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Number 4? Please Help Me Decide!

(40 Posts)
sarahpenrose2606 Fri 14-Dec-18 18:44:27

I am driving myself crazy trying to decide whether to try for another child in the new year. I am 37 with 3 children aged 6.6, 4.6 and 2.9. We moved to a great house (which needs renovation) a year ago. We have 2 dogs and 2 cars and keep chickens so there’s plenty to do. I feel unfinished. I also feel it’s now or never with my age as well as the gap with my youngest. I am so torn and one day 100%, the next not so sure. I would have to persuade my husband too and it feels like this is the biggest risk, as I would always be the one who made it happen and responsible for any extra stress! Help me decide I need to sort this or I will go mad! Thanks for any advice!

sarahpenrose2606 Fri 14-Dec-18 18:45:11

Obviously that should read 2 cats not 2 cars!

Beccatheboo Fri 14-Dec-18 18:57:33

I always thought I’d have 3 children but we stopped at 2. For a while I was broody and felt there was an unfilled space at the table. Now my dc are older (13 and 9) I’m happy with the status quo. I found the baby stage and early primary relatively easy (and lovely). If anything I find parenting more demanding now and I’m glad I don’t have to split my time further (not a dig as I know you have 3 dc). It’s definitely a more expensive stage, eg with my eldest in adult clothes, eating adult portions, the cost of trips and hobbies more expensive etc. I do like having me time back. I’d just advise you to look ahead to the future. By the sound of it your house will require your time (and money) for refurb and you have a full life.

Snowwontbelong Fri 14-Dec-18 18:59:37

Going from 3-4 was easier than 2-3 ime.
Sorting bed times is the key!!

snuggledonthesofa Fri 14-Dec-18 19:06:07

I want 4. We can't afford 4. Dc3 is 12 weeks and it makes me really sad this is my last time.

sarahpenrose2606 Fri 14-Dec-18 20:25:38

Thanks for the responses. It's so helpful to hear other people's opinions. I just can't imagine the future too far ahead
Ie teens. You are probably right. I also don't know how you work out how many children you can afford. It seems you have to make do with what you have no matter how many you are ( I am one of five and we had very little money but lots of others riches! ) Part of me wants to leave it to fate try for 6 months and see if anything happens and then close the chapter.

EverythingNow Sat 15-Dec-18 12:56:08

I've recently fallen pregnant with #4 at 39. Been ttc 19m and was for a while on a ttc thread here in larger families.

My dc are now 18, 9 and 7 and I would have loved a smaller gap between 3&4 but it took dh a while to want it too. For me the feeling of wanting more didn't wane even after 7years, some incredibly hellish teenage years with dc1 included.

MrsCar Sat 15-Dec-18 13:18:03

Congratulations EverythingNow, I remember you from ttc here last year.
Would you believe that I've name changed, and actually cannot remember what my username was 🤦‍♀️
How far along are you? I can imagine how exciting it must have been to finally get the BFP. Are the kids excited? It'll be so lovely to have a baby in the house again.

We tried for 6 months or so for #4 and it didn't happen. Around that time, ds (our 3rd) was diagnosed with some issues. All are mostly ok and manageable. Sorry for being vague, I just don't like to give away too much personal info on mumsnet.
So we stopped ttc and are very happy with our family of 5, although I do get the longing for one more every now and then, especially around this time of year. We are incredibly fortunate in that we would have been able to afford 4 and we have the space, etc, so it was a hard decision to make, to stop.

OP, I think at 37, you still have some time to decide. I know it's not easy.

EverythingNow Sat 15-Dec-18 13:28:08

@mrsCar I'm 6w5d! I've told close family and work due to the nature of my job. Not told the kids yet but will have to tell dc1 soon as I'm sure she will realise.

I'm sorry to hear about your DS but glad that you're happy. I'm so intrigued about your old username!

MrsCar Sat 15-Dec-18 13:30:38

I'll look up our old threads and see, and I'll pm it to you smile

I hope you're not too sick and tired. What a great Christmas pressie 😊

gruffalocake2 Sat 15-Dec-18 13:33:08

We had twins for dc3 so different scenario but it’s not bad. Time for the older ones is the huge challenge I think but will hopefully get easier as we emerge from toddler stage. I think 3 is a great number but you won’t ruin your life by having 4, it will just be very very busy and full!

Ding3kids Sun 16-Dec-18 13:07:26

I feel the same I've got a 5 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old. I've been trying to decide whether to have a 4th and last month our contraception didn't work, and gutted that I didn't get pregnant was hoping so. It feels like the sensible option would be to stick with my 3 but I can't shake off this feeling of wants another baby. It's so hard

Mesmeri Sun 16-Dec-18 13:25:01

I advise extreme caution.

I felt much the same as you this time last year. I think I even posted a thread about it. And decided to stick with 3 (for so many sensible reasons).

Then 3 months later we accidentally got pregnant (so, so stupid... I'm 39 Ffs, no excuse for that really) and now, no. 4 is due in about 3 weeks. I spent quite a while panicking and feeling very irresponsible about it. But after a lot of thinking, we got used to the idea and now we're looking forward to it. Obviously, subconsciously, we did want 4, or we'd have been a bit more careful...

GiantKitten Sun 16-Dec-18 14:16:23

I had 4th at 42, when older 3 were 11, 8 & 5. I had wanted a 4th for a long time (felt unfinished, like you) but I was working part-time & couldn’t afford to stop; then DH got another job which a) paid better but b) was a lot further away so he couldn’t help the same way with childcare.

Timing was fine for us & older kids were amazingly helpful. Agree that 3 to 4 is easier than 2 to 3. 6-seater cars were vanishingly rare then, but that’s certainly not a problem these days!

DC4 is 25 now, currently living at home. He’s been very useful at stopping us becoming old fogeys grin

WeaselsRising Sun 16-Dec-18 14:34:57

gruffalo I laughed hysterically at your comment Time for the older ones is the huge challenge I think but will hopefully get easier as we emerge from toddler stage.

Children get harder and demand more time the older they get. We had our 5th when ours were 21, 20, 18 and 16. 16 yo became incredibly difficult and even 11 years later demands a lot of time and attention.

Before that we had exams, university visits, moving adult children around the country, while trying to look after a small one. Even now I get quite resentful when on DH's one day off he gets an adult DC demanding his time for something, so he doesn't have time for the younger one sad. Theirs tend to involve lots of driving or vast sums of money too. It never ends.

sarahpenrose2606 Sun 16-Dec-18 16:04:52

Ding3kids - it's impossible for me to stop obsessing ! I thought if I left it a year ( I started wondering when my youngest was 2) it would go away, but it hasn't. I just wish I could decide one way or the other ! She is 3 in March and we are so close to coming out of baby stage. I know it's irrational and it would be demanding in so many ways.. but having 3 under 5 wasn't exactly sensible! Thanks to everyone for responses!

MrsCar Sun 16-Dec-18 16:15:46

I've found that it gets easier physically, the older they get, but much, much harder emotionally and mentally.
Also, I find that I actually get more time to myself when they're younger, e.g. I can put them to bed at 8pm, and generally forget about them once they're asleep (obviously when they're older than 3 or 4 and not unwell)

My older one will be up and down the stairs, going out, ringing or texting me, needing to be collected somewhere, will need money for x, y and z, might be failing a subject, fallen out with a friend, missed her bus, doubled over in pain with period cramps. Sometimes it just feels like it never ends....

Freco010 Sun 16-Dec-18 16:43:53

I was like you and decided to go for it. DC4 is now 8 weeks and has fitted in well. Our eldest is 7. The teenage years will be mayhem but they would have been with three close together anyway. My husband was unsure but now says he couldn’t imagine our family without DC4. Whatever you decide to do will work out.

sarahpenrose2606 Sun 16-Dec-18 18:38:07

Thanks everyone. I still feel there's no 'sensible' justification, but it's no really about that! I just don't want to destroy my family/marriage/mental health. Truth is, I think I would be pretty excited if it happened by accident so that tells me I should try and persuade husband next...

sarahpenrose2606 Sun 16-Dec-18 18:39:04

Out of interest, Freco, how was the pregnancy/delivery? I am concerned about being 'older' mother this time round.

Ding3kids Sun 16-Dec-18 19:01:18

@sarahpenrose2606 I feel the exact same and can't stop thinking about it even though the sensible thing is to stop at 3. I don't want a huge age gap though as it's been hard work, mine are all 2 years exactly apart so want a fairly close age gap again

Freco010 Sun 16-Dec-18 19:03:47

I’m 33 but did find the pregnancy tricky with the hot summer we had. My delivery was the hardest I’ve had!

AJPTaylor Sun 16-Dec-18 19:15:21

Mmm. Well the only thing I would say is that it is a lovely idea to have 4 little cherubs around a scrubbed pine table. The time, stress and funds that 4 kids from say 18 down to 12 Should not be underestimated. Driving them every where. Paying for clothes, uni, arguments, hormones and falling out.

gruffalocake2 Sun 16-Dec-18 23:30:43

Weasels I know everything isnt easy once kids are beyond toddler stage (my eldest is 9) but I personally find that under 3s demand a constant physical attention and presence whereas once they get beyond that stage you have more choices about who gets attention and so you can divvy it up more. Currently for safety reasons more than anything else the two tinnies have to have my constant attention which means the older two lose out and I have v little choice about that.

Auntiepatricia Thu 20-Dec-18 03:50:23

I have 4, eldest is 5. And a dog a cat and chickens. And a house we’re renovating in the spring. It’s such incredibly hard work, the kids. I feel like we’re permenantly over capacity. #4 was an accident. But gosh do we love him and the family didn’t seem quite finished till he came along. It’s a tough decision.

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