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Monday, 29 May 2017

"I'm thinking about having a third child..."

A friend asked me what it was like having a third child when I have school aged kids. The gap was 9 and 5 years. I was over 40. All these were similar to her situation. I am not a child expert, a doctor, nor a marriage counsellor or psychologist. I can't tell you why you have a baby, or what you need to think about. Who knows deep down why anyone does anything?

What I can tell you, are the three negatives that I can see.

1. I'm tired. I think about dealing with my last child as a teenager and I'm terrified I'll be too tired to stay on top of all the tricky teen situations. I'll be too old to help with the homework and all the technology and social media. Currently I struggle with advice on editing the podcast for English (thank God for Google!), by then it will probably be holograms!!

2. I am probably viewed as the worst mum at the primary school. My head is full of high school and teen issues, that making a hat for the hat parade is not on my radar.  I got her the stuff and let her make it herself. I complained that it took too long to watch the parade. I've no interest in talking about the school. Having to spend a Friday night in the playground for the movie night seems like a major inconvenience. I do all these things, but I can't say I'm necessarily there with the same enthusiasm as the other mums with their first child in school.

3. The youngest will become an only child. Not like an only child who has only known that, but child who loses their sibling company to become an only child. Last holiday our youngest complained that none of the siblings wanted to play in the pool with her. She always wants the middle brother to play the board game too, not just happy to play it with me, and he no longer is interested. There's a sadness and a loss that I feel very guilty about. One child, possibly two, will move out before the youngest finishes school, and that hole will be felt not worst of all by me, but by her.

That's it. There's a lot of good things, and moving from 2 to 3 is not nearly as hard with a large gap, purely because you know all those 'baby stresses' don't really matter. You are more relaxed, you focus with a better balance. You enjoy the luxury of those baby groups and play because you know how quickly it goes.

I couldn't tell my friend if I thought she should have another baby, even when she asked me directly. I could tell her was what I thought were the negatives for me. Just three. I could also tell her I wouldn't have it any other way, and on our recent holiday,  the most precious moments were watching the three of them rough-house in a field together or all of us delighting in the funny Helter Skelter...Those moments all together are so rare now, with part time jobs and girlfriends stealing the older kids away. Hopefully those moments mean as much to them as they do to me.

What advice would you give someone who asked you if they should have another child?

Linking with #MummyMondays


  1. It's such an individual choice isn't it? And just when you think you've made your decision, your reproductive system may decide otherwise!

  2. I only know what my own answer to that would be, which is "nope nope nope nope nope".

  3. I'd help a friend list their own positives and negatives about having another child but I wouldn't want to influence them one way or another despite the fact I love having three children!


  4. I really don't know what I would say, I have 5 and love it but never planed it to be that way.

  5. Don't know what my advice would be other than, once the baby is born you can't imagine life without him/her.

  6. Being an only child and not having any kids of my own, I don't think I'd be in any position to say anything. I think at the end of the day, it's all about individual choice, what's right or wrong for one person may be very different for another.

  7. There is no answer other than each person needs to make her/his decision..if indeed it is a choice.

  8. No right or wrong really as every family dynamics are different. My 4th child gets away with soooo much but he will also be the hardest one to let go.

  9. There's ten years between my two, my step kids and hey have 8 and 11 years between them and the little one. I know these feels!

  10. I've had so many friends have late, last babies recently. I think it's a very different dynamic and if you're up for it, it's beautiful. I personally couldn't go back to the sleep deprivation.

  11. I had my three in my 20's. Having the 3rd one finished our family and it just felt like we were done. I could have dealt with more children, but I didn't want to be pregnant more kids!

    Having three, even close together, I know that I am tired of parenting and still have the last one to finish off with school. He takes the most energy and I just don't have it, so I'm a bit more grumpy about that stuff with him. On the flip side, he loves being the only one when the girls do things like housesit. We do things with him, then, because it's way cheaper with three than five.

    And the world is no longer set up for families of 5. Meat comes packaged for 4. Holiday deals come packaged for 4. Oh school fees set up was for big families - we only paid about $1500 for Mr Busy when the girls were both still there. Love that family fee cap!

  12. My eldest two are only 18 months apart and then there's a gap of 4 and a half years to my youngest. She's starting to feel a little isolated as her siblings move to high school (she'll be by herself in primary school next year). It's a little different to your situation and that of your friend's but I completely get the points you've made here. But that feeling of not being "done" can be hard to ignore...

  13. Im probably the last mom that should be giving that kind of advice given the circus Im running over here!

    1. Ha! When she asked me, that was actually my reaction. Then she said "You seem to have it so together and just do it with ease" and I had to bite my tongue and not say "Did you not just listen to me for the last half hour??" Ha!

  14. Oh this is a tough one! I've only just gotten to a point where I can say with 100% positivity that I am done with 2. Now that we are beyond the baby years (and nappies, thank god!!!) I couldn't fathom going back to having to deal with all of that stuff. While older kids do bring more challenges (especially emotional ones) I think I'm a better Mum to my girls now that they are a little older and not clinging to me 24/7 because I have space to breathe, which in turn helps me to be much calmer when dealing with them. Aside from the fact that my husband has said a flat-out NO to one more kid, what I realised is that I just honestly don't have the mental or emotional capacity to dedicate to another child, I would be doing that child, and the children I already have, a disservice by adding another one when I know I just would not cope. So I think my biggest advice would be to anyone to really think about how they would cope emotionally and mentally, and if having another child would be detrimental to your peace of mind and the care & dedication you can give to the children you already have. The answer to that is the answer to whether or not you should have another one and it's not an easy question to answer!

  15. There definitely is no right and wrong when it comes to family sizes and age gaps, in my eyes every family is perfect!! ❤️