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Do You Ever Wonder If You Can Handle More Children?

1263 Views 30 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Designeratheart
I have always wanted 3 children, then 17 months ago I was blessed with a spirited dd. Most days I am ready to pull my hair out by 7AM! Part of me still wants 3 children, I love being pg and giving birth, I want more babies, but then another part wonders if I could actually handle more then her, after all I am barely sane now. It's not that she is going through a difficult phase, and I'm wondering, I've been thinking about this for her whole life. I wouldn't even think of having another child anytime soon, honestly if it did happen soon, it would not be a joyful time. I love dd so much, but she has always been anything but easy, she takes everything out of me, and then some. Are there others out there that feel this way?
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Yup, I know exactly what you're talking about. That's why my 33 month old dd is still an only. Honestly, it's only been since the past 6 months or so that I've truly been able to consider having another one. At this age she's more independent and more of a daddy's girl so I'm feeling like I have a lot more breathing room and the mental reserves to parent another one.
My guess is that in a year from now, you'll feel differently than you do now!
It wasn't until ds was around 2yo that I could think about having another. He isn't really high needs, but spirited definitely, still doesn't sleep through the night, and keeps me on my toes all day long.

I am due in 2 weeks with my 2nd, and I still wonder if I've done the right thing. I can be kind of a selfish whiny baby myself, so I wonder how I'm going to handle being responsible for meeting the needs of 2 young children. But dh and I thought a lot about this, and really feel it is the right thing for us, so I'm just kind of having blind faith that it will all work out.

As for a third - I really like the idea of a larger family. My sister will most likely not have children (fertility issues), and dh's sister has pretty much decided to only have the one dd she already has. So our family is looking pretty small, and dh and I have talked about more than 2 children. We've decided to wait and see how the 2nd one goes, because I think a lot of the decision making DOES depend on the personalities of the children. If this 2nd baby is really easygoing and sleeps more than ds does/did, then we very well might go for a 3rd and have even a smaller age gap. But if this baby is high needs or the transition is really difficult, then we may not have a 3rd, or may just wait awhile and see how things change.
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I wonder if I can handle the three I already have.
oceanbaby...we seem to be following the same paths. I remember you talking about TTC#2, and all the concerns you had which were mine, too. Then you got PG, and I a few months behind you.

Now I wonder about 3, simply b/c I love parenting so much and, like you, there is only one cousin for DD and that's all she will get. So having more kids seems like a nice idea.

The problems are twofold: I'm not that young anymore, and having a baby at age 38 sort of scares me. I already went through the DS scare with this one. Plus I'm finding this PG alot harder on me physically. Also, I do miss some of my old life, and know that adding a third means yet another 2 years of being somewhat restricted. Don't get me wrong: I love being here for my babies, and didn't mind giving up my hobbies, etc...but part of me is looking forward to a bit more independence.

I will soon find out if I can handle more than I'm sure it won't be so bad. At least, that is what I'm saying to myself. DD was pretty easy: I feel I'm due for a high-needs one, lol.
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Me too, we always talked about a 3rd, maybe 4th but right now I want to give the two I have back
. I'm just worn out mentally and physically, I'd love to be pregnant again, I know I'd miss never doing all this again, but I'm just really worn out.

I keep telling myself I'm still young (well realtively 28) so I have time to decide. Ds has always been more than a handful so who knows.
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Well Elliott at 5.5 is still an only child. He has sensory integration dysfunction and is very spirited and honestly, I wasn't ready until about a year ago to think of number 2. MY husband even now has lingering doubts, and there's no way we'd be able to adopt in less than 18 months, so we'd still have quite a bit of time.

At this point, we may wait another 4-5 years for number 2, and have a 3rd a few years later (something new that we're considering) just because our kids would already be so far apart in age. Not my favorite plan, but I figure at age 10, Elliott will be much better at meeting his own sensory needs and may be a little easier to contend with. I adore my boy, but my dh works out of town, we unschool, and I just can't imagine adding anyone else to the family roster for now. We currently have plenty on our plates!
I'm pretty busy with my first, so we're thinking she'll probably be an only. I'm not sure I want to divide my time and energy up into any more pieces than I have going already. So, yes... I do wonder if I could handle more, and most of the time, I think ~ probably not. :LOL
Very often. I never wanted an only, as I am one. I swore I wouldn't "do that" to my child. Sometimes it is tempting though. Ds is rarely overly challenging (at 2 1/2 anyway), but I'm always wondering if I could be a good mother to more. I would personally lvoe to wait 10 years or so, but Dh says no way. Closer than 5 years or not at all (he has a big seperation between his sib & him).

It took over a year and a half for me to even think about it. I'm still in shock when those with younger children TTC. It's beyond my comprehension. I also think this is due to me being an only, I've never had to deal with lots of people around...I was very often and much a loaner, just out of my situation so I'm used to being alone or being the only loud person/child. The thought of two kids vying for my attention is overwhelming right now. If Ds is loud and the cat starts meowing it's like time to pull out my hair!

The current plan is for Ds to be more independent and in preschool first. To me, though, sometimes it sounds like I am waiting for him to "leave the nest" and then start over. I'm fearful that I will be "shoving him out of the nest" so-to-speak and starting again with #2 as opposed to parenting two children.
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Originally Posted by jeca
I wonder if I can handle the three I already have.
Yeah, what she said.
Wow, I wonder this often lately. My DS just turned two and we've been thinking about TTC#2, and then we have a *tough* day and I think to myself - "what if I had a newborn too?" In addition, lots of info I'm hearing/reading claims that three is a really challenging age, so I figure we'll wait one more year and then DS will be nearly four when the new baby will arrive. We've considered DS being an only, but really, in my heart, there's definitely another little person (a boy I think) waiting to join us. We'll see . . .
i wonder this exact question on a daily basis, however i think my desire for a big family (maybe 3 or 4 children) is overriding the fear of having more children. i'm finally getting closer to ttc and my friend who has a ds about the same age as mine has said she gives me credit for having the guts to try for another. i tell her its not that i'm brave - its either denial or insanity :LOL
My wife and I have developed a threshold theory
. We think that child number 3 or 4 basically takes the parents over a threshold. Number 1 and number 2 (and in rarer cases number 3) will all be the hardest children ever...not because they actually are the most difficult children necessarily, but because of size dynamics. With number 1 you are basically your kid's world. Your lives revolve around each other. You depend on each other for a certain sense of balance, and when one of you is out of whack, it exhausts the other. With number two, the concept is basically the same. The children's lives tend to revolve still pretty closely around the parents, and while the children can disperse some of their energy with each other, they still use a lot of their energy in relationship with the parents (and thus the parents also use a lot of their energy). Plus, sibling issues often arise once there is a second child.

With number 3, something often shifts. With three children, their lives start revolving more around each other. It's not that the parents are necessarily parenting less...with one more child, they are parenting more. But let me give you an example. When I was a kid and something really crappy happened at school, I would tell my sisters about it as we walked home. We would hash it all out and I had my chance to vent (and cry if needed). My sisters would say comforting things and teach me coping skills just by being in conversation with me. If one of my sisters wasn't being helpful, I could go to another. Chances are there would be a kid in our family I could connect with at any given time.

By the time we got home, the crises will have often transformed into a mere "issue," and if needed my parents could still intervene. While at home, if I got bored playing by myself, my parents didn't have to take on the role of entertainer and "party planner" very often. Usually I'd just go play with my younger brother or one of my sisters. If I couldn't find my special pen set with which I was going to do my art, often I could borrow a sibling's pen set or someone would help me find mine. That's not to say we never got each other into trouble (like the time my sister told me and my brother that if we colored the carpet green and watered it, it would grow), and sometimes sibling dynamics or age spacing can make such situations less beneficial. However, if you think about the general law of dispersing energy, it makes sense that the more people it can be dispersed over, the less pressure on any given individual. If the third child doesn't take the parents over the threshold, usually a fourth child will. It also isn't a huge leap between four and a larger number.

Right now my wife and I are thinking we'll stop at four children. Since we both come from big families, we both witnessed this theory in action through our parents and have decided it is pretty sound. Also, as we watch our siblings and their kids, we've noticed that those with one and two generally seem the most unhappy, the most stressed about parenthood. Our siblings with three or more kids seem the most comfortable with parenthood. They are just as attentive to their kids but it requires less stress on their part to be attentive.

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We went back and forth everyday about TTC#2. We had a mc and troubles concieving for awhlie and then - we decide to just wait until we finish school. So of course, we were pregnant in a month :LOL Dh thought 2 would be enough and I didn't want to rule out a 3rd. Our first is not high needs or even "spirited". He is pretty easy most of the time, except he talk constantly. I love this about him because he has truly interesting things to say, its just tiring after awhile (mentally).

Dh wasn't with us yet when Jackson was a baby and now that he has held a newborn child he is hooked and wants another
So it looks like we will have a 3rd.

To the OP: When my Ds was 17 months I couldn't fathom another child. When he was 2 I could and we tried to have another but couldn't concieve for some reason. At 3 years - no way could I fathom another child yet. When Ds was 4 we wanted another badly and had a mc, now that he is 5 we finally have our baby and it is a wonderful age difference in many respects.

You will know when (or if) the time is right for another. By the sounds of your dd's personality she will be a delightful older child. I am sure she is wonderful now, she just commands all of you energy!
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Your post makes so much sense! I always assumed that with more children the more they entertained and helped one another, but you took it to a whole other level.

Do you think this holds as true when there is 5yr gap between two children? Our oldest is 5 yrs older than our second and we want another in 3-4 years. I am hoping that will break the threshold for us. We may even have a fourth if it feels right for our family.
I don't wonder if I can handle more children, I know I can't. I thank God that it takes 9+ months for the child to show up, in case of an accidental pregnancy I will need the time!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE dd, but more children....not a good idea for me.
I am obsessed with this issue. I just wrote a huge long post and lost it! Grrr...

I have a 4 1/2 year old boy and a 12 month old girl. I am just managing to hover above total chaos. I fear that 3 children would be the ultimate plunge into chaos for me. I came from a family with 4 kids and it was definately chaos. I think I secretly always dreamed of 3 kids, now I'm just not sure. Being so intimately involved in the emotional and physical well-being of another person - yikes! My life is full to the brim right now. We could manage financially with less money to go around - my concern is the emotional investment. How can I spread myself around?

There are so many factors: my ability to manage stuff, my daughter's personality (my son wants another baby!), my conflicting desires, my age, my fears. Really, it's all about me, isn't it!? My husband would go along with my deepest desire - I just don't know what that is. I know we won't decide for a few years, but I obsess about this daily!

I wish I had a sense either way that "our family IS or IS NOT YET complete". How do other people just KNOW? Amazing to me!

Blessing everyone.

P.S. Hi Sierra! I have not been on the boards much in the past year (or so), but it is great to read your post. I remember reading your wedding plans and work/moving plans. How are things going?
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yogamama, I just sent you a pm...I haven't been around much is great to see you

I'm glad my little theory makes sense to other makes a lot of sense to me, but sometimes I wonder if my brain is in its own little world

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id rather not have more than one child under the age of 5 years old, at any one time.
i am sure i "could" cope, but i'd rather not.

one little one at a time is more than enough for my poor nerves.

..however, i will say that i think newborns and babies are MUCH easier than toddlers/preschoolers, but the thing is, they don't stay a baby for long enough.
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