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How do you know when to stop having children

29 replies

Motherofmonsters · 13/10/2020 19:16

We always wanted 3 children close together but now we've got a 3year old and a 1 year old and were not so sure.

We do want another one but they are really hard work. The 3 year old is very 'spirited' despite our best efforts.

We currently have a 3 bed house so they would have to share a room, more money etc.

How do you know whether to have another one or not? This is the hardest decision weve ever had to make

OP posts:
dreamingofsun · 13/10/2020 19:21

i have 3, did consider 4 but as i work i didnt think i could allocate enough quality time for things like homework and love/attention. also if they had special needs i'm not sure i could have coped.

if you arent sure i would leave it a while (unless you are really old) and see what you think later. Are they same sex which case sharing a room isnt so bad.

superram · 13/10/2020 19:22

When you’ve had 2. Replace yourselves and no more.

user128472578267 · 13/10/2020 19:23

So, fantasy was 3 children but reality is that 2 are enough and now you're struggling to let go of the fantasy picture you had of your life?

Squeekybummum · 13/10/2020 19:26

I have 3 and struggling to juggle work and quality time with them all. 2 have to share a room which is a bloody nightmare as my youngest is very spirited also. If she was my 1st I honestly don't think I would have had anymore. But I love her and couldn't imagine life without her now, hopefully life settles down soon 🙉

Thesearmsofmine · 13/10/2020 19:26

I would wait a while before deciding, your dc are still very little and they change so much over the ne t few years.

I had 3dc in 5 years and I feel content with our family size. I would maybe have gone for one more baby about now(youngest is 4) but another pregnancy isn’t an option due to complications so our choice was made for us.

Mandatorymongoose · 13/10/2020 19:30

Why do you want another one? What is special about 3?

Personally (and it is a very personal thing) I find it really odd setting a number before you start having children, before you know the reality, before you know what your circumstances will be in 2/3/5 etc years when these children might be born.

Chocobohead · 13/10/2020 19:41

I would wait a while before deciding, your dc are still very little and they change so much over the ne t few years.

I agree with this. We had DC1 and 2 within the space of two years and decided we were done. Eighteen months later when DC1 was in preschool and DC2 was the world's best behaved toddler we decided that, actually, we would like to do it all over again and so had DC3. We had three under five and were definitely done so DH looked into getting a vasectomy. GP wouldn't refer while we had a DC under the age of 1 so we had to wait. By the time he could get referred and went onto the waiting list we'd had an accidental pregnancy and DC4 was on the way. DC4 was the ultimate last baby, not just because we hadn't planned a DC4 but because pregnancy complications also killed me. DH got the appointment for the snip while I was still pregnant and we are definitely done, no broodiness ever and I know our family is complete.

Its such a personal decision and what is right for one family won't be right for another. I'd wait until your DC are a little older and see how you feel.

Crystal87 · 13/10/2020 19:50

I stopped after 4 because I felt that was enough and I didn't fancy having 5 kids. It was also for health reasons. I was sterilised and thought that I might regret it at some point, but went ahead with it as was worried about my health. A fifth child along with my other kids' needs would see me struggling I think and the thought of another pregnancy and c section fills me with dread. Before I had 4 kids I was permanently broody but now I am not at all and other people's babies don't appeal to me like they did before. That makes me sure I did the right thing. Also there has to come a point where you're done with the whole newborn thing and can just watch your children grow up.

donaldtrumpsarmpit · 13/10/2020 19:56

I also stopped at four. With three, I wasn't sure and didn't feel ready to make
and permanent decisions. However, when I discovered that I was pregnant with DC4, I knew absolutely and I was sterilized during delivery. I have never regretted that decision because I knew that our family was complete.

But it is a very very personal decision.

Kaiserin · 13/10/2020 20:02

How do you know whether to have another one or not?

It's not just "whether", it's "when".
Give yourself time. Now clearly isn't the right time for your family. See how you feel when they're at school (the household dynamics change: different schedules, different obligations, etc.)

Personally, I would in theory have liked 3, but our hands are full with just 2, so... Know your limits, I guess?

Thecomfortador · 13/10/2020 20:02

Similar to you, we had thought 3 was a nice number before having any. Now we have two, they are as much as I can handle, financially we can cope better with just two, can give them a good quality of life, hopefully. I'm working, littlest one will get funded childcare from next September....whilst I pine for a girl and enjoy cuddling tiny babies, actually I'm done with nappies, broken nights, and all that the first couple of years entail, not to mention risks of an older-mum pregnancy and another labour which I'm not fond of.

My heart hasn't quite given up, but my head is very much saying...stick at two.

Jolonglegs · 13/10/2020 20:15

Stop at 2 then you wont be increasing the world population.

kittykat35 · 13/10/2020 20:26

The 3 year old is very 'spirited' despite our best efforts.

PLEASE don't try to knock out that spirit, we need spirited people!!there will be enough people in this world lining up to tear that spirit up...PLEASE don't join them! Just try to understand it and figure out what he needs for it to grow positively!

LynetteScavo · 13/10/2020 20:43

I knew when my bedrooms were full (one bedroom each) and my car seats were full (have since bought a seven seater to accommodate their friends Hmm). Also, I really can't afford any more music/driving tuition at £25ph. Babies and toddlers are so cheap compared to teenagers so am now very pleased I didn't push it with another. I'd have loved 6 children, if possible, but for me it was very easy to know when I was at my limit.

Tickledtrout · 13/10/2020 20:56

It just felt enough. We had three in just over four years but I was 41 when the youngest was born so didn't really have too much time to mess around with perfect gaps in age, as some friends did. At times it's felt busy - we have no family support and live rurally so lots of driving to clubs etc. and we honestly didn't go out without the kids for big chunks of the last couple of decades.
Now they're teenagers and starting to leave home and I feel very lucky to have my three.
If you have the luxury of time and resources, let the eldest get into Reception and see how it feels.

Qwertywerty3 · 13/10/2020 21:13

This reply has been deleted

Withdrawn at the user's request

Miseryl · 13/10/2020 21:20

Age gap and age for me. I'd have liked 3 but timed out.

JanewaysBun · 13/10/2020 21:46

I had an desperate urge for another after dc1. Now with 2 I have s small urge (so will try next year but no biggie if I have tertiary infertility or DH changes his mind) but deep down I know 3 is perfect for us as DH doesn't want loads.

If he gave me free reign I would have 5....

missmouse101 · 13/10/2020 21:48

2 is absolutely enough. The planet does not need more people.

Iheardarumour · 13/10/2020 21:50

After I had my one and only I decided no more. Just wasn't for me. I was going to have 2 or 3 but I honestly couldn't go through it again. I think a woman just knows.

LST · 13/10/2020 21:50

I wanted 2. I have 2 but I think if DS2 came first we would have stopped at 1. I never wanted 3. My SIL is pregnant with her 3rd and I could honestly think of nothing worse if I found out I was pregnant again.

I do love my nieces and friends kids and have them stop over a lot. I just don't want anymore of my own. Thinking of going through the baby stage brings me out in cold sweats!

Yeah, I think I'm done at 2.. 🤣

DelurkingAJ · 13/10/2020 21:53

Lots of discussion and the decision that we wanted to give the DC’s (two of them) advantages that we could afford with two but not with three (I watched my utterly lovely PIL panic about every bill and every unexpected expenditure for too long). I also, having had two healthy DC and looking at DC3 when I was about 40 took the view that the higher risk of a DC with additional needs or a complex pregnancy (after two very easy rides) was a throw of the dice too far.

Ihaveoflate · 13/10/2020 21:55

I only have one and couldn't possibly do it all again. If DH's vasectomy fails, I would terminate the pregnancy. I can't think of anything worse in life than repeating that first year.

So, yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm done!

Ragwort · 13/10/2020 21:55

Why do you want another one? Seriously, surely two children is enough?

I had one, it took me a long time to decide whether having a child was the 'right' thing to do, I would never have had another one. In my opinion far too many parents just have children 'because it's the thing to do'.

redvest · 13/10/2020 21:58

We read on here many times that couples/women actually do regret every having children because of all the sacrifices and commitment it takes to bring up children. They still love them of course, but still have regrets.

It seems to be the 'fashion' to have 3 children and there may be pressure to be like others, but if you step back and look at your family situation, then maybe you don't actually want to increase your family? Do you want a job at some point? A career? More disposable income and better holidays/experiences? Make your decision without pressure to be what society expects of you and it will be the right one.

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