So my husband and I were having a conversation last night about the possibility of adding another child to our family (we currently have 1 boy and 1 girl aged 2.5 years and 8 months) and we (me especially) are having a hard time deciding whether or not to do it.
My husband is very much against adding a 3rd because he is concerned about the lack of QUALITY time we already have to spend with each of our 2 kids, let alone, the lack of QUALITY time we have to spend with each other (Currently this is almost nothing), and completely ignoring the fact that we each have ZERO time for ourselves.
I am thinking that this lack of time thing will change as the current 2 kids get older and more self sufficient, but my husband thinks it is just the opposite and they will become more demanding on our time and want to interact and spend more time together.
My husbands concerns are simple. He would much rather raise 2 kids and give them everything, more time, more attention, more love, more everything, than to split that into 3. Logically speaking, less is more. The fewer kids you have the more you can focus on them. Not only that, the more you have the time and energy to focus on your marriage, and on yourself, so you can be happier overall. His biggest worry is burning out not just himself, but the marriage, in the efforts to try and cater to a larger family. It sounds silly, but after just going through 2 kids and seeing how time intesive it can be, I know where he is coming from.
My main reason for even bringing up the 3rd is that it will be good for the other 2 by giving them another playmate and it would add more love in the family. I really don't have any other reason than that. My husband is thinking logically, I am thinking emotionally.
We are both stay are home parents (my husband works from home but it doesn't make too much of a difference because when he is working there is not much time for anything else) and we will be Home schooling the kids as they come of age.
Please let us know your thoughts on this, especially if you have 2 kids, have thought of 3 and either took the plunge or decided not too. How was your life/schedule, how did it affect your marriage, and then time you have. Does it get easier as the kids get older, or is it pretty much non-top craziness till they move out?
Thank you again.
I could have written this post word for word
My DH is also a work at home poppa who's overwhelmed (happy as a clam though) with two. We have a 3.5 year old and an 8 month old and I love it most days and am really loosing it others. Less time for house work, less time for writing and creative pursuit, less money, less SPACE, less sanity...that seems to be the case whenever you add more kids. But I see already that my easy going babes are going to be friends and the idea that I'll never be pregnant again, or breast feed, or hold a sleepy baby just makes me sad. The thought though, of a bigger car, or LESS sleep is overwhelming.
But my heart feels like 3 is okay. That we can get some extra help, move to the country and just MAKE IT WORK. I know that I should not even be thinking about a third with my DS so young, but If I'm going to do it I want to do it sooner than later so they are close in age, and while I'm still in my "youth"
It's one of those things that probably won't happen though, DH was an only child and is totally fine the way we are.
We have 3 and I am pg with #4. Yes, the kids get less time with us since there are 3, it just isn't always possible to make sure everyone gets our own time with just mom or dad. We try, but it was way easier with just 2. It hasn't gotten easier with that as they got older, mine are 8, 4, and almost 2. If anything it has gotten harder. There are school events and sports activities, when we were homeschooling there were all sorts of things going on there as well. There is just never enough time. DH for example, is alone a lot with DD1 because of her sports, we make it happen for DD2 here and there, but thinking about it, I don't think DS has ever had just daddy time. DH is a full time WOHM parent so he does have limited time where he is around anyway. The noise, chaos, and work certainly increased with #3 as well, it actually was easier when DS was younger and more portable but now he is getting older, I often have 3 children going in all different directions. It obviously didn't stop me from having another since we are adding a 4th into the picture, ( a bit of a ooops though) but my life is crazy!
I adjusted easily to the 3rd actually, from the many threads on this subject here, and with most of my friends, it seems the transition to 3 is often harder then what I experienced. DH had and honestly is still having a rough time with just the number of children, someone always needing something, something always crying or not sleeping or sick. Just the difference in our personalities, I can ignore and tune things out, him not so much. Has it affected our relationship, yes, it has. Us time doesn't happen, and when and if all children are asleep at once, we usually just collapse on the couch in disbelief. I have to use sitters more then I'd like for therapy appointments with the children, getting children to different places at the same time, and I work very casually (less then 20 hours a month) , so we don't do date nights. It is just hard enough just scheduling a normal week out, adding in a night where I don't "have" to go out, seems like such a task.
Having said all that, I don't regret it a bit. I HAD to have 3, there was never a debate with me about add in a 3rd, I did go back and forth about the 4th. That child seemed more optional then my first 3. I could of maybe went on fine with just 3, but I also felt that there was a part of me that would always regret not having that last child. Dh wasn't on board giving the fact he is overwhelmed with 3 children so we were seriously talking about it and then I was pg, problem solved apparently.
Hi there,, I think everyones dynamic is different. we have 3 and its awesome, we only wanted 2, and then when we had 2, we wanted one more, and now we want another, so it really depends.! wishing you all the best on which ever decision you make!
This- word for word.
We both want another. it may or may not happen for a variety of reasons, but when we are honest with ourselves, we want to have (at least!) one more. Not what I thought when I started out on this journey.
For us, it isn't a matter of not having enough time for everyone. There is, because we encompass our children into our lives instead of trying to carve out child-specific time. They all do get one on one time, and they all get time with siblings. It works in our house, but the dynamic is very different than it was with one or two kids. It is messy and chaotic at times, and yes, I am frazzled sometimes, but with more kids I have become more organized, so a lot of it is actually easier (for me) than it was with just one or two.
You will find what works for your family. Also, your kids ares still small- you can always take a little more time to consider and have a larger gap. :)
My kids are now 8, 5, and almost 2. While we didn't start our parenting in the traditional sense (they basically all three came at the same time!), my DH do go back and forth on feeling like our little one has been an incredible blessing, and wondering what life would look like if we hadn't had her. Some pros and cons we've discussed so far:
- it's been incredibly difficult and hard work. Part of that was our sudden transition into parenting, and part of it is just that having 3 kids is crazy.
- there are a lot of needs to be met and balanced. We have chosen to delay formal activities (other than a few swimming lesson sessions) until the 1st grade for our middle one. We'll see how that works out. Playdates are hard to organize for the middle one because he has morning preschool, then the little one naps, and then we pick up our eldest who does not want to be dragged to a preschooler's playdate! But we make do and it's getting easier.
- it has been hard on our marriage, though we're still strong. I think we would be hugely helped by having datenight once or twice a month but can't afford the sitter for that right now. I'd think about ways to ensure some couple time if you do go for the 3rd.
- the relationship between the siblings can be incredibly beautiful. Seeing the way the bigger ones care for the little one has been delightful. It's not all roses, but the good times far outweigh the bad.
- our kids learn a tremendous amount from one another. Our middle one never had any interest in books until his baby sister was born. Almost two years later he continues to "read" to her almost daily. Our eldest loves teaching the younger ones lots of things, and has lately started getting into cooking and laundry :) The need is there and so it was easier for us to just teach her how to do it when she showed interest, rather than saying "no, you're too young." And our little one potty-trained when her big brother did. She's now 22 months and has been out of diapers for months, all because she wanted to do as he did.
- we have fun together. Having three definitely makes for a crowd and sometimes there's humor just because of that! It's also helping us to really focus on what our priorities are and how to meet them, so that the things we do are becoming more and more meaningful.
As for the spending time with each kid, we're not completely happy with how we do it yet, but are realizing that it's definitely doable for us. Now that the little ones can both go to bed and be easily put to bed by one parent, I can sometimes squeeze out with our older one. We grab dessert or buy some stickers, just spending some time together. When it's light out later I hope to take her for a walk occasionally. On the weekend, when a parent goes out to run errands s/he will usually bring just one child along. It's not the same as just having fun together, but it is one on one and our son especially sees it as a treat. Sometimes we'll play games with the bigger two while the little one naps. Or my eldest and youngest will read books together while our middle one helps me to prepare dinner. It's all about maximizing those opportunities, I think.
Good luck with your decision!
Married to DH since 2006. Adoptive mom to DD1 (June 2002), DS (Jan 2006), and bio mom to DD2 (May 2009).
I have two children and I love it. We won't be adding a third. I really feel complete and happy with that decision, though it has been a long journey to feel that way.
I come from a big family, and I've always loved babies. Growing up, I wanted a large family, with 5-6 kids. After I got married I discovered that I had a medical condition that prevented me from becoming pregnant. So, we ended up adopting our ds and dd. It's been wonderful, and I certainly felt the longing for a third. However, our dd is high spirited, money is an issue, and I honestly feel that we would be spread too thin.
One of the things that factored in my thinking about this issue is that it allows me to do more things for my extended family. I'm very involved with my nieces and nephews
It's taken me a long time to feel happy with two. But now I am. Good luck with your decision. It's a toughie..
We have 2 and that is all we are going to try for. Every once in a while i get this feeling about birth and newborns and how I would love to experience it all over again. My dd is only 5 months and I guess i have allready forgotten how painful labor was and how I proclaimed often... "I am NEVER doing this EVER again!!!" But my age is a factor too. I'm 33 now. I do look forward to the kids being all grown up and DH and I being able to enjoy each other and do things just the two of us. If I keep having kids it is just going to prolong that. I am enjoying the heck of of this chapter in my life, but it will come to an end someday and so I do look forward to what comes after. Also, it took us so long to get pg the first time that we ended filling the void in our hearts with pets!!! we have so many pets now and it is really hard to give the dogs and cats the attention they need because the kids require us non stop. I know you can't compare kids to pets, but I wouldn't want to have to spread my time out even more because I feel like I have all I can handle right now. Yes, we are good with 2.
We have 2, a 6-yr old and a 10-mo old, and I'd like a 3rd - DH not so sure. Lack of time for ourselves, lack of quality time for the children being his main concerns.
These were my concerns going from 1 to 2, our first was/is high-needs - it took me about 5 years to decide and feel ready. But once #2 came along, things were actually much easier - #2 is more mellow, generally easier, and they entertain each other. I'm ready for #3, now that some of my fears and worries from going 1 to 2 have so far been dispelled - granted, things may become more challenging and the future #3 can be another difficult child ...
Anyway, DH is slowly warming up to the idea - I attribute that to the fact that we've been talking about, well strategies, for lack of better term, to handle #3. As opposed to focusing on how it won't work. So, instead of asking should we or should we not, we've been asking ourselves what it would take to have another.
I have yet to convince DH but he's not saying no anymore .
I started out saying 2, maybe 3. My husband started out saying 1 maybe 2. So we definitely had 2 and we are done. We've taken surgical measures already even though our daughters are 2.75 years old and 6 months. We're sure. I have nightmarish pregnancies. I'm sick and in pain for all of them. (I've had four to get my two kids.) I hemorrhaged and nearly died during my last labor. We don't handle the baby stage well. We want my libido back (it seems to return around 18 months postpartum). I want to really get back into shape because being sick as a dog for 9 months means I don't get much exercise. :-\ Not to mention that we are the sorts of "shallow" people who care about how our finances cover our kids. In June I am bringing both girls to Europe for a month and we are traveling around by ourselves for a few weeks before my husband joins us. I know it would still be possible with three children but an extra plane ticket would be hard and many of the hotel rooms we are staying in we couldn't use because 5 people is over their limit so our entire lodging experience would go up by many many thousands of dollars. So we wouldn't be able to go. We are barely swinging this as is.
Two kids are right for us even though there are tons of reasons this decisions is hard. I grieve the son I will never have. I grieve the family identity I wanted--mom of three. But given how physically devastating it is and my mental health issues... really two is plenty for us.
My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.
I agree about the value of adding a third playmate. That is one bit of "everything" you can never afford with only two. You're in the thick of early childhood right now, but it does clear up in a couple of year, even if you do have more.
We have 2 and are done. When I was pg with #2, we talked about the possibility of a 3rd, but about a year ago, we decided that we really feel our family is complete. DS is 3.5 and DD is 7. Yes, it gets easier as they get older, but especially with homeschooling, scheduling classes and events and special time with each of them is challenging when no one is in school. Plus I feel like it's actually nice to be done with the baby stage now and am really enjoying the reading/math/independence stages with DD. I can take her to plays, ballet performances, dance performances, music, and have her really enjoy them in a way that I couldn't do if I had a newborn as well. I think financially it's the right choice for us as well. It's such an individual decision though.
I have 2 brothers, and while I'm glad to have both of them, I do think that my middle brother got less attention for some time (middle child syndrome) and then ended up with serious medical issues and learning disabilities, which then pulled a lot of attention off of me and my youngest brother, particularly me.
I had two boys now 7&9. They are 18 months apart. We did the whole family bed, tandem nursing and they were pretty much babies together and it was easy to please both at the same time.
Then we had Skye 2 yrs ago. We hadn't planned or discussed a third. I spent the pregnancy just trying to get used to the idea. I feel awful to say this but I can't say I was thrilled. I love being pregnant so did really cherish that as I never thought I would experience it again. Also just knowing that this was the last time ever it was so special.
As another lady listed there are def pro's and con's. Mine are pretty much the same so I guess you have to see how this would work for you and your family.
My huge pro is the relationship she has with her brothers. They love her so much it's incredible. I can't imagine them without her. My boys have this little girl who squeals when they get out of school and thinks everything they do is fantastic. It has been hard but so worth it. Good Luck
Living happily on a little island in the sun
For me the 3 y/o and the newborn was easy. Now at Almost 5 and almost 2 it can be a nightmare.......I feel SO bad for the 5 year old because the 2 year old really interferes with his day. That said they do have a lot of sweet moments together and #2 has enriched #1's life so much. I, personally, cannot stand the toddler phase. I know its just all about exploring and developing but it goes against all my needs for peace, quiet, orderliness.....
The topic of #3 has come up as of late since I like the almost 3 year spacing, and I know I could easily do the pregnancy/baby thing but am I prepared for another toddler? I don't know! I guess I'm just still too in the thick of the redirecting/cleaning up constant messes phase to think about adding another. But my ovaries don't know that. My friend just had her 4th and that lil guy is so snuggly and sweet (my babies have colic.) I guess its never ending question. I wish I had that feeling like we were done.
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