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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!


minipie Thu 16-Jan-14 23:00:40

Probably because they forgot what it was really like.....

BabyMummy29 Thu 16-Jan-14 21:59:27

The ones I really can't understand are when there are two kids of maybe 8 and 6 and then parents have another one. This has happened to quite a few people I know.

Why on earth would you want to go back to sleepless nights, prams, nappies etc etc just when you've got clear of it all?

JewelFairies Thu 16-Jan-14 21:51:27

Easy. Too old, too poor, too knackered and didn't want to be outnumbered. I've got two and the younger one is almost 4. I am incredibly lucky to have them at all but still felt broody. Now the youngest is due to start school this year (eek) it seems an awful hassle to start again. So in our case time has healed the broodyness.

mrshunkermunker Thu 16-Jan-14 21:46:51

The most helpful advice I 've heard was that you don't know how many is enough until you have one too many. Which is scary. But not scary enough to stop me having my third...

peppajay Thu 16-Jan-14 10:28:57

We have a DD of 7 and a son aged 5 both at school and I have my life back I couldn't and wouldn't want to go all the way back to the beginning again. However if I had 2 children if the same sex I may feel differently. Both our kids were conceived so easily that my DH and I came to the decision that to stop any accidents happening a vasectomy was the best option. I know so many people who have fallen pregnant with an accidental third and put a real strain on the family. When I first married my DH I wanted 4 then reality hit and I realised how hard work it is and we also have no family close or willing to help so rarely get a break. Some friends of ours are in a horrible situation st the mo as she is desperate for a third child but her DH doesn't want one she is using the pressuring technique and sending him 100 texts a day until he finally agreed. My DH went out for a drink with him last night as he is really stressed and says he had to agree because the constant nagging was doing him in . I saw my friend this morning and she is over the moon with his agreeance and is looking forward to getting down to it tonight but her hub told my hub that this will damage the marriage hugely as he has been forced into doing something he doesn't want!! I think if you both want a third then go for it but it has to be a joint decision!!

GoshAnneGorilla Thu 16-Jan-14 03:10:54

I'm just about to have dd2. I'm pretty sure this is it for us. It's taken over 2 years to conceive and I don't love being pregnant that much.

Dd1 is nearly 5, she's been very easy going, so I think in some ways that will make going from 1 -2 even harder, so I really don't think I fancy going from 2 -3.

I think DH is keener on the idea of having a bigger family, but I don't want to go through years of ttc-ing, particularly as I'm 34 this year anyway. I just want to enjoy the family that (all being well) we have.

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!!

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Too tired to shag anymore or bring up any more babies

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

How about a kitten?

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!

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!

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!

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.

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