it was nothing to do with the fourth child directly, but more that issues have arisen with two of the older children in the past 2 years. Since DC4 was born, both her brothers have been diagnosed with ASD and the older one has some quite severe mental health problems that have arisen since then. This affects the lives of everyone in our family every day. I guess you never know what's around the corner!

That said, I have no regrets about having the 4th and feel completely satisfied since having her, that my family is complete. I have absolutely no desire at all to have any more.

Tsotofamily Tue 15-Nov-16 12:10:25

I have 4 dcs - 9, 8, 4 and 16 weeks. Dc3 has just started school so I would have had my mornings to myself apart from the days I work. But I'm so glad I had my fourth, she's just slotted in perfectly. The older dcs dote on her. Life was chaos with just the 3 with clubs, homework etc so what's one more. Yes the house is always muddly but children are only small for such a short time, muddles will always be there but my children will soon grow up and I want to enjoy every minute of it with them.
Last March I finished a diploma I done through work and I'm currently doing a sign language course although it's on hold at the minute. But despite all this I would still have another smile

buzzlightyearsdinosaur Tue 15-Nov-16 12:13:06

We have 9,7,5,2. It has been a very hard 2 years, I am just starting to find some sanity and get a pinch of time to start working for myself again. DC4 will go to nursery in January for a few hours a week, this will be expensive but I think if we don't do that then I will fall in a heap.

I think it depends on your age, energy levels and also what support you have from friends and family. DH works ridiculously long hours so I run a very open house with people coming and going who can help, all of my friends know where the tea, coffee and kettle are.

What would happen if you put your degree on hold? I think you could use it as a positive, I completely disappeared in to motherhood and it wasn't until DC4 was a year old that I stared being able to study/work on a business idea, if I had had a degree or some study in the background my sanity may have been slightly more intact!

It has been hard but it has also been amazing, the older 3 love DC4 and the whole birth/newborn experience was so wonderful as we were so well practiced and relaxed about it this time around. The 'empty place at the table' feeling has also gone. I would say if you don't mind some really hard, and lets face it often arduous work (the washing is something else) then go for it.

happyhearts7 Tue 15-Nov-16 12:57:37

We have 5 DSs - oldest 16, youngest 9.
My DH decided after 4 we were finished but we played with fire blush and our youngest son was born 1 year and a couple of days after DS4. We were all over the moon but we both decided that due to a very difficult and anxious pregnancy that he would be our last.

When DS5 was about 2 or 3 yo I got very broody again but kept saying 'maybe next year' but TBH next year didn't come, mainly I think because our family just 'felt complete'!
We are definitely finished now and no, it was not that we were trying for a girl like my mother-in-law told everyone, gender never mattered, just the health of our baby!!

I became a SAHM when our oldest was a year old but have since had some part time jobs that fitted round my DH so we always sorted childcare ourselves.

Yes, it can be very chaotic, crazy, noisy, etc with endless amounts of washing but I personally could never have imagined me with just 2 or 3 children (but each to their own) and it's a house full of love and testosterone and I wouldn't change it for the world!!

I personally think it was easier when they were smaller and you had at least a couple at the same activity, you could bribe them to tidy their own bedrooms, all at one school etc etc whereas now it's different schools, different clubs and other different essential needs.

My DH works long hours & I'm just waiting on confirmation that I've got a chronic disease which has been making life, housework, being kid's taxi, etc very difficult for the past year but I believe that it wouldn't have been much (if any) easier with less DC.

Good luck in whatever you both decide and for what's it's worth I believe 'you just know' when your family's complete flowers

happyhearts7 Tue 15-Nov-16 12:59:11

Oops sorry... not sure why so much of my post is crossed out confused that'll teach me to proof read it!!

HelenaJustina Tue 15-Nov-16 18:02:47

I've got 3,5,7 and 9. I did 8 years as a SAHM and went back to part-time term-time work when DC3 went to school. I adore my DC, and 4 is right for us but I feel like I'm rediscovering myself now... it's amazing! At the moment pre teenage years I'm sure! everything just seems to be getting a bit easier. No nappies, no naps, everyone eats the same, the eldest are at the age where you can drop them at an activity rather than having to hang around outside it trying to entertain a pre-verbal crawler!

Only you know, but if you're not sure, I wouldn't make the leap. 4 is a lot these days!

eddiemairswife Tue 15-Nov-16 18:19:33

I had 4 in just under 6 years. We were so lucky....they all fed well and slept well from birth. We didn't have sleepless nights. They were all large babies for some reason and would easily sleep for 4 hours+ between feeds. The most difficult thing about the 4th was that the eldest was at school and the baby always seemed to need feeding around picking-up time. We had very little money, but my husband had a secure job and doting grandparents were very generous. We survived and now have grandchildren.

Panicmode1 Tue 15-Nov-16 18:32:09

I would say think very very carefully. Four tipped me over the edge, meant that I gave up my career because I couldn't juggle a job with lots of travel with four children and a very unreliable nanny, and a DH who was also working v long hours and travels extensively....I do (sort of) regret not staying at my career BUT I have been very lucky to be a SAHM for 6 years, and I have had such fun with them all while they are young. They are now 12,11,8 and 6 and I have gone back to work, doing something very much less lucrative, but very part time in the past month and I am LOViNG being having a bit of me back and doing something other than the children/house etc. Oh, and earning some of my own money too.

If you are enjoying your degree and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I would really seriously think hard about where you'd like to be in say five years time. I loved having three and managed to go back to work and was happily enjoying the balance of children and (by then) part time working.

Conniedescending Tue 15-Nov-16 19:03:12

I have 4 now 14,12,10 and it. We both work full time and still feel we have enough time for them all. Trying to talk dh into a 5th - we had an unplanned pg last year which resulted in mmc and has started me off again.

Chaos when younger but great fun now- love a busy home

onecurrantbun1 Thu 17-Nov-16 12:51:43

I'd love a busy home like that too, Connie. I do love reading these threads, they help me to weigh up whether we want a fourth baby, too.

We have 3, aged 5, nearly 3 and 9mo. I'm happy to remain a sahm for the foreseeable future and don't want a "career" as such, although I'd like to have a job working with kids at some point in the future. Ifwe have another I would be 29/30 so hopefully would have enough energy!

Do those with four still feel able to bave fun and be spontaneous as a family of six? We have pretty much lost the babysitters (my folks are v supportive and local and would step in in an emergency but not so much for nights out as they have a hectic social life themselves!) But I worry that life will become hard work with four...

bigbuttons Thu 17-Nov-16 12:54:45

Yeah, 4 was way way harder than three. It made a huge difference to everything. At I was still socialising and felt reasonably human with 3. At 4, all that stopped. I went on to have 5 and 5 though. But 4 was the real difference.

bigbuttons Thu 17-Nov-16 12:59:39

Also teens need are more complicated and time consuming than small children's. I have 6 in 8 years and I am finding it way way harder now that 4 of them are teens than I ever did when they were small.

Afreshstartplease Thu 17-Nov-16 13:11:46

I wouldn't say I find it harder, there's just much more to do! Although I'm only four weeks in so early days here. I'd love to be a SAHM but we can't afford it. I'll probably go back part time and build back up to full time as they get older.

Thunderblunder Thu 17-Nov-16 13:19:33

I have 5 DC - 20, 16, 14, 13 & 12. Going from 2-3 was the hardest for us as it was the first time we were outnumbered by the DC.
In some ways it is harder now they are older especially with their social lives and needing lifts due to where we live. Our food bill is horrendous each week. grin Clothes are more expensive now they are older as well although we don't buy them branded clothes.

Sosidges Thu 17-Nov-16 13:29:51

If you have another baby now, you will probably put your career plans on hold for up to 3 years. At that time you will have one just starting senior school and one starting primary. With the social and sporting life of a diverse age range and the sheer physical work of caring for them, will you have time to study for a new career?

So the choice is between having another baby now, studying now and having anotherr baby in a few years, or giving up the idea of a 4th. My view is to wait one year, Start you studying, then see how you feel.

Another question to a sk yourself is, Is better to regret not having a 4th or regret having it?

Sosidges Thu 17-Nov-16 13:31:59

That should have read stay with your studying.

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