How hard is 2 to 3?

(29 Posts)
Bella134 Wed 13-Jan-21 18:34:26

I have 2 children and me and my husband are currently in two minds about whether to try for a third and last child. Our only concern is about money - but also know that others have done it and still had nice things/been to nice places etc. Ive always wanted 3, but now that we've got two I just don't want to have another if we won't beable to still give the two we already have everything they want/need financially. My oldest is currently 7 and youngest is 4. This year is our make a decision year because we've both agreed if we aren't pregnant by the time our youngest is 5 we won't have another because of the age gap (I know it works for alot of people but this is a personal decision we've made together).
I'm not really asking whether we should or not as I know that has to be down to us.

But my questions are:
how did you find it?
Was it hard financially or the same?
Did maternity pay hit you hard? (We're both working - I'm part time and would take off 9 months then go back)
Was nursery the fees high? (We aren't entitled to any benefits or help)
And last but not least how did your older children feel?

I won't judge anyone's comments and please don't judge me for asking these things.


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KindnessCrusader Wed 13-Jan-21 18:50:23

You've done the hard bit-1 to 2 is so hard, anything after that is easy (I have 4 smile)

eenymeanieminymo Wed 13-Jan-21 19:18:05

Agree with the above poster 1-2 is a lot harder jump 2-3 was a doddle in comparison!

Gordonbennit Wed 13-Jan-21 20:08:19

You have already learnt how to split your time between children so that will be no different with another one.

Things I would say which I find frustrating are:

A lot of holiday packages/rooms/special offers etc seem to be catered to families of 4. Holidays abroad just seem so expensive now, there doesn’t seem to be as much choice for families of 5, although that may not bother some with plenty of cash to spare.

I can never choose a small or even medium size car. As even just going for a day out feels like I’m leaving for the weekend with all the stuff you need for 3 kids!

Maternity pay, I just accepted that I wouldn’t have as much money to throw around once my work mat pay ran out. I planned and started to ease off the spending before I finished work so had some extra to help tide me over. Financially I was well ready to go back to work but am glad I took a year off each time with my babies.

Nursery fees (dependant upon where you live) eat a big chunk of cash but only last a few years it’s over before you know it and then you feel rich again once they start school.

I felt the jump financially from 2-3 kids feels a lot worse than 1-2.

Only other thing is I never feel like I can just drop in on friends anymore. I’m not sure how to explain this but it feels like we are a big group now but maybe that’s because mine are still young (10,8&6) so I feel like a whirlwind compared to my friends with their peaceful life with 1 or 2 children.

My oldest is a mummies boy and has said a couple of times over the years that he wishes he was an only child so we could go on more adventures and I do agree with him to be honest. My friend with 1 child has mentioned her son has asked for siblings a few times so I don’t think you can win really on that front.

Maybe Iv just stated the obvious but they are the main things I wish I had considered more before having a third. Would they have changed my desire for 3? Who knows!!

Good luck whatever you decide!

NamiSwan Wed 13-Jan-21 20:33:24

I have three children - a 7yo, 4 (nearly 5) yo, and a 5 month old. I love it!

I found the jump from 2-3 super easy, definitely the easiest so far. My older two love their baby sister (the 4 yo especially) and she really loves them. I had a smallish age gap first time round (28 months) and this time for various reasons wanted a longer age gap (it was 4 years 4 months). Its really worked well for us as the older children are a bit more independent and can help out more. The baby absolutely loves her older sisters.

Financially, we knew mat pay would he tough so we saved a bit of money so that we could ride out maternity pay as I am the larger earner in the household. My youngest will start nursery at 9 months old. For us it won't be too bad - it was more expensive when my older two were both at nursery together.

Its of course a very perspnal decision but for me I just always knew I wanted three. I expected to feel "done" after my third was born but it was so easy adding her to the family it made me actually genuinely grieve not having any more (we are done). I have now reached a point of acceptance that my family is complete, and I have absolutely no regrets at all at having a third.

Bella134 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:36:25

Thankyou for your in depth reply. I really appreciate it. @Gordonbennit

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Bella134 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:40:04

Thankyou I appreciate your response! I would have similar gaps.. 2.5 months between my first and second and then probably closer to 5 years if we did have another now so it's nice to hear from someone in similar positions. @NamiSwan

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Bella134 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:40:19

Thankyou @

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Bella134 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:40:44

@KindnessCrusader Thankyou x

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MsMeNz Wed 13-Jan-21 20:44:40

Easiest for us. 0-1 ugh. 1-2 ugh. 2-3 easy. Tbh third child better temperament i think but I had the routines down by then I remember my first home visit from the midwifes a couple of days after third andd I was busy breastfeeding while doing the vaccuming and the midwife laughed and said you can tell it's not your first!

I also knew she'd be my last so savered it all more.

Only down sides were 1 we needed a bigger car as couldn't fit three car seats across back even with thinner makes. 2. Going out with all three alone could be a juggle as all 4 and under. But I didn't do that too often. If age gap is bigger would be much easier. I.e. can dress self and be trusted not to run off in a shop.

Bella134 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:49:22

@eenymeanieminymo Thankyou x

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Bella134 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:51:23

@MsMeNz Thankyou! Yes I think it would be a bonus that both of them would already be pretty independent (they are now - my 4 year old still needs support with getting dressed into trickier outfits but she usually dresses herself!)

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Android18 Wed 13-Jan-21 20:51:29

We jumped from 1 to 3, as second pregnancy was twins confused. We have 3 under 3, both work, neither furloughed. Nursery fees are insane, but like pp said we will feel minted when that stops. If we can do it, so can you!

heythereamigo Wed 13-Jan-21 20:53:16

Watching this with interest. In theory i would love a 3rd, and have always imagined having three. But I've two fantastic kids and am starting to get my life back and I worry that our quality of life will fall in so many ways. I worry as well about a third having medical problems/ learning disability etc. I don't know why this is so much more the case this time round; I think I worry that DH an I would be outnumbered, so if one child has much higher needs then the other two would really not have much one on one time. I feel like I'm writing this really insensitively, and I'm sorry- I just can't think how to word it right!

MsMeNz Wed 13-Jan-21 20:59:15

@heythereamigo I was the same. Truth me.told the light was at the end of the tunnel for paid child care and I was horrified I was pregnant again in fact bed ridden depressed also I get extremely ill in pregnancy. And j was worried she would have health issues or something. Turns out total opposite happened. She is smart, athletic, very mature and calming compared to her two older brother who both have mild autism. So she turned out to be calm and balance in our little world.

LimpLettice Wed 13-Jan-21 21:04:10

My 5 month DS, my third, was a happy accident, there's under 20mos between 2&3. Eldest is 11 tho so quite a gap.

Financially we are pretty secure but actually haven't spent much. Was due a trade in so chose a larger car, bought a cheap twin stroller for long excursions which obvs hasn't had much use, but reusing everything else. Holidays etc are set towards 2+2 I think but again, not much chance of that for a while.

Otherwise it's great. We are definitely done at 3, but it's no hardship, the eldest loves helping, which makes a huge difference, the boys have a marvellous bond already, and I can't wait til they are bombing around together.

Chicci1 Wed 13-Jan-21 21:06:20

Very interested in the responses as we’re having a similar dilemma. Would have very similar age gaps and also feel that 2021 is the year of now or never. One thing I have noticed is that friends with 3 seem to have lots of help from family. We have no family support so I do wonder whether that is a reason to stick at 2.

Moo678 Wed 13-Jan-21 21:19:36

Mine were 8 and 6 when we had no.3. I found it easy. Older kids were helpful. They adore their sister (tonight now 11 yr old did the toddler’s bath because husband and I were on work calls). They were so excited when I got pregnant and they both say their first cuddle with the new baby was their happiest moment. They are super keen on a 4th baby.

Mat pay was fine but we had saved up throughout my pregnancy and I get decent occupational mat pay. I had a full year off and we still managed a foreign holiday during my mat leave.

Because our girls are bigger we can fit 3 in the back of most cars. Still hired small cars on holiday. We have bought a 7 seater now as we’re having a 4th.

Childcare costs are not too bad - big kids are in school. My husband works part time so we’re only paying for two days of nursery but it’s reasonable and we get 20% government funding which is not means tested.

Honestly, 2-3 is a breeze compared to 1-2 which was not as bad as 0-1!! I think I’ll hardly notice the 4th!!!

Chelyanne Wed 13-Jan-21 22:16:45

1 to 2 is the hardest transition.
Our experience has been any after number 2 just slot in to life. Only big thing we had to change when we had 4&5 (twins) was the car, that will have to change again if this one is not a singleton.

Bella134 Wed 13-Jan-21 22:51:51

Wow Thank you all so much for all your responses. I have been so worried people would be judgey about how I'm feeling. It's nice to hear from people who are having the same dilemmas and also nice to hear from people who've had a third! All your input will help massively.

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MsMiaWallace Thu 14-Jan-21 08:35:36

Early days for me as DS3 is only 6months but we found going from 2-3 much easier than 1-2.
I had reservations before baby number 3.
What if something went wrong?? What if another baby upsets the balance...??
I was wrong. I feel like he's bought us all closer as a family.

My other 2 are 9 & 6. They adore their baby brother.
Baby fits in like a dream.
I thought I would feel done after number 3 but because he's been so easy I don't!

With regards to MAT pay we just saved & it's been fine.

Bella134 Fri 15-Jan-21 09:33:07

How would you work out what your due date is if you caught pregnant before having a period once coming off the pill? Does it go from date you had sex? As I know if you had a period they'd go from date of your last period?

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zippityzip Fri 15-Jan-21 11:39:01

I've had two and now 29 weeks with my third.
I think my first two are 9&5 so it'll be easier than the 1-2 transition I really did struggle.

This is meant to be definitively my last pregnancy and it's not been easy but in my head I can't rule out never ever having another baby.

Financially yeah I do worry long term about paying childcare fees at full whack all over again but we both work FT and make it work. Cut your cloth and all that. Plus before I know it the eldest will be going to secondary school by them self and won't need "looking after". It goes SO FAST.

We've saved during my pregnancy to cover my mat leave so again it'll be tight but manageable!

PutOnAHappyFace Fri 15-Jan-21 11:45:47

I found the jump from 2-3 really easy, DS fitted in around our routine, school run etc. One thing I would say is a family of 5 is hard when you do things that can only be in 2's such as fair ground rides/days out. It can't be all bad because currently pregnant with DC 4.

zippityzip Fri 15-Jan-21 11:54:48

@PutOnAHappyFace Now advice on 3-4 is also welcome 😂 talk me out of the existential crisis I'm having about this being my last pregnancy.

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