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2 or 3 children - how did you decide???

(15 Posts)
kitpuss Sat 22-Aug-09 08:38:45

I have two boys - 3 and 6 months.

I am completely obsessed with whether I want to have another baby or not. I think about it every day and it is driving me mad.

I love my children but really haven't enjoyed having two so far, it has been such hard work. But part of me cannot stop thinking about having another (and before you ask, no I'm not desperate for a girl!).

I've had some miscarriages and don't fancy going through all that again, or being pregnant, or the first 6 months of babyhood, but I keep thinking that that is such a short time out of my life and would I regret not having another one?

Then the sensible part of me thinks that I'm barely coping now and of course I couldn't cope with another.

As you can see I'm going round in circles.....

How did you decide whether to have 2 or 3?

Nettee Sat 22-Aug-09 08:48:51

well I am in the same position as you sort of. I have a 4 and a nearly 2 year old. I wanted 4 originally, dh wanted 2. We have got 2 and I find them hard work and I feel stretched thinly and in some ways I feel the family is complete and that we should enjoy these two. But now dh has said maybe we should have more, I go through broody patches very often and in the long term I think a big family would be lovely - the more the merrier if you like. Really hard work though and the world is not set up for families of 4. So yes I am considering another 2 not just another 1 because I feel that 3 is not a good number in case one is left out. My answer is to wait a bit longer - maybe till the youngest at least starts pre-school - and then think again.

I know the logical answer is to stop at two but I suppose you have to listen to your heart as well.

How would you feel in 20 years if you had stopped at 2? How would you cope with 2 toddlers and a newborn? Would the 2 that you have ultimatly benifit from a bigger family or miss out on attention and activities due to the baby?

artichokes Sat 22-Aug-09 09:04:27

I have a 3 yr old and an 8 month old and I too have been obsessively thinking about whether to have another. I am just about coping with two but I am v tired and I don't cope when I am pregnant. If we have another I think I want it soon so they play well together and in a few years we can start going on adventurous holidays/ long walks etc. I worry a third may have special needs or not be as well behaved as my DDs. However, I want a big bustling house when they are bigger. I love the idea of three adult children. And I just feel like I have another child to go. It is v hard to commit one way or another but I think we are now leaning toward three.

FritesMenthe Sat 22-Aug-09 09:08:29

Dh & I are both from families of 3. It just felt like the right number. Actually wish we'd gone for no.4 - DH was keen, me not so much - but too late now.

Go with your heart

FritesMenthe Sat 22-Aug-09 09:09:50

BTW my DC are all just a year apart, so I was knackered for a few years during the baby stage. Fine now though - they do grow up!

Shabbalicious Sat 22-Aug-09 09:11:05

So I am not the only one obsessed with this! I have DS aged 3 and DS aged 16 months. I am 40 if we are going to do this again we need to get going. But my DH won't even discuss it - can't bear the chaos of our 2 let alone 3. I would to put on a lot of pressure but I want him to want it to, not for me to persuade him. Everything logical is telling me to stop at 2 (money, house, awful pregnancy, impact on marriage, bad behaviour of DS1 when I was pregnant with DS2) but it feels like an unbearable sadness and I need to have another baby. I have spoken to 2 friends who have 3 - and they both say have the 3rd was a big mistake - has been an absolute nightmare. But they seem to be finding it easier as time goes on. So, maybe it is a case of grinning and bearing it for a few rough years. I would like to hear from people who have 3 - where the 3rd is still young and also where they have grown up a bit. I was one of 3 and it was great. 2 feels too claustrophohic.

MaggieBeauLeo Sat 22-Aug-09 09:11:17

I think this sort of question is at least half hormonal when you have such a young child still. You're in breeding mode still. Sorry, but I've been there. I left my children's dad when dc2 was very young, and it made me sad that I would never be able to have more kids! now I know that can't cope with 2 (well, just, on a good day!). when the youngest gets to 2 and a half and is chatting and toilet trained, I thnk you'll KNOW then.. do you want another baby, or do you want to get on with the future, enjoying the fact that each 3month period is probably slightly easier than the last in terms of their development and behaviour and so on.

MaggieBeauLeo Sat 22-Aug-09 09:18:32

Shabbalicious, I think you're onto something there. As it turned out, I'm one of two, one sibling died very young, so as a result, two in the house feels normal to me, but I also had a feeling that I needed to 'go again' for insurance purposes. sorry if that sounds horribly blunt. I'm talking about a very basic primal (hormone-driven?) voice that was in the back of my head. It's gone now though, that voice. If anythign happened to the children i have, I'd be devastated obviously, and the more children I have, the more pain I'd risk. I see it differently now.

flaime Sat 22-Aug-09 10:30:01

My husband always wanted 3 as he was one of three and it felt right to him. I was one of 2 and was desperate for my 2nd baby, and then knew for certain I didn't want any more and gave all my baby stuff away. I was all set to go on the pill as he wouldn't go for the snip but put it off for a few fateful months until we moved house... As you can probably guess my husband and nature won! grin

As I didn't want a third I found the pregnancy very hard emotionally and didn't really come to terms with it until my DS was born - but one look at his cute little face and there was no hope but to love him smile

plonker Sat 22-Aug-09 10:32:38

I always wanted 4. Dh wanted 1.

We had dd1 and fell pg (unplanned) with dd2, I was delighted and dh eventually came round to the idea.

With 2 children I knew my family wasn't complete. I just knew it, there was always a missing peice. Dh was adamant he didn't want another, I was heartbroken at the thought of not having another. After much serious soul-searching dh agreed to try for a third but if it didn't happen over the next 2 months (yep, 2 months!! - didn't want another school year lapsing between dc2 and dc3) we would give up the idea and I would have to be happy with 2.

We got pg the first month of trying with dd3 - she was meant to be grin

I have since totally gone off the idea of dc4 ...tbh I couldn't cope with another, I would be sent over the edge, lol.

3 feels 'right' for us. Just perfect smile

I have to say that I although I thought it would never happen, I have lost all broody feelings (dd2 is 2.1). I still get the awww factor at tiny newborns, but I no longer have the yearning for one of my own <phew>

Good luck

plonker Sat 22-Aug-09 10:34:11

Sorry that should be dd3 is 2.1

OmniDroid Sat 22-Aug-09 10:45:44

IMO it is gut instinct, nothing logical or reasoned.

After having DS I thought constantly about the next baby. I would have been so, so sad to have to stop at one. Despite his dreadful sleeping, full on velcro personality and the hard work he was (and is), I was yearning for another.

Now DD is here I don't feel like that any more. She has completed my family. She, btw, is the easiest baby on earth, so it's not about wanting more of the same, or not. I'd have a world full of babies like DD if I still wanted more! But these 2, with their wildly different personalities, complete things for me.

DH on the other hand, would love another...

Nettee Sat 22-Aug-09 11:17:34

MaggieBeauLeo - I too lost my only sister young and think this really does affect my feelings on how many to have. I totally get your insurance thing - mainly from a selfish point of view - in that I wish my parents had had more, not that I would miss my sister any less but that I would still have a sibling to remember her with and to remember our childhood with when we are old and our parents have gone. And it would spread out the grandparent "pressure" (lovely and loving as they are). I also have this feeling that I should have her children in a sort of spiritual sense.

Still I think these feelings shouldn't influence me too much as I would be the one with 4 children to chase after and I don't feel I am that good at keeping tabs on 2.

Mamulik Sat 22-Aug-09 12:58:46

I have two girls, and would like to have little boy, but I have to go back to work and get some money. May be in the future

kitpuss Sat 22-Aug-09 17:10:00

Thanks for all your responses.

It is good to know that other people are thinking the same as me - I too have morbidly considered the possibility that a child might die or a third child might be disabled.

I think I really just worry that I might seriously lose the plot if we had 3, and there is just no way you can predict that. My 3 yr old is also a really good boy, and if I find myself feeling this stressed with a good 3yr old plus baby how will I feel if DS2 turns out naughty or no3 really bad?!

I even had a coil fitted, thought that would stop me thinking about it as contraception is now covered for the next 5 years, but it hasn't helped my overactive mind!

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