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What’s the problem?

(43 Posts)
Sunisshining12 Mon 16-Sep-19 13:51:13

Hi all. I have 2 DC - age 2 1/2 & 6mo. Married 9 years. Own home, both work.

I love the idea of a large family. DH is very laid back & goes with the flow. He said he would like 3 or 4.

Whenever I mention this to my family (eg I said I’ll save the baby clothes for the ‘next baby’) they say ‘are you mad’ and negative, derogatory things like ‘i wouldn't if I were you’. My mum always comments on people who have smaller age gaps too but no idea why as she is 1 of 4. My Sister seems to have the opinion that having 3 or more is trampy!

The usual is ‘you just about cope now’. My eldest does have additional needs so I do see some sense.

I’m 34, 35 in the new year. I worry about trying for a third (and can’t even imagine a fourth) because of their reactions. They seem to think it’s a bad idea & can’t understand why I would want more.

DH & I of course will do what is best for us. I try to ignore comments but they play on my mind. When I get into a discussion they back off and say obviously it’s your life do as you please.

Does anyone else get the impression that others think having 3+ isn’t good? What is it that i’m missing?

OP’s posts: |
dirtyrottenscoundrel Mon 16-Sep-19 13:58:07

When I announced my 4th pregnancy not a single member of my family looked happy for me.
My sister even said ‘you’re not keeping it are you?’
And this was 17 years ago, before it was trendy to worry about the environment.

CassianAndor Mon 16-Sep-19 14:02:31

well, it's certainly not good for the environment.

And if you have a child with additional needs at the mo, who presumably takes up more of your time than your other child - that time is going to be split even more.

Greeni Mon 16-Sep-19 14:03:09

I have the opposite problem. ‘When are you having another?’ ‘You can’t have a lonely only’ ‘you need to get cracking soon!’
Ds in 9 now and I still get asked when I’m having more. I’m not!
Just do what’s right for you and your family.

purpleboy Mon 16-Sep-19 14:10:29

Why do you want more?
Can you still enjoy the same lifestyle if you have more?

I do sometimes wonder the reasoning behind having more especially if it means your existing family's style of living would be reduced, I don't think it's fair, and it's usually to fulfil the parents desires for more, I personally feel that's a selfish attitude.
The family's I know that are 3+ are usually struggling in one way or another, not enough time to dedicate to each child as they have multiple to attend to, struggle with stress of not enough sleep whilst trying to entertain a toddler and a pre schooler, not enough money for them to enjoy holidays or even days out, not essential I know but the children are missing out because of the parents desires to have a larger brood.
If you have children with such a small age gap, there is no way you can fully give that child the attention they deserve.
Children should be treated as individuals and should all be entitled to the love and attention they need, this is just not physically or mentally possible as there are others who also require the same.
Sorry if this sounds judgy, it's just my experience of the larger families I know.

Sunisshining12 Mon 16-Sep-19 14:26:27

@purpleboy I see your point. It really would be to satisfy my wants, so it is my selfishness. DH is 1 of 3 so seems normal to him. I have 1 sibling but I was terribly lonely growing up (still am tbh) which I think this desire stems from. I’m almost jealous of people with 4 kids.

My eldest isn’t cognitively affected but has physical limitations. I do genuinely believe having my second was the best decision ever. They adore one another. But any more, who knows? Maybe when she is at school?

I just love being a Mother. I’ve failed in so many other aspects of my life. We are fortunate, have a large home & income. If we didn’t, no way. I know money doesn’t make you happy but it certainly has made our life easier over the years (we came from humble beginnings & built up a business)

Anyway, I’m rambling.

What is it about large families people don’t like? It can’t just be the environmental factor surely?

OP’s posts: |
Sunisshining12 Mon 16-Sep-19 14:34:07

My family see it as distasteful & even ‘skanky’. Maybe is because some larger families struggle financially I really don’t know what it is.

Those who have 3 - did waiting for the other 2 to be at school make it ‘better’? Or is having a larger age gap harder?

OP’s posts: |
Sunisshining12 Mon 16-Sep-19 14:37:40

@dirtyrottenscoundrel how did you handle that? I can imagine I would get the same response!

How are things now all these years later? How are your family? Are you happy you had 4? Would you change anything?

OP’s posts: |
Shplot Mon 16-Sep-19 14:39:13

A lot of larger families do rely on benefits and that’s probably why your family see it as distasteful? I think a lot of wealthier families have 1 or 2 so the children can go to the best school and have opportunities that just wouldn’t be available with more kids. The large families I know do tend to not have enough to go around.

Fucket Mon 16-Sep-19 14:41:24

Well I would have thought with the CB cap that having 3 or more kids these days will be the new status symbol of the middle classes.

We have 3 children together and I also have a stepson and we had a few “not again!” Type comments. We have a nice home and a big car, and always planned on having a large family.

I work part-time in a school so I am always here for clubs, school runs and homework. I wouldn’t want to do this working full-time though. I did work full time when we just had 2 but that was hard enough.

So long as you are not ringing up yiur relatives every other day crying you can’t cope or can’t afford new school shoes, then I don’t think it’s anyones business.

Stilllivinginazoo Mon 16-Sep-19 14:41:52

I had four(now 24,15,13,12).no regrets
We don't travel abroad,I don't drive
It's your choice,no one else's how many you have as long as you can afford them!

MamaFlintstone Mon 16-Sep-19 14:45:51

Well I would have thought with the CB cap that having 3 or more kids these days will be the new status symbol of the middle classes.

Unlikely, since you don’t get CB at all now if one of you earns over £60k.

Sunisshining12 Mon 16-Sep-19 15:03:44

I wonder what the perfect family is to most? 2 children? I guess a boy & a girl?

OP’s posts: |
Pootles34 Mon 16-Sep-19 15:09:16

The thing about people thinking it's 'skanky' stems from the old stereotype of families (single mothers often) having millions of kids for the benefits - generally peddled by a certain type of paper. Really horrid, but I think that's where its from.

The environmental thing - I think people are just starting to wake up to how important this is. It's not just something for hippies to worry about anymore - I think people are starting to come around to the fact that this lump of earth we live on is literally all we have, and we are headed towards a massive disaster, so yes, it is rather important.

Purpleartichoke Mon 16-Sep-19 15:13:44

Where I live, university education is extremely expensive. It is the extremely rare family that can afford to send more than one or two children. I do judge people who have children with no plan as to how to provide them with an education.

CroissantsAtDawn Mon 16-Sep-19 15:18:14

From reading MN, people are often very negative about lots of things.

Having more than 2/3 DC. Having only 1 DC. Having no DC...

Losing weight. Gaining weight....


I am in awe of anyone with more than 2 DC as I struggle so much with 2 and DH would like a 3rd and I feel guilty I can't manage it.

I thought that once DC2 was out of toddlerhood things would settle down and be easier and I'd have a 3rd. But 2 in school has brought a load of new problems and I'm stretched really thin.

Sunisshining12 Mon 16-Sep-19 15:22:44

I’m sorry to hear that. I guess still having a toddler & baby I see school as when it ‘all becomes easy’ so to speak.

Part of me thinks wait at least a few years & re evaluate then. But then I’m worried I’ll be ‘too old’ (and that’s a whole new topic isn’t it!)

OP’s posts: |
stucknoue Mon 16-Sep-19 15:25:51

I suppose it depends a lot on financial security, housing costs where you are, expectations, how much family help you get. Personally I think that 2 kids, 3 if you are very comfortable is ok beyond that you need to consider if it's fair on the existing kids, especially with additional needs and none of us know what is in the future. I have a young friend, one of 4 and unfortunately his eldest sibling got cancer, he and his younger siblings were left to fend for themselves with a disinterested grandfather supposedly in charge, he couldn't cope with the 3 kids so they were eventually split between relatives... he left home and 16 to join the forces. He says to this day his parents should not have had so many kids

CroissantsAtDawn Mon 16-Sep-19 15:30:07

That's sad stucknoue

I was chatting to a mum in the park who had 4 in 4 years (including twins). She said the baby/toddler years were the easiest. Just a conveyor belt of nappies/feeding/dressing etc.

Once they were all in school and needing help with homework/taking to activities/eating loads more/being bullied etc. - that's when she started really struggling.

Fucket Mon 16-Sep-19 16:35:44

Unlikely, since you don’t get CB at all now if one of you earns over £60k.

Well that’s kind of the point I was making. Middle classes don’t rely on benefits and the CB cut off is at 2 children.

Threnody Mon 16-Sep-19 16:38:03

I have 3. My Mum was a bit taken aback about it (I have no idea why, as she was one of three, and my father is one of seven. It is one of the things on the cons list of whether to have a fourth). I love having three. They do fight, yes, and it's a bit hectic juggling school for one, and the other two, who are starting nursery soon, and I'm sure it will get worse when they're older. But they love each other, and it's lovely when they are playing nicely together.
I don't think one or two extra children here or there will matter too much from an environmental perspective. Luckily we can afford 3 (and probably 4 if we decide to). I haven't planned for university as who know what the situation will be in 14 years - but we'll work it out. We'll be able to save a bit once the younger ones are out of nursery, which takes my salary.
It's absolutely none of anyone else's business how many children you have as long as you can look after them, and keep them fed, warm, safe, happy and loved. People judge you no matter what you do.

dirtyrottenscoundrel Mon 16-Sep-19 18:28:31

Hi op.
Oh things worked out extremely well. It was hard I can’t lie, but so very worth it.
No regrets whatsoever - apart from not having a 5th!

Sunisshining12 Mon 16-Sep-19 19:38:23

Great comments thank you! I haven’t even considered University costs. I went & it was a waste of time. My DH didn’t & is very successful now leaving school with no qualifications. I understand for the middle/upper classes it’s really important. As is private education. Who knows what this Country will be like in 18 years!

Those with 3/4 - do they get along now, especially those who are older? I like the thought of my eldest especially having family around her when we’ve gone.

OP’s posts: |
Fucket Mon 16-Sep-19 19:58:00

The think is with university loans, if they don’t pay them back by a certain time they get cancelled. So I would rather save up some money towards a deposit on a house, or car, or van for work, etc. I really want them to think about whether they really want to go to university and their career instead of blindly going to university to do a ‘whatever’ degree. I know so many who went and it was an absolute waste of money.

Crazymummyto3 Mon 16-Sep-19 22:03:04

People will always have an opinion whether you have no children, two, three or ten. I've got to an age now where I don't care what other people's opinions are, all that matters is that i know that we are making our decisions for the right reasons. Originally we only planned on having two. Our eldest has additional needs too. Our third baby was a bit of a surprise but she's changed the dynamics of our family in the most amazing ways. I have one sibling and we don't speak any more which is so sad, I see the bond that our three have and it's one of the best feelings and hopefully something that they will keep all through life. Yes we've had to make cutbacks, but we still have days out, meals out, holidays and we just do them differently now but we don't miss out at all. We have a 7 seater car and our house is big enough so mine would have to share and we are currently ttc number 4. I am very well aware that we will get lots of negative comments but I don't care, it's our decision and doesn't matter to anyone else!

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