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Third child or not - please talk some sense into me

(28 Posts)
designerbaby Mon 05-Sep-11 23:12:15

Hi all, I have two wonderful DDs aged 3.9 and 18months. Am feeling overwhelmingly broody just now, but aware that a third child is probably beyond me/us as a family.

I know the ridiculous broodiness is probably in part because DD2 is just going through that transition from baby to toddler, and so, in a sense I'm missing my baby (no coincidence that it was at this point with DD1 I hot pregnant with DD2!) and thus it may pass, but got a number if months I have a real head/heart battle going on - I could to with gearing your experiences and probably for some of you to talk sone sense into me a wee bit!

Head says we can't afford a third child. Heart says we probably could if we lowered out expectations of what we could do for them somewhat (I.e. Private school would be out).

Head says I can barely keep everything going with the two I have, heart says I'd manage, but the house would probably be a tip.

Head says you and your girls have been lucky to survive your first two births, don't risk it again, heart says it'll probably be fine, but maybe you'll have to have a CS, and if so, Di what?!

Head says your body is already knackered, you'll fester it completely if you have another. Heart says, if it's already destroyed, what the hell!?

Head says you'll never get any semblance if your career back if you have a third - you'll pay out more in childcare than you could ever earn. Heart says, do you love it that much any more anyway?

Head says, do you realty want to make DD2 a middle child? Heart gets upset about this.

Head says life's really good with the two you have, why risk it? Heart says, but I just want another baby!!!!!!!!!

Help please. I'm turning into a fruitcake.


designerbaby Mon 05-Sep-11 23:13:58

Sorry, loads of predictive text errors there - experimenting with Mumsnet on iPhone... Hope you can make done sense of it despite them!!


hiccymapops Mon 05-Sep-11 23:20:55

Don't think this will help at all, but I went through all those emotions too grin I'm now in bed with dd 6 months asleep next to me, while ds1 5.1 and ds2 2.8 are in their beds grin. True, I'm VERY tired, but i was anyway.

If you're thinking and reasoning it all out that much (I was!), you may as well give in now smile.

hiccymapops Mon 05-Sep-11 23:21:40

Went a bit mad with the smileys there.

mollycuddles Mon 05-Sep-11 23:23:39

I had my third - dd2 after a 9 year gap. The broodiness never went away. Best thing I ever did. Not sure if that's helpful.

designerbaby Mon 05-Sep-11 23:29:41

Oh hell... I was afraid this might happen... I think I might just be able to cope if I had a nine year gap, but then I'd be ANCIENT!

Can someone please come and tell me not to have any more children please?!

The middle child thing bothers me inordinately. I feel like DD2 would be missing out at both ends IYSWIM? sad


hiccymapops Mon 05-Sep-11 23:32:56

I worried about the middle child thing, but I think that's up to the parents to ensure that doesn't happen.

designerbaby Mon 05-Sep-11 23:36:59

Hiccy, maybe I worry that I'd be a terrible mum if I had three to contend with blush

Maybe I should just wait until DD1 is in school...


hiccymapops Mon 05-Sep-11 23:55:50

Tell me about it! I'm a constant worrier/complete stresshead, I'm terrified of screwing my children up. That's one of the main things I worried about having a third. I seem to constantly be shouting and stressing with my two little terrors all the time, and I feel crap about it (although they would test the patience of a saint sometimes!) but I adore them.

A few people thought we were crackers having them all so close together, but I'll be 38 next, and dh will be 48, so we didn't really have the luxury of time. Also, I'm so used to sleepless nights, I thought it might be harder to do all over again if I had the chance to get used to sleep again smile.

I'm sure you're a fantastic parent, the fact that you're thinking it through so much proves it. You'll know what feels right for you. (bet you have another though wink)

Ripeberry Tue 06-Sep-11 00:05:58

LIsten to your head. A third child can also mean no return to work as it's too expensive for childcare.

goodasgold Tue 06-Sep-11 00:24:37

Listen to your heart, it can be difficult, the more you have of course the more difficult it is. But it can be lovely too. When they are helping each other, or playing together. It can seriously melt your heart. We have decided to stop at three, but I still would. Firstly those babies are so gorgeous, secondly they grow into people that you want to hang around.

But if like me you decide not to have any more, just make the best of things, and appreciate what you do have.

designerbaby Tue 06-Sep-11 10:13:32

Head, heart, head, heart. I think this dilemma nay go on for a while unless something puts a stop to it!!?

Those with three can you honestly tell me your feelings? I know no-one would ever regret a child, but has it made life really difficult? Those a few years further down the road, has all the effort and hardness paid off in the long run?


wigglesrock Tue 06-Sep-11 13:23:06

I had third child 6 months ago, dd1 is 6, dd2 is 3 and then dd3. I always wanted more than 2 children so just didn't feel finished with 2. I don't get the middle child thing at all, neither does husband and he is one. Dd3 has been an absolute joy but we were both really sure that we wanted another baby. If you are asking me to be really honest - its the best decision I ever made, every day with the three of them feels like a gift, and they can be really annoying at the best of times. Dd3 has made me appreciate dd1 and dd2 more hmm.

Although I already work part-time and can return with the help of grannys. Kids wouldn't be going private school anyway so financially that's not a factor.

hobnobsaremyfave Tue 06-Sep-11 13:33:17

Got 4 DC's so probably not the best one to advise but I am DC3, my sibs were only 14 months apart and then an 8 year gap before me. I hated that as I felt like an only child, if you decide to have a 3rd I would do it sooner rather than later.

Zoonose Tue 06-Sep-11 14:05:18

I am in exactly the same dilemma as you, OP. DS is 3.5 and DD is 17 months. I have the same head/heart conundrum and I wish I could know how I will feel in years to come if we don't have a DC3. At the moment for me, things have become so much easier to handle than when DD was under 1. That was a very stressful time. Now we are going out and about doing things they both enjoy, they sleep well at night and eat reasonably well, enjoy each other. I am really enjoying the fact that I feel reasonably organised: the house is roughly clean and tidy, DD can get herself about without my help so it's a lot less physically restrictive than it was. I have been thinking about it a lot lately.

DH has said right now he absolutely doesn't want a third, so I am not talking to him about it, and have decided I will come back to it when DD is 2 in April. Which gives me time to think, and lately I have been considering the benefits of NOT having another DC. I am meant to be freelancing while they are small, and with the intention of carrying that on when they are in school, but if I am honest I think I would prefer to be an employee, if I can get back into my industry part time. It's lonely working at home, I want to be paying into a pension, to have financial independence, without worrying about bringing work in, which is the problem with freelance. DD will go to school in 3 years, another baby would mean I would be at home probably at least 2 years beyond that. I will be at least 39 then: will going back into work then be very different to going back in at 37? And a third child means one whole other child to be worrying about when we're out at work. Not having a third would mean a quicker return to order and more time for me to spend on things I enjoy, whereas having one more would mean that children become an even bigger part of what I do. I feel like I am a reasonably good mother to the two I have: would it be the same if I had three? And then, would that all change as they got older anyway?

But then I think: when DD goes to school, will I regret not having one more? When we are old, retired, would it be nice to have three children for company, to help us out, and so on. And for them, would it be nice to grow up as a little tribe? DH worries about the 'being one of 3' aspect (and he is a middle child, and the only boy) but I tend to agree with others, that has to be down to the parents to a degree. For me too, DD's birth was awful, EMCS under general and she went to NICU, and I really do wish I could have a third (it would have to be an elective CS) in some way to heal from that experience.

Sorry, not much help to your predicament, I don't know how we make this decision. So maybe sharing thoughts helps. I am glad I feel I have time to think about it properly, but I do want to have mine close together (if we do), partly for them, partly to get the whole pregnancy/birth recovery/breastfeeding thing out of the way quickly!

Sleepglorioussleep Tue 06-Sep-11 14:19:00

I don't think what I'm about to say will help you...I am also in the every logical thought said stick at two, but we went for three. It is blooming hard and I had a terrible day yesterday but I am so so glad we did. I don't know if the broodiness would have eventually gone away without another baby, but as soon as she was born (actually when she was actually being born) I felt a feeling of "job done" that I hadn't had after number two. I can see pg women again without wanting to cry and am ready to sell the baby stuff. I guess that helps in that it has cured my broodiness but not in that it was baby three that did it! Good luck with your decision making process. It's tough.

Dulra Tue 06-Sep-11 15:54:35

Hi ladies
I am at the mo thinking about this too have dd1 4.1 and dd2 17months. Just like the others said after I had dd2 I kinda knew I wasnn't quite done yet. Me and dh had a chat over the weekend and he feels the same so I am back on the folic and hoping to start trying in next couple of months and I am really excited about another baby if we are so lucky!
I am one of 4 second eldest and I love having all my siblings we get on great so I guess 2 kids just didn't seem enough to me. My big sis has 3 and she is coping fine. The first year I think will be hard but it was with dd1 and it was again with dd2.
I may be wrong but I just don't think anyone ever regrets having kids but people do regret not having them so maybe op go with your heart

mindgone Wed 07-Sep-11 08:57:44

I really wanted a third, but DH really didn't. We didn't, and I'm happy with that decision now. DH has a stressful job and does let that stress show at home! So I think he would have found another much harder to cope with, he also worries a lot more about finances. When they are small, it's hard to think about all the issues as they get older. Holidays in hotels, you can usually have 2children in your room, but not 3. After school activities eg. Swimming lessons, brownies, cubs, dancing, rugby, football, music lessons are all really expensive, and getting more so, and of course, there are the logistics of getting 3 children to all these things! School uniform is also v expensive, esp shoes! I also worried about the 'middle child' issue, and giving enough attention to all. Our 2 get on great most of the time, if there is only 2, they have to get on, or there's no one to play with! Also, the best thing you can do environmentally, is to have less children. It's a really tough, personal decision, I just wanted to give some thoughts to balance the hormonal ones! My 2 are teenagers, and 2 of those is enough! Gorgeous as they are, of course!

LeBOF Wed 07-Sep-11 09:15:15

I'd say don't push your luck. If you listened to most mumsnetters, you'd never stop breeding!

NightLark Wed 07-Sep-11 09:16:52

Well I went with my heart, so that's my advice!

DC3 (DD2) is only 10 weeks old, so a little early to draw conclusions maybe. But anyway, it hasn't made life much harder, and she is a great joy.

Differences so far?

DD1 is jealous (she's 2.6, so to be expected), but it's not massive IYKWIM.

There is an astonishing amount of laundry.

I think I may have to accept that the senior management job that I'm half way through training for is something that I just can't commit to with 3 children.

DS has shown himself to be immensely protective and loving.

We're going to need a bigger house to be comfortable, especially when they are older.

We had to find a car you could fit 3 child seats in!

So practical issues though nothing dreadful, and emotionally absolutely right for us.

Best of luck with your decision.

ladyintheradiator Wed 07-Sep-11 09:23:31

If you just want another baby (your last paragraph) then no, don't - because what if DC3 hits toddlerdom and you feel the same? Well if you want a large family then that's not a problem but would if not would you be able to ignore those feelings a second time?

I don't know. My DC2 is younger but I am decided, that is it - but I don't cope with pregnancy very well and the mildly named baby blues have been so difficult, I don't have happy memories of having newborns, also it was worse with DC2 so it's a risk I can't take, even with the long view of 'it will pass', I just cannot, will not. My DC1 has a few difficulties so I could not further divide my time either, I feel it would be unfair. But without that, and if I didn't mind the whole pregnancy/newborn thing and had money and space...

I suppose heart rules, so in a turnaround from my first line, yeah why not? smile

mamasunshine Wed 07-Sep-11 10:00:58

I can honestly say I LOVE having 3 dc smile We always thought we wanted 3/4 dc, after ds2 I knew I wanted another. After having dc3 (dd) I knew that was it and I/we didn't want anymore. We have had 3under3, dd is now 7mo, I work pt, money is very tight, we now have to budget very well.

It IS HARD work at times, and some days can be dismal, but most days are good and we get out a lot, go on day trips etc and those days are wonderful and I just feel SO lucky! Of course we're tired, and the amount of washing is almost unbearable, but I look at the 3 of them playing/chatting and my heart just melts and I know we did the right thing!

We scrape together for a cleaner to come for 2 hours a week too, which makes the world of difference, knowing that the house is clean under all the mess helps enormously!

But it's not for everyone, I've had to really change and try and be a lot more laid have to lesson your expectations if they're too high when you have 3 dc!

Badtasteflump Wed 07-Sep-11 10:07:23

I went with my heart and I love having 3! And I wouldn't let the 'middle child' issue worry you too much - I don't even know what it is TBH but I know it hasn't been a problem for mine. Actually whenever we all talk about our positions/ages in our family, my 'middle' DC says he loves being in the middle because it's cosy grin

I don't think my broodiness would ever have gone away if I'd not had DC no.3 - although DH was equally broody so it made it an easy decision.

Papyrus Wed 07-Sep-11 10:15:08

I was in a similar position to you four years ago and in the end we decided to go for a third child and we wouldn't be without her.

It has been hard work, mine are 8, 5 and 2.10 so similar gaps to yours. But its so lovely and rewarding to see them interact with each other.

Financially anything could happen in the future, but we decided ultimately that we didn't want to get to fifteen years down the line and really regret never having a third child.

I'm also now 36 weeks pregnant with DC4 who was very much a surprise; so I'll let you know how it goes with 4! grin

designerbaby Wed 07-Sep-11 22:44:29

Thanks so much for all your responses...

My feelings having absorbed all you've all said is just to put the decision on hold for s bit.

I feel I need to get past my youngest DD moving from babyhood to toddlerdom, and the feelings and prions involved with that.

Then I need to see if DD1 gets into one of the acceptable state primaries locally or whether we end up going private - this makes a huge difference to us financially - we could afford to do it for two (just) if I'm working. Three would mean I probably don't return to work, and we couldn't...

I think if money were no object, them we'd undoubtedly have three... But I don't want to put our family under loads of strain and pressure... Much as my heart usually rules my head without much of a fight, we have to be a bit sensible. Sometimes...

I love my two girls, my first priority has to be to do the very best we can for them, right?

Three kids also makes it impossible to sit together as a family on long-haul flights to South Africa to visit the in-laws!

I also panic that I'd have a boy and wouldn't know what to do with him!!

My brains a mess, really... So I'm just going to wait and see how things pan out in other respects. I don't want to leave it too long, but I figure a two year nine month age gap gives me at least another six months to ponder it... We'll know about schools by then too!

But then the first two happened about a year each before they were planned... I should be careful in the next six months!!

I really am most grateful to everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences... To those still undecided, I wonder where we'll be in a year from now!?

Thanks though, really


P.s. I already have names worked out -Florence Joy for a girl and Jakob John for a boy... I'm a ridiculous woman.

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