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#51 a letter to Elise.

Posted 24 April 2019 - 08:17 PM

No regrets at all going for number 3! I have a pretty big age gap though, mine are currently 9, 6 and 2, so the older two were fairly self sufficient when number 3 was born.

He is very naughty, but also completely delightful, and I am so happy I tried that one last time to have another baby.

The third pregnancy put an enormous strain on me physically though. My body is forever changed. It sucks, but I just love him so much, and I am glad he is here. But it has been life changing, and that part is very hard.



#52 Riotproof

Posted 24 April 2019 - 08:26 PM

View PostMollycoddle, on 24 April 2019 - 07:56 PM, said:



Conversely, when I read the PP about only having 2 sets of hands (Mum and Dad) and that 3 kids is one too many to manage for that reason, I thought it diminished the daily, relentless efforts and achievements of the legion of single parents of more than one child...

Are you for real?

#53 RocktonResident

Posted 24 April 2019 - 08:36 PM

I have 3 and don't regret it for an instant.

Yes, you will no doubt getting people thinking you are doing it to get a boy. I got comments about ruining my "perfect pigeon pair". Some people speak without thinking, but that is on them, not you.

I didn't find it difficult going from 2-3. That said, there is 5 years between 2 and 3, so the first was at school full time, the second part time, so I wasn't home alone with 3 children 24/7.

I don't regret it. #3 is quite a handful of a child, but I still wouldn't want to have lived without her.

In terms of dynamics, for me 2 and 3 clash, so a bit of work is needed to keep them separate and occupied. When 3 was a baby though, 2 doted on her and always wanted to do everything with and for the baby, so it changes with ages and stages.

Extracurricular activities are the killer for me, but I'm a single parent now and I just don't have the finances and enough of me to spread around. But, you know, kids can fare well in life without playing musical instruments or dancing or playing sports in a team.

Only you and your DP can know what is right for you and your family. There's no need to make a decision now.

#54 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:01 PM

At 5 weeks DS was still in a sleepy newborn stage. DH was always keen for 3, but at 5mo DH declared that two was quite enough (DD was 4), i was still thinking 3 could be good. Then a couple of months later I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and DS was that much more mobile and suddenly 2 kids was one too many. It’s getting easier, but there is no way we could have a third baby.

#55 WTF_SM3

Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:11 PM

View Posta letter to Elise., on 24 April 2019 - 08:17 PM, said:

No regrets at all going for number 3! I have a pretty big age gap though, mine are currently 9, 6 and 2, so the older two were fairly self sufficient when number 3 was born.

He is very naughty, but also completely delightful, and I am so happy I tried that one last time to have another baby.

The third pregnancy put an enormous strain on me physically though. My body is forever changed. It sucks, but I just love him so much, and I am glad he is here. But it has been life changing, and that part is very hard.

Me too.

#56 maryanneK

Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:19 PM

havent had a chance to read through all the PPs but just wanted to say I went for 3 and wouldnt change it for a minute

Its bloody hard work, no doubt. But I look at the 3 of them and I fell complete, my family feels complete, I couldnt imagine not having any one of them

If I'd stopped at 2 I would always have wondered and not felt quite right. For me, the things you miss out on with 3 are worth it for the extra love, fun and chaos of being a family of 5.

I couldnt care less what other people think about going for a 3rd to balance the sexes, or ruining a pigeon pair or whatever. I did worry that people would judge me for having a 3rd (and I actually cried when I found out I was pregnant) but my #3 baby is the light of my life :-)

#57 ERipley

Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:50 PM

View PostMollycoddle, on 24 April 2019 - 07:56 PM, said:



Conversely, when I read the PP about only having 2 sets of hands (Mum and Dad) and that 3 kids is one too many to manage for that reason, I thought it diminished the daily, relentless efforts and achievements of the legion of single parents of more than one child...

How on Earth would it diminish their efforts? These threads are full of single parents saying they could use another pair of hands. That’s not to say they aren’t doing their best and doing a great job of it. It was my comment (I think) and many times I have wished someone could sweep in and cuddle the third child who has hurt themselves in the last 30 seconds or whatever if may be. It doesn’t make me a bad parent that I can acknowledge how difficult it is to have more children than adults, and it doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with the efforts and achievements of single parents.

#58 ERipley

Posted 24 April 2019 - 09:55 PM

View PostSoontobegran, on 24 April 2019 - 05:33 PM, said:



Don't scare her off. :) Only 5% over the age of 35 however if she waits until 45 it is 20%

Just an observation based on personal experience. I love having twins though, even if they are a handful. Your statistic of 20% is more than enough to stop be going back for more. 😂

#59 Kallie88

Posted 24 April 2019 - 10:03 PM

View PostMollycoddle, on 24 April 2019 - 07:56 PM, said:



Conversely, when I read the PP about only having 2 sets of hands (Mum and Dad) and that 3 kids is one too many to manage for that reason, I thought it diminished the daily, relentless efforts and achievements of the legion of single parents of more than one child...

If you mean my post i think you misunderstand me in the first place

#60 Sincerely

Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:03 PM


1) Is everyone just going to assume I want a third child just to get a boy?

Such a thought usually doesn't cross my mind unless a family has five or six offspring of one gender and their youngest is a different gender to all of the others.

2) How much harder was it to go from 2-3
(I've found 1-2 was not hard at all so far. Newborn stage is the toughest for me)

WRT this question, I've closely observed other families and noted that it's SAHMs who often state that number 2 (& 3) were not much harder than a single child, until their kids start school. Working mums tend to describe how difficult it is to get themselves, as well as multiple kids, dressed, organized and ready in time for childcare & work every morning (unless they have a nanny which a few of my colleagues & friends do). Speaking from experience, before they became independent & organised, it was extremely difficult in the mornings to get all three kids ready for childcare & school. I usually had about five minutes to get myself ready for work - fortunately I wear no make-up & take less than ten seconds to comb my hair.

3) Do you regret 3?
No, but #2 had been such a nightmare from birth that when I found out I was pregnant with #3, I cried almost nonstop for 72 hours (the only reason I stopped was because I had to board a plane to take the two kids overseas to visit their great grandmother). For the next few years, I frequently struggled with juggling three kids & work, but it did get gradually better and the last three years have been great.

4) How do they interact with each other.
For several years, it seemed as if there was rarely a moment of peace when the kids (especially the younger two) weren't arguing, but as they've matured, they've converged & become very close.



#61 Greenscorpio

Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:35 PM

View PostLallalla, on 24 April 2019 - 04:22 PM, said:

I had 3 under 2, including twins. All the same sex. There will be comments and assumptions. But if you don’t mind what they are then those comments will just come off as rude as f&@k.

I’m really glad we had twins as I don’t know if I would otherwise have had it in me to go for round 3 of pregnancy - I hated being pregnant, but I love my 3 kids.

They’ve  nearly broke us a couple of times but i think that is to do with the small age gap. I still wouldn’t swap them.

Also Don’t let anyone tell you you wont be able to take them swimming/do this/do that. Where there is a will there is a way. My twins have been in swimming lessons since they were 11 months and my oldest never stopped and we go swimming all time (they’re 4.5 and almost 3).

Sorry, but I’m assuming you had another adult with you to take 11 month old twins and a toddler swimming? Unfortunately this isn’t possible for everyone and I think to use the saying ‘where there is a will there’s a way’ isn’t realistic.

To the OP, I’ve found having three kids exhausting and expensive. My husband and I are always out numbered. However, I had twins, so never planned on having three. If you have two and feel like you’re coping mentally and financially, maybe three children is right for you.
I know several families with three children and they cope really well. Good luck!

Edited by Greenscorpio, 24 April 2019 - 11:48 PM.


#62 Ellie bean

Posted 24 April 2019 - 11:43 PM

View PostERipley, on 24 April 2019 - 01:30 PM, said:


Oh and 2.5 years old is easy. Don’t even consider it until you’ve had a threenager. I don’t know why people talk about terrible twos. I don’t know anyone who didn’t find the ages of 3 and 4 1000x harder.


My dd was easier at 3 than 2. She was hardest at 0, slightly easier than that at 1, slightly better but still bloody awful at 2, slightly easier again at 3, and so on continuing to her current age (6).

#63 Drat

Posted 25 April 2019 - 07:39 AM

View PostSincerely, on 24 April 2019 - 11:03 PM, said:


WRT this question, I've closely observed other families and noted that it's SAHMs who often state that number 2 (& 3) were not much harder than a single child, until their kids start school. Working mums tend to describe how difficult it is to get themselves, as well as multiple kids, dressed, organized and ready in time for childcare & work every morning (unless they have a nanny which a few of my colleagues & friends do). Speaking from experience, before they became independent & organised, it was extremely difficult in the mornings to get all three kids ready for childcare & school. I usually had about five minutes to get myself ready for work - fortunately I wear no make-up & take less than ten seconds to comb my hair.


Oh jesus. You've successfully convinced me that two might be the number for me.. I forget how annoying it is to get the two of them ready (I've done a couple of odd days/mornings at work already). And i'm super lucky because my 2 year old has always been very independent so i've taught her to dress herself since she was 1 (I still have to 'motivate' her a bit). I can't imagine getting three kids ready.

#64 AliasMater

Posted 25 April 2019 - 07:47 AM

I regretted my third for several years. Child 3 was angry, frustrated and non content from birth. I couldn't handle it, I didn't bond with him at all. He didn't sleep either. We knew he was exceptionally intelligent from just a baby. He understood everything, he had the room all worked out, and by toddler age he was outsmarting DH and I in ways kids that age just shouldn't. It was tough and I wasn't ok. He wanted to run before he could roll, and he wanted to talk before he could babble. It was intense, and at the time, three kids was a terrible terrible decision. He has no behavioural issues as such, but he is still hard to parent at age 7 because he marches to the beat of his own drum.

Fast forward 7 years from the birth of #3 and my number 4 who I had age 40, is the absolute light of my life. My baby is 6 months old and I could not imagine life without this child. I do not find having 4 kids hard like I did 3. Number 4 is such an easy and content, happy baby, pure joy.

For me anyway, it was never age gaps, it was never parental age, it was never finances, it was never work load, it was never time management or sets of hands, it is certainly not the sex (my kids are all the same sex) it was entirely down to temperament and personality. I don't regret number 3 for a moment now, but it took a long long time.

#65 ERipley

Posted 25 April 2019 - 08:26 AM

View PostSincerely, on 24 April 2019 - 11:03 PM, said:

WRT this question, I've closely observed other families and noted that it's SAHMs who often state that number 2 (& 3) were not much harder than a single child, until their kids start school. Working mums tend to describe how difficult it is to get themselves, as well as multiple kids, dressed, organized and ready in time for childcare & work every morning (unless they have a nanny which a few of my colleagues & friends do). Speaking from experience, before they became independent & organised, it was extremely difficult in the mornings to get all three kids ready for childcare & school. I usually had about five minutes to get myself ready for work - fortunately I wear no make-up & take less than ten seconds to comb my hair.

I don’t think you can have observed very closely at all. Yes you have a big rush in the morning and the evening is hard after pickup, but for SAHPs it doesn’t stop ALL DAY. They need to get all the kids out in the morning too, but then they don’t get to sit down and not be harassed and sip coffee and have adult conversation and have nice lunches in air conditioned offices (that’s my working experience). They get jumped on, rolled on, screamed at, have demands made, fix injuries, break up fights, cuddle, read, play all day long. And then they have the same evening rush. There is no break at all ever. It is utterly relentless. I didn’t have a daytime shower for 2.5 years and also only had 5 minutes to get ready. And then I couldn’t duck to the bathroom at work and be left in peace.

Everyone has a hard time with small kids. Please don’t push the myth that SAHPs have it easier because that’s total nonsense.

#66 Sincerely

Posted 25 April 2019 - 09:29 AM

View PostERipley, on 25 April 2019 - 08:26 AM, said:



I don’t think you can have observed very closely at all. Yes you have a big rush in the morning and the evening is hard after pickup, but for SAHPs it doesn’t stop ALL DAY. They need to get all the kids out in the morning too, but then they don’t get to sit down and not be harassed and sip coffee and have adult conversation and have nice lunches in air conditioned offices (that’s my working experience). They get jumped on, rolled on, screamed at, have demands made, fix injuries, break up fights, cuddle, read, play all day long. And then they have the same evening rush. There is no break at all ever. It is utterly relentless. I didn’t have a daytime shower for 2.5 years and also only had 5 minutes to get ready. And then I couldn’t duck to the bathroom at work and be left in peace.

Everyone has a hard time with small kids. Please don’t push the myth that SAHPs have it easier because that’s total nonsense.

Well, that's how the conversations at parties came out. The ones who were saying how extra kids were easy were the SAHMs.

For me, almost every minute was demanding - at work and then when I got home all those things you describe were there except that I only had 3-4 hours to do everything (cooking, cleaning, laundry, pets) the home required.

I think also that by spending more time with their child, they may be able to discipline their child better. When I got home, I was busy cooking dinner (we usually ate close to 8pm) and doing housework, so if I was only going to spend 1-2 hours with my kids, I wasn't inclined to reprimand or punish anyone. I did always try to reason with them but it took maturity for them to finally listen to my reasoning. My SIL was a SAHM and her kids were perfectly behaved whenever we went out together which resulted in a lot of criticism from them about my kids (though at school our kids were the opposite of what they were like at home).

#67 NeedSleepNow

Posted 25 April 2019 - 10:45 AM

View PostSincerely, on 25 April 2019 - 09:29 AM, said:



Well, that's how the conversations at parties came out. The ones who were saying how extra kids were easy were the SAHMs.

For me, almost every minute was demanding - at work and then when I got home all those things you describe were there except that I only had 3-4 hours to do everything (cooking, cleaning, laundry, pets) the home required.

I think also that by spending more time with their child, they may be able to discipline their child better. When I got home, I was busy cooking dinner (we usually ate close to 8pm) and doing housework, so if I was only going to spend 1-2 hours with my kids, I wasn't inclined to reprimand or punish anyone. I did always try to reason with them but it took maturity for them to finally listen to my reasoning. My SIL was a SAHM and her kids were perfectly behaved whenever we went out together which resulted in a lot of criticism from them about my kids (though at school our kids were the opposite of what they were like at home).

This is similar to my experience/observations of those I know with three or more children. The mothers I’ve spoken to who admit to finding it ‘easier’ or have found the jump from 2-3 fairly seamless have been those who are SAHM or work part-time in a relatively contained job. I’ll admit to being in the category who has struggled going from 2-3 children, and I do think the demanding nature of work and how stretched I feel in both directions is a huge part of my difficulty. I don’t feel I give work enough, and I don’t feel I give my children enough. Without work, I know I’d enjoy and manage 3 children a lot more easily, I’m just hoping I’ll come out the other side of the tunnel at some point! The added pressures of juggling the demands of both our work is the main reason we aren’t going for number 4. We both agree that if one of us was a SAHP we would go for number 4 in a heartbeat.

#68 Soontobegran

Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:14 AM

View PostSincerely, on 25 April 2019 - 09:29 AM, said:

Well, that's how the conversations at parties came out. The ones who were saying how extra kids were easy were the SAHMs.

For me, almost every minute was demanding - at work and then when I got home all those things you describe were there except that I only had 3-4 hours to do everything (cooking, cleaning, laundry, pets) the home required.

I think also that by spending more time with their child, they may be able to discipline their child better. When I got home, I was busy cooking dinner (we usually ate close to 8pm) and doing housework, so if I was only going to spend 1-2 hours with my kids, I wasn't inclined to reprimand or punish anyone. I did always try to reason with them but it took maturity for them to finally listen to my reasoning. My SIL was a SAHM and her kids were perfectly behaved whenever we went out together which resulted in a lot of criticism from them about my kids (though at school our kids were the opposite of what they were like at home).


I have been both but for the majority of my children's young lives I was a working parent.
I had 5 children in as many years and it was hard at work and hard at home.

There is no way that every moment of my day as a SAHP was spent actively parenting or cleaning.....I think I squashed in house work and stuff into about as many hours as I did when I was working.
The benefit for me was working out of the home was so much better for my psyche.

The children did not seem to suffer at either stages of my working or non working out of the home life. Their behaviour did not depend on me being home....they were not left to their own devices when I was gone.

#69 ERipley

Posted 25 April 2019 - 11:29 AM

View PostSincerely, on 25 April 2019 - 09:29 AM, said:



Well, that's how the conversations at parties came out. The ones who were saying how extra kids were easy were the SAHMs.

For me, almost every minute was demanding - at work and then when I got home all those things you describe were there except that I only had 3-4 hours to do everything (cooking, cleaning, laundry, pets) the home required.

I think also that by spending more time with their child, they may be able to discipline their child better. When I got home, I was busy cooking dinner (we usually ate close to 8pm) and doing housework, so if I was only going to spend 1-2 hours with my kids, I wasn't inclined to reprimand or punish anyone. I did always try to reason with them but it took maturity for them to finally listen to my reasoning. My SIL was a SAHM and her kids were perfectly behaved whenever we went out together which resulted in a lot of criticism from them about my kids (though at school our kids were the opposite of what they were like at home).

Well it’s really unfair of her to criticise you over that. Some people just get easy kids. I’m a SAHM but I have twins and a son with additional needs. I never stop. My SIL works and her kids are perfectly behaved and she would level the same criticism at me. She just got easy kids though.

With friends and in mother’s groups I’ve had the opposite reaction. Mums who have been SAHMs for a considerable period of time (not just mat leave) say working is 1000x easier. It could be a cultural thing. I don’t have a backyard and neither do most people in this area so we’re out first thing with everyone else trying to get the socialisation and motor skills opportunities they get in good care. Give for lunch then off again to gym/zoo/museum/whatever it is.

#70 NeedSleepNow

Posted 25 April 2019 - 12:49 PM

View PostERipley, on 25 April 2019 - 11:29 AM, said:


With friends and in mother’s groups I’ve had the opposite reaction. Mums who have been SAHMs for a considerable period of time (not just mat leave) say working is 1000x easier. It could be a cultural thing. I don’t have a backyard and neither do most people in this area so we’re out first thing with everyone else trying to get the socialisation and motor skills opportunities they get in good care. Give for lunch then off again to gym/zoo/museum/whatever it is.

I’d actually agree that work is easier too, and I have what most people would consider a stressful job. But, it’s actually the combination of juggling both a stressful and uncontained job, with three children that I find is the hardest part. From talking to others, it’s not that either work vs SAHM is inherently harder on a day to day basis, but once you are trying to do both with more than 1 to 2 children I think you become acutely aware of how many balls you are dropping, and that can be a significant source of stress. I don’t think being a SAHM mother of 4 would be a walk in the park, but I could do it. Whereas I know I couldn’t juggle what I am now with 4 children!

#71 ERipley

Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:38 PM

View PostNeedSleepNow, on 25 April 2019 - 12:49 PM, said:



I’d actually agree that work is easier too, and I have what most people would consider a stressful job. But, it’s actually the combination of juggling both a stressful and uncontained job, with three children that I find is the hardest part. From talking to others, it’s not that either work vs SAHM is inherently harder on a day to day basis, but once you are trying to do both with more than 1 to 2 children I think you become acutely aware of how many balls you are dropping, and that can be a significant source of stress. I don’t think being a SAHM mother of 4 would be a walk in the park, but I could do it. Whereas I know I couldn’t juggle what I am now with 4 children!

I agree it must be much harder with a stressful job, but what a lot of working parents don’t get is that SAHPs don’t actually get time during the day to get all the extra work done. You’re busy with your children. Until very recently I was up until 10pm every night getting the place tidied for the next day, then a shower, then up all night with the kids, then the busy day again. And the hardest thing is that it never stops. People don’t realise how difficult it is when you never even get an adult conversation. It’s hard and often lonely even though you’re constantly surrounded and being screamed at. I would kill for a tram ride to and from work to get all the life admin done, ordering food and clothes, or even staring into space on occasion.  

They’re both hard roles of course but when you’re working you’re not doing both. You’re doing one then the other. Someone else is meal planning, feeding, nappy changing, clothes changing. Someone else is being interested and setting up fun and cuddling. When you pick them up you leave the mess behind for someone else. This never happens for SAHPs.

I’m not saying one is harder than the other because it’s all dependant on so many other factors - stress of work, distance from work, finances, level of care, help from family, temperament of children, hours worked. It’s just not true that SAHPs have all this spare time to do everything. Babies are easy. Maternity leave that you know will end soon isn’t the same as caring for 3 fully mobile and emotional and unreasonable people who need constant feeding and exercising with no end in sight.

#72 Ellie bean

Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:44 PM

^^only until they go to school, then it gets easier than working again

#73 ERipley

Posted 25 April 2019 - 01:48 PM

View PostEllie bean, on 25 April 2019 - 01:44 PM, said:

^^only until they go to school, then it gets easier than working again

True, but SAHPs generally start working full time again at that stage. That’s what I will be doing anyway.

#74 Mollycoddle

Posted 25 April 2019 - 02:02 PM

View PostERipley, on 25 April 2019 - 01:48 PM, said:



True, but SAHPs generally start working full time again at that stage. That’s what I will be doing anyway.

Exactly. And school brings a whole host of extra things to organise and be on top of. Working full-time was so much easier with small kids, I just had to drop and run at daycare with a bag with a spare set of clothes. Now we have school lunches, assemblies, projects, fundraising, canteen and sporting commitments. So much harder to juggle!

#75 ERipley

Posted 25 April 2019 - 02:08 PM

OP, I think the long and short of this discussion is that 3 kids are hard no matter what you do. 🤣




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