Thinking of having third later in life...need advise - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-01-2012, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all. We are thinking of trying to conceive but have a few concerns. I will be 42 in a couple months and my youngest is 7, my oldest 12. This means ultimately our third would be raised like an only child. Even though my daughter and son are 4 1/2 years apart they still are very connected and play together alot. We homeschool so they have alot of time together. My concerns are of how this next child's life would be so different as when this child is 7 my daugther would be 15 and my son 21! I watch how much my daughter loves playing with my son and wonder who this child would play with? I would of course seek out classes and friends but I do spend alot of time at home cooking and caring for our small farm. I am fairly busy when home and my hope would be this child would enjoy working alongside me or playing on its' own. I also know currently my daugther would love for us to have another baby and in the early years I think she'd be a great help but when she hits her teenage years I don't know how interested she'd be then. Another concern I have is I've heard some women who have babies later in life tend to not want to extend thier energy out so much to parenting once they hit peri-menopause. I can not relate to this at all since Ihahve not expereinced this yet so I would love ot hear other stories of women who either have large age gaps between children or who have had babies later in life. Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 06:28 AM
 
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I'm not who you are looking for. I'm the late in life child. I could tell you a long list of horror stories but I'm not going to. Everyone has a very different life path.

 

If you are in a stable relationship and you have a stable life, go for it. Things will work out. Your new kid will have more like four parents instead of two parents and two siblings. That works really well for a great many families. When it doesn't work it tends to not work because of other broken situations. If people love one another it really doesn't matter what ages they are in relation to one another. If your kids are enthusiastic about helping, I'd do it. More love is more love. If you can afford it and you all want it, just yes.

 

Borrowing trouble isn't a good life strategy. From the little you put in that paragraph it doesn't sound like you have any huge warning flags for it being a bad idea. (If your current children were against the idea I would say consider carefully. If you specifically said this was a brand new relationship I might be more hesitant because my experience of full and half siblings mixed was hard.)

 

I'll shut up now since you didn't actually ask for my opinion. :)


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#3 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 06:54 AM
 
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I'd say go with what's in your heart.

 

Anecdotally, I have a friend who has siblings 9 and 12 years younger than he is.  I've never seen any siblings so close!  He's always been part brother and part parent to them, but they have a wonderful relationship.  My children are almost 4 years apart, and watching them play is wonderful and melts my heart, but honestly the main reason that I didn't want an only child is for when they are adults.  I find having sisters more important now, as an adult, than it was growing up.  I know that we'll all have each other when the time comes to take care of our parents.  I can talk about parenting with my sister  that has kids in a way that I can't with anyone else, because we both experienced the same parenting.  I've found those connections to be really important as an adult, and any future child you may have would still have those things.  Of course, my experience is colored by the fact that I'm very introverted, so I loved playing by myself anyway.  If your child ends up being very extroverted, you may have to work much harder to get them around other people.  I have one introvert and one extrovert, and their needs are very very different.

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#4 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually I would love all opinions from all sides. It is nice to hear your personal experience besides just from a parent's view. And I don't want to hear only the good stories, I want all sides so I can really consider all the factors. My husband and I have been together for 14 years and are more stable than we've ever been. My kids are very supportive and financially it will be a squeeze but we can manage. We raise alot of our own food and the kids help with that. I'm just wondering if I will be up for it when hormonally I start going through my change of life.That is a good point about it being like having 4 parents as opposed to 2 siblings. Anyway I appreciate all opinions!

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#5 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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My oldest and my youngest are 8 years apart, there are 2 other kids in between them. DD1 and DS2 (the oldest and youngest) are more like parent/child then brother and sister, at this point anyway. He will actually go to her to receive comfort over me at times, and actually my first son who is 6 years apart from DD1, also treats her like she is a "mini-mom". They go to school in the same building and if he gets upset (ASD), his teachers go and pull her from her class because she is the only one who he will let calm him there. It has given DD1 an appreciation for children. I say it that way because she loves children younger then her, she will state that they are a lot of hard work, but her dream job is working with children someday as a coach. How many kids have that as their ideal job? lol.gif She also likes having that responsibility, we are careful not to take it too far and she does not "watch" the younger kids unless she agrees to and is paid for the task. I have friends with large age gaps growing up and that was the one thing the oldest always resented, being an unpaid babysitter. 


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#6 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 01:02 PM
 
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I'll be glad to answer that for you.  My boys are 20, 17, 8 & 3.    I was 41 when my youngest was born.  He's a blast.  He was my easiest pregnancy 2nd easiest delivery even through he was 10.5lbs.  My most snuggly and has personality oozing out of him.   Go with your heart.   


Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#7 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 02:03 PM
 
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My kids are 16, 14, and 1, and we're expecting one more next year. I was afraid of the big gap, and we really agonized over whether to have #3. Best decision I've ever made. He's the light of all our lives and just brings so much joy to our family. As for the only child feelings, we talked a lot about whether to have just one more, so he'd have a sib close in age. We hadn't decided yet, but a surprise pregnancy has decided for us. I have mixed feelings about this (getting more positive, gradually) because it's just so special to have that one little one who doesn't have to share all the attention with another little one.

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#8 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I too have heard the same thing about older children being resentful for having to babysit unpaid. This is good food for thought. I think that is so sweet about your son going to your daughter for comfort. This was the relationship my daughter had with her brother when she was younger. My daughter too LOVES little kids and I think she would adore having a sibling to help with. She plays with her best friend's younger sister who is 2 all the time and just loves her. She is very motherly and I love the idea of being able to give that to her as well as having the extra help when she's willing!

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#9 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@ Jbaxter and Jennyanydots, that is so very encouraging, thank you! I too think even though there may be difficult times, the joy it would add to our family would outweigh it!

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#10 of 11 Old 09-02-2012, 03:48 PM
 
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not me but a friend from dd's school. their surprise came along when her oldest was in high school and youngest was finishing elementary school - so 6th grade.

 

we were just chatting about the baby she had in the sling and was volunteering in class.

 

she had tears in her eyes when we talked. the sweetest thing for her was seeing sides to her two oldest she has never seen before. what was so special to her was not her new baby but rediscovering her older kids. 

 

they are a v. closeknit affectionate family. their values are just different, not mainstream. family is more important than the individual.

 

at 45 mama DOES get tired. but she is blown away by how much her kids do voluntarily. so far this has been her easiest parenting. her high school dd begs to take over night duty on holidays. they have stayed home with baby and made their parents go out on date night. 

 

HOWEVER... for another mom their surprise has been v. v. v. stressfull to the point where she says she wasnt sure if it was a good idea ot have this baby or not.

 

she has to work leaving dd with gparents. baby hates that and wants mama. mama cant afford to quit. she goes to work crying. has been for the past one year. mother feels stretched out and tired and feels horribly guilty she is not able to take care of her other 3 kids. her dh and parents help but she feels exhausted. dont get me wrong, she loves her baby to death - but she says had she known it would be so difficult, she would  not have had a 4th one. 

 

so to each their own. 


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#11 of 11 Old 09-06-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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I am the oldest child of (my mother's) four and I was thirteen when my youngest sibling was born.  The first three of us were three years apart each (so 13, 10, 7, newborn).  We older three were always closer, but then, I moved out of the house when the littlest was just four.  He was fairly close to the other two as he got older. 

 

My adolescence was very challenging and I think my mother being occupied with an infant/toddler made that harder; I felt I needed to keep all my problems to myself.  He was also her most challenging baby; she had to pump around the clock due to a muscle weakness in his lips that made him unable to nurse properly, so I guess that made it harder. 

 

He is 15 now, and has been terribly lonely since the rest of us went off to college and life far away.  He's by far the most extraverted of any of us.  I feel like he's gotten the worst of all worlds - to be an only child who knows exactly what he's missing.  I think most actual only children are fine with not having siblings, but he grew up with good relationships with sisters and a brother who doted on him until all of a sudden at 11 he was alone.

 

On the other hand, of course, none of us would prefer he hadn't been born!  My mother was devoted to the whole mothering thing, and was dreading the empty nest; this allowed her to transition much more gradually into it and have a long period of time where the nest wasn't totally empty and yet she had a lot more time to herself with just one kid at home, in school, so she has been able to re-enter the working world out of the home more at her own pace.  He, in turn, has the advantage of adult siblings he can go to with any problems or questions he doesn't want to talk to the parents about, and has the benefit of our experiences and contacts for his own entry into the world.  Despite the troubles, I did like having a little baby to play with as a teenager, and when I left home I gave him a little box of mementos which he still has.

 

So, that's my family's experience.  I don't know whether it is encouraging or discouraging to you.

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