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Having 3 kids vs 4 kids?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Just had our 3rd & still not feeling complete (hormones?). If we are brave enough to add a 4th someday, what's it like? Do you feel the "big family" label more? Is it harder logistically? Does it help Baby #3 not feel the odd person out? How has it changed your family dynamic? Thanks for any experiences you can share.
post #2 of 32
We weren't planning on a fourth baby because we were "done" after 3. Number 3 was a hard baby and still as a 2 yr old has a big personality. But I got pregnant because we were careless with birth control and it was the BEST thing to happen to our family. It really helps my 2 yr old to have a younger sibling. I had 2 kids 2 years apart and then we had #3 about 4 yrs later so she was the odd man out. She loves her baby sister and she just wasn't meant to be the "baby". Our #4 was born 1 week after #3 2nd birthday so I have 2 and 2 and it is perfect for us.

Some things are harder than other. Our car is offically maxed out. We cannot transport anyone but our family (4 kids+2 adults). Right now our niece is with us visting and if we want to go anywhere as a family unit we have to take 2 cars. I know that will change when she leaves this weekend but I know eventually we might have to get another car as our children grow and want to have friends visit/go places with us.

Dinner/bath/bed is about the same and going places can be hectic but not totally terrible. I go places with all of the kids by myself.

I do feel like a big family and some days are harder than others. Like right now everyone except me and the baby has the stomach bug. It sucks but it would suck with just 2 or 3 kids. I think we are way more laid back with our family now than we were when our oldest 2 were this age. But I think that comes from parenting and know what is best for your family and letting go of the small stuff.

I look at my girls and cannot believe I have four kids and LOVE it.
post #3 of 32
I kinda do think four has pushed us over to the "big family" label. But that's cool, I like the attention no, but it's not much harder than three. Just a little bit crazier.

I have 3 boys, and 1 girl. My DD is the oldest and then my DS's are all 2 yrs apart. The oldest two play together a lot, and the younger two do as well - so it's like they each have someone to hang out with. Also, my middle two spend a lot of time together.

Four seems like a ton to someone with no kids, or just one, but once you are used to having three, it's not that big of deal, IMO, to add another.
post #4 of 32
I am wondering the same thing. I have three but the second my third was born I wanted another one, and still do! I just don't feel like my family is complete yet.
post #5 of 32
I want a fourth---SOMEDAY. Preferably a girl, but that is because *I* always wanted a sister.

that said I do my boys big time.

DD was only 14 months when I found out about DS2 and I remember sitting in my CNM's office crying with her nursing at my first PNV. (then I cried at my second PNV with her because I had to tell her I wanted her to be my backup hospital plan, but I was going to homebirth this time...I LOVED LOVED LOVED my CNM and had a FABULOUS birth with DD, but I just cried at the thought of sitting at a hospital for 2 days for NO reason and DH having to choose between me and new baby or releiving my parents of caring for the kids at home...)

Now, with DS2 I am THRILLED and he is the HAPPIEST baby EVER. and DD loves him. They are 5 days short of 22 months apart.

I will *NOT* if I can possibly avoid it have that same spacing again. I feel like I slacked some on discipline with DD because I was hugely pregnant and tired, busy with the new baby, etc etc and am paying for it now. (things she got away with in regard to fighting with older bro for example...)

But I DO DO DO want a 4th...SOMEDAY...I was actually thinking it might be nice for DD to be the same age DS1 is now, 4-5, DS2 would be 3...at the soonest.

I do NOT take all my kids alone places unless we are talking about the playground or other child-centered location. I would if they were older I think.

I DO love taking the boys (ages almost 5 and 10 months) they are super-easy to handle together. I thoroughly enjoyed a mom's evening with video with the two of them back when DS2 was a little baby--he nursed through the movie and slept and smiled while we chatted, and DS1 disappeared with the other kids most of the evening. *Perfect*

It's not that I don't ADORE my dd it's that she is 2.5 and she is INTENSE....she runs out the door at will throughout the day here. She still has potty accidents--oddly enough NOT when she is out, but at home. And she WON'T take herself to the bathroom--she will SCREAM until I escort her. And she and her older brother fight CONTINUALLY....with OCCASIONAL moments where I have a GLIMMER of hope that SOMEDAY they just MIGHT be able to communicate....

but she also comes up behind me and says "I kiss your butt Mom!" while doing it. She's full of hugs and love. She is sweet.

Wouldn't give any of them back for anything and someday, even though now it seems a little crazy....I would like to expand the love....
post #6 of 32
Well, I'm pregnant with my 4th so I haven't yet had to deal with them all together. The thing that makes me consider a 4th to be a transition to a big family is that we won't all fit in most standard cars. Right now we can all squish in a Hyundai Elantra. We'll be needing to upgrade to a minivan by the time the new one arrives. I guess lots of people get minvans before they actually need them for the extra seats, we just prefer cars.
post #7 of 32
Well, we just transitioned to 4. So, I have a 6 yo, 4 yo, 1 yo, and 4 week old. Some moments I am really overwhelmed, and if I stop to actually think about it I get overwhelmed- but I think I like it better than 3. I feel like I've taken the pressure off myself for everything to be perfect, and I'm just sort of embracing the fun and craziness of everything. I feel like I just have more of a sense of humor and I'm more laid back. Or maybe I've just lost my mind and I don't realize it !
post #8 of 32
I have 4 but its more like 2+2 as they are 16, 12, 6 and 3.

Four is more tricky with the car as you need more seats but other than that 4 has been good for us. I agree with Drummer's Wife that once you have 3 adding another isn't much trouble.

That said, our fourth is the craziest of all our children in terms of personality and that wears us out.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks, it's great to see other happy big families out there. Maybe someday...
post #10 of 32
I think it really depends on the family. Esp. what your parental tolerance level is and the ages/spacing and temperaments of your kids. My two boys are easy peasy as far as their personalities, but very high energy and that sometimes poses a problem. I'm waiting & curious to see what this little girl will be like. I think how well we all fit together and how well we handle this size family financially, will probably dictate if we have anymore.
post #11 of 32
Here, four is definitely a big family and some days it's hard work. Then other days life just runs itself and I wonder what all the fuss is about. (My eldest is coming up to 11, and my youngest won't be 2 until January- we have a fifth due at Christmas as well.)

There aren't many things that we won't do as a family, with one parent wrangling all four kids. Ice skating. Anything involving safety equipment, and I really dislike taking all of mine swimming at once.
And as for the rest of it, family dynamics are constantly evolving anyhow, so : It's sorted itself out for us, I find.
post #12 of 32
I have four (7, 6, 3 1/2, and 17 months) and I'm pregnant with #5. Going from 3 to 4 was a piece of cake. She just fit right in with the rest of the loving insanity around here. My third never felt sibling rivalry because there is always someone to play with (or gang up on).

People do make plenty of comments when we are out and about (you've got your hands full is the most frequent and are they all yours is second), but I just smile.

The funny thing is... I refused to take just two to the pool by myself...but now I take 4 with no issues. Taking two kids places caused stress...taking four is no big deal. I couldn't ever possibly get anything done or the house clean with two, but manage just fine with four. Maybe I've changed!
post #13 of 32
i have 4 and personaly don't find it very different to 3, it is hard at times but then it was with 3, it was with 2 hell it was with only 1, we all have hard times if you want 4 and really bellieve that having 4 is for you , why not.
i still want more, i'm always broody
post #14 of 32
Originally Posted by mum06 View Post
People do make plenty of comments when we are out and about (you've got your hands full is the most frequent and are they all yours is second), but I just smile.
i get those comments too all the time kind of gets annoying doesn't it
post #15 of 32
I have 4, ages 5, 4, 3, and 10 mnths. And for us it's not any harder than 3. But then again I'm already thinking about a 5th. The more the merrier!!! They have so much fun together!
post #16 of 32

Number Four

We're expecting number four very soon.

The car issue is one that we have yet to resolve. We'd have more options though if all of our kids didn't need to be in carseats. We're looking at a year, possibly more, of four kids all being under 40lbs, which two rear facing.

Most people I've talked to have said that three to four was a relatively easy transition. Barring any unusual circumstances (special needs kids, high needs babies, etc), it was the two to three transition that was tough. You have two hands and two parents, so with three kids you're outnumbered. A lot of things are set up for families of four. Hotel rooms easily accommodate four. You get a table faster at a restaurant if you can fit a table for four. At a lot of places, a "family" is defined as two adults and two children.

I'm really looking forward to number four. Sometimes I worry that we will be a complete traveling circus, but mostly, I excited to have another baby and our kids to have another partner in crime.
post #17 of 32
Originally Posted by Nosy View Post
Just had our 3rd & still not feeling complete (hormones?). If we are brave enough to add a 4th someday, what's it like? Do you feel the "big family" label more? Is it harder logistically? Does it help Baby #3 not feel the odd person out? How has it changed your family dynamic? Thanks for any experiences you can share.
I found 1, 2, & 4, to be really easy. It was the adjustment to 3 children that was a challenge. Four was easy after that.
post #18 of 32
post #19 of 32
The meanest one I got was "Well I guess you know how to prevent any future children, now don't you?" And that was when I had only three!
post #20 of 32
Intereting that a few of you mentioned the youngest being the "odd man out". I'm thinking of adding #4 so that my middle guy won't have "middle child syndrome". DH and I are both from families of 3 and the middle one has such a complex even as an adult. So I never considered the youngest having the hardest time with the dynamics of a 3 child family even though I was the youngest and I did feel like I was the odd man out when I was a child. I thought that was just being the only girl and 4 yrs younger than my brother (the 2 boys were 2 yrs apart).

Can anyone comment on the middle child syndrome issue? Does adding a 4th reduce that dynamic?
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