48 answers

How Do We Decide Whether or Not to Have a Third Child?!

I don't know if this is a question anyone can answer, but I guess I just would like some opinions! My husband and I currently have two girls. One is 6 and is in first grade, the other is 4 and in preschool (she won't start kindergarten until Fall 2009 b/c of a November birthday) We've been waffling about the third child for over 2 years now! Some people say if I really wanted it then I would have done it already. But I'm not convinced - I think about it EVERY DAY! My husband is perfectly happy with where we are, but he says he'll have a third if that's what I want. Not very helpful - I want him to want it too! But is it really what I want? My kids are actually a lot of fun now (we're thinking about going skiing this winter; you know, things like that) How will it affect them? Has anyone been in this situation? What was your decision? I'm so afraid I'm going to regret not having another one. On the other hand I'm also afraid of regretting going for it! HELP!

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Wow! I wish I could personally respond to each and every one you! Thank you all so much for responding to my question. I've read your responses several times each, and actually plan to share them with my husband as we continue our search for the "right answer" A lot of you made me laugh and most of you gave me some really good things to think about. I'm sure you're all wondering what we've decided, but the decision hasn't been made yet. To be sure, if we get pregnant I will let Mamasource know!!!

Featured Answers

I have a 6 1/2, 4 1/2 and 1 year old. The first two were well planned. I begged for the third and my husband said he just couldn't do it. I refused to go on birth control so he had to be careful if that's what he wanted. Three years into this, I finally gave up, took a job teaching preschool, went to Vegas on vacation and came home with substantial earnings. I was actually upset because I had finally accepted and really got involved with the first two. My husband, anti-number-3-man, was thrilled. We have a terrific #3 that the older two love to help with and play with and I couldn't imagine life without him. His milestones are so amazing to the older two that we've all come together stronger as a family. My only disappointment is that I didn't have them all 2 yrs appart as planned so that they could be closer when they get into the teen years. The first two (girl and boy) are amazingly close.

All of that said, managing 3 can be tough so realize that you're outnumbered and you need to really take charge and set rules and boundaries for the whole family...and stick to them.

Bottom line, though, is that it's a personal decision. My sister-in-law believes in negative population growth and thinks I've been irresponsible (I think it's her excuse for not wanting a baby and not having to say so). She's not exactly the most Earth friendly otherwise. Good luck!

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We had our 3rd when our other two were 8 & 5. We just felt we were missing out if we didn't have just one more and we were right. Our little Chloe is the spark plug of the family and I couldn't see our family without her.

I was in the same situation. My children are now 14 1/2, 12 1/2, and just turned 7. I have never regretted having a third child. Children are blessings!

I am pretty much in the same situation, but a year behind you. My daughters are 3 and 5, and we have been trying to decide to have a third or not for a long time. Although, my husband wants a boy (of course), and I do want another one, but I am the one that is iffy on the whole idea. Like you mentioned, I feel that it is a lot easier, now with the kids older...you can enjoy them more, do things with them more, have fun. When you throw a third baby into the mix, it goes back to all the infancy things, and really does reastrain you from being able to do all of the other things with your older children. And for me, we are military, so I feel the need to consider that in the equation as well, to keep in mind that I could end up doing it all alone with my hubby gone. It is still unofficial for us I guess, but I do lean more to no more kids. I really don't think that we will have another one. I just feel like I don't want to give up all that I can do with my older kids, nor do I want to add all of that stress into our family again. What ever you choose, just keep in mind...about the regret issues... if it was meant to be, it will be. Not sure this helped any, but thought I might let you know you are not alone!

I have always known I wanted three kids. I am expecting my 2nd right now.

My husband says whatever I want for kids. He will love them, but he isn't the one that has to carry them and he isn't the one that nurses them. So, I understand your husband.

Everyone is individual, but I can't imagine regretting having another child, regardless. I look at my daughter and she is a joy and endlessly fascinating. I LOVE children.

All this said, with each pregnancy, just before I got pregnant the weight of what I was doing weighed on me and I pulled back from it for a few weeks, but then I accepted the task ahead. Each time I have gotten pregnant, I have been pleased, but I realized the work ahead.

I think if you decide to have another, realize the amount of work and accept it. When you go in with your eyes open, there is no reason for regret.

Hi K., well I guess you have to start by asking yourself if you would like to go throw another pregnancy and delivery. Yes your oldest is almost eight, but it's alright. I have two babies, 32 months and 16 months. My mother had six children in nine years, so she now has a 40, 39, 37, 36, 34, 31 year old. I know it was back in the day, but I don't remember my mom ever being overwhelmed or ever feeling neglected. I had a wonderful childhood. I never felt alone. It just depends whether or not you can provide for another mouth (formula, diapers, baby clothes). You can still do things with the older ones. My mother is Japanese and didn't drive back in the day, I remember her taking all eight of us on the bus to the zoo and we went hiking as a family. But seriously, if you dream of having a son or just another baby, go for it. You can only control yourself. You know your husband will love another child when given the chance to get used to it.

Hi K. ~

If your husband is not all that enthusiastic, then think long and hard. He might say it's OK, but he could be feeling pressured, especially with the economic situation as it is today (things so uncertain). If you are a stay at home mom, he's the breadwinner and has the burden of financial worries. You don't want to end up having to go back to work just to make ends meet. Your two are so very lucky to have you at home!

I agree with Donna, in that there are SO MANY children in need of love and care today. Helping other children who are already on this earth would be such a rewarding endevour on your part (for yourself, your husband, your children, as well as the children in need).

You will most likely have just finished paying for two college educations when the third will then be ready. That takes alot of financial planning! You might very well be ready for a BREAK - some REAL ALONE time with your hubby, travel, invest in hobbies, start a business, etc... I'm not saying that a third would necessarily be a burden, but it can take a toll on a marriage - especially if things get tough and your husband starts to feel regrets for giving in.

Only you know in your heart what's best. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it will work out and that all will be loved. Just don't forget the other kids out there that are not as fortunate as yours to have a family and someone to love them! This could be a great opportunity to instill compassion in your own children's lives! I wish you the best!

~ K.

Hi K.- First, thank you for posting this message! I find myself in the same boat as you. I a mom of two beautiful children, ages 16 months and almost 3.

I would love to be blessed with another child and my husband feels that 2 is a good number. I am the youngest of 3 and I think a part of reason I would love another is because there were three of us. The dynamics of three children is just amazing and I could not imagine only having one sibling.

Things seem crazy in our the house now, so I tend to waffle on a third too, especially with working full time and imagining the cost of daycare! But I truly just do not feel done (sounds weird to say). Ultimately, the decision is very personal and one that you and your husband have to be on the same page about.

I wish you all the best with your decision and thanks to everyone for responding too!


You need to ask yourself (and then answer honestly) do you want a third child because you miss the baby years or do you want to bring another fabulous life into your world. I have 2 boys on earth and one in heaven. I would love desperately with all my heart to have 2 more children. My grandmother and her sister had 7 each and the thought of having a big family myself has been with me since childhood. Unfortunately I can't have anymore and that saddens me to no end. However because I know that I enjoy every second possible with the 2 I am blessed to have. Pray about about and then if you close your mind long enough you'll hear God answer. Good luck & God bless.

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