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How many children, 2 or 3?
46

seashore · 28/02/2010 02:41

Hi there,
Anybody any advive on what how the family dynamic changes if you decide to go up from 2 to 3 children. We have a 3yr old and an 8 mth, trying to decide if we should go for three.

Would it be a nightmare being pregnant already busy with baby and toddler? Is three a crowd? Would it be better to just give more time to two? Or It's now of never cause I'm 41 so I need to decide soon. Any advice welcome. Thanks.

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ben5 · 28/02/2010 05:07

i would stay with 2!!! you only have 2 hands and to knees!! how do you cuddle more than 2 children at the same time??!!

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bringonthetrumpets · 28/02/2010 05:09

Well, my mum had 4 kids and she said the only hard part about it was having random people exclaim "wow, you have four children?"

and ben5... you can definitely cuddle more than 2 children at one time, regardless the amount of arms and legs you have.

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Sibble · 28/02/2010 05:27

most people I know say 2's a breeze, 3's hard but those with 4+ (SIL has 7 and somebody I know has 10!) say it gets easier the more you have as the older ones help with the younger ones.

We stopped at 2 as I was early 40's and couldn't do the sleepless nights again!

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sweetkitty · 28/02/2010 06:53

I have 3 soon to be 4 and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Yes the pregnancy is hard and the newborn stage tricky but the big two adore their sister and they all get so much from each other. I love when they are all running around and DD3 is trying to join in and the big two are helping her, feels like a big family gang.

You do lose a bit of time with each of them but I think they do gain from having each other around. I have one at school now and one at nursery so that helps a bit as well.

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sarah293 · 28/02/2010 07:05

Message withdrawn

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not4anotherday · 28/02/2010 13:54

I have three but they are spaced out, 8, 5 and nearly 1 - it is not hard on the whole it is lovely. I want one more. BTW of course you can cuddle more than two DC at once.

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not4anotherday · 28/02/2010 13:55

Oh and my advice is go for it.

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BooKangerooWonders · 28/02/2010 14:55

3 here, and it's definitely hard work. I look at my friends who have similar aged dc as my older ones, and sometimes rue the fact that I'm still bogged down in the toddler years.

There's the constant worry of how to split yourself so as to give enough attention to each dc. And it's always so much easier when 1 of them isn't around and you drop back to an easier number. Hotels etc are difficult.

But do I regret? Never!

Had I met DH earlier we'd probably have 4.

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BooKangerooWonders · 28/02/2010 14:55

3 here, and it's definitely hard work. I look at my friends who have similar aged dc as my older ones, and sometimes rue the fact that I'm still bogged down in the toddler years.

There's the constant worry of how to split yourself so as to give enough attention to each dc. And it's always so much easier when 1 of them isn't around and you drop back to an easier number. Hotels etc are difficult.

But do I regret? Never!

Had I met DH earlier we'd probably have 4.

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BooKangerooWonders · 28/02/2010 14:55

sorry

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bronze · 28/02/2010 14:58

My four rarely want hugging at the same time. With more though it means that if one person is unavailable for hugs then theres always someone who is

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darcymum · 28/02/2010 15:00

I love having three, would have another if I could. I do feel guilty about it though, three seems more than my far share. I think are too many people in the world and I know that I have directly contributed to that by not stopping at two.

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Heated · 28/02/2010 15:07

Am pg with no 3 and tbh I could have only contemplated it with a bigger age gap, so no. 2 will be 4 and at school when no 3 is a nb. Realise that is not an option for you, and I do know families who have chosen to have 3 together, they say it's hard work but fun. There is the advantage of having done some major expenditure already and they grown up all together. And at various times, they will be at preschool and school.

The questions MN suggested: do you want another child or just another baby? (key question imo) Is there enough room for non 3 - will they have to share a bedroom - is that a problem? Practically do we need to replace the car? Are holidays important and if yes can you afford it with 3? If working can you afford 3rd round of maternity pay and associated child-care costs? Will you regret it if you don't go for it? Can you face going back to sleepless nights, nappies?

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cakeywakey · 28/02/2010 15:08

I'm one of three and it was great - I love being part of a gang. I know that me arriving(number three) did hit the family finances in quite a big way though.

Five people also means great fun trying to divide Sunday desserts into five equal portions as the kids grow older. In our house, someone always felt that they'd be shortchanged on the cake front

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darcymum · 28/02/2010 15:10

I had three close together and wouldn't have it any other way. It's not that hard, but then mine do all sleep well.

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darcymum · 28/02/2010 15:12

Being close in age they all play together as well, all three share a bedroom at the moment.

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NellyTheElephant · 28/02/2010 16:16

I have 3 (now aged 5, 3 and nearly 1 - almost exactly 2 yrs apart each time). I found the first 6 months very very hard, but then everything started to fall into place and now I wouldn't say I find it harder than I did with two. The dynamic has undoubtably changed completely, but with us it's been for the better. DD1 and DD2 always had quite a combative quarrelsome relationship but the arrival of DS seemed to help that enormously. I don't know why, it seemed to give them another focus. It took away their constant jockeying and fighting for my attention (as they both quickly realised that most of my attention was focused on the baby!). They are now much more of a team, playing together and looking out for each other and have been united by their joint adoration of DS. DD2 can sometimes be a little jealous of DS, but generally I find that the whole threesome group works way better for all of us than the duo ever did.

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PrettyCandles · 28/02/2010 16:46

As a mother of 3, I find that the main change in the family dynamic is that the middle child can get a bit overlooked. You need to dedicate time to making each child feel special and cherished. In a way of course that's no different to with two dc.

But the family dynamic can change even without having another child, so it really boils down to whether you feel the need to have another. If you were told tomorrow that you could not have any more children, would you feel distraught, bereft, as if something precious had been stolen from you, or would you feel "oh well, bit of a shame but never mind".

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Veritythebrave · 28/02/2010 17:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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seashore · 28/02/2010 20:00

thanks everyone for your honest and thoughtful answers, planty there for me to get thinking about.

Yep, if I was suddenly told that's it, no more babies for you, I could handle it, but I would feel that maybe somebody is missing. I also am very concerned about the idea of a middle child out of 3 being overlooked, especially as right now with only 2, dd1 still takes up most of the time. But at least I know it's something I would be sensitive to.

Not4AnotherDay, thanks and I might just go for it!

Ben5, cuddles don't worry me. Always enough cuddles to go round, they're one of the best parts of having kids!

We're not big on hols, already live by the sea anyway, but the idea of getting about with 3 (city trips to visit family) does concern me a bit. But then those yrs fly.

I'm good with little sleep, always been a bit of a night owl and ds has slept through from early on.

Sorry long post - just thinking aloud, any more advice? All welcome.

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TheBolter · 28/02/2010 20:23

Seashore, like you I am in a quandary about having a third.

I have a 4 and a (nearly) 6 year old and am really enjoying them. I feel as if I've turned a massive corner over the last year and am well and truly out of the woods as far as the baby and toddler stage is concerned.

I have a few more biological years left in which to decide though so my decision does not need to be made as imminently as yours, but I've done a lot of thinking over the last couple of years. Main concerns are the following:

  1. Physical fitness. Are you fit, well, restored and feeling capable of going through another pregnancy, birth and round of sleep deprivation?

  2. Money. It's the implications of paying for childcare, moving to a bigger house, buying a bigger car, feeding three teenagers, paying three lots of university fees at once when you're nearing retirement... I know all that seems a bit distant but one day it could be a very real implication.

  3. Holidays, freedom etc: holidays with three children are expensive. I've heard that hotels etc cater for families of four but once you have more children you have to look at booking more rooms, bigger holiday cottages (cottages that sleep five not always easy to find!). Also how much to you value your personal space and freedom? Do you want to move on to the next stage of your life soon or are you happy staying knee deep in nappies for a further couple of years?

  4. Your relationship with dp. Only you know whether your relationship will survive the extra pressure! Also your relationship with your existing children needs to be considered.

    I think overall though you need to think about the type of person you are and how well three children would fit into your preferred lifestyle etc...
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seashore · 28/02/2010 22:12

Am superfit and restored! Think people age better these days or maybe its lifestyle (don't drink, smoke, love walking etc)

Def need more money!

Dh can't decide either, guess it would have to be if I really feel the need.

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firsttimemama · 28/02/2010 22:54

I have two DC a DD aged 3 and a DS aged 1 I feel happy with my lot at the mo. One of my big concerns if I did go on to have another is that the group will either be two girls or two boys and I feel bad for the one that doesn't get the same sex brother or sister IYKWIM. I come from a family of 4, two boys and two girls and I feel the brother/sister thing is a special bond that one of them won't have.

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jade1978 · 01/03/2010 13:50

I thought this was a large families thread??

I have 5, go for 3 trust me its easy, easier than 5 anyway. Pregnancies fly by when you have other children to run around after.

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seashore · 01/03/2010 18:51

Firsttimemama, I've thought of the exact same thing, whereas right now with just dd and ds nobody seems to be shortchanged. But then maybe that's just life. It's impossible to make things perfect.

Jade1978, sorry it's more of a larger? family thread, I'm new to mumsnet and I opened this through that topic title.

Sorry in advance to anyone else that wanders along here and is disappointed that a massive brood doesn't inhabit this space.

Thanks for the advice though, I think it is true that pregnancies do fly by when there's other children to run around after, I certainly noticed that with last pregnancy.

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