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Three children, small age gaps. How do/did you cope?

(29 Posts)
MinkyBorage Wed 27-Aug-08 22:24:12

Am due to have dc3 in March next year when DD1 will be 3.5 and DD2 wil be 2.2. Am I going to go absolutely mad? HELP!!! Advice, tips, horror stories and tales of joy needed!

psychomum5 Wed 27-Aug-08 22:26:03

get lots of wine in, and a big lot of chocolate......oh, and a sense of humour too.

I needed all three when I had three of mine that close.

congrats, and you will be fine........going from two to three is far easier (IMO at least) than going from one to two.

mehgalegs Wed 27-Aug-08 22:28:20

It's hard, I have 4 close together but you'll cope.

Do you have good family support and a very hands on DH/DP?

MinkyBorage Wed 27-Aug-08 22:39:51

Thanks psychomum. Will definitely go with the wine and chocolate advice!
Parents live about 150 miles away, and DH is hands on, ish(as in follows instructions OK, but struggles to take initiative iykwim)but works long hours, can help with breakfast, but only occasionally back to read a bedtime story. I'm going to go mad aren't I!? smile

butterflybessie Wed 27-Aug-08 22:43:31

It is tough, but as PM5 said it is much easier than 1 to 2, and I went on to have another one afterwards grin

I have 4 with less than 5 years between oldest and youngest and yes it can be tough but boy it is great when they all get on - happens more and more these days grin.

I couldn't imagine a large gap.

We have no familial help but when my dh is around he is incredibly hands on, shame he works so many hours sad

doesmybumlookbiginthis Wed 27-Aug-08 22:48:24

I had 3.5 year old and 21 month old when youngest was born. It is hard and I now refer to those times as the Dark days - felt like I was in tunnel with no end in sight but I got through them and they are all great friends now and my baby days are well and truly over. They are definitely worth it. good luck - I am sure you wont need it

psychomum5 Wed 27-Aug-08 22:53:00

one thing to advise tho.......teatimes in our house became known as 'the witching hours' for a while.......between 5pm and bedtime was hell some nights.

that is when I got my wine habit actually I thinkhmm.....

things for me got easier when I finally figured that my kiddies were better having their baths in the morning......they follow me and become very very wide awake after a nice warm, supposedly sleep-inducing bath!!!
when I stopped bath at night, it free'd up an extra hour which sooooooo helped, and the bathing in the morning woke them up to be happy bunnys

twoluvlykids Wed 27-Aug-08 22:54:00

my dc was 2 days short of 14 months when dd born. he wasn't walking. it was hell. it still is,at times.i describe them as best of friends & worst of enemies.take as much help as is offered.

and my ma had me & 2 others really close, consecutive months & years, so when i was born she had one of 26 months & one of 13 months, & i don't know how she coped.

CarGirl Wed 27-Aug-08 22:58:45

It's hard when they are little

My 3 youngest were 3years 6 weeks & about to turn 2 when the baby was born.

My best tips are to try and not be too ambitious and accept that your life will revolve around little people. Make evening meals in advance, stews, roasts, something with rice etc so the prep can be done during the day etc. The hours between 5-7pm are the worst and breast feed if you can because it's much easier reading stories etc with baby parked on the boob!

The youngest went to bed at 7.30pm (at least half an hour after the others) until she was 2 years so she could have a long nap during the day and because when she was baby she would have to wait for her last feed!

Clary Wed 27-Aug-08 23:01:30

no it will be fine.

When ds2 was born dd was 21mo and ds1 was errm well almost exactly 2 yrs older.

People used to gasp at me "three under four????" as tho once DS1 was 4 it would all be a breeze hmm but in fact DS2 was so easy, he just slotted in.

Carried everywhere in a sling for first 6mo, he just came along to everything the others did. Result was a boy who now (aged 5) thinks he's 12 or so....

DS1 was at nursery as yr DD1 will be I imagine; that takes some pressure off. I was also lucky enough to be able to keep the older 2 going to my fab childminder for a couple of days a week to give me a bit of a break.

I took a year off work (that was just after this was introduced as a serious option) and I had such a lovely time with DS2, I look back on it now as not the dark days, but a lovely period in my life when I had space and time to enjoy my DC when they were really small. smile

twoluvlykids Wed 27-Aug-08 23:02:18

if they're all resting or sleeping at the same time,take time out yourself,don't rush round with the hoover,the kids won't remember clean & polished house but they will remember happy mum.

CarGirl Wed 27-Aug-08 23:07:35

Have to say my youngest just slotted in too - always plenty to watch, the girls to chat to her etc etc

TsarChasm Wed 27-Aug-08 23:09:44

grin I'm with psychomum. Wine and chocolate. Also Radio4. How boring am I?! It kept me sane though!wink

scanner Wed 27-Aug-08 23:15:01

DD1 was 3.3 and dd2 was 11 months when ds was born, it was three times the work and three times the joy. Except all help offered and don't try to be perfect or beat yourself up if you're not.

I agree with Radio 4, it was a lifeline for me.

I found the last few weeks of pregnancy harder than the first few weeks after ds was born. You will manage and once they get past todler stage it's great, they are their own little gang.

TsarChasm Wed 27-Aug-08 23:18:38

Do whatever works for you. If it works and eveyone is happy, then it's ok.

Never never feel guilty about what you haven't done or think you should be doing.

Also don't be too ambitious or hard on yourself. Things do get much easier when they're a bit bigger. Some things can wait till they're a bit older. Ask for help too.

I followed none of the above and nearly went under. If I'd chilled out more and worried less about the sodding ironing for example, I would have been happier. But I had my mother's 'standards' to uphold and also thought I ought to be managing exactly the same as others I knew with far less on their plate. I was very wrong.

Weegiemum Wed 27-Aug-08 23:41:58

I have three dcs.

Dd1 was 3years and 10 months, ds 22 months when dd2 was born, so I had a few months of 3 under 4.

It was hard hard work for a long time, but I was physically very unwell and also had PND.

Now they are 8, 6 and 4. Dd2 has just started school. It is great now. they bicker, fight, rub each other up the wrong way sometimes but are basically great. I am so glad I had the three close together.

But when you hear them playing nicely now you forget all the hard bits. Be nice to yourself, like others have said, wine, chocolate, Radio 4 and an occasional G&T are still very useful.

Get used to doing things together with them - I was very good at bathing all 3 at once, and in fact dh used to take them all in the bath with him at once! that was hilarious.

If you get help from anyone, like family or friends, then don't worry abouthousework etc - its going to be a total guddle for a while - and spend some quality time with them one-on-one - we found that to be essential.

Hope that helps a bit. Good luck smile

LynetteScavo Thu 28-Aug-08 00:03:03

I would say a priority is decent transport (get a double buggy with a buggy board) and a decent sized car. Go to as many toddler groups as you can... getting in and out of the door is the hardest thing, and don't expect to achieve anything obvious for a couple of years. Remember you are doing a full time job and more just looking after your DC's!

Seuss Thu 28-Aug-08 09:27:28

You'll be fine! Mine were 5 and 3 when no. 3 was born, so not quite so close in age but close enough for the whole double buggy/buggy board scenario! I think in some ways it's easier with more because you don't have time to stress about the small stuff, plus they do tend to play with each other which is helpful! Agree with sticking them all in the bath together (we still do that a lot even though it's a bit of a squeeze now). My eldest two also shared a bed for a while because it was easier for bed-time stories/settling them.

Has anyone asked you if dc3 was planned yet? I found with my youngest two being close together people didn't seem to think I could possibly of planned for that to happen and thought nothing of asking me outright?!?shock

MinkyBorage Thu 28-Aug-08 09:36:50

Thank you so much for all the replies, so glad you made it through and are here to tell the tale! I'm going to print this out. I definitely agree with the radio 4 thing, although I rarely get to listen to something all the way through, goodness knows what it will be like with 3!!! DD1 will be at nursery two afternoons a week, and I am currently on the hunt for a sling which in I can secretly BF whilst carrying, had a baby bjorn last time, and couldn't manage it.
Please keep the tips coming.

CaptainDippy Thu 28-Aug-08 13:43:56

Lots of gin. wink

twoluvlykids Thu 28-Aug-08 14:09:01

Yeah I found it really annoying when people asked if i planned to have dc so close together, as if it was any of their business (actually i did plan them that close,but didn't anticipate it being quite so close). for a while they were mistaken for twins,sitting side by side in the double buggy - aw, they looked so cute!!!! and now the youngest is taller than the oldest as boys & girls grow at different rates when they reach a certain age.

i'm sure you'll cope - try to keep a relationship with dp/dh too, an occasional night out for the 2 of you is vital.

lou031205 Thu 28-Aug-08 14:29:55

This thread has encouraged me - I am 7 weeks pregnant with DC3, and have a DD of 2.8 and a DD of 1.

My children's ages will be 3.4, 20mo and newborn - stomach does a flip when I read that shock

MinkyBorage Thu 28-Aug-08 17:05:17

OMG lou031205, I'm encouraged that your age gaps are smaller than mine, don't know why that should be so, but it's nice to meet someone in the same boat iyswim!!

juuule Thu 28-Aug-08 17:19:47

Lou, I had a 2y7m, 15mo when dc4 was born. Dc1 was 5y. It was great
Tiring and hectic at times but great.

bluebelldancer Thu 28-Aug-08 17:21:35

i have three, each with just under 18 months between them. DC3 was born 2 weeks before DC1's third birthday. I had 3 under 3 for two weeks. DC3 is now 6 months.

I think I'm doing ok, although I am tired as DC3 still wakes several times in the night (DH helps with feeds at weekends though thank god). I have given in to the idea that this what I do for the moment and tried to make peace with it rather than yearn after a different life. I accept that just getting everyone through the day relatively happy is the most important thing, anything else can wait for the moment. At risk of sounding vomit-inducing I think I'd fall in the "tired-but-happy" camp, though that isn't to say I don't moan violently, very regularly.

I try to think of it as a phase, and that it will all be better in 6 months/when DC3 sleeps through/can walk/feed self/talk etc, but also try to be careful not to wish this time away. It/they are all very special and I want to make these early years happy to try and send them off into life with confidence and kindness, then hopefully they'll forget the mum-on-the-sofa-a-gibbering-wreck moments.

Definitely second (third?) all the suggestions of coping mechanisms such as time away/alone, chocolate and wine. All sounds trite but is really important.

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