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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Mini Money Mustaches => Topic started by: Del Griffith on June 06, 2021, 01:54:39 PM

Title: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Del Griffith on June 06, 2021, 01:54:39 PM
The internal debate of 2 vs. 3 kids is currently taking up a lot of mental space. We currently have 2 and the younger one is just 4 months old, but since having him itís been on my mind a ton so perhaps you can entertain my ramblings. Both dh and I come from families of 3 and we happen to get along really well with our siblings and each otherís. I see pros and cons to each, but clearly have only experienced 2 myself and not even for long so far, and I know I still have plenty of time to decide. Dh seems to be floating in a somewhat similar boat as me (unless we both have a crappy night of sleep and are sure 2 is it the following day). We have one boy and one girl so we arenít chasing anything sex-wise. I feel like two could be great for us for many reasons, but I also canít put this out of my head which makes me think there is something more there. Like the whole ďyou know youíre done when youíre doneĒ thing.

How did you decide? Any particular challenges? Has anyone had two and regretted not having a third, or had three and wished they had stopped at two? Your experience and insights? Iíll take whatever you got. Apologies in advance if there is already a thread like this in existence ó I wasnít able to find one.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: jac941 on June 06, 2021, 05:48:28 PM
For us ďyou know youíre done when youíre doneĒ definitely applied. When our second child was 6 months old or so, we knew were done. Itís been over six years since then and every time we interact with our friends younger kids, we are grateful that we stopped when we did.

All of that is to say, give it another year or so and see how you feel. Iím sure there are people out there who donít have that moment of clarity one way or the other, but we definitely did. And once that moment came, there hasnít been a time since where weíve waffled on the decision.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: charis on June 06, 2021, 06:38:58 PM
I was torn for a little while on our decision to have 2 after the 2nd was born and I probably would have gone for a third if my spouse was on board.  But now that they are older, I have no regrets.  It would have been a big stretch for us, mentally and physically, to add years more sleeplessness nights and less alone time.  The financial savings and space issues weren't more than bonus considerations, but they certainly help.

So obviously I disagree that you always know when you are done.  I think people often have a longing for more of the thrill of adding another new magical little being to the family or picture Christmas in 20 years surrounded by their adult children (or a myriad of other emotional impulses related to having more children), or are maybe just worried that if they don't feel 100% done, they will regret not having another one.  I think this often overrides the practical feeling that maybe one's current family size is just fine.

Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: MaybeBabyMustache on June 06, 2021, 06:45:43 PM
There was no magical feeling for us, either. I wanted a third shortly after having the first two (mine are 13 months apart), and would have liked ~ 18 months between them & a baby. My husband thought I was insane. In hindsight, he was totally right & it would have been crazy.

Then, when our oldest was eight, my husband decided he wanted a third child. Yeah, no. I was totally confident in our decision to have two, and we discussed & agreed that our family was complete. We've never looked back, and when we see friends with younger kids, we are grateful we stopped when we did. Our youngest starts high school in the fall, and we have friends around our age who have very young kids. We are very happy with our decision.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Flat9MKE on June 07, 2021, 08:15:03 AM
I think it depends on your age and goals in life.  2 years old and 4 months...that sounds like a handful!  Having three kids under the age of 4 sounds like a suicide mission lol.

The older you get, the harder it is to GRIND through parenthood.  Not to mention more expenses and time consumed with a third kid. 

But all children are blessings and bring love and joy to our hearts and teach us so much.

My wife and I only have a 22-month old son and thinking about number 2, so take my advice with a grain of salt!  I am 37 and wish I had gotten married and had kids a little earlier in life, but no regrets.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Spiffy on June 07, 2021, 08:19:23 AM
We have three, two boys and then a girl. I think if we had a boy and then a girl, we might have stopped at two, but I'm not really sure of that. I have two siblings that I get along with very well and as a family we get together a lot and have a great time, so maybe that contributed to me wanting a bigger family? But what I will say is that the world comes in a 4 pack. Everything is more expensive with a family of 5 instead of 4. We can't get a regular hotel room, must get 2 rooms or some kind of extra large suite. Cup cakes from cute new bakery is in a 4 pack. The "Family Pack" of tickets to museums or sports games are often only for 4.  We fit an a regular car, but not comfortably, so we got a minivan. Most modest houses are 3 bedroom, and that is what we have. So the boys have to share a small room. That doesn't bother me, by it really bothers them! So you don't have to spend extra on everything, but it makes things that little bit easier if you do.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: chemistk on June 07, 2021, 09:08:09 AM
We have 3, and possibly have our eye on a 4th.

#3 came along when we weren't not ready but we also weren't necessarily prepared. Our boys are spaced about two years apart each (29 months between 1&2 , 27 months between 2&3). Three is only marginally more difficult than two from a parenting perspective - there have been times when we felt exceptionally spread thin, but then there are times (especially now that our youngest is 19mos) where having 3 is great because they tend to be more prone to entertain themselves.

Honestly though, it's an entirely personal choice. I wish sometimes that we only had 2, but then we also sometimes wonder what our life would be like with one, or 0. There are an almost infinite combination of woulda-shoulda-couldas that you have to just eject from your consciousness because entertaining those alternate realities never ends up with you feeling better about yourself.

If you think you have the bandwidth to accommodate another child, that's probably about as 'ready' as you're going to feel. If you can justify bringing another kid into the world and believe you can find fulfillment in that much larger of a family, then you really shouldn't have anything to worry about.

I'd definitely not worry too much about all the 'stuff' you'll need either. Another bed, carseat, and more food are the biggest worries (apart from daycare). We did go the minivan route and you can pry that beautiful beast out of our cold hands. 
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: tooqk4u22 on June 08, 2021, 06:04:08 AM
We have three, two boys and then a girl. I think if we had a boy and then a girl, we might have stopped at two, but I'm not really sure of that. I have two siblings that I get along with very well and as a family we get together a lot and have a great time, so maybe that contributed to me wanting a bigger family? But what I will say is that the world comes in a 4 pack. Everything is more expensive with a family of 5 instead of 4. We can't get a regular hotel room, must get 2 rooms or some kind of extra large suite. Cup cakes from cute new bakery is in a 4 pack. The "Family Pack" of tickets to museums or sports games are often only for 4.  We fit an a regular car, but not comfortably, so we got a minivan. Most modest houses are 3 bedroom, and that is what we have. So the boys have to share a small room. That doesn't bother me, by it really bothers them! So you don't have to spend extra on everything, but it makes things that little bit easier if you do.

100% this, it is definitely a 4 pack world.

Other than that there is no right or wrong answer. I think the physical actuality of having a 3rd doesn't change the picture all that much but it is great to have another personality.   

Having 3 simply puts a bit more strain on financial or time resources. Ie. 3 kids in travel sports is costly and sometimes hard to manage.  More food.   More college.   Just more.  And sometimes the little ones will have some envy of the "Only's" (single children households) bc they seem to get/have more or better and it isnlikely true bc 3 takes more so there is only so much to go around. 
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: engineerjourney on June 08, 2021, 08:04:06 AM
I am due with #3 in 5 weeks so I will let you know, hahaha.  We are ending up with a larger age gap than hoped for between #2 and #3 due to a miscarriage but now I am very happy our other two will be 4 and 6 by the time this next one is born.  My older two are very self sufficient now so I am not stressed about having a infant again plus two older kids.  We raise our kids to be independent though and to play with each other more than with us parents.  So the more the merrier there.  Our older two are pretty amazing kids also so adding more wasn't a big stressful decision.. if they had medical issues or slept bad or had behavioral issues that would have been different.  Right now even with two working parents I don't see any issues with all of them getting enough love and attention.  Plus their grandparents are local which takes a huge stress off of us (they weren't local until the older two were 4 and 2, that was hard).  My husband would have 6-8 kids I think if he was the only one making the decision.  My max is 4.  We take it one at a time though and made a deal to not even talk about the next kid until the youngest one is over a year old.  So far that's worked well for us.  It is partly an emotional decision but intellectually we knew we have enough (money, time, energy, space, etc) for another so we are still going.   We will see in a year if a #4 is in the plan :)  Good luck with your decision! 
PS used #3 as an excuse to get a minivan and looooooooove it, hahaha
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: joe189man on June 08, 2021, 08:57:12 AM
we stopped at two, DW and i were worried we would have a 3rd boy and need to install wrestling mats over carpet. Our age was also a consideration and having 3 kids in daycare would have bankrupted us. Also you go from man on man to zone defense.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Steeze on June 08, 2021, 10:13:18 AM
DW wanted 2, I wanted 1
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: charis on June 08, 2021, 10:21:06 AM
@Steeze. Can your wife go back to work and you stay home with your son? How does she propose to accomplish two family members at home with the baby? I understand your point. I didn't think anyone reasonable person would argue that two people need to be home with a healthy 2-month old. It can be a brutal experience though. To me it sounds like your wife is really struggling postpartum.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: chemistk on June 08, 2021, 10:39:05 AM
@Steeze. Can your wife go back to work and you stay home with your son? How does she propose to accomplish two family members at home with the baby? I understand your point. I didn't think anyone reasonable person would argue that two people need to be home with a healthy 2-month old. It can be a brutal experience though. To me it sounds like your wife is really struggling postpartum.

My wife was definitely tapped out often with our first - she had an incredibly difficult time adjusting to parenting and the sleep deprivation was draining on both of us. She was diagnosed with PPD/PPA after talking to her doctor and with the help of medication, her outlook on the day definitely improved. I would strongly urge you to help her consider this as something to discuss with her doctor and, most importantly, that admitting to the fact that day-to-day with a child is a struggle is absolutely in no way an admission of failure.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: v8rx7guy on June 08, 2021, 10:41:56 AM
I wanted to stop at 2, she wanted 3.  I grew up in a family with 3, she grew up in a family with 2 and always wished she had another sibling.  I think she was kind of chasing after a girl (we had two boys at the time), and she won.  We now have a crazy life with 3 boys under 5 years old, but we are doing all right.  I don't think we'll ever regret having a 3rd, but I would have appreciated the simplicity of 2 .  Kids get really cute and fun at about 16 months and it's easy to forget how hard that first year is.   I got a vasectomy right after #3 to make sure no cuteness 16 months later could sway our decision to stop haha...
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Steeze on June 08, 2021, 10:56:35 AM
@Steeze. Can your wife go back to work and you stay home with your son? How does she propose to accomplish two family members at home with the baby? I understand your point. I didn't think anyone reasonable person would argue that two people need to be home with a healthy 2-month old. It can be a brutal experience though. To me it sounds like your wife is really struggling postpartum.

Probably not really an option - of course anything is possible, but I would have to quit my job, reducing our income by 60%+
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: SomedayStache on June 08, 2021, 11:02:49 AM
We had a boy and a girl. I had never really known how many children I wanted (definitely more than 1 but less than five I guess, but honestly didn't have a firm number.)

It seems like the luck of getting one of each might have made us finish after 2. But when I looked at family photos I felt there was a hole there that still needed to be filled.

We had a third and the first thing I said after giving birth was "Thank god I never have to do THAT again!" Once that baby #3 came along I knew without a doubt that our family was complete. Now when I see or hold other people's babies I get the opposite of baby fever-my thoughts are more along the lines of extreme gratefulness that period of our life is over.

3 kids ended up being my number and I feel 100% that it's perfect for us. But like others have said the world is made for a family of four. Even buying a family pack of toothbrush covers means we are always one short or have to get 3 extra. Lol. 2 kiddos would definitely be easier logistically.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: charis on June 08, 2021, 11:17:00 AM
@Steeze. Can your wife go back to work and you stay home with your son? How does she propose to accomplish two family members at home with the baby? I understand your point. I didn't think anyone reasonable person would argue that two people need to be home with a healthy 2-month old. It can be a brutal experience though. To me it sounds like your wife is really struggling postpartum.

Probably not really an option - of course anything is possible, but I would have to quit my job, reducing our income by 60%+. I work in construction and am not able to work from home. I was the first person in my company to request parental leave, which ownership raised an eyebrow at for sure, despite it being a law in New York.

I have 12 weeks of parental leave (NY Law) at ~ 50% pay. The original plan was that I would use my PTO for the first 3 weeks, then go back to work until she finished her 5-month mat leave (@100% pay). At the 5-month mark I would take my leave. After my leave was up (~ 8mo. old) her mom would come for 6-months. After that he would go to daycare full time.

I took the 3 weeks PTO, my mom came down to help out for the first 4 weeks also. So she had 2 people to help for 3 weeks, then just my mom for a week. She was on her own for a week and I ended up taking a month of my leave because she was struggling. Now I am back to work 3 weeks and she is still struggling again / still.

She wants me to take more leave and is making me feel really guilty for not doing so. That wasn't the plan - we were never supposed to have our leaves overlap. Any overlap means the boy goes into daycare that much sooner, and the goal was to push that back as far as possible. Neither one of us want that - but she keeps saying it will work itself out.

Perhaps her dad can come sooner, but due to Covid they are unable to travel directly to the US, making for a 20+day $$,$$$ very complicated travel itinerary. Plus her mom and dad would be apart from one another for 6+ months. Her mom is not willing / able to navigate the crazy travel path alone, so she is stuck until the borders open again.

Not really sure what I can do - just keep trying to give 110% when I am home and hope she figures it out. If I take more leave right now my bosses are going to lose it - We already agreed that it would be 2022 when I took the next 8 weeks. Lose-Lose situation.

This might not be a matter of just figuring things out.  PPD is a real condition that she should be evaluated for asap. The next step could be narrowing the specific needs that should be addressed. For example, I couldn't "sleep when the baby slept" during the day. Too much restless anxiety. Led to major sleep deprivation.

Perhaps, on a temporary basis, a part time mother's helper who can just do laundry during nap time so your wife can nap or just relax would help bc the non family member wouldn't do any direct baby care. Sometimes you gotta get creative.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Michael in ABQ on June 08, 2021, 11:18:36 AM
We have three, two boys and then a girl. I think if we had a boy and then a girl, we might have stopped at two, but I'm not really sure of that. I have two siblings that I get along with very well and as a family we get together a lot and have a great time, so maybe that contributed to me wanting a bigger family? But what I will say is that the world comes in a 4 pack. Everything is more expensive with a family of 5 instead of 4. We can't get a regular hotel room, must get 2 rooms or some kind of extra large suite. Cup cakes from cute new bakery is in a 4 pack. The "Family Pack" of tickets to museums or sports games are often only for 4.  We fit an a regular car, but not comfortably, so we got a minivan. Most modest houses are 3 bedroom, and that is what we have. So the boys have to share a small room. That doesn't bother me, by it really bothers them! So you don't have to spend extra on everything, but it makes things that little bit easier if you do.

100% this, it is definitely a 4 pack world.
 

I guess it's good we had six, that was we can have two 4-packs. I was camping recently and realized that what I thought was an 8-pack of Hot Dogs was only 7. WTF? Why would you make a package of 7 hot dogs when you know hot dug buns are sold in 8-packs.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: v8rx7guy on June 08, 2021, 11:26:48 AM
We have three, two boys and then a girl. I think if we had a boy and then a girl, we might have stopped at two, but I'm not really sure of that. I have two siblings that I get along with very well and as a family we get together a lot and have a great time, so maybe that contributed to me wanting a bigger family? But what I will say is that the world comes in a 4 pack. Everything is more expensive with a family of 5 instead of 4. We can't get a regular hotel room, must get 2 rooms or some kind of extra large suite. Cup cakes from cute new bakery is in a 4 pack. The "Family Pack" of tickets to museums or sports games are often only for 4.  We fit an a regular car, but not comfortably, so we got a minivan. Most modest houses are 3 bedroom, and that is what we have. So the boys have to share a small room. That doesn't bother me, by it really bothers them! So you don't have to spend extra on everything, but it makes things that little bit easier if you do.

100% this, it is definitely a 4 pack world.
 

I guess it's good we had six, that was we can have two 4-packs. I was camping recently and realized that what I thought was an 8-pack of Hot Dogs was only 7. WTF? Why would you make a package of 7 hot dogs when you know hot dug buns are sold in 8-packs.

Real world solutions! Haha...
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Cranky on June 08, 2021, 11:48:03 AM
First was hard, second was easy, third just settled right in!

I will agree that things are set up for 4, not 5, and I will add that little kids were a lot cheaper than teens (we didnít use daycare.) And being pregnant at 39 with two other kids tonshuttle around was exhausting.

I mostly loved raising kids, so no regrets.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Blue Skies on June 08, 2021, 12:28:12 PM
@Steeze. Can your wife go back to work and you stay home with your son? How does she propose to accomplish two family members at home with the baby? I understand your point. I didn't think anyone reasonable person would argue that two people need to be home with a healthy 2-month old. It can be a brutal experience though. To me it sounds like your wife is really struggling postpartum.

Probably not really an option - of course anything is possible, but I would have to quit my job, reducing our income by 60%+. I work in construction and am not able to work from home. I was the first person in my company to request parental leave, which ownership raised an eyebrow at for sure, despite it being a law in New York.

I have 12 weeks of parental leave (NY Law) at ~ 50% pay. The original plan was that I would use my PTO for the first 3 weeks, then go back to work until she finished her 5-month mat leave (@100% pay). At the 5-month mark I would take my leave. After my leave was up (~ 8mo. old) her mom would come for 6-months. After that he would go to daycare full time.

I took the 3 weeks PTO, my mom came down to help out for the first 4 weeks also. So she had 2 people to help for 3 weeks, then just my mom for a week. She was on her own for a week and I ended up taking a month of my leave because she was struggling. Now I am back to work 3 weeks and she is still struggling again / still.

She wants me to take more leave and is making me feel really guilty for not doing so. That wasn't the plan - we were never supposed to have our leaves overlap. Any overlap means the boy goes into daycare that much sooner, and the goal was to push that back as far as possible. Neither one of us want that - but she keeps saying it will work itself out.

Perhaps her dad can come sooner, but due to Covid they are unable to travel directly to the US, making for a 20+day $$,$$$ very complicated travel itinerary. Plus her mom and dad would be apart from one another for 6+ months. Her mom is not willing / able to navigate the crazy travel path alone, so she is stuck until the borders open again.

Not really sure what I can do - just keep trying to give 110% when I am home and hope she figures it out. If I take more leave right now my bosses are going to lose it - We already agreed that it would be 2022 when I took the next 8 weeks. Lose-Lose situation.

This might not be a matter of just figuring things out.  PPD is a real condition that she should be evaluated for asap. The next step could be narrowing the specific needs that should be addressed. For example, I couldn't "sleep when the baby slept" during the day. Too much restless anxiety. Led to major sleep deprivation.

Perhaps, on a temporary basis, a part time mother's helper who can just do laundry during nap time so your wife can nap or just relax would help bc the non family member wouldn't do any direct baby care. Sometimes you gotta get creative.

I agree with this.  Please have her discuss all these issues with her doctor.  Go with her to the appt if you can to make sure she is giving the Dr all relevant information. 
Looking back, I wish I would have done that after our first.  I really struggled.  It was terrible for months.  I did get better on my own, but I think that I should have gotten help.  I had a better handle on things the second time around and also had more help. 

On the bright side, it does get better.  And we did eventually have a second one.  They do get cute after they are a bit older.  That first year is rough though.

On the actual topic - we love to travel and as many have commented the world is built for 4.  I toyed with the idea of a 3rd child, but the ease of traveling as a family of 4 vs 5 was a big factor.  By the time we would have started trying for a 3rd I was at peace with stopping at 2.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Del Griffith on June 08, 2021, 01:05:58 PM
Thank you for all of these responses. I am enjoying reading all of them and so many of your points are very relatable for me.

We had a third and the first thing I said after giving birth was "Thank god I never have to do THAT again!" Once that baby #3 came along I knew without a doubt that our family was complete. Now when I see or hold other people's babies I get the opposite of baby fever-my thoughts are more along the lines of extreme gratefulness that period of our life

This is so where I feel I am at. Like if we did go for 3, Iíd have immediate closure afterwards as Iíd be sure that was it. Plus Iíve had 2 c-sections so would have another, and wouldnít want to put my body thru that a fourth time. My husband says 2, but I donít know if he really means it, at least knowing we still have time to decide (I would never push to go for 3 if he wasnít on board ó Iíll take a happy marriage over a kid I donít yet know). I am a SAHM so costs in the beginning wouldnít be wildly more.

We are 2 months into having DS at home and DW is ready throw in the towel. I cannot imagine doing this again.

I agree with others who said postpartum mental health may be at play, and wanted to add that you guys are in the THICK of it right now. With your first, you donít truly know what you are getting yourself in to. Plus our daughter was a horrible sleeper, we were ridiculously sleep deprived and I was breastfeeding so I never got a break. Thankfully, it got better.  My mom said for her around 18 months she started wanting another, and the same rang true for me. Mine are 31 months apart (I lost a pregnancy that wouldíve put them 29 months apart but thankfully got pregnant again right away which lead to my son.)

I know ultimately it will be our decision alone when the time comes, but I am truly enjoying hearing from everyone. Please keep it coming!
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: GuitarStv on June 08, 2021, 01:06:47 PM
Don't let the enemy outnumber you on the field of battle.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: TrMama on June 08, 2021, 01:11:18 PM
We have 2. I originally wanted 3 and DH wanted 2. After the first was born DH tried to change his vote and wanted to stop, but I was adamant about wanting a second. However, I was extremely sick during my second pregnancy so that made the decision to stop pretty easy. It wasn't even about not wanting a 3rd child so much as I was terrified of being so sick again. I also didn't want to make myself basically unavailable to the children I already had. They didn't deserve to have a non-functional mother for 9 months. Although if babies could be delivered in the night by stork, I'd sill have wanted 3.

Baring factors like mine, what do you see when you look forward 10 or 20 years? Will you regret not having another? Or will you be happy you got to do x, y or z with your smaller family?
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Hula Hoop on June 09, 2021, 03:23:44 AM
It was easy for me as I'd always wanted 2 kids.  I'm one of two but my sibling is a lot younger than me so it was like being an only child when I was a kid and i hated it even though I had lots of friends etc.  Husband is one of 4 kids but had no idea how many kids he wanted.  He is a weird creature.

After kid 1 was born i was very sick and nearly died (not related to childbirth).  DH freaked out and thought he only wanted one kid because of my health issues.  I still desperately wanted a second and finally after i was better and dust had settled he decided that he also wanted a second.  We are definitely done though.  We're older parents for one thing.  But even if we were younger and i was healthy i just like having 2.  For me we would spread ourselves too thin with 3.  Maybe if we both didn't work full-time.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: reeshau on June 09, 2021, 05:36:41 AM
Don't let the enemy outnumber you on the field of battle.

My brother refers the switch from 2 to 3 as "going from man-to-man to zone defense."
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: joe189man on June 09, 2021, 08:37:26 AM
Don't let the enemy outnumber you on the field of battle.

My brother refers the switch from 2 to 3 as "going from man-to-man to zone defense."

Yes, i said this above. Unless you Love kids and chaos, 2 may be the sweet spot
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Mrs. D. on June 09, 2021, 02:21:08 PM
Timely post. I am currently pregnant with #3. DH and I spent almost 2 years discussing and debating. I had times when I was gunning to get pregnant and times when I couldn't bear the thought. I also had that feeling like our family wasn't complete. When we would get ready to leave the house, I would load up my 2 children and wonder where the other one was. When our younger kid turned 3 we decided it was now or never and we both felt we had *just* enough bandwidth for a 3rd. Now I'm halfway through the pregnancy and I do have a few insights:

1) Being pregnant with 2 kids (5yo and 3yo) is tough. The first trimester especially was difficult and draining. Even if we wanted a 4th (which we don't) I'm not sure I could do another pregnancy with 3 kids to take care of (I'm a SAHM btw).

2) Telling my 2 older kids that we were expecting a baby was surprisingly one of the most joyous moments of motherhood to date. My 5yo son is incredibly attached to me and jealous of my time and attention so I wasn't sure how it would go. He is so excited about adding a new family member, it actually makes me more excited! Watching my kids internalize their new roles as older siblings has brought all of us so much joy.

3) Every now and then I have these thoughts like "we have to go through teething again" or "we'll be potty training #3 when we're 40!" It's a little daunting. Taking care of little kids is definitely a young woman's game.

4) There's also something freeing about it. I know what to expect with pregnancy and I'm way less neurotic about every little thing. I know how to take care of a newborn. I have one high-strung, spirited child and one mellow, laid-back kid so we feel confident we can handle whatever temperament we get dealt. We know the grueling phase will pass rather quickly and soon we'll have 3 little people we created and a family culture that reflects each of them.

5) 3 kids means a lot of germ exposure. And I know there will come a point when all 3 get a stomach bug/cold/flu at the same time.  Blech.

I wish you luck on the journey! If the nagging feeling never goes away, it might indicate you're just not done.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: shelivesthedream on June 10, 2021, 05:22:42 AM
I'm pregnant with #3. My biggest tip is to decide when you'd actually want to start trying and then mark a note in the calendar to discuss it then. We knew we'd want to wait for #2's first birthday, MINIMUM, so we shelved discussions until then. I still had a lot of private angst, but it helped to have a "date in the diary" as it were to start actually Thinking About It. We're 30 and 31, so not old, but I have been really really ill with my second and third pregnancies so this will be our last bio-kid unless we spectacularly unlucky/"blessed". My existing kids need me to not be unavailable for months on end.

That said, even though I hate being pregnant and hate little babies, I still have a bit of a "More...?" itch. SHUT UP, OVARIES. I think that at some point we'll seriously discuss adoption but have no idea whether we'll decide it's for us or not.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: sneeds on June 10, 2021, 02:44:33 PM
We have three kids. I found the transition from 2 to 3 kids to be much easier than the transition from zero to one kid or from one to two. By the time you have your third, you're a pro parent and the third kid just kind of slips right into the routine you already have established.

That's not to say that it's not hard during sleepless nights, etc., because that's always hard, but in general I found adding a third was much easier than adding either of the first two kids. 

We had a little less than two years in age difference between the first two kids, and we gave ourselves a little more space between #2 and #3... they're three years apart. I would recommend giving yourself a little time in between like that, just because dealing with lots of little toddlers and babies is always hard.

The biggest downside is that it definitely increases expenses. We had to buy a minivan because we couldn't fit three car seats across in our sedan. Anytime you go on a trip, you can't easily fit into a typical taxicab or Uber now, you have to get the bigger size ones, etc. when you have a family of 5 instead of a family of 4. I recently booked a stay for us at some cabins in the woods and I had to book the much more expensive, large cabin that sleeps 10 because because all the other cabins only allowed 4 people max. We've run into that issue with hotels recently, too. My kids are young enough that all three can sleep in one twin size bed, so we could totally sleep in one standard hotel room but when booking online the places won't allow more than 4 in a standard room. Your options are to upgrade to a more expensive suite, or lie about how many kids you have staying in the room ;) A lot of the world is geared toward families of 4, it seems.

But, with that said, we love our three kids and of course wouldn't change a thing. In short, I felt the transition was easier, but the costs definitely increase.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: rockstache on June 11, 2021, 12:43:48 PM
We were really unsure about whether we wanted kids at all, had one and then were really unsure whether we wanted to have a second. Now that we have two, we are both 100% happy that we had two, and 100% sure that we do not want any more. It feels like our family is perfect and complete, and Iím packing up newborn clothes and things sheís outgrown with absolute glee.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: kite on June 11, 2021, 01:04:13 PM
Have the third.

We're in our 50's.  No bio-kids as we drew in the infertility short straw.  We've been foster parents, and if one day some future foster child decides they want us to adopt, we are wide open to it. Not that it matters for purposes of your question, but I just thought I'd lay out my background.

Have the third if you want to even a little bit.  Do it as a gift to the other two.

As I mentioned, I'm in my 50's. I do a lot to take care of my Mom who is slipping away into dementia.  And I love her and love doing this (and I realize it's not for everyone) and she did so much for me over the course of  my lifetime and I'm grateful.  But what I'm most grateful for is the three younger sisters that she gave me. 
One of them stopped by this morning with blueberries and pastries. One of the others is nimble enough to crawl into the crawlspace and change the filter on the heater.  My sisters have given me nieces & nephews.  They've loaned me a pressure washer; taken me to an escape room for my birthday; travelled with me; laughed at my jokes.
Someday, you'll be long gone.  Your children will be left on this earth without you, but they will have each other.  Go ahead and give them one more.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: calimom on June 11, 2021, 09:19:38 PM
When I married my husband, he came equipped with an 8 year old daughter - I had fallen in love with her when she asked me to be her mommy. We had a little boy the following year. Our family felt pretty complete. Husband kept putting off having a vasectomy, and through a b/c slip-up, I found myself pregnant again when DD1 was 13 and DS was 4. We had a baby girl and couldn't remember questioning the whole thing because she was so cute and gorgeous and our family was rollicking and chaotic and fun.

When the baby was just a little past her first birthday, my husband was killed in a car crash and I suddenly became a single parent of 3. There are some years that are pretty blurry to me. Due to the age spread, there were so many competing demands on my time. I'd race from a job site to toddler day care to elementary school pickup to the high school to the grocery store to home for homework, dinner, mountains of laundry. Kids are a lot of work.

But you know what? I'm happy that I've had the opportunity to have these 3 young people in my life. Even with all the challenges we've experienced, they're amazing. I'm on the homeward stretch now, the "baby" will be a sophomore in high school this next year. I do look forward to life beyond working parenthood, but there's a lot I will miss about the day-to-day.

Family size is so personal and differs between families and situations. Time and money are huge factors. Do you want to travel, what do you want your children's continuing education to look like? When they're young, childcare can be wildly expensive. How are your time management skills - are you ok with minimal amounts of free time for the foreseeable future. Only you can answer these questions.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: tooqk4u22 on June 13, 2021, 08:01:56 PM
Nobody ever regrets having another kid (at least openly)  unless said kid turns out to be a crack addict that steals all your crap or a serial killer (which usually stems from parental issues anyway so it is self induced).
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: GuitarStv on June 14, 2021, 09:05:54 AM
Nobody ever regrets having another kid (at least openly)

We aren't socially allowed to be very open about kids who are mistakes.  I suspect that the real percentage of parents who regret having a kid is a lot higher than zero though.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: nereo on June 14, 2021, 09:16:10 AM
Nobody ever regrets having another kid (at least openly)

We aren't socially allowed to be very open about kids who are mistakes.  I suspect that the real percentage of parents who regret having a kid is a lot higher than zero though.

There's regret for kids that are mistakes (either a child that was unplanned or a child that - for whatever reason/definition - is deemed 'bad'), and then there's also regret from parents about having another child. We stigmatize both, but the backlash on parents who regret having a child can be intense.
It is very real, though.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Psychstache on June 14, 2021, 02:12:55 PM
@Steeze. Can your wife go back to work and you stay home with your son? How does she propose to accomplish two family members at home with the baby? I understand your point. I didn't think anyone reasonable person would argue that two people need to be home with a healthy 2-month old. It can be a brutal experience though. To me it sounds like your wife is really struggling postpartum.

Probably not really an option - of course anything is possible, but I would have to quit my job, reducing our income by 60%+. I work in construction and am not able to work from home. I was the first person in my company to request parental leave, which ownership raised an eyebrow at for sure, despite it being a law in New York.

I have 12 weeks of parental leave (NY Law) at ~ 50% pay. The original plan was that I would use my PTO for the first 3 weeks, then go back to work until she finished her 5-month mat leave (@100% pay). At the 5-month mark I would take my leave. After my leave was up (~ 8mo. old) her mom would come for 6-months. After that he would go to daycare full time.

I took the 3 weeks PTO, my mom came down to help out for the first 4 weeks also. So she had 2 people to help for 3 weeks, then just my mom for a week. She was on her own for a week and I ended up taking a month of my leave because she was struggling. Now I am back to work 3 weeks and she is still struggling again / still.

She wants me to take more leave and is making me feel really guilty for not doing so. That wasn't the plan - we were never supposed to have our leaves overlap. Any overlap means the boy goes into daycare that much sooner, and the goal was to push that back as far as possible. Neither one of us want that - but she keeps saying it will work itself out.

Perhaps her dad can come sooner, but due to Covid they are unable to travel directly to the US, making for a 20+day $$,$$$ very complicated travel itinerary. Plus her mom and dad would be apart from one another for 6+ months. Her mom is not willing / able to navigate the crazy travel path alone, so she is stuck until the borders open again.

Not really sure what I can do - just keep trying to give 110% when I am home and hope she figures it out. If I take more leave right now my bosses are going to lose it - We already agreed that it would be 2022 when I took the next 8 weeks. Lose-Lose situation.

This might not be a matter of just figuring things out.  PPD is a real condition that she should be evaluated for asap. The next step could be narrowing the specific needs that should be addressed. For example, I couldn't "sleep when the baby slept" during the day. Too much restless anxiety. Led to major sleep deprivation.

Perhaps, on a temporary basis, a part time mother's helper who can just do laundry during nap time so your wife can nap or just relax would help bc the non family member wouldn't do any direct baby care. Sometimes you gotta get creative.

+10000000

Please ask your wife to talk to the doctor about PPD.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Mrs. D. on June 15, 2021, 07:54:06 AM
Your children will be left on this earth without you, but they will have each other.  Go ahead and give them one more.

I know this logic doesn't do it for everybody, but this was a huge part of why I wanted a 3rd kid. Seems like such a gift to have more siblings with whom to share life's journey. Of course, that could be an argument for having a 4th, 5th, 6th, etc and we are stopping at 3.

Recently DH and I hammered out wills and guardianship plans for our kids. It made me appreciate how great it would be to have 8 siblings instead of 1. There would always be someone there who could look after the kids.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Mgmny on June 21, 2021, 08:27:00 AM
I think this REALLY depends on the kids (or, toddlers, really), that you have. Our 2.5-year-old is insane. He runs, he screams, he doesn't listen, he won't go to sleep, he throws things (i mean, he's also very smart, inquisitive, polite, and can be sweet too - he's like Jekyll and Hyde - and that's what makes it tough, never know if he will say "please may i have some more toast?" or if he will throw his plate and scream and yell until he gets toast). His younger brother, 9 months old, is the happiest baby ever. He smiles at everyone and everything. He isn't mobile. He's content sitting in 1 spot playing with toys for 20+ minutes at a time. His older brother was never like that.

I joke that i want 7 kids with a huge van out in the country on a homestead (isn't that everyone's dream? ;) ). But, honestly if we get another child like our first, it could seal the deal for us. If we keep spitting out children like our youngest, i could see my wife agreeing to go to #4. If we had our children in reverse order, we would be done at 2, almost assuredly. Our first would have lulled us into a "babies are easy!" mentality and then the second would come along and blow our socks off. After our actual first, we expected all our kids to be like that. When my brother had a baby a few months after us we were like, "what's wrong with her? She just lays there all day!!" and now we would kill for another baby like that.

So, i think the personality of children plays a role too.

Also, there is a book called "Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think" and I read it, and it was OK. It made some good points, but it also called out the fact that generally speaking, people with more kids are less happy and that taking care of your kids is one of the things that make us least happy (seconded only by driving to work). It did say that PLAYING with kids was high on the list for happiness though, but again, how often are you "playing" vs. "watching" your kids?

One thing it called out as a big consideration is that kids are around for life, and most people don't take this into consideration. They just think, "Oh damn, i already have 2 toddlers, how am I ever going to sleep again if i have another kid???" But you need to remember that the toddler phase is like 2 years, and these kids are going to be around for the rest of your life, not just the first 3-4 years of their lives. It said that grandchildren make people very very happy, and that your likelihood of having grandchildren increases (obviously) with the more children you have. You have potential built-in caretakers/support system as you get old, infirm, or sick. 


It also made the argument  that you might have a somewhat moral obligation to increase the young population because we are going to have a serious crisis when we are all old and there are no children to pay for social security, take care of us, or keep economy going as the population makes an inverse age pyramid. Interesting thoughts.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Del Griffith on June 21, 2021, 09:04:12 AM
Iím still very much enjoying reading all of these insights.


I know this logic doesn't do it for everybody, but this was a huge part of why I wanted a 3rd kid. Seems like such a gift to have more siblings with whom to share life's journey.

One thing that is also gently influencing me, although I guess not necessarily one way or another per se, but more so that Iím keeping in mind, is that my three nephews (and my sister and her husband) live literally three doors away from us. They moved in towards the end of 2020 (one of the few positives to come from the pandemic) so our kids have been spending a ton of time together since. Itís not the same as a sibling that you live with, but more love, support, socialization and just a generally larger family within a 20 second walk.

Another thing I have been staying in tuned with is my gut reaction when I see a pregnancy announcement of anyone I know on social media. So far Iíve had a couple ďughĒs and a couple neutral reactions. So far no envy, but I also have a 4.5 month old so it still might be too fresh of a wound. Iím wondering if that will all change around the year or so mark. And if it stays ďughĒ or neutral, that could be telling too.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Michael in ABQ on June 22, 2021, 11:46:13 AM
Iím still very much enjoying reading all of these insights.


I know this logic doesn't do it for everybody, but this was a huge part of why I wanted a 3rd kid. Seems like such a gift to have more siblings with whom to share life's journey.

One thing that is also gently influencing me, although I guess not necessarily one way or another per se, but more so that Iím keeping in mind, is that my three nephews (and my sister and her husband) live literally three doors away from us. They moved in towards the end of 2020 (one of the few positives to come from the pandemic) so our kids have been spending a ton of time together since. Itís not the same as a sibling that you live with, but more love, support, socialization and just a generally larger family within a 20 second walk.

Another thing I have been staying in tuned with is my gut reaction when I see a pregnancy announcement of anyone I know on social media. So far Iíve had a couple ďughĒs and a couple neutral reactions. So far no envy, but I also have a 4.5 month old so it still might be too fresh of a wound. Iím wondering if that will all change around the year or so mark. And if it stays ďughĒ or neutral, that could be telling too.

For my wife, it was usually around the one year mark that the thought of another pregnancy started triggering a positive reaction instead of neutral or negative. After six, we're definitely leaning towards being finished. But we'll remain open to life and if we have another baby then we'll just enjoy that other blessing.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: shelivesthedream on June 23, 2021, 03:22:15 AM
I also find one year a critical point where food and sleep problems are minimal and entertainment value is maximal.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Gone Fishing on June 23, 2021, 06:52:55 AM
There are nearly 8 BILLION people on the planet.  Think about that number for a moment...

8 BILLION
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Mgmny on June 23, 2021, 07:55:35 AM
There are nearly 8 BILLION people on the planet.  Think about that number for a moment...

8 BILLION

And they will all need eldercare and an economy to prop up their lifestyles as they age. Good point! More children!
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: shelivesthedream on June 23, 2021, 08:37:32 AM
Actually the WHO, among other major organisations, predicts that we are within a decade or two of peak global population. So by the time these two or three kids are adults, we'll have passed population tipping point and be in a substantial global decline.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Steeze on June 23, 2021, 08:38:39 AM
There are nearly 8 BILLION people on the planet.  Think about that number for a moment...

8 BILLION

And they will all need eldercare and an economy to prop up their lifestyles as they age. Good point! More children!

Every time I see people talk about the demographics problem I can't help but think about the game 'City Skylines' - in the game there is an issue where the populations goes through 'death waves' basically because the city grows so rapidly for a period, there is a huge bubble of old people at some point. They all die off, housing goes empty, the economy tanks, the city fills with blight, austerity measures are needed to drastically reduce the budget. Schools and hospitals go unfunded, the average incomes drop, crime rises. The city is in a death spiral until some sore of equilibrium is found again and the city slowly comes back to life. Go into that situation with a lot of debt and your budget blows up easily.

You can also download a MOD to keep this from happening :)
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: middo on June 23, 2021, 04:23:12 PM
We have 3, and I wouldn't want it otherwise.  We were happy with 2.  The story.

Our first was a traumatic birth, with my wife haemorrhaging badly and nearly dying, needing blood transfusions and emergency surgery.  We were told it was just a chance occurance and unlikely to happen again.

Our second was also traumatic,  with again my wife haemorrhaging  and nearly dying.  We realised then that childbirth was dangerous to her health and something we shouldn't do again.

Our third pregnancy was unexpected.  We were really challenged by it, as we knew the consequences could be more trauma for us.  We considered abortion, but looking at our two kids, couldn't do it.  Partially a moral decision, partially out of love.  I'm not religious and do not think abortion is wrong.  It is just wrong for us.

We went through with the pregnancy, my wife had the baby in a major hospital just in case, and if course it was all OK.

I had a vasectomy by then, as we were definitely not going back for more.  Within 18 months we were considering a reversal and trying for a fourth, but ultimately decided to not try our luck.

We are exceedingly happy with our 3.  I would suggest see how you feel, rather than overthink it.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: YeahNo on June 24, 2021, 08:45:31 AM
For us it was truly a "when you know, you know". We both kinda sorta wanted 3 before we started. Once we got to two (1 boy 1 girl), we were kind of indifferent to having another. We basically just said, whatever happens, happens. We won't intentionally try and we won't intentionally not try. We ended up with a 3rd on the way. After the 3rd was born we both knew WE WERE DONE. No question at all. Feels good to truly not even question it.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: havregryn on June 24, 2021, 08:57:52 AM
We have three, two boys and then a girl. I think if we had a boy and then a girl, we might have stopped at two, but I'm not really sure of that. I have two siblings that I get along with very well and as a family we get together a lot and have a great time, so maybe that contributed to me wanting a bigger family? But what I will say is that the world comes in a 4 pack. Everything is more expensive with a family of 5 instead of 4. We can't get a regular hotel room, must get 2 rooms or some kind of extra large suite. Cup cakes from cute new bakery is in a 4 pack. The "Family Pack" of tickets to museums or sports games are often only for 4.  We fit an a regular car, but not comfortably, so we got a minivan. Most modest houses are 3 bedroom, and that is what we have. So the boys have to share a small room. That doesn't bother me, by it really bothers them! So you don't have to spend extra on everything, but it makes things that little bit easier if you do.

Completely agree with this post
Exactly the same here.
Had two boys, but always wanted a big family and kind of REALLY wanted a girl.
They are spaced 3 years apart all of them since I was lucky enough to get an accidental "early" start (my first pregnancy was an accident at 29 which is of still kind of young in our professional circles so it also allowed me to have 3 year gaps between 3 kids in a way that starting after 35 wouldn't have).
I would never send our little girl back but it's true that the world is designed for 2 kid families and there's extra hassle/expenses with the 3rd one.
Housing and travel are the big ones.
It's still worth it though, I never for a second regretting having the baby girl.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: kite on June 24, 2021, 11:22:07 AM
There are nearly 8 BILLION people on the planet.  Think about that number for a moment...

8 BILLION

And they will all need eldercare and an economy to prop up their lifestyles as they age. Good point! More children!

Live expectancy took a nosedive with Covid, and birthrates are down everywhere. I think we've either already hit, or will closely hit, max population. 
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: Chris Pascale on June 24, 2021, 06:14:23 PM
4 was enough for us. ages 10-20. We're happy to have them, and they are happy to have each other. Some years were lean (not lean FIRE, but lean lean) but it was what was right for us.

During the lockdown, I was very fortunate that we had enough space for privacy, but enough people not to be lonely.
Title: Re: 2 vs. 3
Post by: mrs sideways on July 05, 2021, 05:26:35 PM
I'd disagree that you'll know for sure if you have the right amount of kids. I will always kind of regret not having a 3rd (especially because our families on both sides are whittling down to nothing, due to childfree adults and only children) but I think we made the right decision stopping at 2. Various reasons include:

- Our house is 1200 sq ft with 3 bedrooms: another kid meant someone would have to share a room, and there's not a lot of room to share.
- The second kid was much, MUCH harder than the first, and the sleep deprivation nearly broke me.
- Husband and I were getting older and autism (along with other disorders) loomed large in our minds.
- Our neighbors two houses away went for kid #3, and got surprise #4 at the same time.

If we had started younger or gotten a bigger house, we might have gone for it. As it was, getting my tubes taken out was, I think, probably, hopefully, the right move.