Advice re going from 2 to 3

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naf77
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Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby naf77 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:10 pm

I am a mum with 2 kids (3 & 1.5 yrs - one of each) and considering whether to have a 3rd one. Both hubby and I cannot make up our minds & have many days where I think I cannot handle more than 2... However, also 40 so don't have that many yrs to dwell on the matter.. I was wondering whether I can get some honest (blunt ideally) answers re pro / cons from other mums w 3 and things to consider. Thanks for all your help!
Balhammom
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby Balhammom » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:24 am

Go for it.

We didn't and I regret it.

The upside:

1. children are constantly growing. The issues that you are dealing with now with your eldest will be not the issues you are dealing with in nine months time, assuming you got pregnant tonight!

2. as children grow they can help each other and your eldest will be off to school and nursery before you know it

3. when you have three you'll never imagine what life was like with two

The downside:

1. you'll be broken for a few months if not more! I know I said you'll regret it but it will be very hard work. Both you and your husband need to make time for each other and be "on side" for the decision. If he is reticent then it's easy for that to turn into resentment if he's got another two or three years of playing second fiddle

2. financial: most of the costs of the third are a fraction of the first two as long as 1) they're the same sex of one of them so clothes are ok 2) there is not too big an age gap so you still have equipment like prams and stuff and it works ok and 3) there are no school fees.

Most of the people who DIDN'T go for a third cited school fees, they simply can't afford more.

Which is sad when one thinks about it

Good luck, go for it and you'll love it!
AbbevilleMummy
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:47 am

Agree with Balhammom, the only thing that has stopped us at 2 is money which is quite sad.

School fees, university fees, travel costs etc etc are so much more with 3 or more children.

I say 3 or more because I have quite a few friends who went for a 3rd only to end up with twins due to the mum's age!!

If money isn't a big issue for you guys I'd definitely keep going! All the negatives such as tiredness, exhaustion, lack of personal space etc all pass quite quickly. It's only the monetary aspect that gets worse as time passes!!
naf77
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby naf77 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:31 pm

Thank you for your very honest replies!
Unfortunately money is an issue, beside worrying for my own sanity & marriage :o
It sounds like once one has the 3rd one there are no regrets but it's significantly harder work (with cleaning, tantrum, fights...) and cost..
Thanks again!
stayathomemuminsw11
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby stayathomemuminsw11 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:31 pm

We are having a similar discussion, so I'm following this with interest! We also have one of each, but older (6 and 3) so are really out of the baby stage... Money is also a huge consideration for us too. I'm lucky that I'm younger (31) but I also don't want to have too big a gap if we do go for it!

Decisions! Good luck, whatever you decide.
4 under 5
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby 4 under 5 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:35 pm

Hello there,

Money of course is something to consider especially in London but i think you shoukd ask yourself if you are done with making babies or not. Not an obvious question ti answer, here a tip: could you give away your maternity clothes ?
On the daily managing of 3 kids or more I found the passage form 1 to 2 far more traumatic than from 2 to 3 (or 4 in my case). Supposedly with 2 kids you already have a nice routine in place, you know what you are doing (most of the time), you just need to add an extra one to the loop.
God luck with your decision making
LittleMissSunshine
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby LittleMissSunshine » Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:57 am

Hi there,
We have three and a forth one on the way (which was not planned btw)
We had a boy and a girl too and then another girl. They are 5, nearly 3 and nearly 1 and although the first couple of months were stressful, it is getting easier every day.
The older two were always very sweet with the baby and care a lot about her. If you go for state schools, I don't think that money is such a big issue, especially as you can hand down all clothes, toys, etc. Travelling, of course, gets more expensive - so it really depends how much (air) travel you have done so far and are planning in the future.
I always wanted three and it's just so much fun seeing the three together in the bath tub or playing together.
But if you can, get some help in the beginning, especially the first three, four month can be quite tough.
I wish you all the best in your decision whatever it will be.
KatherineHepburn
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby KatherineHepburn » Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:45 pm

Well, our third was a surprise as we only ever intended to have two kids. The scan where we found out it was twins was fairly shocking!
So for a brief period of time we had 3 kids under 3 and I cannot lie to you that it was anything other than utterly exhausting.
The jump from 2 to 3 also affects things you don't really think about. We had to change our car, move house (we couldn't physically fit 3 beds into the 2nd bedroom), childcare costs, holidays and kids clubs (ballet, swimming etc).
For the last few years we've been stinking broke!! Although with the younger two starting school in September I am finally getting back to work which will certainly help.

However, having 3 is absolutely wonderful. The noise, the play, the cuddles, the crazy family dynamic. We absolutely love it. I never intended to have a large family...and now I do I can honestly say I don't regret a bit of it. My heart is now 3 times bigger, I am very, very grateful.
freshairmum
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby freshairmum » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:30 pm

I believe you know in your heart of hearts if you want another child, for most it's an urge that can't be ignored (unless of course you have twins or fall pregnant unexpectedly) but understandably difficult if money is an issue and as a couple you don't feel the same desire/urge. Good luck!
Stripyshirt
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby Stripyshirt » Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:43 am

This is a hot topic in our household too at the moment! A further question would be whether it's easier to just get the baby stage over and done with and have all three in relatively quick succession or whether it's easier to have a bit of a gap/breather after number two and wait until the elder two are in school/nursery at least so you have more time to devote to number three and so you only feel like you are looking after one baby rather than three babies! I guess parental age would be a factor in that decision.
 
Fionag
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby Fionag » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:32 am

Can I post as a Mum of three who are now well beyond the baby stage (ages 14,12 & 9) ...most days!
I actually found my 3rd the easiest baby, my oldest was already at school and my middle son at playgroup so the routine that I had struggled so hard to find with the first sort of happened naturally, although my daughter did come to school in her pyjamas on more than one occasion.
The baby years are tough but they do pass relatively quickly and it may help your decision if you think beyond those baby years and especially about your aspirations for your children and your family.

First and foremost do you want to work and if so how would you cope with childcare? I never planned to stop working but it sort of happened and it made sense to have a break with my third as we couldnt have afforded or wanted a nanny to look after them all.

But money was tight, eg £30 a week for school dinner moneys seemed extravagant - I could make packed lunches for a lot less. Birthday parties were more homespun and we relied on generous Grandparents to help with Christmas.
When my daughter started in Reception I was lucky to find a part-time job and this made life financially a lot more comfortable.

We still can't afford private school for 3 but we have been fortunate that they are all at 'outstanding' state schools. We have had to keep a close eye on their education, help them at home, boost with tutoring and fill in the gaps (eg competitive sport). This involves 2x football matches, 2x rugby matches/training, swimming and hockey every weekend which as you can imagine leaves time for little else.

We didnt go on foreign holidays at the start - caravans in Devon, staying with Grandparents etc. Also be aware very few hotels in this country or abroad offer family rooms for 5 (so you will always need 2 rooms & may have to split as adults if rooms aren't interconnecting). We now can afford one really good Neilson sailing holiday a year (my treat as I dont have to worry about feeding/entertaining/washing clothes etc & we all love sailing/tennis being outside) but still we look at the price for 5 of us and think, one of the kids is going to be on a camp bed.... and it's one school trip a year as a rule.
High value items like bikes are handed down - my 12-year-old will probably get his first 'new' bike this Xmas but he doesn't mind - he loves having his brothers pre-loved stuff.

We don't have a big car & its 13 years old with a roof box and not much leg room now the kids are getting bigger but we get by with bikes and a Family Rail card. We also are reliant on friends to lift share when matches/activities clash but I think/hope we reciprocate enough in return.

On the plus side, my oldest is incredibly patient and good with his little sister and her friends. My daughter is very mature and considerate and adores her big brothers and their friends. Interestingly the boys' friends who have stayed the course have been the ones who were most accepting of having a feisty young sister insist on joining their games, doing their hair and nails etc. And I can only recall one tiny little girl being so overwhelmed by the big brothers that she didn't survive the play date!
They can share, take turns and are considerate towards others (again most days!). When my oldest started his moody teenage phase his younger brother and sister shrugged and played together, and occasionally reminded him that he could still have fun with them.

If you do go for a third my one bit of advice would be make sure you have a big kitchen table - many of our happiest memories are as a family on Sunday evening having a roast or when I somehow mucked up play dates and ended up with 6 or more children for tea.
So apologies this post is longer than I meant it to be but as I started it is back to aspirations: if you are happy to slow down a bit & make packed lunches, fill your life with occasional treats rather than 5* hotels etc, from my experience 3 kids has made a rich family life. If you think you would rather concentrate on the two lovely children you already have, then stick with that and be grateful.

We are incredibly lucky to have the choice and we need to keep remembering that as we live in this fantastic South London bubble - our kids are well fed& clothed, well educated and generally very happy, as well as loved. Not all children in the world or even in other parts of South London are so fortunate.
balhamwilbur
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby balhamwilbur » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:36 am

I agree with FionaG - we have 3 children, also now older and almost all in secondary school. We always wanted 3 and were very lucky to have been able to have them, but yes, sacrifices are made in larger families. We rarely go anywhere that requires a flight or out to dinner as a family, but we have lovely holidays camping or driving to France, and as the children have got older the gaps between them shift and alter so they can be closer for a while to one sibling and then alliances will shift again. And one massive bonus for me personally was knowing for sure that the the youngest was my last baby, which forced me to sit down and enjoy those years in a way I probably hadn't with the other two - I was always rushing about trying to juggle everything and a third child meant that I had to chill out. My standards dropped considerably - youngest doesn't eat many vegetables? Not the end of the world. He's very late to potty train and talk? Not the end of the world, he'll get there eventually. He doesn't have a carefully protected routine? Really, really not the end of the world! If tidiness and order are high on your list and you don't have the money to pay someone to help with that, then 3 children will be a challenge, don't underestimate that. And if you're keen on after school activities, remember that each child doing just 2 things per week means 6 lots of running about, paying subscriptions etc). But it is lovely, I loved my little pile of children when they were small, and I love my gangly teenagers who are mostly reasonable and good at sharing and mucking in with things because they have always had to. However, we have just had to buy the least sexy car known to man, a Ford SMax, because the gangly teenagers now need so much extra legroom!
balhamwilbur
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby balhamwilbur » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:50 am

Oh yes, and FionaG's point about older ones having friends who accept the younger ones is very good. We have weeded out several PITA playdate candidates who have been obnoxious or slammed doors in the face of the youngest (who is very sociable). I think it's a good character test - a kid should be able to be polite/kind to all siblings in the house. We do have a rule that the children are allowed to have alone time with their friends and the youngest can't just bust in and demand to be included, but that has to be handled kindly. One lovely boy, who will be welcome in my house forever, sat patiently over tea one day listening to the youngest tell a series of terrible surreal jokes and didn't once ask "what on earth are you talking about?" Another agreed enthusiastically to look for a bunch of random, unexciting stuff hidden in the garden during the younger children's treasure hunt phase. With larger families, good friends often become friends to everyone, which is lovely.
shaneleone
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby shaneleone » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:56 am

I would agree with all of the above - I have three (5, almost 3 and 9 months) and it is unbelievably exhausting. I also found the jump from 1 to 2 more difficult than 2 to 3 - but that was because my middle one hardly slept for the first 6 months of his life. That said, I really have never known exhaustion such as I have experienced since the birth of my third. And you should really love doing loads and loads of laundry too.
We hadn't planned on 3 - but I love the chaos and the messiness and the craziness of a very full house now. And from the moment you have your third, suddenly only taking care of two children will feel like a holiday.
Our kids go to state school and I still had all the baby gear - got hand-me-down clothes from friends, but my family lives in California and the costs of flying all 5 of us does terrify me.
Bottom line - hard work, very little sleep, loads of laundry but I am really really happy with three. I had a book deadline this year, so we did get an Au Pair to help out and she has been a godsend. I think without her, I would have really struggled through having three under 5 (and none of them in school). I could have done it, but it would have been really really hard and I would have been a lot more stressed and a lot less happy.
actuallyadad
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Re: Advice re going from 2 to 3

Postby actuallyadad » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:43 pm

I don't think odd numbers work. Stick with 2 or go for 4.