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If you have 3+ kids, which was the hardest transition- your first, second, or third?

Poll Results: Which was the BIGGEST change for you?

 
  • 40% (17)
    Going from no kids to one kid
  • 28% (12)
    Going from one kid to 2 kids
  • 14% (6)
    Going from 2 kids to 3 kids
  • 0% (0)
    Adding child 4+
  • 11% (5)
    We have twins- they were the biggest change
  • 0% (0)
    They were all about equal
  • 4% (2)
    Other
42 Total Votes  
post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

IF you have 3 or more kids, which child was the biggest change for you? Going from none to one, one to two, or two to three? (or more than that?) Which addition caused the biggest increase in work, stress, financial strain, etc?

 

 

I'm pg with number 3, and exdp (dp? who knows) is worried!! It was harder on him going from one to two, than it was when we had ds1. For me, it was harder going from none to one- I guess parenting didn't come as naturally to me, so there was definitely a learning curve. With ds2, I guess there is more juggling of needs, but I already felt confident as a parent, so it really helped. On top of that, I was already used to not having much of my own time, or doing things solely for me, so that wasn't change with #2, and it was a HUGE change with #1.

 

 

Exdp has said that other parents sometimes say that going from one to two isn't that big of a deal. But parents of 3 plus NEVER say that about adding #3. That has him scared!

post #2 of 23

I have found that baby #1 rocked my world. He insisted on being held all the time, refused to nap or sleep alone and changed my life completely.

With baby #2 I was most affected by the guilt because they don't get as much one on one time and your world doesn't revolve around them. I felt like someone was always not getting they attention they deserved and someone was always waiting or needing me when I was helping someone else.

With baby #3 I was able to submit. Someone was always going to be unhappy no matter what I did so I stopped worrying about it. (my favorite example was when my Dad said two kids are perfect so everyone gets a window seat. I said ah is doesn't matter what you give them they are still going to fight anyway. She gets to sit behind Daddy I wanna sit behind Daddy blah blah blah) I still feel like sometimes someone is not getting enough of something but I just try to correct the imbalance and move on. Overall I feel that my third child made me a better parent to all three and probably a better less judgmental person overall.

post #3 of 23

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I'm pregnant with #3 as well and can use any and all advice! I'm a bit terrified.  I felt like going from 1 to 2 was easier than I thought for the first few months, but I also feel like I have been mourning the loss of my patience and my one-on-one time with ds ever since dd was born. I just feel spread so thin sometimes. I kind of feel like it's getting harder now that the sibling rivalry is setting in more (dd is 2.5).  I'm hoping #3 will change the dynamic somewhat, hoping my oldest will step in and have a different kind of relationship with the new baby .

post #4 of 23

Going from 1 to 2 totally kicked my butt!  The first few months of DD1's life are still a blur, I felt like I was barely hanging on.  hide.gif

 

Going from 2 to 3?  Piece of cake.  Sure, it took us 4x as long to get out the door as it did with 2 and it was more chaotic, but the transition wasn't hard at all.  Adding #4?  Chaos increased exponentially, dirty laundry breeds like rabbits in the night, I need a pressure washer to clean the dining room after meals but those aren't big things.  DS2's horrible sleep is difficult, but that's just specific to him as an individual.  Going from 3 to 4 wasn't hard either.

 

That transition from 1 to 2, though, still sends chills down my spine.  (In the interest of full disclosure: we had just moved 3000 miles away from my friends and family before I got pregnant with DD1 and then DH went to sea when she was just a few weeks old.  That, along with wicked PPD, made the transition so difficult for me.)

post #5 of 23

Ds1 was hiiiiiigh needs (preemie that I cared for at home- alone), but the hardest transition after that was going from one to two. The rest have been a piece of kelp, regardless of hn. :) The third baby was a gelling experience for the first two, whose personalities are literally opposite, which was very, very obvious to everyone who knew/met them, right from the start (in MBTI and by observation > INTJ and ENFP).

 

So much is in the dynamic. I haven't found the birth order or number of children to be indicative or predictive of much. Our 3rd made having three enormously easier than having two dc. Our whole family dynamic has shifted and grown with each addition, though, but I am so, so glad that ds3 surprised us, because like many others, the difficulty with raising just the 1st two dc would likely have put us off of having more. Now we have five, and there aren't words to describe the gratitude I have for the children that came after and also the first two, whose life experience is no doubt so much more enjoyable having others around to round out the dynamic between them. The first two still spend significant time being genuinely astonished and confused by one another, but they get along very, very well.

 

As for financial, we notice it when buying the year's winter boots. Our food bill has increased by $200 since having one child, because I am a much better cook and kitchen manager than I was. Our food bill will decrease by $400-$600/month after we begin harvesting our little homestead garden and livestock this year.

 

We've made decisions that are not common, and we live on a total of $10,000/yr more than when we had one child, but we also don't have a mortgage or car payments. We bought a second-hand van with cash, and a mobile home we're rebuilding from the floor up, so that we can live rurally, peacefully together, and next to dear friends of ours.

 

Truly, having five dc and living the way we do is isolating (physically and socially), but the benefits by far outweigh the challenges.

post #6 of 23

I think going from two to three was hardest for us. Part of the reason is, when our second was born, oldest was 3.5 and pretty independent. However when three came along our middle child was just turned two years old. He was still very much a "baby" and was very dependent. Also, we were officially outnumbered with three kids. I had enough hands to grab on to two of them in public if need be. With three kids, not as easy.

Having said that, after the first few months it got a lot easier. We learned how to manage all the kids easily.

post #7 of 23

Going from 1 to 2 was the hardest for me. I had a 3 yr. old who was pretty babyish, still nursed a lot, coslept, etc. I also had mastitis 8 times with my second, who was tongue-tied. The first 6 mos. were pretty hellish. 

My boys were 7.5 and 4.5 when I had my third, weaned, sleeping in their own beds, fully capable of dressing themselves, wiping their own butts, going to bed, reading to themselves, showering/bathing on their own, etc. My second started full day kindergarten a month after my daughter was born. She's 8 months old now and it has been a breeze! Having done the baby thing twice before it just seems really easy and comfortable to me. I'm not as obsessed with doing everything perfectly and am just enjoying this time. Things that used to matter a lot to me just don't now that I have the perspective of parenting kids through the toddler, preschool, and early school years. 

post #8 of 23
We went from 1, straight to 3 . And that was rough. One child was fine-- with two sets of arms, there was plenty of adult to go around, and each of us got some time to ourselves. With three under three years old, though, the demands were nearly constant. The worst part was when more than one child had immediate and conflicting needs-- like DD2 would only nurse lying down, for months, but DS flat-out refused to nurse lying down, and there would be DD1 wanting a snack, or throwing a tantrum, just as I was finally getting both babies to sleep. I was a die-hard AP parent, with DD1, and I felt like God sent me twins as a way of knocking down my arrogance.
post #9 of 23

0-1 was way harder for me. DD1 was a never sleeping, constantly screaming child her first entire year of life. 1-2 was eh, DD2 has medical problems so that was rough for a while but overall considering, it could of been much worse. 2-3 was cake for me, it was like I had DS and then the next day went on with our lives. It was also the first time I had ever had a normal newborn, OMG, a regular kid makes such a big difference. DH on the other hand had a horrid time adjusting from 2-3. My belief was that by the time #3 came around, I was a pro at multi-tasking and knew how to juggle multiple children. DH never really had to, he either took one out or I was around to assist and then suddenly he had to do a lot more and it was rough on him. And then the someone ALWAYS needing something and the sheer voulme of noise in our house gets to him. I'm pg with #4 currently and am now wondering if because 2-3 was so easy for me, if 3-4 is going to throw me! We shall see...

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 


I feel hopeful that #3 won't be an awful transition! I'm really worried, though, that ds2 won't even be 2.5. But ds1 will be 7, and is well behaved, so at least we'll only have 2 that need constant supervision.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dukey25 View Post

I have found that baby #1 rocked my world. He insisted on being held all the time, refused to nap or sleep alone and changed my life completely.

Same here! Ds1 was a high needs baby and always needed to be in arms!! Nursing was very very important to him for years. It just occurred to me that while ds1 was such a humongous change for me (from being able to do whatever, whenever to basically having every minute ruled by the needs of a baby), it wasn't nearly as big of a change for dp. It was definitely a change, but he could still, say, pee without having to hold and possibly nurse a kid. Or go to the grocery store without worrying that dc would have a panic attack because he was gone. kwim?

So it makes sense that #2 was a bigger change for him, while it was a much smaller change for me. 

post #11 of 23

We're expecting number four and I'm scared!

 

I voted that going from one to two was the hardest but that is probably more guilt talking than anything.  My oldest two are 26 months apart and I weaned the oldest while pregnant, which I still regret.  I think he felt pushed out by the baby (and still does, subconsciously).  I still feel guilty about spacing them so close. 

 

When number three arrived, the other two were 5 and 3 and I felt that that was more manageable.  Number three is also a laid-back baby so that helped.  Now that we are surprised to be having number four, the guilt has already kicked in again since number three will be 23 months.  Sigh. 

post #12 of 23

I voted going from none to one was the biggest change simply because I was a partier before I got pregnant. But, going from 1 to 2 was exponentially harder than going from 2-3. Of course, dd1 is 12 and dd2 is 8 while dd3 is 4.5 months old. That might have a LOT to do with it.

 

post #13 of 23
0 to 1 was really hard since I was in college full-time and working part-time. But by far, going from 2 to 4 (twins) when #2 was only 18 months was brutal. If she had been older, that first year might not have sucked so bad. But now I love the close spacing! They all play together great!
post #14 of 23

For me, going from 0-1 was really really hard.  1-2 was not hard, and 2-3 was not hard, but 3-4 was really hard.  I think a lot of it has to do with the baby's temperament.  My 1st and 4th were both high needs, while 2 and 3 were not.

post #15 of 23

My twins were also my first kids, so going from zero to 2 was H-U-G-E.  

 

Years later, my husband assumed sole custody of his son (my step-son) the day after we had a baby (my 3rd biological child).  So, the 2nd two of the four kids we're raising ALSO joined the household simultaneously.  And somehow, that felt like no adjustment at all.  It felt like all the pieces had finally fallen into place.  Smooth as silk!  

post #16 of 23

I have to agree with Chrissy, temperment has tons to do with it.   So far my first and fourth are higher needs too!  You get back what you put into those children who are high needs babies, my first is now 10 and she is a wonderful child, thoughtful, resposible, caring, very intelligent, and emotionally intelligent. 

post #17 of 23

Going from one to two was hardest for us.  #1 was very demanding and still is in a lot of ways.  #3 just kind of fit right in and our second had no problems sharing mommy.

post #18 of 23

1-2 was by far the hardest for us. ODD, our first, was an incredibly easy baby. She napped like a champ, two good solid long nap blocks per day until she was about a year and then down to one good long afternoon nap. She slept well at night and was just generally easygoing and fun.

 

Then DS came along. He is a sweetheart of a guy but he's very sensitive and for the first year-18 months of his life, wanted to be on me 24-7. He nursed like a remora for the first six months (which was all new to me since ODD was adopted and not BFed), and barely would allow anyone else to hold him, including his daddy, until he was over a year. We'd be at birthday parties for ODD, who was only 2 when he was born, and the other moms of 2 would be able to hand the baby to another mom for a few minutes while they tended to their older child. Not me. DS would flip right the hell out--not just during the classic separation anxiety ages, but all the time. It was sweet how much he adored me, but also exhausting. Plus, he was a catnapper.

 

Plus, ODD's age at the time, barely 2, made it rough. She was old enough to really want me to play with her all the time, and to be getting a lot more stubborn and challenging than she had been as a baby, but not old enough to entertain herself for much of any time at all while I was tending to the baby.

 

So that first year was hard as hell. There were many, many moments during that year that I am not proud of.

 

On the other hand, going from 2-3 was relatively easy. It's still exhausting, of course, because as my DH says, we've gone from a man-to-man to a zone defense. If one of us has just one kid, the other has to have two--unless somebody's giving the other a big ol' break and taking all 3 at a time. Pickup and dropoff from nursery school/day care is like a highly choreographed but extremely messy ballet.

 

But ODD was old enough when YDD was born (almost 4.5) to genuinely help, not just be given make-busy tasks. She and DS are also great buddies, and so they could (and can) play together a lot while I'm tending the baby. Now that the older two are 5 and 3 (baby is 9 months), they're just generally a bit more independent. Both are fully potty trained (daytime, anyway), and they can do many things for themselves, so I can send ODD off to get dressed and just help DS with buttons; they can help themselves to snacks that we keep accessible for them; that sort of thing. It also helps that YDD is a super-sunshine baby, rarely cries and goes to everyone (although she is a catnapper just like her big brother). Watching the three of them play together just makes me all gooey inside.

 

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post

Ds1 was hiiiiiigh needs (preemie that I cared for at home- alone), but the hardest transition after that was going from one to two. The rest have been a piece of kelp, regardless of hn. :) The third baby was a gelling experience for the first two, whose personalities are literally opposite, which was very, very obvious to everyone who knew/met them, right from the start (in MBTI and by observation > INTJ and ENFP).

 

So much is in the dynamic. I haven't found the birth order or number of children to be indicative or predictive of much. Our 3rd made having three enormously easier than having two dc. Our whole family dynamic has shifted and grown with each addition, though, but I am so, so glad that ds3 surprised us, because like many others, the difficulty with raising just the 1st two dc would likely have put us off of having more. Now we have five, and there aren't words to describe the gratitude I have for the children that came after and also the first two, whose life experience is no doubt so much more enjoyable having others around to round out the dynamic between them. The first two still spend significant time being genuinely astonished and confused by one another, but they get along very, very well.

 

As for financial, we notice it when buying the year's winter boots. Our food bill has increased by $200 since having one child, because I am a much better cook and kitchen manager than I was. Our food bill will decrease by $400-$600/month after we begin harvesting our little homestead garden and livestock this year.

 

We've made decisions that are not common, and we live on a total of $10,000/yr more than when we had one child, but we also don't have a mortgage or car payments. We bought a second-hand van with cash, and a mobile home we're rebuilding from the floor up, so that we can live rurally, peacefully together, and next to dear friends of ours.

 

Truly, having five dc and living the way we do is isolating (physically and socially), but the benefits by far outweigh the challenges.



DH is an ENFP and I am borderline INTP/J lol. We get along great! I like your radical homemaking lifestyle. ;) We want to do more of that... grow our own food, etc.

post #20 of 23

Subbing! Going from one to two children has been insanely hard on us. I wanted four but I'm kind of scared to have any more after this. DH and I are both having second thoughts, actually. DD will be six months in a week or so and I still feel completely overwhelmed. How do you moms-of-many do it? I can't even imagine.

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