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Head vs Heart - How did it play out?

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#1 vanilla_bear

Posted 21 August 2019 - 03:31 PM

My heart says have babies forever.

My head says two is our number.

The yearning for another is very strong, I'm wondering if it will ever go away. Will I always feel sad about not having more?

For those of you who followed your head and stopped before your heart was ready, what was your journey like? Did there come a time when you were wholly happy with your decision? Did it become too much and did you take the plunge again?

#2 ~Bob~

Posted 21 August 2019 - 03:37 PM

This was probably me. We had two and were happy (and busy). We flip flopped, where I would want #3 and DH wouldn’t, and then he would want #3 and I wouldn’t.

Eventually, we decided to try for #3. We couldn’t have anticipated what would happen next. #3 was twins, so we had 4. Then 10 years later, we had a surprise, #5 !!!!

I don’t think I will ever stop looking at Mums with tiny babies and feeling envious of her enjoying that time. It’s quite magical. But I guess there comes a time when you really have to say, no more.

#3 MadMarchMasterchef

Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:15 PM

I just had number 3.  It would have made more 'sense' to have 2.

I feel happy and 'done'.

For me the choice was only ever between 2 or 3 though due to finances and my age.  Its actually felt good to feel final about things.

If I was 10 years younger and had loads of money and didn't have to work Id probably go for number 4.

-eta sorry I misread OP so not really what you asked.

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 21 August 2019 - 08:13 PM.

#4 amdirel

Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:23 PM

From the other side of the coin... I didn't feel done at 2, I really wanted one more. So I did. I was happy, I felt done. Now... I wish I'd stuck to 2. 3 is so hard.

#5 seayork2002

Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:27 PM

Head, both DH and I have decided 1 is all we are having

He will be 12 soon and it is not happening again!

#6 Lou-bags

Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:27 PM

I have two but have always wanted 3. Head says stop at 2, heart not so much.

Youngest will be 3 in a few weeks and the longing is fading. I’d still say yes and jump into it if DH said yes. But unless he’s 100% on board, I think it would break us.

I’m surprised at how I am coming around to stopping at 2, but I guess as the youngest gets older and I am starting to see more clearly everything I have sacrificed for our family I’m not as sure I can take another hit for the third I thought was meant to be.

#7 JBH

Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:30 PM

We were in the same position and stuck with two. The youngest is now 8. I still feel pangs, and have moments where i’d like a baby, but i don’t have long lasting feelings of regret. I think it was a good choice for us.

#8 PuddingPlease

Posted 21 August 2019 - 04:45 PM

Very happy with two kids, considered having a third but we are very happy with our decision. We are able to afford a lot of things, activities etc that would be impossible with a third child. Honestly I'm really looking forward to returning to study and work very soon and moving into a new stage as my kids start school.

#9 AllyK81

Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:01 PM

Heart says a third. Head says no way. Why stretch ourselves more thinly to the disadvantage of the two we already have?

We both work full time and then some. It wouldn't be fair on them.

We still feel pangs when we see babies but the youngest one always grows up. Babies don't stay babies forever.

#10 molinero

Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:29 PM

Like many things in life, it's good to quit while you're ahead.

#11 Deep thought

Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:46 PM

Heart also says 3, but head(s) have long planned for 2. DH heart says 2 so that settles it really. Our #2 is still an older baby right now, things are great, and wouldn't change things any time soon.

I also think sibling dynamics between 2 are easier and better, but that might be my childhood as one of 3 speaking- someone is often being excluded, competing for particular siblings affection, usually the baby's affection!

#12 luke's mummu

Posted 21 August 2019 - 05:58 PM

Head said stop at 2, heart could go on forever. Youngest is now 10, and I still look at babies and see how cute. But there are advantages to older children, I just have to concentrate on the positives

#13 daisy007

Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:13 PM

I’m right there with you op. Head says stop at 2 but my heart is saying have more, many more! I think head will win over heart but I’m still not 100% sure. I never anticipated the desire to have 3 would be so strong.

#14 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:26 PM

Head said two, heart said 3 or 4. Husbands heart and head said two.
We have two.
I often think about another child, but mild pangs, not huge constant yearnings.
I have made my peace with two and think now I could very well have regretted three.

#15 Kreme

Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:32 PM

Head said 2, heart wanted another one. We stuck with two and I’m happy we did. We have so much more time and energy (and $) to give to them than we would have.

Right now I’m on the cusp of both kids going to high school and I am so done with primary. I look at the mums who had a third when their second started school and they’re back at the beginning again. I feel sorry for them!

#16 NeedSleepNow

Posted 21 August 2019 - 06:35 PM

Head says stop at 3, heart says have 4.... I’m not sure which will win.... there are just sooo many reasons to stop!

#17 Future-self

Posted 21 August 2019 - 07:00 PM

I so wish we were having another. But DH does not want to so that is that. My head agrees absolutely with him. I have days where i’m so thankful there is only two of them. I love my job and my career is gaining some traction. We have nice days out and weekends away every so often where  it all works so well and I know a baby would just ruin it. There is a chance we can do the desperately needed reno’s to give us an inside laundry and a second toilet in the next 3 years now.

#18 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 21 August 2019 - 07:19 PM

View Postamdirel, on 21 August 2019 - 04:23 PM, said:

From the other side of the coin... I didn't feel done at 2, I really wanted one more. So I did. I was happy, I felt done. Now... I wish I'd stuck to 2. 3 is so hard.

I was halfway through my third pregnancy when I wanted to hit the paise and rewind button.

I love my 3 (now 10/12/14 yrs) BUT life would have been soooo much easier (and less costly) with 2.

#19 Moukmouk

Posted 21 August 2019 - 08:45 PM

There was a poster a few years back who had five children (I think all girls). I remember a particularly brutally honest post that she made, where she spoke about how she loved having babies, and lots of babies and little kids were lovely and easy (in her words). But as the girls got older things got complicated and more difficult. I wish I could remember her user name. It really stuck with me.
I still have twinges over the missing third, but so happy with my two.

#20 Rosepickles

Posted 21 August 2019 - 08:47 PM

I wasn't desperate for a third, but certainly considered it and had moments where i really wanted another. But, I have an 8 and 5 yr old and am SO glad we stopped at 2. There are still some moments where I'd love another, but they are fleeting and fewer and farther between as the years pass by.

For us, 2 means they can do more activities, we can have one on one time easily with each and we are looking at doing some big holidays. it's definitely an individual thing tho. I see others who do 3 or 4 or 5 or more really well, but i dont think i would do more than i have well, i feel pretty stretched most days.

#21 blueskies12

Posted 21 August 2019 - 08:47 PM

OP, I feel exactly the same way.

We have two children and I remember crying in hospital after my second, just wanting another...then coming home and wistfully dreaming of another. It has stayed with my every day, but in the last few months has quietened. My second is now 20 months and slowly, I am seeing the practical/head side.

I still really want three- that's my heart.
I long to hold a newborn, I long to even have another 4 year old. I love 0-5. We haven't got to school age yet.

But more and more I am seeing that this may not be the right thing for our family. I really, really like the dynamic of two. My two fight, but they love each other just as fiercely. I know that they would love no.3 but it would change their dynamic, cause some jealousy and sibling rivalry (with their little personalities). I think that with my two that they fight, but then have to quickly resolve it, because they want a playmate again- there are no other options to go with.

I also know that my future entails some paid work, we can't survive off solely one income. So I want to work the least as possible and want to spend as much time as possible with the kids, therefore having a third and having to work more doesn't make a lot of sense. It means I will be with the kids less and that time that I am with the kids will be divided more. I never thought finances would weigh into it.

I also really enjoy giving them one on one time.

Lately I have had some more self care time/quiet and alone time and I think I am parenting better because of it. I think accepting that 2 may be our number is also accepting my limitations and what I need in order to be my best parenting self (I need a whole lot!). I question whether I would be my best parenting self to 3. Then again I think I could question this at every number.

Over time I am more and more feeling stronger in this decision. I think I am recognising it for what it is- a longing, a feeling, but it passes. Kind of like an addiction really. It comes and it goes.  It is easy to say now though as my little one is still little. I don't know how I will feel when they are a bit older! I am trying to practise gratitude.

Edited by blueskies12, 22 August 2019 - 08:12 PM.

#22 blueskies12

Posted 21 August 2019 - 08:50 PM

View PostMoukmouk, on 21 August 2019 - 08:45 PM, said:

There was a poster a few years back who had five children (I think all girls). I remember a particularly brutally honest post that she made, where she spoke about how she loved having babies, and lots of babies and little kids were lovely and easy (in her words). But as the girls got older things got complicated and more difficult. I wish I could remember her user name. It really stuck with me.
I still have twinges over the missing third, but so happy with my two.

This is so true. When they are little they are so much easier and their emotional cups are easy to fill. As they get older, that is when the real energy is needed. This is most likely why old people in the shops stop to fawn over a baby, but not an 8 year old.

Thank you for this post.

#23 TaciturnTurtledove

Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:22 PM

It's not only about head versus heart. It's about listening to your gut as well. My gut/body was the deciding factor for me (the hardest part was figuring out how to pay attention to it in the first place). After years of deliberation about pros and cons and hopes and dreams, eventually I started to pay attention to my physical reactions. I came to realise that every time I thought about another baby I got a sinking feeling in my stomach and felt as if I had a heavy load on my back - I just knew that my body was showing me that a third child would have been a mighty struggle for me. When I think of my life focusing on my two existing children, I feel a lightness and openness in my neck and chest and an ease in my gut. This helped me break the tie between my head and my heart. It took a while to be sure of what I was noticing and to trust it.

#24 IamtheMumma

Posted 21 August 2019 - 10:37 PM

I went back for #4. The plan was to go to 5. 4 came along and he is amazing but also hard work. I kept craving 5. When 4 was 2, I asked my ex if we could start trying for 5. He was hell no. I was devastated. My heart wanted 5 until 4 was about 3 years old. He began to become more and more work. I was getting older and didn't have the energy I did in my 20s.  Now my head and heart are aligned. 4 and I'm done.

I do have moments but I think those are associated with my insecurities about being "old".

#25 Sancti-claws

Posted 21 August 2019 - 11:02 PM

ha - my heart wanted a half-dozen, but life told me in no uncertain terms to take what I was given, so two is my blessings.

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