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DH and I would both quite like DC4 (gulp) but worried about taking time/attention away from the other three. Views welcomed.
24

WereStuckViewsWelcomed · 02/03/2010 10:07

As per title really. We have three DC, fairly close together (less that 2 years between each one) and after saying "never again" after DC3 DH in particular is in favour of going for a fourth. (DC3 now just over 2). Although I'm not so in favour as he is I'm also happy to go ahead because I know I'd love any child we had, and it's only the pregnancy and first year or two that I don't want, I think I'd be happy to have had another chid for the rest of my life.

Money would be tight but we'd cope, we have a stable, good relationship, why wouldn't we?

After much discussion we have clarified the main reason holding me back at least, and he says for him too, is that we are worried it would be negative thing for the children we already have. Currently they each have their own bedroom so someone would have to share, I know that's not the greatest issue when they're young, but by later? We wouldn't be moving because of the proximity to school, but extending could be an option. But mainly we worry that they already don't get too much one-on-one time, the oldest suffers from his stuff being messed with, the youngest has brought herself up with no attention, isn't it her turn now? Etc etc etc .

I know it's been asked before (though I've gone through recent threads and there's nothing equivilent recently) but I'd really appreciate any views. I know we'd have the love for another baby but really, would we find the time/energy/attention? For all of them?

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WereStuckViewsWelcomed · 02/03/2010 13:16

bump

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WereStuckViewsWelcomed · 02/03/2010 19:43

final bump

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compo · 02/03/2010 19:46

Honestly? From your post you've put more negatives than positives so in your position I'd be inclined to stop at 3
You say you're not keen on the first two years, bedroom issues etc etc
do you even feel broody? why does dh want one more?

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AitchTwoOhOneOh · 02/03/2010 19:53

as the eldest of four (i think we were 7,5,2 and 0 iykwim?) i don't ever remember feeling starved of attention... all i remember with dsis2 is having The Most Amazing Living Dolly to play with. i don't think the younger ones felt any differently either, when the fourth of us came along. it's FUN, having a baby in the house.

i do remember going to the cinema with my mum, though, just the two eldest. that was lovely and formed happy memories. i don't suppose my folks would have made the effort to give us special time like that if they hadn't been aware of us needing them.

so you're aware... so go for it.

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DorotheaPlenticlew · 02/03/2010 19:55

If you both feel concern about the impact on your 3 children then I'd say wait a bit and focus on spending time with them for a while, and just take time to think it through at length.

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Northernlurker · 02/03/2010 20:03

If it's what you really want then go for it BUT if you're aren't super broody then I would hang on a bit. Personally I find three quite enough and I've got 9 years between oldest and youngest. I think things will become clearer either way of the next 12-18 months and you will know a strong no or yes. If it's yes then of course you will find a way to be an ace parent to 4 like you are for 3 - I just think you should let things sit for a bit first.

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minxofmancunia · 02/03/2010 20:11

It is the youngest ones turn now, from what you've sia dit doesn't seem like a great idea.

I think having the emotional resources as well as the financial is something people fail to take into consideration when having a big family and just have a Waltoms type image in their mind.

4 is spreading yourself very thinly, even more thinly than you do now.

The emotional well-being of your current dcs is the most imporatnt issue. Sorry I'm not one of the "just go for it" brigade with big families.

I think sometime people can be a little irresponsible with regards to this.

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WereStuckViewsWelcomed · 02/03/2010 20:16

Thank you all for your input. I did think after initially posting I should have out this in general parenting rather than larger families as I think many families reach a similar stage and the number of children you have already, or might have if you had that extra one, isn't the point.

Aitch, thanks for your view from the other end of things as it were - sounds positive.

I do get broody moments, would love another baby. But only if I had 24 hour help. I'd hate having to tell the DC I can't/don't really want do something because I'm tired, or being snappy because I was up half the night. All the kind of things that happened when the previous ones were born. I'm over all that now, had decent sleep for over a year.

Certainly we may be best to take some time to consider it further. Slightly obsessively I'v worked out I could get pregnant right up until next autumn and still have the child in the same school year as if I got pregnant tonight! So a little time to think.

Oh and NorthernLurker - thanks for saying I'm an ace parent, throw away remark I'm sure, but lovely to hear.

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iwastooearlytobeayummymummy · 02/03/2010 20:17

I've got 4 and sometimes i do feel that some have received more attention than others.I think my DC2 sometimes felt overlooked in a busy household,but often attention diverted to DC1 so that was already in place, so to speak.
DC3 has thrived on what I like to call 'benign neglect' and is a very friendly, sensible and popular teenager.
DC4 is the only boy and has always made sure he got lots of attention, both negative nad positive.
They all claim to love being in a larger family, as there is always somebody to talk to or something going on. All really miss DC1 who's away at Uni and get on well when together.

The biggest surprise of having DC4 was being able to witness DC1 and DC2 fall head over heels in love with another human being.They were 9 and 7 at the time and it blew me away seeing their reaction to him.
Nobody had ever mentioned that to me before and as the youngest of 3 myself had not experienced it as a sibling either.

The downside is that sometimes this parenting malarkey feels like it's going on forever and it's difficult to remain enthusiastic about the same old events , such as parents evenings and PTAs. On the plus side I'm better at realising what's really important and recognising the battles that need to be won/fought

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WereStuckViewsWelcomed · 02/03/2010 20:19

Giving me til nearly next christmas to get pregnant I realise might not be enough - best laid plans etc. But the other three came fairly easily in first few months - just a sorry to anyone who might point out we could start trying tonight and still be trying in 2011.

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4andnotout · 02/03/2010 20:21

I have 4 dd's (8,4,2,16mo) and they all get individual attention from both myself and dp. It's not scheduled and is just a natural development of the family, I am a Sahm and dp's job means he is usually at home at somepoint during the day as well as the whole evening.

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Hassled · 02/03/2010 20:23

I think you just continue to make the time and attention stretch. And where you just physically can't pay attention, the older siblings can, and become closer as a result.

Mine were very well spaced out but they've always looked out for and entertained each other, and I think DC4 is the confident child he is because he's a) had to fight his corner to an extent and b) he's never lacked for attention. It just hasn't always been parental attention .

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iwastooearlytobeayummymummy · 02/03/2010 20:29

I'll second that sentiment Hassled

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4andnotout · 02/03/2010 20:31

I think Hassled has summed it up in one!

My dd's are really proud to be one of four and will
show off their sisters to their friends, where we live familes with 4+ children are the norm rather than exception.

The only downside I can honestly say with 4 is the never ending washing but like everything else you just get used to it and we are planning to ttc from October and see what happens (I've had 2 m/c and have vowed to stop ttc 9months before I'm 30 as I don't want babies in my teens, twenties and thirties!)

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Northernlurker · 03/03/2010 07:58

Certainly I feel with three that they have their own little gang and it is wonderful seeing that dynamic - definately a plus to having 4 I think.

And no it wasn't a throwaway remark - it jumps out from your posts

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WereStuckViewsWelcomed · 03/03/2010 13:52

Thank you again NL

My slight worry with the idea that the younger/est DC get attention from the oldest ones is that my DC1 has shown absolutely no interest in DC3. He's not negative about her, just ignores her. So I'm not completely sold on the idea that he'd benefit from yet another younger sibling, though of course who knows.

But thanks everyone for your views (and any more welcome ) I think we'll carry on carrying on and see if any signs from god present themselves.

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Diege · 04/03/2010 10:44

I had dc 4 last June and I can honestly say he's brought so much to our family and tbh, 4 doesn;t feel that much more work than 3 (apart from the washing ). As someone else said, it's so lovely watching the older ones interact and get excited about the new baby. After 3 dds, a boy was a lovely surprise, though weren't 'going for a boy' as other presume , simply evening up numbers! (dds 8, 7, 4)Think you've had some very useful relfections here - really is a personbal thing - for some it feels like 2 or 3 is spreading themselves too thinly, for others, once you've got to 3, additional Los simply add to the fun, chaos and wonder of family life. I'm lucky in that I get away from them 4 days a week as I work mon-thurs (I am back by 6 I hasten to add ) and am even contemplating number 5...
Good luck in reaching your decision!

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sweetkitty · 06/03/2010 09:49

Diege - glad you are enjoying having 4, I'm 8 weeks away from no4 myself now, 3 DDs and this is a shock as he is a DS! Mine are 5,4 and 20 months. We have no outside help at all and sometimes it is a struggle but I try to spend a little while with each of them individually each day but at least every few days. I do think they get less attention as part of a threesome but they benefit from having attention from each other IYSWIM. DD1 and 2 dote on DD3 and vie for her attention, they are so looking forward to a little brother as well although in a few years don't know if that will be the case.

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curiositykilledhaskittens · 06/03/2010 17:08

We are 4 months into having four. We have a 4 year old, a 3 year old and 4 month old twins. I don't think our older two have suffered in terms of attention at all really, we all seem to be muddling on together. I think because I have entirely sacrificed my life to just be at home all the time and we have a lot of help from my ILs who pick the older two up from preschool/school everyday and have them for tea 2 days a week. Also I have just left the house to crumble around me!!! We have four bedrooms so are going to make all the children share and keep the box room as an office. It might be difficult in their teens but at least they won't be pestering for boyfriends and girlfriends to stay over!!! Ha ha ha!

I think most of the work will initially be on you if you are the one who provides most of the childcare. It is hard having four in terms of attention I suspect harder to give attention to four who are different ages and so this may be a consideration for you? I don't know I think if you want the child in the long term and are willing to put in the hard work for the short term perhaps it might be easier if you left a bigger gap maybe? Only you can really know what is right for your family I suppose...

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emy72 · 07/03/2010 13:10

It's all down to what sacrifices you are prepared to make and what your circumstances are. We are incredibly stretched with 4 under 5s but it just about works for us. I think our kids get a balance between our attention and each other's attentions, but we get no time whatsover at the moment. My 2 sons share a room and the girls have a rooom each, which works well as the boys are only 19 months apart. I don't think that is a big deal, they love sharing and they have a huge room. My mum sometimes takes the older two away for a long weekend etc and so we get to give the younger two a bit more attention - but they don't necessarily like it! I think they are much better behaved/balanced when the older two are around as they are used to that buzz around the house. We love being a family of 4 but there is no denying that it is very hard work in many ways xx

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hattyyellow · 06/04/2010 21:46

WereStuckViewsWelcomed do you mind me asking if you've had any further thoughts? We have 3 dd's (twins who are nearly 5 and a 16 month old) and keep swinging around in circles about a fourth.

You sound very like me, I don't relish the baby stage, the pregnancy, the sleepless nights - but I do love the thought of more children rather than more babies if that makes sense..

Do you mind me asking how old you are roughly? I am 35 so thinking I should probably make a decision fairly soon. Dh swings from one view to another so we're not really getting anywhere in decision making!

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childofalargerfamily · 06/04/2010 22:19

I'm the oldest of 6 and loved being part of a large family when I was a child, mainly because I liked that our family was different and it seemed like being ordinary would be the worst thing in the world.

Since I have started my own family however, I do look back with increasing resentment at the lack of time that my parents had for me. There was certainly not a lack of love, I still have a wonderful relationship with my parents but I just don't think that there is enough time in the day to give every child what they need in a big family. My mum was always busy with the younger ones and we were all certainly raised with 'benign neglect'. I don't think this was always a good thing and now that I am an adult looking back at the child that I was, I feel that I was left to experience far to many things without enough guidance, especially as a teenager, which meant I made some pretty bad decisions that still affect me.

My sister (dc5) says that she feels she didn't receive any parenting at all. I think we would both say that we feel that our parents did not put our individual needs first when they decided to have so many children.

Of course I do not know what it is like to be a child of a smaller family. Perhaps the grass is always greener. Good luck with your decision.

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Ponders · 06/04/2010 22:28

Ours are much more spread out in age than yours, OP (11 years from 1st to last) but love being 4, despite the negatives like sharing rooms, enjoy spending time together & are proud of each other.

No 4 received less full-on parenting than the others but, perhaps because of being self-raising, is in many ways the happiest in his own skin & the best motivated of all of them.

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WereStuckViewsWelcomed · 14/04/2010 20:18

To answer hatty, and to update anyone who's interested we haven't got an awful lot further with a decision however seem to have tacitly agreed to "see what happens". I've come off the pill both in case we decide to ttc DC4 and also as if we're not having anymore then I don't want to be on it for the rest of my reproductive life (I'm 35 too). However we haven't made any other contraceptive arrangements.

I think, though it hasn't been said out loud as that defeats the point, that we are both hoping for a surprise as that would make the decision without us having to have positively made it IYSWIM.

Though TBH I'd probably be just as happy with some kind of surprise event which made the decision finally the other way too. Though I can't think what that would be apart from some medical disaster. It's so difficult to make the decision because, in the nicest possible way, I don't actually care which way it goes. I'd be happy either way I think.

There's just the nagging feeling now that, having been this amenable to the idea of another one, if we decide not to I may regret that later in life. But I'm not sure that's a good enough reason in itself!

TTC DC1 was a positive decision we made, though obviously like so many first time parents we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. DCs 2 and 3 were also definite decisions with no doubt. Yet now I feel so at sea about a potential number 4.

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