Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
The Planner
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:33 am
Location: UAE

Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by The Planner » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:47 am

Hello All,

I'm a 36-year old father of two boys aged 2.5 years and 9 months. My wife will be 37 in a few months. We both enjoy and love our kids immensely and have a solid relationship.

Christmas is just over and it was so nice seeing so many loved ones - three generations of them - gathered around my grandmother that it really emphasized for me the importance of family.

I was wondering if the wise people here would have any thoughts or experiences to share on the pros and cons of having a third child. Of course it's a personal decision to have another child and no one can say whether it would be a right or wrong choice.

But what I'm looking for here are anecdotes and wisdom from older people who decided to take the plunge from two to three or more children. How did it change your life materially, financially, practically and emotionally? Did it lead to financial or spousal stress? On balance was it a decision you look back on fondly, or with a tinge of scarcely admittable regret? I'm especially interested in the impact it's had in your older or retirement years. By having extra children, do you now reap rewards in terms of having and enjoying more grandchildren for example, who enrich your life? Or are you financially stretched in a way that negatively impacts your life now? (it's not either or, I know)
Last edited by The Planner on Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 2081
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:56 am

We made the decision to keep at two for several reasons:

1) If you have three or more, you are outnumbered. They gang up on you.

2) More seriously, my wife's parents were 15 years old than my parents due to them marrying late (35). We noticed significant difference in the relationships with them being older. Although, you're at the same rough age as they were when they had my wife. My parents had me when my mother was 22.

3) We did the "how old will we be when" scenario and determined we didn't want to be near 60 when our kids got out of college.

It's a personal choice, you're not going to find a consensus. The financial impact depends on your financial means.

We have no natural grandchildren yet, our oldest got married in December and has a 9 year old step daughter though.
Avid user of forums on a variety of interests - financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair and more. Enjoy learning and passing on knowledge.

fabdog
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:59 pm
Location: Williamsburg VA

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by fabdog » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:00 am

Not sure how wise we are, but we were married at about the age you are now, and my wife had 2 girls from her first marriage. We then had another girl when I was 38/wife 37, and a son when I was 42/wife 41. We are now retired, and the two younger kids are junior in college/junior in high school.

No regrets, no financial stress, and no spousal tension. That said, I had a very good job and was able to save for retirement and education funding for both of the younger kids (all 4 will be set for 4 year state schools fully paid).

It was occasionally interesting when we did school events/scouts/little league, etc as we were somewhat older than the other parents, but other than realizing I wasn't the best batting practice pitcher anymore in my late 40's :happy noting remarkable

It hasn't seemed to impact the kids that their folks are retired when they are still in school, and we have time to be engaged in their activities.

We do have 3 grandkids from the 2 older girls, but are not expecting anymore for several years and it's not a concern. We aren't aiming for a number there

Mike

corysold
Posts: 740
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by corysold » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:02 am

I can't to the older wisdom portion of your question, but we have 6 kids and I can say that the jump from 2 to 3 was the hardest. Just something about going from being able to give each one on one attention at all time, to not being able to.

We have a similar spread in ages to you as well, so it is certainly a doable experience. There are times I question whether the financial sacrifices we've made for 3+ children is worth it and it has been a constant struggle for me. I'd assume going to 3 won't have quite the same impact for you, but it is a question I've struggled with. I don't regret having 6 kids, but I do look forward to getting out of the infant/toddler stage, which we've almost done. We had our 6th at 36, so I'm not worried about being the "old" parents when our youngest is in school, but something to consider.

onourway
Posts: 1585
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by onourway » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:06 am

As others have said, the jump from 2 to 3 is hard, especially if they are relatively close in age. You are out-numbered and can no longer give undivided attention to everyone. We will often send one off to the grandparents house, and it's astonishing how much calmer things are when we are down to 2.

Financially it costs us a fortune. It's a ton of extra work. But neither of these things really matter for anything at all once you meet them for the first time. You just make it work.

User avatar
leeks
Posts: 415
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: new york

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by leeks » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:08 am

I will be interested to see responses but I'm guessing finances is not the biggest issue. I'm also guessing none regret 3+ children once they are older.
Ours are ages 2 and 4 and we are just now almost sometimes maybe but not consistently getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. We are having a really hard time considering the possibility of another 1-2 years of night wakings and some unknowable/intolerable/uncountable additional number of years being woken up against our will every day at 6 am or earlier.

stoptothink
Posts: 4844
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:21 am

We are similar age (37 and 32) with two young children (6 and 3), and have been battling back-and-forth with this same question for a few years now. As far as I am concerned, we are done, but my wife will "get the feeling" every few months that we should have a 3rd (usually when a friend or neighbor has a newborn) and we have to go through the discussion all over again. We both have professional careers which have us traveling quite a bit; if we didn't live so close to work (I'm <.5 mile and wife is about 3 miles) and both didn't have a ton of flexibility with our careers, I really don't know how we'd make it work right now. Wife tried to be a SAHM, but she really did not like it. I already work from home at least once a week and am never at the office past 2:45pm because someone has to get my daughter at the bus stop. When I am traveling, the wife has to do the same thing (and she is also a full-time student). It's a logistical nightmare, but somehow we make it work. For me, there are a few factors which make a 3rd a no-go:

1. As others have mentioned, a 3rd means you can't play man-to-man. A newborn needs a lot of attention, but so do 6 and 3yr olds.
2. A 3rd means a larger car, and for us, maybe a larger home. We share a single compact car and it is plenty of room for everything (including 1000+ mile, week-long camping trips). A 3rd means something with a 3rd row and also probably a larger home; we have 3bdrs and everything in our home is designed for 4 (ie. our dinner table only seats 4).
3. I feel like I am too old for a newborn. It's a lot of work, and considering my wife is very career-driven and also is a full-time student (finishing her undergrad, now looking at grad programs), a lot of the onus is on me. With my career, I just don't see how it is possible.

I'd be open to a 3rd if the wife was willing to be a SAHM, but that's not happening. How we manage to get everything done as it is, is a logistical miracle. My mother raised 5 kids on her own - well, we raised ourselves - I'm not putting my kids in that situation, where they are basically on their own.

Frank Grimes
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:54 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by Frank Grimes » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:25 am

Similar situation, we are early/mid 30s and have an almost 2/almost 4 pair of knuckleheads and we're so close to regaining some of that freedom that's been gone for so long.

We always assumed we'd go for 3 since we both came from 3 kid families but having gone from 1 to 2, I know that going from 2 to 3 will be way harder than that jump. Plus the new logistics, different cars, etc. And since we already have two healthy and happy kids we're getting closer to calling it.

JGoneRiding
Posts: 1398
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by JGoneRiding » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:34 am

Frank Grimes wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:25 am
Similar situation, we are early/mid 30s and have an almost 2/almost 4 pair of knuckleheads and we're so close to regaining some of that freedom that's been gone for so long.

We always assumed we'd go for 3 since we both came from 3 kid families but having gone from 1 to 2, I know that going from 2 to 3 will be way harder than that jump. Plus the new logistics, different cars, etc. And since we already have two healthy and happy kids we're getting closer to calling it.
Our second isn't coming till later this year but this had been our discussion as well. We also both come from family of 3 (my husband's argument for a 3rd) for me the biggest against us the lack of direct care and the toll on my old body ;) while I have been very healthy there is no question it's tough on you carrying a child. Add in I am the primary breadwinner and the high cost of child care, a third isn't in the budget right now.

prncrakim
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:53 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by prncrakim » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:39 am

I am your age now, my youngest of three is 7. Having three kids is hard. No way around it. That said the youngest is a joy and brings profound happiness to my wife and me. Wouldn't have it any other way. Good luck!

Rupert
Posts: 4077
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Rupert » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:43 am

We chose not to have a third for many reasons, the two most prominent were (1) the extra expense and (2) the toll on a 37+ year old mother's body. As many have noted, that third child is the most expensive one. It usually means you need at least one bigger automobile and possibly a bigger house. It means that down the road (when the kids are a little older), it becomes harder to travel. Hotel room occupancy is often limited to 4. Other memberships, e.g., museum membership packages, are also often designed for a family of 4. So many things become more expensive and logistically more complicated when you add a third child. As for the physical matter, there is a surprisingly large difference between the risk of having a baby when you are 38 or 39, compared to, say, 35 or 36. Each year past 35 is a big deal, medically speaking, for mother and baby. We didn't want a third child enough to justify taking those risks.

klw084
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:42 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by klw084 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:11 am

We have three children.

They say the hardest jump is from two to three and I believe it.

As people have mentioned, nothing is designed for a family of 5. Cars, restaurant tables, etc. Furthermore, when we just had two, as they got a little older we were starting to travel again, go out to restaurants etc., it's tough to have a newborn and go back into isolation.

But, I think the psychological jump is worse. You really become aware of it when you are trying to cross the street with your children and for the first time you realize that you can't hold everyone's hand.

That said, we love all our children very much and hopefully, they love each other as well and having one more person in their lives that they can potentially rely on has been worth the extra cost to our finances and to our nerves.

FootballFan5548
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 2:20 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by FootballFan5548 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:12 am

Wife and I are both 35. We have a 3.5 year old daughter and a 1.5 year old son... very fortunate to have one of each, so no real pressure to try for a 3rd for wanting a different gender reasons.

We go back and forth on having a 3rd. Since we're both 35 it feels like almost now or never time. I'm selfish. I like me time, I like down time, and I like to sleep when I can. My two kids are my entire life, and actually both great sleepers. I love them more than anything on earth. I'm not sure I could handle a 3rd because of me being selfish and wanting "my life" back.

We have a 4br house, and a 3 row car... we could make it work financially I think, although it would add a few years to my retirement age. I come from a family of 3 kids, and both my brothers have 3 kids. My wife comes from a family of 2 kids and we have 2. We feel like we're set at 2, but in the back of my mind I think about being old and in a rocking chair, and how nice would it be to have a 3rd person (plus potentially more grandkids) to come and visit us.

We are still in deciding stage... not really sure what we'll do, but i'd say odds are against it.

User avatar
8foot7
Posts: 1090
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:29 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:28 am

I have a 9.5 year old son from a first marriage, and wife #2 and I have a 2.5 year old. We are both mid-30s, though past 35 and have this discussion often. My gut says no but I feel bad because my wife would definitely like another child; however, in this case I think there's a bit of baby fever clouding the very realistic practical points made here...plus it took two miscarriages to get the 2.5 year old and that was a brutal stretch for both of us.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

goblue100
Posts: 818
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:31 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by goblue100 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:30 am

I don't fit your requested profile, we only had one child and two miscarriages. Our second child just never happened. I wish for my daughters sake she had a sibling, but its never going to happen now. Luckily the man she just married has two sisters, so I'm hopeful she gets to experience what having sisters would have been like, at least to a certain extent.

My thoughts on the matter are conflicting:
1. Have another child, you won't regret it.
2. If you have to ask on a public forum, you don't want or need another child.

Which one fits better, lol?
Financial planners are savers. They want us to be 95 percent confident we can finance a 30-year retirement even though there is an 82 percent probability of being dead by then. - Scott Burns

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 8540
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:31 am

FootballFan5548 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:12 am
.....but in the back of my mind I think about being old and in a rocking chair, and how nice would it be to have a 3rd person (plus potentially more grandkids) to come and visit us.
Be careful what you wish for. You might not have to wait for them to visit because they still live with you.

I was 39 when our first was born. 43 with the second. When the second graduates college....and possibly returns home, I’ll be 66 or 67 or dead by then.

Toddlers and infants are dead simple to deal with. Hit the teen years and the emotional and financial cost is much, much higher.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 1942
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:35 am

Two of my brothers have three kids each. For one brother it was an oops, wife didn’t know she was pregnant even. For another brother, it wasn’t an oops, but it was realization that they really wanted a girl, somebody the wife can have reason to go shopping for. Huge gap after two boys, maybe 10 years. But the bottom line those last two kids now are the Apple in their eyes. But they both had help from in-laws in taking care of the last kid, so it’s not a hardship.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 1942
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:39 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:31 am
FootballFan5548 wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:12 am
.....but in the back of my mind I think about being old and in a rocking chair, and how nice would it be to have a 3rd person (plus potentially more grandkids) to come and visit us.
Be careful what you wish for. You might not have to wait for them to visit because they still live with you.

I was 39 when our first was born. 43 with the second. When the second graduates college....and possibly returns home, I’ll be 66 or 67 or dead by then.

Toddlers and infants are dead simple to deal with. Hit the teen years and the emotional and financial cost is much, much higher.
My husband was 44 when we had our last kid. As I remember he was telling his mom, he’s old but I was not. My brother was 46 when he had his last child, the child just started high school now. Mine has left home, but both of my kids had no terrible twos, no teenager problem. Maybe because we didn’t have them either, pass on the genes I guess. Why do we assume they do?
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Weston
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:53 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Weston » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:40 am

I'm 64. My wife is 67. We have 4 kids (ages 42 to 27) and 3 grandkids. It's such a personal decision. For me.... If I could have afforded it, I would have gladly had a dozen kids. Nothing has come close to the joy and satisfaction of raising my kids and there is nothing I would rather do than hang around with my kids. It probably helps a lot that as both parents and human beings my weaknesses are my wife's strengths and my strengths are my wife's weaknesses. I figure between the two of us we make one relatively, normal, well adjusted human being for our kids to emulate.

Hockey10
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:20 pm
Location: Philadelphia suburbs

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Hockey10 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:57 am

I looked at it from a different (possibly selfish) perspective. Between my parents and my wife's parents, 2 of the 4 died suddenly when my wife and I were in our early 30s. The other 2 parents needed years of care, which we provided for them while we were in our 30s and 40s. Now, they are all gone, but we gave them the best possible living arrangements and medical care in their later years. They also had the opportunity to spend time with their 3 grandchildren.

In my late 30s, I started to think that it would be a good idea to have a 3rd child, so that there would be plenty of people around to care for my wife and I when we get old. We are now in our late 50s, I am very glad that we have 3 adult kids.

DarthSage
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:39 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by DarthSage » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:47 pm

Having children was more of a challenge than we thought. We had our first, then our second soon after (they're 21 months apart). Then we had secondary infertility, coupled with a...challenging...child. I say "all my gray hairs are named after him". He had multiple medical and developmental issues. We were on a first-name basis with the ER staff, had visited every specialist in the region, he had several incorrect diagnoses, and was in physical and speech therapy. I figured the fertility issues were just God's way of telling me I had my hands full! Funny thing was, the summer #2 was 5 (and finally healthy), was the summer I made peace with the fact that, even though we wanted 4 kids, maybe it wasn't going to happen.

You know the punch line--the day after #2 started kindergarten was the day I got a positive pregnancy test. #3 was my easiest pregnancy, easiest delivery, and all-around an easy child. Maybe because I'd already been through the ringer? Then, DH started angling that he wanted to try for a fourth. Honestly, I thought he was nuts--I was 39, and had always said, "40, and I'm done!". It took SIX YEARS to get #3! Mostly, though, I didn't want to be 45 and desperate, didn't want medical interventions, and most of all, didn't want DH and I to secretly blame each other if our efforts didn't pan out. So we made an agreement to try, for a set period of time, and if it didn't work out, we would accept that.

You know punch line #2--I got pregnant right away. I delivered him 10 days after my 42nd birthday. He is my joy! I must admit, though--some days, I feel as old as Methuselah! He didn't sleep through the night for about the first year--I was So. Very. Tired!

Bottom line, I never would have picked the line-up that I received. We do worry about DH being 65 when our youngest graduates college. I fear that, no matter what, the youngest gets the least of our time. One of my worries that never really happened was, I worried that, with our spread (almost 11 years, oldest to youngest), I was concerned they wouldn't be close. In fact, they get along surprisingly well. FTR, I have a 23yo girl, 21yo boy, 15yo girl, and a 12yo boy.

User avatar
LiveSimple
Posts: 1174
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by LiveSimple » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:51 pm

Enjoy naturally and leave the rest to the nature. Take what nature gives. If nature gives one baby, then you know how to control further.

User avatar
DaftInvestor
Posts: 4358
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:11 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:54 pm

I was one of 3 children so have some experience with 3 children. I, however, chose to have only 2 children.
My reasoning:
1) Middle-child syndrome is real. You can try to avoid it as best you can - but it happens.
2) 3 children is up to 50% more expensive than 2. Unless you have unlimited financial resources you won't be able to provide as well to 3 versus 2.
3) My patience on dealing with babies ran out with our second child. For us - this was the primary reason.
4) Its harder to get a table at a restaurant for 5 versus 4 - majority of tables are set up for 4 people :)

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 12307
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:06 pm

We have three children but they are way more spread out.

When my daughters were 16 and 10, we had a pleasant surprise with a new baby boy.

It was a joy to have a toddler again, and having a son is indeed somewhat different from raising daughters. We got the fun (and pain) of having kids in the house for a LONG time since we had the third kid so long after the first. No regrets at all.

But your kids are currently very very young. There is no bonus to having a third right now, except maybe a chance for a daughter (but 50/50 another son).

3 young kids would seem to be a lot of work. The way we did it, we had two built-in babysitters for years. :)

Plus, we spread out college. I never had to deal with more than one tuition check at a time (There was a year or two where I had to pay for college, braces, AND day-care all at the same time - didn't save much THOSE years)
Last edited by HomerJ on Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The J stands for Jay

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 12307
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:08 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:54 pm
Middle-child syndrome is real. You can try to avoid it as best you can - but it happens.
This is true.

Our middle daughter (who was the baby of the family) did kind of get the short-end of the stick. The baby's needs often seem to take precedent, and she used to be the one who got all the attention before that.
Its harder to get a table at a restaurant for 5 versus 4 - majority of tables are set up for 4 people :)
Practical! I love it!

Plus, OP, you're going to have to get a mini-van if you want three kids. That's not necessarily a negative. I LOVED our minivan. I totally miss those 18 cup holders. But it might be a negative for you.
The J stands for Jay

stimulacra
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by stimulacra » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:19 pm

Other than increased expenses and re-sorting of financial priorities, I would imagine it would still be a crap shoot right?

I think a lot would depend on you and your spouse's background, parenting style, and possibly the gender of the third child. Typically parents who have two kids of one gender probably desire that the third child is of the opposite gender.

If that's the case what is in both of your hearts if you end up with three sons? I have a relative in that situation and she is openly discussing and wishing for a 4th child in the hopes that she can finally have a daughter. This is having some unintended consequences on her 2nd and 3rd kids.

Time Magazine had an amazing issue dedicated to siblings and exploring all of the multifaceted ramifications of that relationship back in 2006. Worth reading from cover to cover. The relationship and dynamics your children will have with each other will probably outlast their relationships with you, and/or their relationships with their spouses and partners.

overthought
Posts: 250
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:44 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by overthought » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:36 pm

6 kids here, similar age to OP. Wouldn't trade 'em for the world.

My advice: Don't stop at 3. Stay at 2 or continue to 4+

As many have pointed out, 3 kids is the maximally awkward family size... too big to take an exclusively "one on one" approach any more, but still too small for economies of scale to really kick in. Essentially, you pay all the costs of a big family (minivan, bigger house, road trips instead of flights, some form of stay-at-home parenting, etc.) but don't really have a big family yet.

I would rank transition difficulties like this, hardest first:
  • 0 -> 1: Welcome to parenthood. Your life just changed forever.
  • 2 -> 3: Time to start playing zone defense, hope you like minivans, middle (or third) child syndrome, etc.
  • 1 -> 2: Kid load just doubled.
  • 5 -> 6: Officially into Big Family territory. No more space for friends in the minivan (and it better have 8 seats)
  • 3 -> 4: Economies of scale start to kick in, younger kids play together, older ones start to babysit, etc.
  • 4 -> 5: More economies of scale.
Note that there's another BIG breakpoint at 7+ kids, because now you're looking at a full-size van if you want to travel together. That said, we enjoy our full-size van as a way to get more stuff (and friends/relatives) along for the ride.

User avatar
TierArtz
Posts: 189
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:33 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by TierArtz » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:37 pm

The DW and I had our three kids when I was 44, 47, and 49; she is only 3.5 years younger than I. All babies were planned and none are regretted. Our ages seemed to have made three the limit. Thankfully, we were well prepared for kids financially and emotionally and don't think we would have been better off with only two.

Raising the third from an infant to grade-school age seemed the easiest - likely due to practice and wisdom not to sweat the small stuff.

When making travel plans, we sometimes have to filter for a room for 4, as some hotels/states do not allow 5 people in a room. A roll-up camping mattress and not checking in as a group fixes that.

I believe our kids entertain themselves better than if we only had two.

Having three increases the chance of having at least one of the two possible genders :wink:

Having three makes a minivan the only logical choice for one vehicle.

overthought
Posts: 250
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:44 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by overthought » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:44 pm

stimulacra wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:19 pm
Time Magazine had an amazing issue dedicated to siblings and exploring all of the multifaceted ramifications of that relationship back in 2006. Worth reading from cover to cover. The relationship and dynamics your children will have with each other will probably outlast their relationships with you, and/or their relationships with their spouses and partners.
This also. A large family is its own clan in a very real way, and you (as parent) start to realize that you're far from the only major influence in your kids' life. I consider that a Good Thing, it produces a different (healthier, more socially responsible IMO) kind of mentality in the kids.

You have to be an intentional parent when you have 3+ kids, tho, because they'll explore issues with each other that otherwise they might not encounter until out of the house.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 15216
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Watty » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:47 pm

The Planner wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:47 am
By having extra children, do you now reap rewards in terms of having and enjoying more grandchildren for example, who enrich your life?
I only had one kid who is 30 now but have two grandkids so my situation is much different.

It is just anecdotal but I know a number of people who are about my age who have grown kids that are not married or will likely not have kids so they do not have any grand-kids. Millennials seem to get getting married later if they get married at all.

There has also been a trend, especially for college educated woman, to have their first baby later in life and on average it is over the age of 30 now.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/20 ... l-the-30s/

I don't know where it would fit in your planning but with two kids there is a real chance that one or both of them will decide not to have kids and if they do have kids they may be in their 30s and you could be around 70 by then.

The future is of course totally unpredictable and your two kids could start having babied before they are 20.

I don't think that the hope of having future grandkids should be much of a factor in deciding to have a 3rd kid or not.

cheezit
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:28 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by cheezit » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:50 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:08 pm
I LOVED our minivan. I totally miss those 18 cup holders.
Fuji Heavy Industries has managed to surpass even this technological achievement!

User avatar
teen persuasion
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by teen persuasion » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:58 pm

I'm used to big families, growing up in a family with only 4 kids felt like a really small family. I didn't call quits until after #5, mainly because the minivan held 7 of us, and because I was a few weeks shy of 38 when DS5 was born. DH thought DS5 needed a younger sibling, he'd be lonely :shock: - ok, he is a larger gap from the others (6.5 years, vs the 2.5-3 year gap between each of the older ones.

I found that the 2.5 - 3 year gap between kids was perfect: the older one was potty trained and mature enough that they wanted to be a helper, rather than resent a new interloper demanding my attention. They were close enough to play together later.

As far as being outnumbered, we never viewed it that way. We viewed us as all part of a loving family, and we look out for one another.

Middle - High school years (for the oldest ones) brought more challenges, simply because of more activities for everyone. I was a SAHM until youngest hit school age, and we were homebodies until the kids began school. We became experts at divide and conquer for activities - we'd figure out who had what where and when that day, and I would cover one direction and DH the other, if necessary. Of course, there were also many activities that the entire family did or attended, too: concerts, sports events, musicals, etc. It's actually pretty weird right now, with only one at home regularly (DS4 is currently on break from college, too).

The kids learn from one another, play with one another, influence each other. One trying a sport might recruit another in the future. One taking up a different music ensemble might trigger an older one to branch out, too. Some decide to do something entirely different, to stand out. It's really neat to watch the way they each react to the sum of the family's experiences.

I can't imagine having only 2 kids.

rivers03
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:04 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by rivers03 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:01 pm

DH and I are almost 36 and our baby #3 just turned 1 last month (older 2 are 6 and 4). I love having 3 children and would have another if my husband would agree! :) But, with two full-time jobs he thinks we are at our tipping point. Yes, it is a lot of work and a lot of money but there is exponentially more laughter, joy, and love in our home. Travel is becoming more difficult (we try now to get suite style hotels or VRBO type places) and I about whether my kids are getting enough one-on-one time (but honestly, I worried about that before too so I may just be a worrier!). But, I LOVE seeing the separate sibling relationships develop among the kids and it is one of my greatest life goals to try to foster an environment where each of them has two siblings to encourage and support them throughout their life. Best of luck to you!

Texanbybirth
Posts: 1038
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:07 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Texanbybirth » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:17 pm

Be cool, have a third, and then get a minivan. :D

(#3 due in March [me 33, wife 32, 4 & 2 yo already], so I'm not experienced enough to add anything of value. Love all the comments from those with big ol' families though: a true inspiration. :beer )
"Knowledge and innocence are both excellent things, and they are both very funny. But it is right that knowledge should be the servant and innocence the master." - GK Chesterton

staythecourse
Posts: 6553
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by staythecourse » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:26 pm

We thought about a third for a little while. Our second has developed some odd vomiting issue that was quite hard to diagnose and treat. The time spent and emotional time spent on it causing us to neglect the first a bit was enough to realize we couldn't have a third and give the same attention.

Some uncomfortable discussions you have to have if you are really considering it are 1. What will you do if you are set on a girl and end up with another boy, 2. What will you do if it ends up twins, and 3. How will you feel and affect the rest of the family forever if it is a special needs child? These are not comfortable discussions to have but are the pragmatic ones to have.

For me and my wife, we discussed if we choose to have a third in the future we would rather adopt. This way you get the gender you want, don't have to go through the baby phase, and help society in a meaningful way.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

capitalhockey
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:35 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by capitalhockey » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:17 pm

My wife and I came from big families (her was 8 and mine was 6). We had polar opposite experiences growing up. Her 3 sisters were her best friends and she loved having a big family. For me, it was a constant struggle for resources (time, emotional, financial, etc) with parents that had limited amount to dole out to 4 kids. I had a brother (middle child syndrome?) who was always getting to trouble...all my parents' resources went to help him -- the rest of us whom were responsible were neglected and became resentful (trend persisted into adulthood). We also couldn't vacation much (very expensive) and the few times we did, the hotel room was very tight with 6 people inside (sure that was against hotel policy as well).

Naturally, my wife wanted a big family but I told her 2 would be good enough for me. I can devote my time (be involved in activities), finances (saved for college, etc.) and emotional (make child feel loved and special). Anything more than two, I feel like I am stretched thin in these resource components and it's not fair to the kids whom did not have a say about a big family.

Just my 2 cents.

User avatar
goodenyou
Posts: 1548
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:57 pm
Location: Skating to Where the Puck is Going to Be..or on the golf course

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by goodenyou » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:29 pm

3 here. 21,19,and 16. We started in out 30's due to long track education. Had 2 boys and my wife insisted she wanted to try for a girl. She won and we both won with a girl. It's a blessing to have kids. It's not easy, but nothing worthwhile in life is easy. Cost wasn't an issue. Thankfully, we had plenty of time and money to be attentive parents. Too attentive at times.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 12307
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:36 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:26 pm
Some uncomfortable discussions you have to have if you are really considering it are 1. What will you do if you are set on a girl and end up with another boy, 2. What will you do if it ends up twins, and 3. How will you feel and affect the rest of the family forever if it is a special needs child? These are not comfortable discussions to have but are the pragmatic ones to have.
These are excellent questions. Especially 2 and 3.

We have close friends who wanted just "one more" and got twins... :shock:
For me and my wife, we discussed if we choose to have a third in the future we would rather adopt. This way you get the gender you want, don't have to go through the baby phase, and help society in a meaningful way.
This is an excellent alternative. I'm so glad you brought it up!
The J stands for Jay

damon
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:25 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by damon » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:45 pm

We have 3-- a girl and two boys. Ages are 10, 8, and 7.

We were torn about whether or not to have the third. The question we asked ourselves when we were trying to decide whether to have the third or stop at 2 was "will I regret not having the 3rd when I'm 80?". We knew that it would be hard having the third but we didn't want the challenges we expected to make it an emotional decision based on the perceived difficulty.

For both of us, we agreed that yes, if we were able to have another child we would regret it if we stopped at two. Children are a gift. It may be hard to appreciate that in the midst of diapers and tantrums (and the teen years!!!) but when I'm 80 I'm sure I will have forgotten all of that.

User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 12307
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by HomerJ » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:50 pm

damon wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:45 pm
We have 3-- a girl and two boys. Ages are 10, 8, and 7.

We were torn about whether or not to have the third. The question we asked ourselves when we were trying to decide whether to have the third or stop at 2 was "will I regret not having the 3rd when I'm 80?". We knew that it would be hard having the third but we didn't want the challenges we expected to make it an emotional decision based on the perceived difficulty.

For both of us, we agreed that yes, if we were able to have another child we would regret it if we stopped at two. Children are a gift. It may be hard to appreciate that in the midst of diapers and tantrums (and the teen years!!!) but when I'm 80 I'm sure I will have forgotten all of that.
Well, the problem with that argument is that it equally applies to having a 4th child. And then a 5th child. And then a 6th child.
The J stands for Jay

staythecourse
Posts: 6553
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by staythecourse » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:14 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:50 pm
damon wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:45 pm
We have 3-- a girl and two boys. Ages are 10, 8, and 7.

We were torn about whether or not to have the third. The question we asked ourselves when we were trying to decide whether to have the third or stop at 2 was "will I regret not having the 3rd when I'm 80?". We knew that it would be hard having the third but we didn't want the challenges we expected to make it an emotional decision based on the perceived difficulty.

For both of us, we agreed that yes, if we were able to have another child we would regret it if we stopped at two. Children are a gift. It may be hard to appreciate that in the midst of diapers and tantrums (and the teen years!!!) but when I'm 80 I'm sure I will have forgotten all of that.
Well, the problem with that argument is that it equally applies to having a 4th child. And then a 5th child. And then a 6th child.
Agreed. Questions like this are very personal and the answer given will be a rationalization one way or another to support the decision.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

mcraepat9
Posts: 1106
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:46 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advise from older members

Post by mcraepat9 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:22 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:56 am
1) If you have three or more, you are outnumbered. They gang up on you.
LOL
Amateur investors are not cool-headed logicians.

Arabesque
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:56 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Arabesque » Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:05 pm

I am the 67 yo, single, adoptive mother of two children, now 22 and 17. I actually thought about three, but decided I would be ridiculously old when that child graduated from college.

I am happy with my decision, which is different than yours. The kids keep me young, active, and hip. I am able to afford them, but I am still working, and they are 4+ years apart, spreading out daycare and college. To provide for the long launch of contemporary children, I will work until 70 1/2. I guess that keeps me active, too.

Still I must admit that I was totally thrilled when the first college acceptance came for my younger. If she finishes in four, I will be 72 at her graduation. The empty nest is in sight.

fourwheelcycle
Posts: 531
Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:55 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by fourwheelcycle » Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:24 pm

My father was one of seven children. He always said the family farm would have gone under during the depression without free labor from the teenage children. My mother was one of five children. Perhaps because they were used to large families my parents also had five children.

My wife and I had just two children. As others have suggested, we chuckled (to ourselves) when our friends across the street had a third child, noting they would now be outnumbered by their own children. I also agree with others that money is probably not a major deciding factor for most people - things have a way of working out. For my wife and me, the biggest factors were my wife's career and our shared desire to move on to the next level of family activities with the two children we had. Except for about six months off with each newborn, fortunately with no pay interruption from her employer, my wife did not stop working, but she will attest her productivity took a big hit. She spent most of her forties getting her career back on track after devoting most of her thirties to raising two children through their early years. I have always told her, and our kids, that she was a true Super Mom. I did my part, but it was definitely the lesser part.

I don't remember ever discussing a third child, but my wife says she was definitely on the fence and I was the one who voiced concerns. Looking back, with both children now starting families of their own, I think they benefited from having plenty of attention from each parent when they were growing up.

User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 5972
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by bottlecap » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:05 pm

The pros are:

You have a bigger family to share life with.
Your kids have additional siblings to rely on.
Maybe you'll get that girl, which will make your life experience even richer.
But for the kids, having two brothers would be better than just one, should you have a boy.

The cons are:

Three kids is a good bit harder to care for than two. They don't gang up on you, but you almost never get 3 of 3 to cooperate with you!
If you plan on paying their full fare to expensive private schools, good luck!
The biggest financial impact is that you might consider having one parent stay home or go part time for at least a few years.



Our experience: The first two (girls) each came with only years of trying. We decided we were "done" after two, and didn't think a third would come without some medical assistance of some kind.

Boy, were we surprised when No. 3 came quickly and with no "trying".

The third wound up being a boy. He's brought much joy into our lives, his grandparents' lives, and even his sister's lives. It seems more like a "family" with a boy and girls. And more like a family with 5. And we both came from two-children families, so two wouldn't have be abnormal for us. In short, neither of us would change it for the world.

But I ain't gonna lie. Sometimes it's a zoo. You have a much better chance of someone crying or being sick at any given point. Dragging the two other kids to the third's (insert activity here) practice is more difficult.

I wish you luck with your decision. The good news is that whatever you decide you won't regret it. For decent people who have children, another is always considered a blessing and never a curse - even if it's a surprise. For decent people who decide they don't wish to have another child, they don't miss something they previously decided they didn't want.

Good luck,

JT

Isabelle77
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Isabelle77 » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:19 pm

Sometimes I wish we had had a 3rd child but man, our 2nd one was/is exhausting. My mom used to say that sometimes God sends you one to tell you to stop now. :mrgreen:

I don't think you'd ever regret having a third child. But depending on where you are financially, it can be tough. Thinking about things like plane tickets, summer camp, and college x3, makes me anxious :)

Longruninvestor
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by Longruninvestor » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:29 pm

Going from 2 to 3 children was not a big deal for the DW and me —you learn to shift out of a man to man defense and into a zone :D . We stopped at four little ones all spaced two years apart and our joy and happiness increased with each one. Parenting is the hardest job that I have ever attempted —hands down the hardest but hard things are good for the soul and I have no regrets. Bogle taught me how to multiply my wealth through simple indexing and my children became an outlet to spend some of those gains on, namely their educations which are just about complete. Four was the right number for us but 1or 2 or zero or 10 will be the right balance for others. DW and I looked across our little table of 5 one evening over dinner and we both agreed that someone was missing; 10 months later our little brood was complete. OP, consult your spouse and make a decision on what seems right to you and don’t fret about what will come. Tomorrow has a way of taking care of itself.

User avatar
dogagility
Posts: 275
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:41 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by dogagility » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:34 pm

We stuck with two. The kids have a sibling. Cars, restaurants, and hotels are designed for four. But, this was our choice and YMMV.
Taking "risk" since 1995.

crazygrow
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:56 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by crazygrow » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:43 pm

I may not be a good person to answer the question as I started out with three (triplets) and then had three more singletons. At one point we had 5 kids 3 and under.

My kids are now ages 12-5. I likely could have early retired by now at 40 if I had kept it to 1 or 2. But I've never viewed them as a "liability" but only as "assets." Once we were able to find balance, it has been amazing. Not easy but there is so much love and happiness in my life that I would never look back and wonder how life could be different.

I derive huge amounts of joy from seeing the world through their eyes and seeing them explore and discover. But I'm the same at work where I get the most fulfillment from creating and leading immensely successful teams.

Good luck with the decision. I always tell people that I vote yes for marriage and yes to kids (if they ask).

chevca
Posts: 2164
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:22 am

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

Post by chevca » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:55 pm

My ex had a son from a prior relationship that i ended up taking on as my own without adoption. We decided to have one of our own and then decide from there if we wanted more..... Yep, we tried and got twins!!

Try for 3, you may get 4... keep that in mind. :happy

I love em all though, and another step son i got in my marriage now. Finances really have little to do with it. You make it work if you love the kids.

Locked