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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!


sixtypercentfringe Tue 14-Jan-14 04:30:16

I'm in a similar position to you only DC's 5 and 3. I've got the implant for 3 years to take away my choice as such and if when both DC's are in school there's still that niggle I'll know it's right for me.

I don't think you ever truly know, you just have a niggle that gets bigger and bigger. Those who try to suffocate it in my opinion can become resentful but in some cases it does go away so give it a little time, talk it out, write lists on pros and cons, how you'd cope, finances etc and see how you feel in say 3-6 months.

emmyloo2 Tue 14-Jan-14 04:38:00

Thanks sixty. I had an IUD inserted after my daughter which lasts for 5 years. That's how sure I was. Hopefully my niggle will eventually go away because I really really think it would be a bad idea! Plus time isn't necessarily on my side. I am 37 this year.

MiaowTheCat Tue 14-Jan-14 07:12:52

My body's made the choice for me - I would have loved a third (I'd have loved three under 3 to be honest) but I'm still riddled with SPD from two pregnancies, plus I have the combination of consistently trying to go into labour from about the 33 week mark, and very very fast deliveries to add to that (last one was sub 15 minutes of actually being "in labour") so they'd probably want me hospitalised for quite a while... wouldn't be fair on my kids so DH was snipped recently.

I'm not a newborny person - but the interaction and age between my two currently is adorable and they dote on each other - I would have loved a third to add into the chaos but it wouldn't be at all wise.

Tailtwister Tue 14-Jan-14 07:33:20

Our choice was partly financial (having a 3rd would have changed a lot for our 2 existing children) and because at nearly 40 when I had our second baby, we both felt it would be pushing it to have a 3rd when I would likely be 42/43. I also felt that having 3 children in such quick succession (around 2 years apart) would have been (even more) detrimental to my career. I found it a lot harder to return to work, albeit part-time, after having DS2.

If we had more time and a 3rd didn't rule out a lot of things for our first two, then I'm pretty sure we would have had at least 1 more.

I think sixty is right, you never really know one way or the other (unless nature makes the decision for you as in our case). If there's the possibility of another baby the thought will always be there. Lots of our friends have had 3 and really find it's a lovely number of children to have.

Eletheomel Tue 14-Jan-14 08:12:54

I would love a third and my second is only 7 months, but I'm too old and takes me too long to conceive so I'm 'settling' for two - so easy for me, the decision was taken out of my hands! (mind you, if a miracle happened, I'd be happy enough - if skint!)

mummyxtwo Tue 14-Jan-14 10:12:36

I have ds1, 5yo, and dd2, 14mo, and have only recently started to think that actually, I might stop at 2. Dh would be happy with another but is also happy with what we have, and while I have always really wanted 3, I am starting to come to the realisation that it might not actually be in the best interests of our family. For work reasons, also the fact that I struggle when dd2 is crying and I am trying to also give ds1 attention (the witching hour from 4-6pm can be very trying). I don't want to have another and turn into a stressed shouty mum and make things more unpleasant for the two gorgeous children that I feel very blessed to have. A third would need to enrich their lives, and I'm not convinced currently that that would be the case. But part of me wants another, and can't quite accept that I might be done with pregnancy and babies! (Despite being sick as a dog with my pregnancies - what is wrong with me?!) I think having a third needs to be a decision made with your head, not your heart (my heart will always say yes, no matter how impractical) and then once you have made that decision, not allowing regret to cloud it.

minipie Tue 14-Jan-14 10:19:20

Just a thought OP, the law has now changed so the father can take most of maternity leave instead of the mother. Would that be an option for you, if your DH loves the baby stage and you don't?

NotCitrus Tue 14-Jan-14 10:23:14

It took nearly 3 years to conceive dc2, and it was a horrible pregnancy - I can't remember anything from the second half of 2011. Recovering was physically tough and my health is still precarious. Before getting pregnant I might have wanted a third, DP would like another, but doesn't want to adopt and we've agreed to quit while we're ahead.

I really couldn't go through the mental pain of ttc again, and don't want to put my pelvis or guts through pregnancy. Also we have space for two kids to have own rooms and would hate to move from our loved project house, and suspect both ds and dd would hate to share. Quite happy to just borrow small children instead!

chocoluvva Tue 14-Jan-14 10:40:03

I didn't feel I could cope with a third child and DH was happy with our 'one of each'. At the time I thought anyone with a boy and girl who had more children must be mad, but when the older one was twelve I'd have loved another. If I'd been more confident I'd have had a third child.

DD has a new friend who is one of 3 (teenagers). Their house is the same as ours - a small, 3-bedroom house. His parents sleep in what would otherwise be the dining-room so that the boys can all have a room to themselves. When he came to our similarly cluttered house he remarked that it reminded him of his own home and it made him feel more comfortable than the immaculate houses of his friends.

A lady I know well has six DC - quite spread out in age. Neither of the two adult DC have left home yet and they all say how much they like having lots of siblings. DD's friend who has 4 siblings is proud of his big family too.

Have you guessed what my advice is...? grin

Having said that, if another child would be an enormous source of stress and strain you'd be better to be grateful for what you already have.

WeeTeaJenny Tue 14-Jan-14 16:58:23

I totally have the third child niggle too, Ive currently got a 2 year old and a 3month old.
The only thing that is stopping us is financial reasons, not the actual cost of feeding/clothing the child but the childcare for three pre schoolers
The only way we could do it would be for me not to work and be a SAHM but I still have finance to pay off so need to work
Oh to be debt free and go with the flow...

Sparklingbrook Tue 14-Jan-14 17:03:22

I didn't fancy 3 teenagers in the house. grin

I always only wanted two and never got broody after DS2, TBH I think I would have struggled with a third, and now my two are 14 and 11 I am sooo glad we don't have any more.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 14-Jan-14 17:12:54

Twas age with me too. I have two, and would have loved three or four, but I was 36 when DD2 was born, and we felt we didn't want to risk our luck with a third after having two healthy DDs.

lynniep Tue 14-Jan-14 17:16:05

Almost the same scenario as you (mine now 4 and nearly 7) and my DH would love a third. I however, have gradually gone of the idea. When DS2 was still a baby, I would have considered it. Now, theres no way. I just cannot go through it again. Both of mine were awful sleepers. I can't be bothered with all the baby groups and mess and nappies. I can't face the expense. I can't face the fighting. I can't cope with distributing my time between 3. My freedom has returned - ok its not like it was before children - but its enough for me now - I'm not losing it again!

wifey6 Tue 14-Jan-14 17:16:49

DS1 is 3yrs & DS2 is 6months & I too have the niggly, broody feeling but we lost a baby before we had DS2 & I found his pregnancy very stressful, emotional & my anxiety was sky-high. So we have decided we couldn't go through either scenario again, so are stopping at 2...but considering how lucky we are to even have them...I have to push the broody sadness away & just be very thankful.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 14-Jan-14 17:20:08

I'm thinking of re training for a new career and a 3rd would delay this for years.

Plus, we could just about cope with a third. Just. But what if it was twins. Or the child had sn? You can't plan for everything.

Bumpsadaisie Tue 14-Jan-14 17:32:59

I may not have definitely decided, but I probably will stick at two.

I love babies but I don't particularly feel I really want another.

I had two awful pregnancies with HG - don't know if I could do it again.

I have a boy and a girl which is a good combo, and it feels complete and balanced.

My son is 2 now and things are just getting a bit easier - he is sleeping OK and can talk to express himself. Later this year he will start some preschool sessions.

If my DH was desperate though, I wouldn't need much persuading. Likewise if I was desperate, my DH would agree. But neither of us are desperate, and we are both exhausted with work and two children as it is.

We sometimes take a few risks contraception wise and if I did get PG again no question but that we would keep the baby. And we'd be chuffed to bits plus terrified at the same time.

Bumpsadaisie Tue 14-Jan-14 17:34:03

Also there is a congenital hearing loss in the family. So far neither of mine show any signs of having it. I kind of have it in my mind that if I had a third that child would be deaf.

craftynclothy Tue 14-Jan-14 17:36:37

We had always both wanted 2. Like you I felt a bit broody when dd2 was a few months old but as she got to be more of a toddler I knew I didn't want a 3rd.

SaltyandSweet Tue 14-Jan-14 17:40:28

I have 2 under 5 and DH regularly makes comments about "one more" but I'm pretty sure I don't want another. I love the baby stage, I loved being pregnant but I don't think we can really properly afford a third and I also worry about being able to give quality time and enough attention to three. Bit strange as I am the third and final child in my family and never felt like I didn't get enough attention from my parents but I have this strong feeling that I can only really manage two. I remind myself of all of the above when the niggle comes along (still regularly)!

FixItUpChappie Tue 14-Jan-14 17:54:10

I think having a third needs to be a decision made with your head, not your heart (my heart will always say yes, no matter how impractical) and then once you have made that decision, not allowing regret to cloud it

I think this is true unfortunately. I am really struggling with it at the moment. I have DS1 3yrs and DS2 11 months. There are lots of logical reasons not to have another....but I feel so sad about it.

-Financially it would be a disaster - I couldn't work, childcare would be prohibitive with 3.
-Practically - where would we put a 3rd? We would be tight for space - two would have to share a small room, we'd need a bigger car....
-My attention already seems stretched between two TBH.
-Physically my Dr. suggested against it. 9 months of bed rest doesn't seem fair to our children and what if baby is not healthy?

I'm 36...I can't just hold off and see IYKWIM? So times and issue. I just feel like I'll always be sad to not have one more though. Then I wonder if after a third I'd still feel this way, if its just a feeling I'll have to cope with whether I have 2 or 5 children IYKWIM? If so, then I think mummyx2 is right - best to make a clear decision with your head.


Hyperhelpmum Tue 14-Jan-14 18:06:24

I've just had my third. DC are 5,3 9 weeks today. It's very very tough! I just always wanted a third. I am now definitely done!!! Still unsure if we've pushed ourselves two far but couldn't live with the thought I might regret it forever if I stick at two. It's worked out so far in that I had two boys and just had little girl. I'm happy we tried for her and have a new dynamic to family. It's pretty exhausting at moment but wouldn't be without her! In hindsight, if I'd had one of each, I may have stopped at two. Probs not though as it was never about having a girl, more about having three kids. I want big family Christmas' and three kids feels more like a 'big' family than two. Just my opinion! ;-)

SoonToBeSix Tue 14-Jan-14 18:12:22

I didn't, my children are my life I genuinely enjoy every stage ( I have a baby, toddler , "tween" and a teenager)

Eletheomel Tue 14-Jan-14 18:28:32

I'm the youngest of five siblings so was maybe always going to want more than two (although life hasn't panned out that way).

Surprised at people getting worried about having a third when they're 36/37 as they think age is a factor, after problems conceiving, I was 37 when I had my first and I'm 42 next month which is why I described myself as too old - at 36 (if I had no ttc issues) I'd be thinking I could squeeze at least another couple out ;-p

In all honesty though I think you just know if you want a third (or more) if the thought scares you, then probably best to stick at 2.

WeeTeaJenny Tue 14-Jan-14 19:17:52

We don't feel our little family is complete yet and we are both still young (30 & 31) so got time to think but as Fix it up said above its going to be a head over heart decision, whereas with second baby we didnt bother with contraception after first and just let nature take its course
Not this time, been back on the pill for a while!
Hate having to be like this though ...

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