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Number three or not? Advice welcome

(10 Posts)
Terramirabilis Fri 18-Oct-19 19:36:22

Apologies if 3 is not considered a larger family - among my peers it certainly would be.

We have two DC, 5 and 1, both doing well, we own our own home and I've just had a payrise and am making enough to support us. DH's business (don't want to say what but it's a health niche he's done a lot of training for where there's high demand so as far as one can count on making a certain amount of money, we can assume he'll quickly be far out earning me) is expanding at a good steady pace.

We've been talking for months about a third. I'm 38, so if we're going to do it, we're going to do it within the next 18 months or not at all. We are both now decided that we would like to do it, so now comes the decision as to whether it would be a good idea.

Whether we want to do it isn't the issue, it's whether the impact on our lives would be worth it.

We have a great life right now. We could move on from the baby/toddler stage within the next couple of years and start having more adventures as a family as our DC get more capable. With two, I could keep working full-time and we'd have a very nice standard of living, plenty to save, plenty to have fun. (I say could because even if we don't have another one I'd like to go part-time to have more time for the DC, be less rushed and always "on." DH is supportive of whatever I want.) We're not people who are interested in a luxurious lifestyle, but I also don't want to be forever scrimping and saving. Luckily, DH's prospects are such that even with three we'd probably be fine, but it would be a more modest lifestyle, still all bills paid etc.

I suppose my question is really whether it's worth it.

If we have a third I really would have to drop to part-time, maybe even stay at home for a while. DH and I are agreed that it isn't feasible to do any more than we are, so we know we could not cope with both working full-time and having 3. I have a job that pays good but not spectacular money. Even with 2 in childcare, one in after-school care, I'd still out-earn those costs. Although once you throw in commuting costs, clothes for work and other costs of being time-poor like getting a cleaner I'd likely make only a modest profit on my work besides being much more stressed. DH needs to focus on building his business and has significant earning potential so it would be me to cut back, not him.

Anyone been in this position of making a "head" rather than "heart" decision about a third (or more?) I'm really torn between wanting more time with my DC (and one more DC) and knowing it will mean my career takes a back seat for a while. I value what I've worked to build up. It's a lot more than just a job, but if I got out for a while it wouldn't be an industry where I would just waltz back in.

And yet...

Terramirabilis Sat 19-Oct-19 00:42:39

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Terramirabilis Sat 19-Oct-19 16:48:15

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LadyOfTheFlowers Sat 19-Oct-19 16:51:14

"Worth it"? hmm
My 3rd and 4th are both "worth it".

On a practical note, once you've got three you're outnumbered. 2 to 3 is the hardest jump imo. 3 to 4 didn't make much difference to me.

LadyOfTheFlowers Sat 19-Oct-19 16:53:06

Can't comment on the work bit as I gave up my career to raise my kids and now they are all at school I work to suit them in a completely different job.

motortroll Sat 19-Oct-19 17:12:52

I had my 3rd with a 5 year age gap at 36. I became pregnant just as my husband was starting his new business (it wasn't entirely planned that way, the opportunity to do it just came along as I got pregnant!)

I already worked part time as a teacher so we had a steady income as a back up to cover mortgage and bills. Was a bit tight while I was on mat leave but both my older ones were in school so I didn't have child care costs then.

I felt a bit the same as you especially as my next youngest was at school and older so we had a lot more freedom before the baby.

It's worked out amazing for us. Youngest is now nearly 6 and in year 1. The business has soared (similar situation to yours, we knew we'd make "enough" but actually dh is really successful relative to our expectations) and we've benefited from lots of extras like holidays and new house/car. I am now in the happy position of being able to leave teaching and either join the business or a less impacting job and doing more for my kids. But if I still loved my job I'd be staying as the childcare/spare time aspect has always been fine.

In terms of the 3rd baby I loved it all! Had PND with my second so the 3rd baby was a lovely experience. But i did benefit from the big age gap where the others were at school. That said I wanted one earlier and we would have done it if I hadn't been worried about the PND aspect.

My baby is of course worth it but I get what you mean. I think our age has helped as we've both had time to work our way up to a comfortable position financially whereas when the other 2 were little things were pretty tight because if our lower incomes. I think we'd still have had a 3rd anyway....in fact if I'd had her younger I'd probably have had a 4th!

motortroll Sat 19-Oct-19 17:14:34

For what it's worth I found the jump from 1-2 with a smaller age gap much harder but I wasn't in a great position emotionally so..

motortroll Sat 19-Oct-19 17:17:21

Oh and another thing! The harder part is probably now with working and my 2 eldest are 11 and 13 and I seeM to always need to be in different places at the same time, I rarely get to go straight home from work/school run and just relax!

PotteringAlong Sat 19-Oct-19 17:18:39

Mine are 7, 5 and 3.

I love them all to bits but 2-3 nearly killed me (I had pnd with number 3 that I hadn’t had the other 2 times and that threw me) and, love him as I do, life would undoubtedly have been simpler and much cheaper with 2.

Would I do it again with hindsight? I honesty don’t know. Our family is complete in a way it wasn’t before but I would be lying if I said it hadn’t been tough. Would I have a 4th? No.

madcatladyforever Sat 19-Oct-19 17:30:32

I'm not being disablist at all but have you thought about what you'd do if your third child was severely autistic or had Downs. If you'd be happy with that then great but you need to think about it.
One of my friends and my sister had a third child in their late 30's, one severely autistic and my sisters baby died at birth.
I would consider all of the options, that plus what do the other children think about it, would they mind all the attention going from them to the baby for the first few years.
Working with a baby and two other kids is hellish when you are older.
You just don't realise how much.
Go through everything and all the other options before deciding. There is also the environmental point of view, do any of us really need to be making more consumers.

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