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It's Three for Me!
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Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:03 PM
As a mother of young children, I am frequently asked by friends, relatives and even strangers if I will have another child. I was often asked the question after I had just had my first child, shortly after having my second child and again, shortly after having my third.
Growing up, I remember thinking that I wanted to have 5 children, just like mum did. But after having my first and then my second, I was pretty content with just the two. Actually, I was too exhausted to contemplate a third! I fell pregnant with my daughter when my son was only 7 months old. My mother passed away quite suddenly the week before I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and my husband began to travel for work the week my daughter was born. It was a pretty tough time, having to cope with being on my own with a 16 month old toddler and a new born baby, while feeling quite depressed about mum no longer being around to offer me her emotional and physical support.
There were many long days and tough nights for me then and to be honest, looking back it feels like I lived in a semi-fog for a couple of years. My days were spent juggling the full time care of my baby and toddler with full time paid work (from home). My nights consisted of me waking up almost hourly to my daughter’s cries. I had inadvertently gotten her used to falling asleep on the breast and up until she was 15 months old, she was demanding hourly night time feeds. It makes me exhausted to simply think of those times!
I was constantly sleep deprived and often tired. By the time things began to settle down (when my daughter was about 18 months old), I was quite undecided about having a third child. I didn’t fancy a return to sleepless nights and I was genuinely concerned about being able to manage three young children on my own as hubby was still often travelling for work.
I fell pregnant with my third when my second child was about 20 months old. It was an unplanned pregnancy but I became pretty excited about it. I was of course, worried about the impending sleep deprivation but I was really looking forward to having a new born baby. I guess I was still pretty clucky then!
My third child was the perfect baby. She ate on time, slept well, rarely cried and settled into a routine without much fuss. Though I’d like to take credit for these things, I know only too well that it probably had little to do with my mothering skills and much to do with her nature!
When my third child was still quite young, I entertained the thought of having a fourth. I was constantly told by well meaning relatives that I should try for a second boy to “even things up” and that I would regret not giving my son a brother. I often replied that I was content for the time with three children and (clearly) there was no guarantee that my fourth would be a boy. But the notion of having a fourth child was still a possibility.
However, as time passed I came to realise that I had no desire for a fourth child. Fortunately, my husband feels the same way. That’s not to say that we’d be upset if I did have an unplanned pregnancy or that we’d love a fourth child any less
For us, and maybe more so for me, it about realising that keeping up with a 6 year old boy and 5 and 3 year old girls is pretty exhausting stuff. And I really am over the “baby stage”. While I do adore new borns and babies in general and I especially miss the special bond of breast feeding, I don’t fancy returning to the sleepless nights, the teething pains, mastitis, toilet training and the lonely days and nights.
Maybe it also has something to do with the fact that I had my children at a relatively young age with quite small age gaps between each of them. For almost 6 years, I was either pregnant or breastfeeding!
So if you happen to be one of those people who next asks me if I’m planning to have a fourth child, don’t be too surprised when I reply “Most definitely not!”
How many children have you had and are you planning on having any more? If, like me, you have decided to not plan for any more babies, what factors have influenced your decision? I find it’s sometimes tough keeping up with 3 kids, so out of curiosity, how do those of you with 4 or more children cope?! I’d love to hear your stories.
Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:15 PM
I to would love more kids, but don't know how or where people get the energy to do it. I have a 9yr old d and 14 mth son. After my d I thought I would never have any more. After my son, I would love many more but unsure as to how to cope?!?! How do women do 7?
Posted 06 April 2009 - 03:27 PM
I always knew I wanted 4, as soon as I was pregnant with her both hubby and I knew we would have more!
It took a lot longer to concieve this time than previously though so the age gap is bigger than we intended, we decided while we were ttc #5 that we would definitely like #6 but for medical reasons its unlikely I'll be able to carry another child, we find out when we have #5 in 37 days!
Hubby is convinceed that if we get to #6 I'd want to go for 8 but I don't think I would even if I could, I think 6 would be perfect for us
Posted 06 April 2009 - 04:18 PM
For our family as much as I feel that another baby is waiting for his/her chance to enter our lives we most probably will not be having another bub.
I have realised nearly to late that I haven't lived my life, I am 35 years old and I don't know what it is to be care free. Now that I am the mum to 4 little darlings, I want to be the best mum, wife and person that I can possibly be. Having another child for me seems to emotionally and financially difficult.
I feel so guilty for not having this next child, but for our family to reach their absolute potentials then it is not possible. Our oldest son is going through so much right now that he needs us, our middle son is trying his hardest to fit into the world whilst he grows up and our youngest son is also growing up into a courageous boisterous little guy. To stop and have another baby seems almost neglectful on our behalf as parents, I cannot divide myself down anymore.
I, as an individual have never had fun in my life (well apart from being a mum and a wife) too many times I have put my family ahead of myself, I realise now that it was not what my family needs or asked for. Through the example that was set by my mother I thought to be a good wife and mother meant to be a door mat and give up on myself!
I realise now that as a 35 year old mum, wife and woman I hear myself tell my son's to live their lives so fully and to strive for their utmost potentials, I hear the hypocrisy in my voice, yet also a tone which when I reflect sounds so wishful and hopeful. I never realised that my life should have been one of reaching all my potentials, I never realised that the world was there for me to take from and experience.
I realise now that I have had 4 beautiful children, our 3 sons' will make hopefully wonderful contributions to society, my days as a breeding woman have ceased, I now want to raise the children I have with strength, courage, love and patience. To have another babe would be to the deteriment of my existing children.
I now know that I am not defineable as a woman by my children or marital status, I am my own person and I am ready to own myself.
Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:04 PM
I always knew I wanted a lot of children. I was married at 21 and started our family at 22. We have four sons, and feel very blessed. I lost a baby girl in January, and know that I will try again soon. I would love to have 6 children. I have always kind of thought 6 was the number. Has been somewhat difficult as I finished a double degree, and have since put my husband through medical school! Anyway, lots of fun. Fingers crossed for a couple more!.
Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:22 PM
I always only wanted 2, a boy and a girl now I have my two beautiful, healthy boys. While I do feel complete, there is a tiny part of me who would love to have a girl!
This rang true for me:
I now want to raise the children I have with strength, courage, love and patience. To have another babe would be to the detriment of my existing children.
I have found the past year really, really exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally! I trully feel that another baby, while s/he would be welcomed into our family and loved 100%, would really be the straw that broke the camel's back.
So I guess, in an ideal world, where carrying and birthing the child wouldn't be an issue, and where we were financially able to have another, I would have three. But its just not the case, so I will be content with my two blessings and be the best mother I can be to them both.
Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:04 PM
Hey - I have five and would happily have more. 15, 10, 6, 2,6mths. Having big gaps meant that each of the first three were like 'first' babies. My body recovered, I returned to work and some semblance of what I thought was a 'life'. Now I thank my children for forcing me to change my lifestyle and seek a more family friendly, less career oriented one. No more ballet or opera season tickets, no more reading resturant reviews in the papers, we only have a pub 25kms away...no more rushing to the local pool on saturdays for lessons, whilst juggling the house, garden and shopping, we now swim in our dam, shop once a month, and our garden is our grocery store...I have only really stayed home with the last baby, and staying home means studying full time, and getting an organic farm off the ground - yes, no more inner city townhouses for this little family! We now thank our hens for our brekky eggs and pick fresh rocket and tomatoes to have with it. We grow our own fruit and raise our own lambs and calves for meat. My life revolves around ferrying children to sport and friends homes and with thier age gap I will most likely have grand children before my last finishes uni...but you know what...I wouldn't change it for the world. Five to me means a messy, frenetically crazy, yet warm and beautiful world.
Posted 09 April 2009 - 10:05 AM
As a husband and father I had never really given much thought to the number of children we'd have. I always imagined having kids, but wasn't set on any number. We've now got 4 happy, healthy children - 10y boy, 7y boy, 4y boy and 1y girl. That's it.
With each new addition the household was just different. Not terribly more work, or difficult. We and the growing family just adapted to the changing environment. I look back now at how our family operated as a single child family and look at us now. It's different.
I love being a husband and dad, and with each new little person comes a who new range of experiences - some similar to before, many totally new.
We're very lucky, especially as at the first birth there were complications and a real possibility that that was it. Luckily, the chips fell our way and we've gone on to complete our family the way we felt we wanted to and not dictated by some event.
Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:31 PM
I am a mum to 4 children (6, 4, 2, 4weeks), and I can not stop thinking about baby number 5! To have or not to have, that is the question, so this post is very timely for me! My head says 4 is definitely enough, my heart thinks that 5 children is the way to go. But then would 5 be enough, will I ever get that feeling of completeness? Do I have one more and feel complete (or risk still not feeling finished) or should we stop now and be happy and content with the 4 wonderful children we have already. Will I always wonder...
I love the vibrancy our household brings with lots of children running around. Sure the mornings and evenings are CRAZY, but I love it, and would not have it any other way. You cope, you just cope. I found going from one to two children the hardest, when number 3 came along the house was already busy. Number 4 has just fitted in perfectly (so far). I can not deny I am a tad worried about life when there are 4 kids at school (I can not imagine how busy that will be), but we will get through it, and keep on smiling!!!
For me personally being a mum was all I ever wanted to "do", I never got that career gene that most people have. This is me and this is what I love. My family are it for me, there are no other competing desires, so that kind of makes it easier for me.
Did any one else get that feeling of completeness, may be some people never have it. What do you think?
Posted 10 April 2009 - 05:22 PM
Hi RI123 - I personally didn't get that feeling of 'completeness" after i had number 3 and i did wonder for a while if i would try for number 4. As the kids got older (now 3, 5 and 6) i felt that having a fourth would 'tip the balance' as my days are already full juggling work and being a stay at home mum.
But like you said, the hardset transition was going from 1 to 2. Going to number 3 was somewhat easier.
Best of luck with bub # 4!
Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:05 PM
I am a mum to 3 beautiful children (4,2,16 months), and I am still umming and ahhring about having a fourth. My husband doesn't want anymore as he feels that he is tired and worn out. He feels that he is ready to move on to the next stage in life where he gets to spend more time with the kids and watch them grow up. Take them out to places and let them explore the world. He's not sure how he'll be able to do tht if we have another one.
I have always wanted to have 4, but now that I have 3, I feel sooooo tired everyday. Probably because I am working, studying, and looking after 3 little ones. Also, I curerently have 2 boys and a girl, and I feel that it would be very nice for my daughter to have a sister to play and grow up with. But then again, we really can't guarantee to have a girl! Furthermore, I think financially it might be quite tight for us to have another baby, especially if I want to take at least 12 months off to be with the baby.
So, my head is telling me "no" but my heart is saying "yes". Even if I want to have another, I don't want my husband to feel "I don't want another one". I want the new baby to be brought into a family where both parents are committed to him/her 100%.
Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:51 AM
Hi Merk, i can totally relate to constantly feeling tired. Looking after three little ones, working and studying is a pretty big load and that was one of the main things that pushed me away from having a fourth child. I remember feeling as you do now, with my heart saying yes and my head saying no, but now i think i've reached a place where both head and heart agree on no more.
What i'm also realising is that the older they get, the harder it gets in some respects especially as all my three are quite close in age. I have to say, being a parent is pretty exhausting stuff!
Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:22 PM
when i was younger i always thought i would have five children. i am one of four and loved the thought of having a big family. now that i am here and starting my family i don't think five children is a realistic number. i have two boys and even with two i feel my time and attention to both of them is stretched. i cannot imagine how parents of five, six or more children divide their time between their children, social life, careers, each other and leisure time. i am happy and fortunate to have two healthy, beautiful, happy boys, but if one more came a long that would be wonderful, but also that would be it. no more after three...
Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:26 AM
I had my 3 is it for us epiphany the other day even with a vasectomy thrown in for good measure. Was a nice feeling as I had been clucky for months.
I trully feel that another baby, while s/he would be welcomed into our family and loved 100%, would really be the straw that broke the camel's back.
DItto to this statement. My plate is now full to overflowing especially with a school aged child and all the extras that need to go into that.
I truly do take my hat off to large families and how parents stretch themselves to all their children I really do admire them.
Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:42 AM
I currently have 3 kids (6, 3, 1) but plan on having more. No set number although 6 or 8 seems ideal to DH and I. Have always wanted a large family and I'm not ready to give up the newborn stage yet.
TTC no.4 at the moment.
Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:58 AM
We have two DSs with 16 mths betwn them (Planned that way) I have such an ache in my heart for another baby. DH is more than happy w the two we have and for so many financial reasons it makes sense to stay at two. BUT i really want another baby. I feel this worse than ever, when anyone around me has a baby.
I don't know what to do, i feel like i will so regret not having this 3rd (and last) baby,but on the other hand my DH has to be on board with it and will i be short changing the two dear boys we already have.
To make it all worse,i earn the bucks in the family, so for me to be off work for any period of time is hard on all of us. DH works,but his income is not enough to pay all the bills and mortgage..
I know it shouldn't come down to money.
Oh what to do,what to do..
PS: "ratbags", your post rings true or so many mums,i am sure. We do so often put ourseleves last, and with so little outward reward (I realise this more and more now i am a mum, of what my mum did for my sister and I)
Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:17 PM
Hello:-) We have twin girls that are 2 an a half years old. I am a FT, but my girls are ITs - They were actually triplets but I lost one.
I am like most of the other ladies above...I would really like another baby! But with me...I could have more multiples - The risk is very high!
We really can not afford more children!
I don't know what to do to get my mind off the subject! Its so hard...
Edited by jade78, 07 July 2009 - 01:18 PM.
Posted 07 July 2009 - 01:37 PM
I have 3 kids, 5,4,2 years of age, I also work out of the home for 30 hours a week and DH works about 45 hours a week, I've always been clucky When number 3 was born I lost almost 4 litres of blood and gave DH a big scare so he is almost certain thats it for us. I'm ambivelent, I know if I got pregnant now I was be excited , yet I know the dangers involved so I'm happy with me 3. With my youngest now toilet trained and my older 2 in preschool and kindy I do feel like we are moving to the next stage, financially we are finanlly moving ahead a little bit, more so next year when we go back to only having one in CC.
I don't feel like anyone is missing from our family (as I did when we only had 2) but I'd welcome another. I'm 29 so I feel that in a few years we can see where we are in life and see if another baby would fit in happily.
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