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<p>We are thinking about trying for our fourth baby in another year or so.  I have had multiple people tell me, and have read it on here more than once, that having four kids is so much easier than having three, that three is the hardest number, etc.  The main thing holding me back from having one more is that I already have a pretty high stress level a lot of the time (my DH lives away from home for work at least two weeks out of the month, and I work full-time from home), so I'm worried that adding another will make me want to run screaming for the mountains.  On the other hand, I feel like I have so much love to give to another baby & I just really *don't* feel that we are done.  So, those of you with four kids, is four really easier than three?  The same?  Harder?</p>
 

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<p>Our fourth is 11 months and I'm still waiting for it to get easier <span><img alt="wink1.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif"></span></p>
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<p>She is a rather easy baby and our two older children are pretty easy. However, I'm dealing with a strong willed two-year old girl so having four kids seems a bit stressful right now.</p>
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<p>I don't know how adding a fourth child could make anyone's life "easier" but it sure has made things louder and more wonderful. She is such a joy and I'm so glad we took the leap to have her!</p>
 

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<p>We never had 3 (although that was our goal).  We jumped from 2 to 4 so I doubt I can say it's "easier" with 4 than it would have been with 2 but we'd never change it.  Things are pretty high stress right now with two 2 year olds.  We also have a very intense, challenging oldest child but that wouldn't have changed no matter if he was an only child or we had 5 more.  It is helpful having older children to entertain the younger ones.  Some things are easier, some are more difficult. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>4Blessings</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279413/is-four-really-easier-than-three#post_16045885"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><strong>Our fourth is 11 months and I'm still waiting for it to get easier</strong> <span><img alt="wink1.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif"></span></p>
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<p>She is a rather easy baby and our two older children are pretty easy. However, I'm dealing with a strong willed two-year old girl so having four kids seems a bit stressful right now.</p>
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<p>I don't know how adding a fourth child could make anyone's life "easier" but it sure has made things louder and more wonderful. She is such a joy and I'm so glad we took the leap to have her!</p>
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<p>EXACTLY!  My fourth is also 11 months and quite a pistol!  So far 4 has been way harder than three, HOWEVER, I think that is largely due to the fact there is a 5 year age gap which has proved to be very difficult for me.  I really "forgot" how intense having a baby around is.  And as I watch her picking her nose while eating breakfast, we're glad to have her here!<br>
 </p>
 

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<p>My fourth was my easiest baby. My twins were only 26 months and my oldest was 5 when she was born. Things were crazy then, and they are crazy now.</p>
<p>In terms of logistical stuff it wasn't harder - the addition of one more kid didn't impact significantly on how much laundry/cleaning/cooking I do. I do like that the kids play together well. I have two boys and two girls and they are all quite close.  They travel as a pack and look out for each other. So in that way it may be easier that everyone has a buddy and that kids rarely get left out of the mix. </p>
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<p>However ever child requires a significant amount of parental time and attention, and that doesn't imo lessen when you get to kid number 4. Parenting "face time" doesn't lessen and depending on the kid may require more of you than it has in the past.  My girlfriend has 4 with an age range somewhat similar to yours. She finds working out family time activities is challenging given what different stages the kids are at.</p>
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<p>Not sure if this helped or not.</p>
<p>Good luck with your decision.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Karen</p>
 

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<p>I thought you were asking: "Is AGE 4 easier than age 3?" to which I was going to reply, YES!!! ;)</p>
 

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<p>i am wondering the same thing ... our kids are currently 4, 3, and 1.  if we had another i would do it sooner than later.  i would rather just get the baby phase out of the way and be done with it ... i admire the OP who has an 11 yo and is ready to tackle the newborn phase again.  that is courage!  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>anyways, i am also weighing the pros and cons of #4.  3 just works, kwim?  we all hang together, play together, and now that ds is 1 and sleeps through the night, life is just great.  especially being able to sleep.  there are some serious downsides to the pregnancy/newborn stage.  but some serious upsides to another baby ... enough to almost wish the decision was just made for me.</p>
 

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<p>I wouldn't say four is easier than three; however, it wasn't that much work to add one more (for us).  It was easiest when he was a baby, and it's gotten harder as he's grown (he's 3.5 right now).  Our kids are all 2 years apart, so they were 6, 4, and 2 when our fourth was born.  I'm sure having kids with a bigger age gap when you add on another baby is much easier; I've just never experienced that.  The thing with having your next youngest being 5 already, is that it's not as likely that that child will be playing with the fourth one, and keep each other busy (though, they might - but I'm also assuming the older kids are in school).  I think with mine being so close together, they did all play with one another, and the oldest two and the youngest two have always sorta paired up. </p>
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<p>That all said, I think the craziness is going from 2-3 children, so you're already there.  Adding a fourth doesn't really make it that much more chaotic, IMO.  You're already outnumbered, and you probably already have people asking if they are all yours.  3-4 kids is a lot, to most outsiders (and most parents! LOL). </p>
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<p>Good luck deciding.  We've been trying for #5 for some time now, so I know we are crazy.  :D</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<p>OP here.  My kids are actually 9, 5, and 3 right now, but we're planning to start TTC in about a year, so by the time baby is born, they'll be 11, 7, and 5 or thereabouts.</p>
 

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<p>Thanks for the thread. I have a 6,4 and almost 2 year old and it weighs on my mind that we might be done. Everything is stacked in the "cons" section except the one pro is a doozy "what would my next child be like? How can I deny life to another beautiful human being?" We are more and more settling down for three and I feel quite a bit of peace about it but I hope this niggly feeling about four goes away soon!</p>
 

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<p>Honestly, I feel like four is WAY harder than three.  We do have large age gaps; our kids are 17, 17, 9, and 5.  The 5yo was most definitely not planned, I was struggling with three as it was.  Now, of course, we couldn't see our family any other way, but I would never have <em>chosen</em> to have a fourth child.  You will have large age gaps, too, if you have a fourth--that's something to think about.  At first it was really great, the girls were 11 so were able to help out tremendously.  I was tandem nursing the baby and a 3yo, so mostly spent my time lying in bed or changing diapers.  Fast-forward five years and it's more challenging.  Yes, I have two live-in babysitters, but they are rarely at home any more.  It's hard to do anything as a family, there aren't many activities that are interesting to older teens and younger kids as well, so it's kind of like we have two families in one house.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Wow, that was kind of a downer, wasn't it?  But you wanted honesty, so there you go.</p>
 

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<p>Oh, wow, I'm so sorry if I killed this thread.  If you really want a fourth child, don't look to someone else to validate that, just do it!  My response is colored from my own experience, yours is totally different!  Good luck to you, no matter what you decide.</p>
 

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<p>I think it depends a lot on how big the age difference is.  My oldest is almost 14, and the other three are 7, 4, and 20 months.  It is difficult to find things to do that all want to participate in, and we can't keep art supplies and games out where the toddler can get into them.  Those are minor inconveniences, though.  The younger three play together well, although there definitely is our fair share of sibling bickering.  I feel a little bad for my teen, though, because she doesn't get all the privacy and peace and quiet she would like to have.  I had five much younger siblings myself, and I remember it was hard for me.  Everyone does love the baby, though - she is a joy!  I don't regret having a fourth, not one little bit, but it IS hard.</p>
 

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<p>Our third is only 4 mos. but we will consider adopting a fourth in the future (like 5-10 yrs. from now). I can't imagine it will be easier. I found going from 2 to 3 the easiest yet, so it's possible it gets easier every time, but it can't possibly be easier to have an extra kid. </p>
<p>I'm really pleased with 3 (mine are almost 8, almost 5, and 4 mos) and we very well might stop here. We're definitely done having biological children. </p>
<p>Practically, I wouldn't want a 5BR house or a minivan. However if we wait 10 yrs. my oldest will be starting college so we'd still only have 3 living at home. </p>
 

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<p>I have four kiddos, they are pretty much two sets of close together ages:  the older set is 15 months apart (now aged 9 and 8) and the younger set is 17 months apart (ages 3 and 4) and it works out well.  When we had the third- chaos was at it's peak.  I was okay with lots of noise and bustle and carrying/sleeping/holding someone at ALL times.  But it did seem sad that the olders were so close together- and the baby seemed so distant from them, so we went for the 4th.  They really are eachother's best friends.  But, it turned out that once the baby was </p>
 

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<p>No, four is not easier than three in my experience.</p>
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<p>A fourth baby is another baby. It's another person's full set of needs to meet. It is managing another bedtime.  It's arranging family outings with more planning (swimming was hard for a while with a few non-swimmers).</p>
<p>It's more laundry, more food, another full round of diapering (or ECing).  </p>
<p>And, you don't know who that baby will be, or what that person's needs will be.  My third was the one that threw me:  premature, stomach disorder, epilepsy, asthma, plus LOADS of energy and still wakes up before 5am yelling for the whole house to join him...he alone is more than half the work of all four kids.  My first two weren't anything like that.<br><br>
I'd say, have another baby because you want to, but be prepared for anything, and definitely don't expect another baby to be "no big deal" or "easier than three"!</p>
 
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<p>I came back to say it's 4:30am and we're all up because that 3-year-old has been having a half-hour screaming fit.</p>
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<p>Every child is different and you never know.  So how easy four is depends much much more on that fourth child's temperament than on his order of birth.</p>
 
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