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What’s your experience of parenting three children?

(13 Posts)
LittleTipple Thu 26-Apr-18 14:45:34

Hello, I’m driving myself mad by thinking about having a third child! I have DS1 age 3 and DS2 age 1. As parents of adult children, I’d really love your thoughts on bringing up three kids at the various stages.

I’m now a SAHM which I really enjoy. DS1 was a huge shock to the system, but DS2 has fitted in brilliantly and I find the day-to-day very manageable. My heart tells me I’m not ready to leave the baby days behind and the thought of a busy, fun family is appealing (in theory)! However, I’m very concerned that adding number three could throw us into chaos and make my very manageable life extremely challenging. I think we’d cope with the baby stage, but what’s it like splitting yourself across three children through school, holidays and teenage years? With two, I know my husband and I can take a child each for activities, homework or just to talk, but how does it work when there’s an extra one?! My sons get on very well at the moment and I really want them to be close as they get older. I also want them to have all the attention they need from us and to travel together etc.

Please share your experiences and help me make up my mind! My husband is supportive either way, but I spend every day thinking about it as I’m 37 and the clocks ticking...

Buckingfrolicks Sat 28-Apr-18 00:40:53

You've probably posted in the wrong thread OP. This one tends to attract parents of adult children.

LittleTipple Sat 28-Apr-18 18:21:04

That’s exactly what I would like - opinions from parents who have brought up three children and can tell me what it was like and if they’d recommend it!

cmmmmmmmmmmmmm Sat 28-Apr-18 18:38:29

I have three children now aged 19 14 and 13 there was 18 months between 2 and three and three wasn't planned. I never really got used to having two so can't tell really say the difference between two and three but I can tell you my experiences. These are a few of my thoughts...

Every night I used to go to bed worrying if I'd devised my time between them all.

The huge gap between one and two didn't help although it was nice having two together to play together.

Holidays are very expensive and hard
To find rooms for five. Few hotels and cheap travel lodges out of the question.

Days out to adventure parks expensive

The washing and ironing are excessive and if you every really wanted to go back to work you'd need help at home

Food bills are enormous

My two boys are now teenagers and won't wear anything that is not named and it's very expensive

Even things like dinning tables need to be larger.

Larger house

In saying all of this I do love my family and when the kids were younger it was lovely seeing them play together but once there past ten its rooms and PlayStations or internet and whilst the interaction with them is sweet at times it is limited.

cmmmmmmmmmmmmm Sat 28-Apr-18 18:41:16

Ps just seen you're age I'm 44 do you have the energy at 37. If you're looking for a girl go for it x but if you just want another child to complete your family I would think long and hard. I love being a Mam but I am exhausted most of the time feel took for granted and miss my husband having three kids leaves little time for each other x

Grasslands Sat 28-Apr-18 19:10:08

i had 3 under 3. with them being basically 17 months apart.
they are now 33, 34 and 36.
i had them in my 20's and it was hard hard work!
not much time or tolerance for dh, lucky we survived together really.
only two at a time get along well.
but they all grew up to be lovely kind adults.
we spent loads and loads on them, expensive sports and paid their uni in full. the sports kept them busy during the teen years and the uni thing meant they started adult life without debt.
food well, it just creeps up and not really noticeable but we had a good household income as i worked casual, part time, and full time as they got older. we fed not just our own but any they brought home and to encourage them coming home at night we always had a slow cooker with something on the go for whoever needed it.

SprogletsMum Sat 28-Apr-18 19:13:26

Mine aren't adults yet but I didn't like the dynamics of 3 children so now I have 4!
3 for me just didn't work where 4 does. I was one of 3 and looking back I'd say it didn't work then either.
4 is crazy busy but much better.

gingergiraffe Sat 28-Apr-18 20:01:04

I have a gap of about three years between each of my three. I felt that two children wasn’t enough, but three was ample! Seriously, three was the perfect number for us and they have always got on brilliantly, now aged 28, 31 and 34. Any more would have meant getting a much bigger car to accommodate them all.

When having the second I was worried about having enough love for a second but by the third it didn’t enter my mind.

The youngest has only just moved out, and the older two went away to uni and have lived away for quite a few years, only returning home for a few brief periods.

They love getting together and hate it if only two are present. There has never been any jealousy between them, and if I have ever had a little moan about one to another, they will always stick up for each other. They have lots of local friends in common and are very supportive of each other. Perhaps we have just been very lucky.

I managed to return to work after taking two maternity leaves and, since we were both teachers we had plenty of time to spend with the children. After the third I did supply teaching so I could manage to fit everything in and be more flexible with my time.

I am aware that things in the workplace have changed dramatically since mine were young. Childcare is now so expensive, there are so many rules and regulations about what you can and can’t do and you certainly can’t be late picking them up from primary school unless you are paying for after school care or clubs. Mine would do lots of free activities such as gym club, country dancing and choir which they loved, and I would also mind a friend’s children and she would return the favour. As a sahm your time is your own anyway and you seem to be coping and enjoying it.

Things do not need to be expensive. Spending time with them is more important. We always found loads of free things to do with them, lots of different parks to visit, taking picnics and meeting up with friends. Mine loved just being outside. I expect your two boys will be the same. If you spend time with them when they are young and get them interested in doing lots of activities rather than just plonking them in front of a screen, you should find, as they get older, they won’t want to be stuck inside, playing solitary games on a screen. Enjoy them.

Holidays when they are young do not have to be really expensive. You don’t have to take them abroad or stay in expensive hotels. A few beach days with sand and water keeps them happy. We got an annual zoo membership which was brilliant value over the year whatever the weather.

Go for it! I’m so glad we had three. Good luck.

threesenoughthanks Sat 28-Apr-18 20:28:31

I had three under four. They are 16, 14 and 12 now. It was really hard work in the early years and I felt guilty ALL THE TIME. Was each one getting enough of my love,time and attention? I think every Mum feels that way though regardless of their circumstances. It got easier as they got older ( then I felt guilty I was wishing their childhood away! )
On a positive note they are very close now. They get on well most of the time ( but when they don't they could kill each other! ) They have shared interests and friends and help each other with school work.
The thing is you just don't know if they will get along well or how you will cope until they are there. I think you know deep down if you're just a bit broody and it will pass or if you really want number three.
Good luck whatever you decide.

LittleTipple Sun 29-Apr-18 21:46:48

Thank you so much for all your experiences. My heart is saying yes, but my head is still holding me back. My age does concern me, as I feel creaky most days, so worried that number three could completely wipe me out! More soul searching to be done... x

EthelHornsby Mon 15-Oct-18 17:21:55

I had 4, just under 5 years between eldest and youngest. I was 33 when youngest was born. All adults now. I worked for my husband when they were young, so very flexible, went back to full time shifts when my youngest was 12 when their dad died. Biggest change was from one child to two, after that it was just slightly increased chaos. The worst bits were the 3 months between my youngest being born and my eldest starting school, and being single mother to 4 teenagers at once. Holidays we tended to go self-catering in the UK - cheaper and more flexible. I and they all survived ok and are close. No regrets. My baby has just turned 30.

LittleTipple Tue 16-Oct-18 21:33:47

Thanks for your reply @EthelHornsby. We went for it and I'm currently pregnant with number 3. Decided to just go for it and so far happy with our decision, but still a bit terrified!

EthelHornsby Thu 18-Oct-18 12:54:42

I didn’t realise how old this was when I posted, but glad you are happily going for it!

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