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Is 4 children much different from 3?

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#1 waitingfor#3

Posted 15 April 2012 - 02:28 PM

Hi Ladies

I never thought I'd have 3 children let alone be wanting to have 4 so I'm just wanting to know the good, the bad and the awesome about having 4 children. I know absolutely no one with more than 3 so there's no one IRL that I can go to and ask.  I'm also trying to work out if I really do want another one or if because I've spent the lat 5 years having babies that's all I know how to do so I might as well keep going IYKWIM??? My DDs are 5,3 and8 months so if we were going to go again it would be at the end of the year as I'll be 35 next year and I don't want to wait too long. I look at DD3 and I just can't imagine that I'll never have another baby and I just can't shake the feeling of wanting just one more regardless of whether it's a boy or a girl!

Also does having just that one more put a huge strain on your marriage? We're just starting to get through the strain of no time for each other and sleep deprivation now. It's for such a short time that things are tough but I just can't make my mind up!! Also it'll be hard for babysitting I'd imagine with 4, I can't see my mum looking after 4 children at once!

Sorry for the rambling but any help and advice from the lovely ladies in here would be great!

#2 nessrose

Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:54 AM

I think it really depends on the personality of #4. By #4 I think you know how to cope better too.

Our #4 was a complete surprise pregnancy (never thought that would happen!), although we did eventually want 4. When she was little she was one of those babies that only cried when she wanted a feed or change and just slotted right into the family.  Can't imagine our life without her to be honest.

Then again we had twins before her, so a single baby was bound to make things a bit easier!

It hasn't put a strain on our marriage at all. In fact we decided to go for our 5th and final and i'm due this Sunday!  I'll be a SAHM until they go to school as well, so no dramas there.

Good luck with your decision.  original.gif

Edited by nessrose, 16 April 2012 - 10:55 AM.

#3 bubzillaiscoming

Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

I wonder the same thing myself. I am one of 4 girls and we all share a really close bond. My parents are still married after more than 35 years - so they survived original.gif

I am going to have #2 in a few weeks, and before I had children I also planned to have 4. DH is flexible but I too wonder about the simple logistics and quality of life. We live in Melbourne so house prices are atrocious and we would obviously need a bigger car/ house if there were 6 of us (and I am definitely not averse to children sharing rooms either).

I am 31 so have ensured I'll have enough time to go for 4 if I want to original.gif I think if your family doesn't feel complete and your DH is willing to go for it, then do so. Also your oldest will be nearly 7 by the time #4 arrives and the next one will be nearly starting school and so on, so it will be managable ...

Good luck with your decision original.gif

#4 jules363

Posted 16 April 2012 - 11:11 AM

I didn't find the jump to 4 difficult at all, even with the fact that my fourth DD was born with Down syndrome.  Despite a rash of medical appointments in the early days, she was, and remains our easiest child, and definitely just fitted into the family, no dramas at all.  None of my kids were difficult babies though, and all slept well...I think it does depend on the personality of the baby, whether they are good sleepers etc, but that is something you can't know until after they are born, and then you just deal with it as it comes.  I doubt you would regret it.

#5 *Caro*

Posted 17 April 2012 - 03:40 AM

We don't regret our decision to have #4 at all, but he certainly hasn't 'just slotted' into the family.  He is a terrible sleeper and has slept through maybe a handful of times in nearly 2 years.  He is addicted to me and wants to be carried by me or be sitting on my lap all the time - which makes life difficult seeing as I'm back at work 4 days a week now!  It is slowly getting better and he is getting easier, but the last 2 years have been pretty tough.  It hasn't put a strain on our marriage as such, but the lack of sleep, constant work of looking after 4 little kids and not having any couple time has certainly made us snappier with each other.

I'm not trying to be negative here, just telling you how it has been for us.  We adore our little guy and would never change our mind on having 4 kids, but it hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be.  Our #3 was a dream baby and I thought we had figured out parenting and #4 would be easy too - but it turns out that our parenting made no difference, it's the personality of the baby that matters! I just keep thinking of what Christmases will be like with 4 grown children and that gets me through the hard patches...  biggrin.gif

#6 reng

Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:33 AM

QUOTE (*Caro* @ 17/04/2012, 03:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I just keep thinking of what Christmases will be like with 4 grown children and that gets me through the hard patches...  biggrin.gif

Great advice.  

The part that worries me in this whole thing is that the OP is considering another baby because that's all she knows.  At some stage, you are going to have older children and answer the question about what else is in your life.  Perhaps now is a good time to think about this - before launching another person into the world.  

I had a long chat with my mother over Easter about this - she has 4 kids - and she says that in hindsight she should have had only 2 kids and spent more time working out the other parts of her life.  She kept having children because she knew nothing else, and yet we all grew up and left her with no other skills.  It took her a long time to retrain and become more than just a baby machine.  (she is a english for speakers of other languages teacher).

She was really worried that I was making the same mistake (by having a 4th), but after our talk she is happy that I've stayed employed (and employable) throughout the process.  I run my own business.

Please consider this decision in the context of "where will I be in 10 years", not just " I'm also trying to work out if I really do want another one or if because I've spent the last 5 years having babies that's all I know how to do so I might as well keep going IYKWIM??? "

#7 waitingfor#3

Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:16 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies, I think I'm leaning towards staying at 3 but I will wait and see how things are at the end I'd the year.

Reng - I think your totally right and I need to seriously think about what I'm going to be doing once all my babies are grown! I might Go back to work for a while to see if that makes a difference!! Thanks again!

#8 Rachaelxxx

Posted 17 April 2012 - 02:40 PM

I found 3 - 4 a pretty easy adjustment, but then found a huge difference with our fifth.  Some people have raised some very good points and I think in hindsight I was one of those women that kept having babies because I enjoyed it and I loved that stage in my life and to be honest I didn't want it to stop.  Now my youngest is nearly 5 and I love this stage of my life but I have been honest with myself and have said numerous times (even on here) that if I had my time again I would not have had so many children.

Good luck with your decision

#9 ~my happiness~

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:23 PM

going from 3-4 was a breeze for us. Loved it actually. And from then on it's seemed a seamless addition... 4 and 5 slotted in perfectly. I know that sounds very cliched but its true for us.

#10 MickeyBoo

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:37 PM

I didn't find going from 3-4 a big adjustment. The actual pregnancy was different as it was a litter earlier than we expected, and after that initial oomg.gif at  a 16month age gap instead of a minimum 18month+ age gap and then down the track getting over all of the physical issues I had with carrying him, once he was here he just slotted right in with everyone else and is probably the easiest one yet. Our third was actually the worst sleeper and probably more of a challenge as we had a large 4 year age gap between 2-3 and had to re-buy everything and re-learn everything.

We have #5 due in 4 short weeks and I'm hoping that she just slots in there too, with two in school and one in kindy she's going to have to learn to adapt to the daily routine fairly quickly! But then again #4 did without any dramas so we'll just wait and see biggrin.gif

As for what to do when they're grown I have always said that I would return to work when they were all in school, I have left the option there for further study and branching out into new areas, my life has never 'ended' just because I've had kids and I've always had some focus on the future and not let myself be bogged down with just being a mum and wife which is how my own mother ended up.

#11 mums2cherubs

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:37 PM

As the other ladies have said, it really depends on the child's personality.  Our #4 was a complete suprise, and after our #3 (who is completely full on to put it nicely!!) we were really concerned about how we would do it all again.  So along came #4 and he is a breeze.  I would not change him for the world, and have really enjoyed being a Mum of 4 so far  original.gif

#12 QueenIanthe

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:40 PM

My fourth and fifth babies were my most intensive but I still didn't find it too hard. What I did notice was the increase in washing and when they got older the food bills and prep.

#13 fillesetjumeaux

Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

I probably can't comment as I was thrown in at the deep end (#4 ended up being #s 4 & 5 at once!).

I don't often think "If only I had 4..." but I do sometimes think "If only I had 3..."  I know that's not very PC, but it's how I sometimes feel.  Perhaps having had one at a time would have been more sensible?!

We went car shopping last weekend.  Oh what a luxury it would be to be able to choose from any car on the lot!  But no, there we were putting 3rd row seats up and down, looking for anchor points, sitting in the middle seat to see if it was really a seat or just a glorified armrest, testing out legroom in the 3rd row etc.

Anyway, I love all my 5, but can see the benefits to having only 3.

#14 mumandboys

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:02 PM

I have found going to 4 a massive adjustment, and TBH I am struggling to keep up with them now that I have 2 in school.

I don't think I fully thought about the implications of a large family.  It's impossible to get a babysitter, I will need a bigger than average car for at least the next 10 years.  I'll never be able to afford private school, or overseas holidays, my kids will always have to share bedrooms, and probably most importantly, as kids get older they get much more mentally challenging... although I'm an emotionally aware/sensitive person, I feel like there isn't enough of me to go around.

I loooooove each and every one of my kids, but I very often wonder (especially when I'm around friends/family with only one or two kids) what my life would be like now if I'd stopped at 3 (or even 2).

Sorry OP, don't mean to rain on your parade, but you asked for the good, bad and ugly - I guess I'm the ugly!!!

#15 jules363

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:39 PM

It is absolutely right that you must examine the reason why you are thinking about having another baby.  I always wanted 4, and 4 is what I had, but I did entertain the thought of having a 5th.  Last year my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and I had to make the decision quickly, as his surgery would leave him unable to father more children.  As it turned out, I had that big talk to myself, and also talked to knowledgable other people and decided that I REALLY didn't want to go back to having another baby, or raising another child.  Even my youngest, at 4yo, was about to start 15 hours a week at kinder, and then there was daycare, so I decided to go back and re-train for a career.  This year, I have three at school, and have 2 kinder and 2 daycare days for my youngest, and I am back at TAFE studying community services.  It has been SO life changing that I am starting to entertain ideas of continuing on to become a social worker, and I can't tell you how much I love the balance, or being a parent, and being a person in my own right.  I have big dreams for the future, that involve enjoying my children, and enjoying working, and contributing, and making a difference, and honestly, having another baby could not be further from my mind.  What the PP's are saying is relevant to everyone, and that is, no matter how many babies you have, they will all grow up eventually, and quickly, and when you come out the other side, you have to have your own life.  It has come as somewhat of a relief to me that I am going after that life!

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