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 am thinking that this lack of time thing will change as the current 2 kids get older and more self sufficient,"
I would agree wholeheartedly with this! You are now in a VERY intense stage where the kids need you for everything--it really does get easier as they get older.
But if your only reason for having another is so that your children will have another child to play with--I'd think twice (and three and four times) about that. More people does not = more love. There are playmates to be made through hsing groups, neighborhoods, extended families, clubs, etc. etc.
One thought that comes to my mind is that you maybe don't need to decide for certain right now--could you revisit this question in a few years when your present children are a little more independent? Simply being out of diapers and able to put their own shoes on and make themselves a snack will make a big difference in your day to day lives.
Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21) and .
We have 3 kids, ages 5, almost 3 and 6 months .. in the early days, sure. busier, newborns are demanding for a while .. but i don't feel like my kids really get less attention than they did before..i just don't buy that argument at all.. the older 2 play together all.the.time. (they also fight.. but they would fight baby-sibling or not) .. once my middle child hit 2, they started really playing together all the time (handily that was when i was pregnant) - they odn't want anything to do with DH or I most of the time! if i didn't have the baby, i'd almost be bored at times.. i'd be cleaning, cooking, preparing activities etc. while they play.. so i have a bit less time for that sort of thing, but i don't feel like i have less time for them - i've also don't feel lke i have any less time with DH , really - the more we are at this, the better we get at it and the more time we are able to find for each other.. we get the kids in bed by 7 every night with the possible exception of the baby and we have time to ourselves.. i haven't done a lot of homeschooling yet as my oldest is just turning 5 but leaning toward the unschooling side of things helps!
basiclaly, in my mind - if you've already got 2 you've already taken the plunge .. 3 was just like the water getting a little deeper more than jumping in .. i am pretty sure we're going to have a 4th too .. i think the kids love having each other and that as they grow, that will be more important than the extra work-load is hard..
oh, and your oldest only being 2.5 .. my almost 3 year old is a serious handful compared to the other 2 ! .. that is a HARD age .. i didn't even notice it the first time around.. but now that i have a 5 yr old i know they will get easier as they get older.. all the little things they start doing for themselves really add up! my 5 yr old can do chores and help around the house, she can get herself (and her brother!) a snack from the fridge or pantry, she can get herself a drink, she can take a shower by herself (though we usually supervise , she CAN do it ) she can get dressed, undressed, she can fix her hair, put on her coat, take herself to the bathroom etc. these things ADD UP and they equal more time for everyone else! the fact that all kids eventually learn to do all these things for themselves makes a big difference.. my 5 yr old is also a HUGE help with the baby and she LOVES doing that kind of stuff.. now that the baby is sitting up ODD can entertain her while i make dinner or give her a toy when she drops it,, she was not near this helpful when i had DS and DS is not really helpful with the baby..
We went through a very serious discussion about having a 3rd about 3 years ago. We had decided to go for it, then finally decided not to. As for the reasons for wanting to add another child to a family, I don't think you can rationalize it and I don't think you should try to. Reproduction is the fundamental driving instinct of every living thing on this planet. It is beyond instinctual, and I don't think there is much use in trying to justify the desire to add a third. Rather I think one merely needs to be open to all the possibilities that having another may bring.
There is no way to give guarantees about anything with families. Your third baby could end up having special needs that could completely change your family forever. Your older two children could turn out like mine (and the previous poster) who love to play together and thus provide me with opportunities to work, do housework, do something "for me", etc. meaning that having your 3rd may be a cakewalk compared to having a second. Or your older two could be more demanding types who require more of your attention and *for a while* (emphasis!) your life may actually be harder. But they do grow up!
You can't answer your husband's questions with any guarantee. Perhaps he just needs to ask around for advice from people he knows. His issues about time for each of you, alone and together, and time for your kids are all time-sensitive (i.e. they won't be issues after a few short years) so maybe it's better to ask if he feels up to putting things off for another 3 years or so, reminding him that it won't be forever.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
Alright, I'll be the party pooper. We have three, ages 10, 7 and 4. We debated a long time about having a third, and exactly like you guys, i was emotion (I grew up as 2 and envied friends who were 1 of 3) and dh was logical (two hands, two kids, etc). We had trouble getting preg that third time, so we went from trying, to realising it may not happen, and as we did so, our kids got older, and we found that at 5.5 and 3 we had these two cool little people that we could DO stuff with. play cards, go on hikes, read onger books, cook, see music, etc . . . and thought hey, maybe two IS just fine and we should just revel in this time with these two and stop trying.
We were about a month preg with our third at that time. So we rekindled our joy, or tried to, and had her when they were 3.5 and 6.5. She is lovely, as fun and silly as our other kids, and they are a crazy gaggle of three.
but it does limit us, in my squewed perspective. Yes our kids are older, but frankly I think they need just as much from us now, but in a different way. As toddlers it was all diapers, soothing, nursing, rocking, board books, long walks . . . now they have questions, want to talk, read chapter books, play chess, draw together, bike together, paint, bake, dance, all together. And we do our best to manage it, but we constantly feel like if we had 2, we'd be able to split up to tuck each one in, read them long chapter books, take them skiing, etc. Yes we get lots done with three, and try to spend time with each, it just doesn't feel endless. It feels like we need to rush, there's another child waiting. With just two, we could do more, we feel. Dh and I are exhausted, hardly spend any time together, and as a homeschooling mom I feel like I could do better if I wasn't mentally holding back because there's a younger one to incorporate into all our activities. Scheduling their needs/activities, etc is a real juggling act. Another mother will see all the possibilities within all this. I'm just a mama struggling to find her grove, and not finding it.
I will say this is all psychological, it's about perspective, and we're struggling so we look at things in a less positive way.Our brood of three is great, such fun, and love each other. We are glad to have them all. Other families do so well with 4, 5, 6, everyone's different.
But since you asked, two was easier. Though I only think that now that I'm looking back on it, having three.
Yet I really wanted three, and am glad I got what I wanted, because if I hadn't done it, I would have wondered forever what it would've been like. So really I just need to work on my perspective. :)
I think that it's really all about perspective. We had a similar situation, though with our fourth. Somewhat closer spacing had been our hope, but a late miscarriage set things back by over a year. By the time #4 was born our older three were all 4 and up, and after 9 years of dealing with babies and toddlers I was just noticing how much our life had opened up. Going outside on a cold day no longer involved 20 minutes of finding mittens and boots and socks and dry snow pants and the assorted squirmy body parts to stuff in to the correct garments, and dealing with zippers and snaps and hats and then someone having to go pee. They could get themselves dressed. They could all do up their own car seat straps. They could all brush their own teeth and manage their own toileting. They could all participate in or at least happily observe out-of-home activities.
And then suddenly we had a baby again. Because I had begun to relish the things that had finally become possibilities for us due to not having babies & toddlers in tow, I felt like my world closed in again. It took me a while to re-adjust my perspective. I love my youngest to the ends of the earth, but there was a feeling early on of giving up some of the freedom we had begun to enjoy. It was worth it many times over, but I did feel that loss.
I think there's definitely a bit more work, more juggling, it's more chaotic, having more kids. It's not a huge difference, since there's an economy of scale, and they do amuse / support / guide / lead each other a lot. I'd always wanted four and it doesn't feel onerous to me. I don't get spread too thin, not unless I let myself become over-committed to other responsibilities (which I know I could manage easily even with one child). I agree with Piglet that this is really a personal, emotional, instinctive decision that can't be easily rationalized. The most wisdom that can be gleaned from other people's experiences is that almost anything can work out just great.
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
We have 3 kids- 10, 8 and 4. When my first two were as young as yours, I was pretty sure we weren't going to have more, but when they were both potty trained, the idea of having more seemed more manageable. Before our 3rd was born, we thought we'd have 4 kids, but the first year of his life knocked us for such a loop that we decided we were done. And he has always been an incredibly easy kid. Now that he's older, life is easier and I'm very glad he's part of our family, but that first year would have been truly awful if my husband had been anything less than 100% on board with the pregnancy. Is there a reason you need to decide now?