I know there are lots of threads on this topic out there but I sort of need to get my own thoughts out, would appreciate any advice.
We have two gorgeous girls, 3 (almost 4) years and 15 months. I always wanted 3. DH seems to be on board for 3. But there are a lot of really good reasons for us to stop at two, and not much logic behind the choice to go for a third.
I don't really like the two-sibling dynamic myself. I am one of three with a ten-year separation between me and the youngest, and I remember feeling that our family dynamics became much much better with the addition of the third child. When it was just the two of us we tended to polarize. The addition of the third shook everything up, created a whole network of complicated shifting relationships, and resulted in a little gang/party type of feeling. I thought it was wonderful.
That said, it's (obviously) really different to be one of three children, and to be the parents of three children. I think a third child would be an unmitigated good for all the kids. But I'm not sure if I can hack it.
- DH and I are both big introverts and the loss of alone time has been hard on both of us. Starting all over again with another all-consuming infant seems like... why would we do that to ourselves when things were just getting easier again?
- I loathed being pregnant (lots of vomiting and desperate exhaustion) and the thought of having to do it again is horrifying
- I love having a little baby, but the thought of having a newborn and a toddler and a preschooler all at the same time is also horrifying
- Really, having a 2, 5, and 7 year old doesn't sound much better actually... honestly the thought of having three kids only starts to sound good when the youngest is maybe 7 or 8... otherwise I'm just picturing endless screaming and fighting over toys :( Seven years seems like a long time to put in if we won't be enjoying it
- It would make travel much harder and more expensive, which is important because we live very far away from both DH's and my parents, so it might mean sacrificing the quantity/intensity of the grandparent relationships for everyone
- The next couple of years are a critical time for my career, which I love and have put a lot of years into training for. If I seriously reduce my productivity in this time period by having another baby, it's possible I won't qualify for the professor job I want and will end up doing work I like less for good.
- If we were a few years younger I would just wait and see how we felt in a couple of years, but I am 35 and DH is 40 and I think if we didn't have another by the time we were 37/42 we would decide we were done at that point. I just can't see DH being over 60 with teenagers still in the house. (Also, DH is not willing to adopt an older child, and while I would be happy to adopt I don't think it's a good idea to pressure him on this issue.)
Reading all of the above makes it sound like we should just be happy with what we have. But I can't shake the thought that when our girls are 10 and 12, or 15 and 17, or 18 and 20, I will feel desperately that we are missing someone, and it will be too late at that point.
Thanks for listening. Thoughts appreciated.
Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.
Vaccines save lives.
I'm interested to read the responses that you get. I'm still just pregnant with #2, but DH and I have been talking about the possibility of #3, and he thinks that if we are going to do it we should start trying almost right away after this one is born, shooting for a 1.5-2 year age difference. We're not really making any decisions about it until after the postpartum period, of course, but it's interesting to think about anyhow.
I'm from a large family (5 brothers and 2 sisters) so the thought of having just 2 seems kinda small and lonely to me. But then again, we haven't even experienced the chaos of TWO yet! So we'll see.
I hope you get some good responses!
Married 12/08 to Chilean DH and mama to DD 2/2/10. We're a bilingual home and we and
Expecting #2 in late June!
Wow, I could have written this post!!
I'm coming at it from a slightly different angle, as in I'm assuming we are going to have a third and am conflicted about when to do it. DD was a surprise, and so our first two are 13.5 months apart. When she was born, I was like, "I'm waiting 3-4 years for the next one!" But now that we are out of the super-difficult small infant time (but not the sleep deprivation time), I'm thinking it's not so bad, this close spacing thing. Maybe we should have #3 SOONER rather than later - get the sleep deprivation, diapers, post-partum weight loss, and disruption to career out of the way once and then don't go back!
But then, I think about all the ways that two seems logistically easier - travel is a big one for us as well - and I think... well maybe we should leave well enough alone. My career has most certainly suffered with two maternity leaves in two years (and then I just took 6 weeks off after I broke my ankle, which is a whole other story entirely). I used to be a "young rising star" at work... and I feel like my goodwill with those in high places is starting to run short.
But then, I think, I want my kids to have sibling support! They won't have many cousins (DH is an only) and certainly not many cousins close in age (my brothers are married, but are not ready for kids, maybe for a long time). I come from a family of three as well, so that number makes sense to me. Since DH is an only, I see a lot of the downsides of the smallness of his family unit and the lack of siblings (yes, there are benefits that way too, but they don't outweigh the downsides, IMO).
So... yes. I get you. You aren't alone, not by a long shot.
For us, right now, I am 90% certain we will have #3. In spite of the reasons why not. I just can't get over that "we're missing a person" feeling - it's so powerful and loud that it overshadows any of the doubts. Will it be TTC next summer or TTC in a year and a half? Can't tell you. Secretly I'm hoping it will be next summer. ;)
Wife to DH (8/1/09), Mom to DS (4/28/11) and DD (6/16/12).
My two girls are very similiar in age range. When the surprise of #3 came (they were all surprises), my youngest girl was 4. I was not very excited. I too was very sick with the first two and the third time was horendous and I just knew it had to be a boy. Honestly, he is so much more stressful than the two sweet girls ever were.I am a big time introvert too and it is so hard to function all day with the hyperactivity. I do love my little guy though. My girls play together so well and he is usually left behind thinking that I am his playmate. The dynamic really is hard to go from two to three because of the constant disruption of age range activities/sleeptime. I would suggest having them all close in age or going for a fourth that would be close in age to that one (or praying the third is a girl). I have always wanted to foster or adopt so I am hoping at some point that he will have a brother to share things with.
I was in the same place as the OP, but after I had #3. I was very undecided about having a fourth. The first three was very easy to decide about, I wanted #3 just as much as I had #1, they never seemed optional. The forth did however. There were many very valid reasons not to have another and I had that same worry that they would get older and I would realize that I would have to have another and that is something I really did not want to do. I could of had another one in 5 years because I was younger then DH but he was reaching his limit of when he wanted to stop having children. He also wasn't very interested in having another child for all of our very valid reasons...
It ended up being decided for us. We had a surprise pregnancy. My oldest was 8 when he was born, she almost serves as much older child because of the wider spacing between her and the other kids, I think of her and then the other three as "separate" sets of kids. DD2 was 4, and DS1 had just turned 2 when DS2 was born. It was horrid. I did have a preschooler, toddler, and newborn all at once. To add to the problem DS1 is ASD, we obviously didn't know it back then. When DS2 was born, they functioned like they were a year apart because of DS1's developmental delays. It was so awful, words can not truly describe it. DS1 overdosed on prescription meds when DS2 was about 6 weeks old, I lost him at the park when DS2 probably 8 weeks old. And then we had to hire a 4 day a week nanny for a while despite me barely working after those incidents. It was truly that bad!
DS2 was NOT an easy baby nor is he an easy child now. I obviously love him, I'm his mother but life would be very different if he was not here. I don't know if I will ever say that I could not imagine life without him like people so often say. Another part of it was we had those last 3 kids so quick, 3 kids in 4 years, 4 all together in 8 years, I didn't realize what three older kids would entail. 3 kids in school, 3 lunch boxes every day, different schools, 3 different sports after school at the same time, special events at the exact same time at opposite ends of town and then you are left picking each child is more important right then. Someone is always sick or struggling in school or struggling with friends, some major event all the time. Endless fighting and arguing and screaming. I don't know, but this is certainly not what I thought it would be. I knew things would be rough but I guess I didn't realize that it would be this rough for years and years. I'm not really sure when it gets better, we certainly haven't gotten there yet.
I am logging on this website for a bit of guidance, I haven't been online since I was pregnant with my second son who is now 2.5 years old. I would love to have a daughter so I am considering a 3rd child but I don't want to get hung up on the idea of a girl when I know there is a good chance we would have another boy so I have to just want another child. When I brought it up with my husband a few months ago, he was really against it saying it would be irresponsable , too expensive, too chaotic and crazy etc. After thinking about it, I realized it probably would be too hard. But then the day before my Pap appt when I originally thought I might get my IUD taken out, my husband changed his tune and said "so, you want to try for a girl?...you just have to be prepared for the fact that it is going to be really hard" but by then I had kind of accepted the fact that a 3rd child was a bit crazy so when I went for the appt, I wasn't ready to get the IUD out. I made another appt for next month when my son goes for his yearly checkup so I have a few more weeks to think about it. If we do decide to do it, I don't want the kids to be too far apart in age. My first 2 are 3 years and 3 months apart and that is ok, but I wouldn't want it more than 3.5 years between them. I come from a family of 3 girls and although there was a bit of , one kid always being left out when we were kids...as adults..I really love it and I feel that only having one sibling would be boring with no group dynamic at all. We live far from both of our families so that is a big issue.We live in Montreal, my family are a good 20hr drive away and my husbands family are in Israel. I miss them and we have no support here so having a 3rd child would be tough, but we do have great subsidized daycare here for only $7 a day so after the 1st year, when the 3rd would start daycare, in many ways it would be financially easier to be here than in my hometown where daycare costs a fortune. From all of the previous posters...it seems like most of you are finding it pretty hard with 3 kids.
Canadian mom of Myron born in Japan, March 2007. Our second son born at home, wonderful HBAC in July 2010. I am a jeweller, I love creating things!
1***5****10****15****20****25****30****35***40****45, Due June 10th, 2014
this is going to sound horrible, but for me, i couldn't have just 2. i went to school with 2 kids whose sibling died in car accidents. they were then left as "onlies", which was so difficult for them, as they were used to having a sibling all of those years. i always pictured them all sitting at the dining room table at the holidays, alone, and told my dh that we had to have more then 2. he was totally against it, but i truly felt like one was missing. we were not complete. thank God we had a surprise pg, which led to my third.
sorry for the horrible thought, but surprisingly, i've met 2 other people who have said the same thing.
We just recently had our #3. I have three siblings and DH has four. I always wanted three, DH was on the fence and he really would have stopped at 2 if I would have been on board. Here is how our life is different going from 2 to 3: Financially we can handle three but it's tight. We recently made the move to mini-van territory (a place I swore I would never go). It's tough getting a baby sitter when you have three. Daycare eats our lunch money wise and I dream about the day they go to regular school. Sometimes I feel like there is not enough of me to go around, thank goodness I have a really attentive DH. I'm tired...a lot..and my house is a mess. I'm hoping the tiredness part gets better once the youngest sleeps through the night. I have little hope for our messy house .
Our LO's are 3 (almost four), 2, and three months. Yes, we have our hands full but I am 37 and he is about to be 38. Our age was a big factor in going ahead and having number three. I felt like time was running out for us and while I may regret NOT having a third one day, I certainly would not regret a third once they were here kwim.
I am very happy with our decision and just so darn proud of the family that DH and I have built. I love my kiddos sooo much and I am so grateful we are blessed with three. It's tough sometimes with three, especially three so young but I would not change it for the world . I now feel our family is complete.
Wife to my love Ted, and Mama to DS ('09) DD ('11) DS ('12) !
Just wanted to chime in and add to what Jee'smom said about the death of a sibling and it's impact... This happened to me-- I was 21 when my brother was killed in a car accident at the age of 19. We had grown up very, very close... I still really miss him and it's been 22 years that he's been gone. I became an 'only' child because of what happened, and I find it really hard. There are times when his absence is really painful, such as holidays and when things get rough with my parents (like if they are sick). When I was going through hard times, sometimes I wanted nothing more than to just call him and talk to him about what was going on, because he knew me more than anyone else in the world.
I have a 2.5 year old, a 10 month old, and I just found out I'm pregnant with #3. I'm so happy! They are close in age, but really, since I'm 43, I didn't really have a choice biologically speaking!
Just noticing this and wanted to comment......
I have four kids from my first marriage (20, 17, 15 & 12), and I'm due any day with #5 (new partner)
I found going from one to two kids the hardest, with each additional child being easier. ExH was ambivalent about having a fourth, and it ended up being a surprise, but going from 3-4 was SO easy. I'd done it before, we all knew the drill. At the time I was a homeschooling SAHM.
I'm 43 now, and my DP and I decided to have a baby together--this baby is his first, and he has always wanted kids. We are very excited, as are the big siblings. I imagine that it will be so much easier with all of these big kids around to help with the baby! I do work part-time, but will be able to bring the baby with me, so that was a huge part of our decision-making--neither of us wanted to do daycare/babysitting.
I have two younger brothers, and I am so glad that I have both of them. I grew up around several large families, and I always admired how well they functioned together. From what I've seen, the two-kid dynamic isn't nearly as nice as bigger families, so that played a huge part in why I wanted a big family.
My two oldest kids are both driving, and so although our driveway looks like a used-car lot (we live rurally), it makes a HUGE difference in not needing to drive them everywhere. My two middle kids are both in high school (after homeschooling through junior high), and both do swim team and track. My youngest is still homeschooling, but luckily his friends all live nearby and he's not as into outside activities.
It really does get easier as they get older, and I really, really LOVE having a big(ish) family!
We have a 3 year old and I am pregnant right now with twins due in May. We had decided to have 2 children only for a lot of reasons similar to the ones you posted, so we were going to get our one more with this pregnancy and be done. The other big logical reason for us was daycare costs because OMG 3 in daycare is a lot of $$ the other is that it is really hard to get by with anything short of a mini-van/van with 3 kids, carseats & luggage just don't fit and while we are lucky enough to be able to afford it (I am driving a mini-van now and actually really love it), I didn't want to change cars so quickly! Well, then we find out at my first OB appointment that we are having twins and wow that really threw all of our planning out the window. We were both in shock for awhile, but now have both really warmed up to the idea and so very glad we are going to have 3 children instead of only 2. I'm not sure how much it helps, but as someone who was set on 2 and is now going to have 3 and is very happy about it, I think you should give yourself a little more time, but I also don't think you will regret having 3.
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
I say go for it. I am part of a 3 sib set. The third was not planned - but a blessing in so many ways to the entire family. Our family would suffer without the addition of the 3rd. That third is the best even today as an adult and brought a sunshine to all of our lives, grandparents, parents, siblings, siblings kids, etc. The third works with kids and adds so much to other peoples lives simply by just being here. By having another you are giving another aunt/uncle/cousins to your kids kids even and you more grandchildren. If one child should pass away your child still has a living sibling. If one child grows up and is very hard to deal with, at least there is another sibling they have a good chance of getitng along with better. Kids don't always make sense at all; esp when you focus on finances heavily, but you won't regret adding the third in the future.
happy family! we
So sorry for your losses, TenzinsMama and maos211. I have thought about the possibility of losing someone - I also have friends and loved ones who have lost siblings and children and it is so irreparably devastating - but I somehow don't want to plan my life around that potentiality. Perhaps there's a superstitious part of me that feels that planning my life around the expectation of loss would somehow make that loss more likely to occur. Not in any way logical but it is there.
But anyway I had a talk with DH and it seems he was leaning more towards adding a third than I had thought. Which makes me really happy! I think we would not TTC until DD2 turns two but I feel good thinking that a third kid is in our future.
Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.
Vaccines save lives.
We have 2 boys, 2.5 and 4 months and DH and I are very happily done having kids. Before DS1 came along we wanted 3-4 kids but he's a very spirited boy and we think he counts for at least 2 kids
Our family IS complete and that's a very wonderful place to be. Where we are now is hard but it's right for us. Pregnancy is hard for me since I'm usually sick and depressed until week 18-20. Life gets much better, like coming out of a fog, after that and I just can't see us putting the whole family through that for another child. We love our boys and want to stay a family of four.
So yeah, go with your gut. Yours seems to still need another child, maybe your DH and you need to have a serious heart to heart about this and decide soon.
Me: Sarah, married to: J, mommy to: C (8/10) and E (11/12)
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