Do you often ask yourself, ‘should I have a third child?’ If so then this is the post for you. Here we take a look at whether having a third baby is the right thing for your family, and what it’s REALLY like. No sugarcoating things here! So, if you’re trying to work out whether you should have a third child or not, we’ve got all the reasons why you should, and shouldn’t, right here…
Should I Have A Third Child? Let’s Find Out!
Should you? The decision to take your family from two to three is a very personal one, and a pretty permanent one at that! For many, us included, the decision to go from one child to two is a relatively easy, especially if you want your child to grow up with siblings. But… that step from two to three feels like a bigger challenge, should you take the plunge? Should you have a third baby? Let’s find out?
1. Are You Ready To Go BACK To The Baby Stage?
Adding a third child to your family means going back to the baby stage again, which we all know by now is labour intensive (understatement of the century). Whilst in relative terms, it doesn’t last forever, it can feel hard going back to the baby stage when you have two older children to juggle as well. The more pregnancies you have, the more strain on your body, so it’s important to weigh up health concerns for mum as well, after all, there’s little time to rest after birth with three little ones to run around after.
2. Can You Afford A Third Child?
The big reality for many of us, children are expensive to bring into this world and raise! Thankfully if you’re considering a third child, then you’re likely to have many of the things you’ll already need; cot, pushchair, car seat, clothes etc. All of this means that it’s much more cost efficient! But thinking beyond that stage, what happens next? Can you manage with additional childcare costs or maternity payments? How about the additional expenses of raising and feeding another child? Travelling and days out as a family of five also quickly add up. Whilst it’s a sad thought that money can dictate your family size, it’s important to consider all of this when making your decision.
3. Can You Fit Them In The Car?
Ignore this if you’re a non-driver, but, ask any parent of three or more children and one of the first things they’ll moan about is the car situation – nothing fits three car seats in! This escalates if your other children are younger, and therefore in bulkier car seats, it’s a bit of a nightmare! Most of us end up with seven seaters purely for the space they bring which means you’re basically consigned to buying and driving a mini-bus for the next 16+ years. And that’s without considering things like them bringing friends home from school!
4. Do You Have Good Childcare Support?
Finding people to look after two kids can be a challenge at times, but asking them to have three is… a bit of a nightmare. In the two and a bit years since we’ve been a family of five, we’ve had one night without all three children, and trust me, that’s not for lack of trying to have more. Ultimately, it boils down to what you like to do and the support system you have around you, because you are going to need it, especially when it comes to covering things like school holidays!
5. Is Your Job Flexible?
This one’s for the families with working parents – does your job have flexibility in it? No, we’re not talking about the initial maternity/paternity arrangements, we’re talking about the flex you’re going to need for years to come. That’s right, think sports days, sick days, dentist appointments, school trips, school plays, inset days… going from 2-3 kids means you’re likely to have 50% more appointments and events to attend which, whilst undeniably incredibly cute, quickly eat into annual leave. Having a role that’s flexible enough to allow you to do all this without ending up in a puddle of tears should be a factor when you’re asking yourself should I have a third child.
6. Could You Cope With Four?
It’s a curve ball but imagine this… you shoot for one more, one final baby and BAM, enter multiples. As women age, their bodies start to release more eggs at a time, meaning the likelihood of you having twins (or more!) increases each time. We found that working through the what ifs for this meant we went into our third baby adventure calmly knowing we could cope with three, even four at a push!
7. Do You Have Next Level Organisational Skills?
They say that the third baby fits right in but another human comes with a whole extra set of relationships to manage and lives to organise. Whether it’s organising which child is going where when, who likes what to eat, or who is friends with who, there’s always SOMETHING to organise. And don’t even get me started on the level of washing that comes with it all. With three children to manage, you’ll need next level organisational skills to help you keep track of everything that’s going on.
8. Do You Love A Bit Of Chaos?
Forget being organised, there’s always going to be a bit more chaos the more kids you add to your family. So when asking if you should have a third baby, ask yourself if you’re ready for a little extra chaos and noise in your lives. Especially if you get a bruiser of a third child like we did! Bigger families mean more noise, more arguments, more play, more everything… and that includes the mayhem!
9. Do You WANT A Third Child?
When you’re asking should I have a third child, the best thing we can do is ask you ‘do you want a third child?’ The reality is that on paper it can seem like the best or the worst idea to add to your family, but, if it’s something that you and your family members really want then we’re firm believers that you’ll make it work! So, after going through all the thoughts, ideas and practicalities, take a quiet moment to sit and think about what your family looks like in the future – do you see yourself with a large family around you or would you be happy as you are? Is this something you’ve wanted for a while or just a broody passing urge? Ultimately, only you know what’s right for your family… and hey, if you do end up joining the family of five club then welcome! It’s a wild ride but it’s one we wouldn’t change for a second!
ps. If you’re considering a third baby, why not catch up on our third baby homebirth labour... it’s a good’un!