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How did you decide to stop at 2 children?

(56 Posts)
emmyloo2 Tue 14-Jan-14 04:22:11

I have a DS who is 3.2 and an 8 month old daughter. I really struggled with the first few years of DS's life adjusting to motherhood. I was really anxious before DD was born as I dreaded going back to the baby stage. It has actually been better than I expected although I am still looking forward to her getting to DS's life and us starting to get some semblance of a life back. What I struggle with, is why would you have a third baby which would then set you back again, back to the baby stage and another few years back from getting your life back (sort of). I had this second baby and swore black and blue I would never ever have another baby. My DH is an amazing father and he would give his right arm to have a third. Amazingly I am finding creeping little thoughts entering my head about having a third. My head and gut tell me it would be a very very silly thing to do. I am only just seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now with the first two (and it's a very very distant light) and I don't cope well with babies all. Pregnancy I don't mind at all - babies, not so much. I love my children but I work full-time and I love my job. Deep down, I know I should not have a third child but there is just this little niggle which has started.

So really my question is - how did you know you wanted to stop at two? Or conversely, why did you decide to have a third? I would love to know people's thinking!


Never even considered having a third, didn't even discuss it I don't think. I was 39 when DC2 came along anyway, but don't think I'd have wanted three even if we had been younger.

Also, when DC1 was born we kept everything for DC2. Once DC2 came along I was happy to sell the baby stuff without a backward glance as she finished with it. That told me all I needed to know.

DeathMetalMum Tue 14-Jan-14 20:18:58

We havn't decided yet but watching with interest. We have two dd's 3 and 10 months. I had quite a difficult birth with dd2, and an abnormal shaped womb which means problems with pregnancy, and birth are more likely. I have also got lingering spd, both of these things are putting me off a third. In my mind I am leaning towards 'being done' (also for financial and career reasons) though I always imagined three or more children being one of five myself.

Threads like these always make me think of more reasons for and against another. Me and dp also havn't really spoke about it for a few months so not sure on his feelings currently, I currently have an implant so certainly not on our minds at the moment. It hasn't helped that I have enjoyed the baby stage so much more with dd2.

barleysugar Tue 14-Jan-14 20:23:14

Mother of three here. I found that as my two got older, and started school there became a big baby shaped hole in my life, it was difficult to explain really, as I'm not really a baby person. I just felt I needed to have a new person in our family, another person at the dinner table!

Three is the magic number for us!

Yours are still so tiny, you may feel differently when they go to school!

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Tue 14-Jan-14 20:29:28

we got stuck. I definitely wanted another DH Def not.
We went round and round it. then we had an accident, I got pregnant.
I was delighted DH was mortified - at 6 weeks nature took its course and I was no longer pregnant. DH was delighted and I was mortified.
I realized that it would break us if we had another accident.

DH has now had a vasectomy. It was the only way forward. I would have loved another, but it is ok not to.

GwendolineMaryLacey Tue 14-Jan-14 20:37:46

We have stopped at two, the youngest just turned 2. I do think it would be nice to have another pregnancy (despite hating the last one) and another newborn. But I don't want another child IYSWIM. DH agrees. And I'm 42 now so 2 children for us.

PogoBob Tue 14-Jan-14 21:01:45

We've a 3yo DD and a 12mo DS and have been debating a third since last August.

In the end it was Christmas day that made the decision for me. Watching the two of them opening presents etc., it didn't feel like there was someone missing IYSWIM.

I also think that I was craving a pregnancy / new-born rather than another child.

Hyperhelpmum Tue 14-Jan-14 23:27:14

barleysugar I was the same as you. Oldest started in reception last yr and I just 'needed' another child. The house felt empty. My second child starts school in sept but I know I won't feel that again. Three is definitely the 'magic' number for us too!

RosebudTheCat Tue 14-Jan-14 23:35:00

Might have considered it but had a medical emergency with birth of DC2, NOT doing any more pregnancies/labours!

emmyloo2 Wed 15-Jan-14 03:26:06

Thanks all. I think this has probably confirmed what I was thinking. I think because the thought terrifies me, I need to go with my head and not my heart. A lot of it for me, is wanting to be pregnant again and wondering whether it's a boy or girl and choosing names and buying baby clothes, rather than wanting another child. The family feels complete to me now with one boy and one girl and to be honest, we manage now, but only just. We both work full-time and it's a juggle but it's manageable. It doesn't feel too chaotic. Plus our house is small and we struggle for room as it is.

Maybe I will just have to get a dog!!

I think the fact I have started giving away the baby clothes, baby items with great delight should tell me something. PLus I am counting down until we can get rid of bottles, and then rid of the baby bouncer and then the baby bath etc etc.

Damn ovaries and their broodiness!

Sparklingbrook Wed 15-Jan-14 06:53:33

How about a kitten?

bridalBOM Wed 15-Jan-14 09:13:18

I decided to stop at one because I should never have had the first one. I am not a natural mother and for all the same reasons as you have counted the days (still counting!) until I am have my life back.

Luckily for me, I have a new partner who feels the same as I do. I know it's a bit of a grim outlook but in my opinion it's very easy for a man to say he'd "give his right arm" for a third because he could walk away at any time. I'm sure you're husband isn't thinking like that but hopefully you know what I mean.
My advice would be to have a third if you dearly want one because it's you who'll bare the scars hmm

Crowler Wed 15-Jan-14 09:32:25

To be honest a big part of me not wanting more than 2 (and I actually wanted only 1 - husband "forced" me and thank god he did) is because I'm fairly vomit-phobic. I assumed that motherhood would cure me of it but in fact it made it worse.

Also I love kids but am not keen on spending huge amounts of time with them. wink

Sparklingbrook Wed 15-Jan-14 10:20:05

I think now when DSs both have friends round and the house is full of teenage/preteen boys I am glad there are only two lots of them. grin

newpup Wed 15-Jan-14 10:29:56

We had our Dds when we were in our twenties, bucking the trend for professional middle class university graduates at the time!!!! We always planned on three but by the time we could comfortably afford three, the first two were past the toddler stage and we found that we did not really want to go back. We could afford great holidays and the DDs were old enough to travel to more exotic places easily. Life was great! We decided to stop at two. Now the DDs are 12 & 15 and I am glad we did. The girls go to private school (would have been a struggle to pay three sets of fees) We still have lovely holidays (definite no if we had 3 sets of fees) we can go for weekends away without the girls, they are happy to stay with my mum and are at an easy age to have for a weekend. Would have felt too guilty to leave them and a toddler. I am studying for a change in career and life is good. Our close friends had a baby recently and are in a spin!! I am so glad we had ours when we did and stopped at two, definitely the right decision for us.

vvviola Wed 15-Jan-14 10:48:56

DD2, after being angelic for the first 5 months turned into a non-sleeping boob-monster at the onset of dairy and egg allergies. 2 years later I have only had 3 full nights of sleep.

That pretty much decided us on stopping where we are. Had I had more sleep over the past 2 years I might have been tempted.

rrreow Wed 15-Jan-14 11:16:13

My experience was the other way around. I found having one child a breeze. With the baby phase I was so relieved it wasn't as hard as all the stories. Then I had my second.. he's no more difficult/easy than the first, but having two kids I find infinitely harder.

I can imagine that biologically I'll want another one at some point. But emotionally.. just absolutely no. (And I can see a full night's sleep in a very distant future... it's a thought that keeps me going.. I don't want to relinquish that dream!) Now that I have two I feel emotionally so much more stretched and often I'm thinking to myself that these stresses make me not so fun to be around and make me feel negative in my own skin. I think for now I need to focus on my family as it is and myself.

I can imagine revisiting the conversation about a third in a few years time, once the youngest is at school. I have the luxury of time though as I'm in my late 20s.

kalidasa Wed 15-Jan-14 11:38:12

I think the distinction between wanting another pregnancy/baby and wanting another child/person in the family is a useful one. We are currently planning to TTC no. 2 even though I had a horrific pregnancy and bad PND and have to be prepared for the same again. I am not looking forward to the pregnancy/baby bit at ALL - and like you OP I love my job and was desperate to go back having been off sick the entire pregnancy - but I have always wanted more than one child and we both really want another and for DS to have a sibling. I am really hoping I DON'T feel like this after no. 2 because I would like to feel good about stopping at two.

appletarts Wed 15-Jan-14 20:21:07

Too tired to shag anymore or bring up any more babies

Coveredinweetabix Wed 15-Jan-14 20:35:19

When I really think about my current broodiness, a lot of it is down to the fact that, for the first time is 7 or 8 years, none of my close friends is pregnant or has a newborn and I'm feeling a general sadness that that stage of life is over. Unless I have grandchildren, never again will I have a pram (as opposed to a pushchair) to push, never again will I have skin to skin, buy those tiny newborn clothes or use my remaining girl's name. But even if I were to have another baby, that stage would only last for a few fleeting weeks.
There was a moment before Christmas when I was walking along with 20mth DS in my arms and 4.2yo DD holding my hand and I just had this feeling that this was right and that this was what my body was designed for. If I really think about it, I cannot imagine that scenario feeling the same if I was pregnant or had a newborn in my sling, DS pulling on reins at my side and DD walking next to me as I'd run out of hands.
More rationally, we can't afford it. Or we could but it would have a major impact on all of our lives for the rest of our lives. I also don't know if I'd cope. Sometimes having two is a breeze; other times, I feel as though I am being pulled in a million directions. And that is with two relatively easy going DC.

Bedsheets4knickers Wed 15-Jan-14 21:24:36

I have the niggle my baby is now 14 months and I keep wanting to scream STOP to the time that's flying by. My 1st is 3.5 he cracks me up. I find the baby stage so bitter sweet. I've always wanted 3 as I myself am 1 of 2 and I was always bored . 2 fits 3 gets tricky but surely it's tricky in the most fun loving way. I'm 33 I'm going to get both mine in school then decide. Il be 36/37. I do know my mum wanted a third but my dad was happy with 2 and realistically it was all they could afford but she does regret not having a third x

Allegrogirl Wed 15-Jan-14 22:01:55

I really wanted a third when I was at a similar stage to you. Life with DD1 was hell for the first 6 months so it came as a pleasant surprise to find that DD2 was much easier (cling on boob monster but at least I could stop her screaming easily enough). I really enjoyed the baby stage second time around, curled up with my biggest fan while DD1 was at preschool.

There were the numerous comments about trying again to get a boy as apparently having two girls wasn't good enough hmm. My DDs would love a little brother (or sister) to cause more mayhem with but as the sleeping improved it seemed more impossible to go back to zombie baby and small toddler days.

If I was younger, better off, had babies that fed less and slept more then a third would have been lovely. Head definitely ruling this decision.

Kiwiinkits Thu 16-Jan-14 01:00:39

I know that I wouldn't be able to maintain my career with another child, and I feel I am stretched enough between career and children now as it is. I love my job and I've worked for years to get where I am today. So two it is.

Also, I love my husband and I don't think there'd be any energy left for him if we had another child.

Have decided to think about it again when youngest is four. DH nags me almost weekly for another baby. I think if we did have another one I'd be grateful to fall pregnant with twins or triplets or something so that I'd be forced just to give up my job completely and not be tempted to continue to juggle it.

emmyloo2 Thu 16-Jan-14 02:39:48

All very good points. I think biologically I will always crave to be pregnant again, because it is such an exciting time. I also (strangely) quite like labour and giving birth because there is the thrill of meeting the baby. However, I am not one of these people who love babies and love being at home. Quite the opposite. I love order and control not chaos. Deep down I know I should not have a third and I will bet that we don't. I think intrinsically I won't let it happen because I know emotionally it will kill me and will place extra strain on our otherwise good marriage. Plus my Mum gives us a huge amount of help with the current two and I know she doesn't have it in her to help with a third.

And finally, I am already starting to plan overseas holidays for when the baby turns 2. I am not willing to turn back the clock on all that.

So I will continue to fantasize about using my unused names and will look into getting a kitten or dog instead!

CouthyMow Thu 16-Jan-14 02:59:01

Because one of each was enough for me. I then promptly had DC3 just 18 months after having DC2 and deciding I was 'done'.

And then, for good measure, had DC4 another 7 years later. Now I really AM done!!

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