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CANNOT get off this fence!


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  #1  
December 1st, 2009, 01:10 PM
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We have 3 children, 5.5, 4 and 2 years (today!). The two oldest are boys, the youngest is a girl. I'm having a hard time deciding on a 4th. One day I'm 'YES, I absolutely want one more." The next day "ABSOLUTELY done, this is a good mix, we'll stop here". I've been sitting on this fence for months and want off.

I'm famous for asking "what's your 51%?" when extracting opinions from others, but I truly cannot say what my 51% is when it comes to having a 4th. Part of me is scared, I'll be 36 next month and risks increase slightly and I need to be here for the 3 I've already been blessed with. Part of me sees how lots of people have multiple children and they're all healthy and happy, so go for it.

I hear that you 'know' when you're done. I don't feel that. I also don't feel that I'm not done.

Maybe I'll be overwhelmed w/a 4th? Maybe it'll be a girl and my youngest will have a built in playmate, just like the boys have each other? A 4th will take me further away from my oldest? Another baby always adds to a family, never takes away?

Please tell me about your experiences going from 3 to 4 and/or how the dynamics are in your large families. Help me sort this out!

Thank you in advance,

Stacey
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  #2  
December 1st, 2009, 01:20 PM
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Have you tried flipping a coin? Sometimes when you get that dissappointed feeling you realize what you have been pulling for.

Going from 3 - 4 was a bit of a challenge, sure. But I like having pairs. Each big kid has a little kid buddy when we go out and the two littles have eachother when we are playing around the house.

I totally understand where you are coming from because this is my 4-5 feeling. Some days I feel complete and then some days I don't.

GL with whatever you choose.
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  #3  
December 1st, 2009, 01:25 PM
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Just go for it. 36 is the new, what, 18? What risks are you talking about? Regular risk or risk for you personally? What does "what's your 51%?" mean?

You will be overwhelmed with 4. I am always overwhelmed with a new one. But it goes away in a couple of months. I remember when I had 3 thinking "I can't handle this! What was I thinking". I just had #7 and had my moments of "I can't handle this, what was I thinking." And then it went away.

I have said before, you won't regret having them, but you will regret not having them.
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  #4  
December 1st, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Just go for it. 36 is the new, what, 18? What risks are you talking about? Regular risk or risk for you personally? What does "what's your 51%?" mean?

You will be overwhelmed with 4. I am always overwhelmed with a new one. But it goes away in a couple of months. I remember when I had 3 thinking "I can't handle this! What was I thinking". I just had #7 and had my moments of "I can't handle this, what was I thinking." And then it went away.

I have said before, you won't regret having them, but you will regret not having them.
Farmerswife said it good. I would say the same, just change the "just had #7" to "going to have my ninth" and it's all good.

Somedays are hard, sometimes I feel like I don't have enough time for myself, or them, but I can't imagine my life without them. They are all so awesome and fun (most of the time...LOL).

I don't even remember going from 3-4. The only really big adjustment I remember was going from none to one, for me everything after that was okay.
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  #5  
December 1st, 2009, 02:00 PM
KrazE's Avatar ShutTheFrontDoor
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I knew when I 'was done' and that the number I was at was all I would want. Even now with the 'baby' being 10 (11 in Feb) I still know for certain that it was the right choice.
Right now at this moment of my life and being 37 it's even more of a certainty for me because they are getting to that age where Mommy can actually be something a bit more than just Mommy. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids like crazy. I fought tooth and nail to have custody and to ensure that they were provided for to the best of my ability, but at some point (for some people) it's time to be able to soak in a bubble bath without someone crying or fighting, without someone making yet another demand etc.
They are old enough to understand and partake in my sarcastic sense of humour and slight innuendo (things like covering up one of the kids in a winnie the pooh blanket & yelling "ewwww, you're covered in pooh!"), and for them to have snappy comebacks too.

I'm past diapers & drooling and late night feeds, having to haul an army of items and plan days in advance to just get some milk at the store. Gone are the days of child proofing and strollers. Now on a moments notice the kids & I can just climb in the van & go do something.

The choice was right for me, because I knew I was done, but if you aren't sure, leave the door open - closing it during a time of uncertainty could become a regret you can't fix.
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Last edited by KrazE; December 2nd, 2009 at 06:05 AM. Reason: Dropped my xylophone
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  #6  
December 2nd, 2009, 05:49 AM
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i just had #5 and after 6 weeks of feeling like it's been a breeze, i just had my "what was I thinking" moment last night. I think you have that moment whether you have 1 kid or 17

going from 3-4 was pretty easy for me. The most difficult part was dealing with #3s initial jealousy
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  #7  
December 2nd, 2009, 05:54 AM
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Great advice ladies. I just second everything everyone said. You won't regret having them just regret NOT having them.
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  #8  
December 2nd, 2009, 09:17 AM
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Going from #3 - #4 was easy, he just slipped right into our routine without any major adjustment for the rest of us (except that we thought we had reached the limit on joy and he increased it even more!)

I've never met anyone who regrets having another one, but I've met way too many people who regret not having another one.
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  #9  
December 2nd, 2009, 01:07 PM
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All very good points ladies. Thank you. So no one feels like they know their oldest child 'less' because of the attention being shared again?
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  #10  
December 2nd, 2009, 01:16 PM
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I agree with most of what was said, we had #4 in June. It's not much different than before, I mean, I did all that baby stuff. I am pro at that... It was hard at first because I was getting used to sleep adjustments... but mostly the pregnancy was hard. It was complicated, I was in the hospital several times, and my water broke and he came early then he was in the NICU for 3 weeks. I couldn't even be with him all day till s/o came home. THAT was the hardest part... Once he was home, everything fell into place..

For me, I found it hard going from NONE to one... everyone after that was extra but nothing I wasn't already doing and used to.
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  #11  
December 2nd, 2009, 01:22 PM
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Oh and as for the oldest... I have to admit I felt that way after having siblings... but I just make it a point for me and her to go out and do things... We haven't lately, because money has been tight, but we go to movies, she goes shopping with me lots... Just last night me and her went out to a thing at a big bookstore, where the no kill animal organization was getting portions of sales and she donated a big jar full of change (probably around $20 in there but every little bit counts!!)... I like to have dates with my #2 also when movies that I think might catch his attention comes out.
My #3 stays up later than the rest, so she gets her time then LOL Bugger...

Of course, that leaves more chances of me and s/o not getting time together. Like we want to relax together or whatever the other night and we could not get her to go to sleep... I went to lay with her in my bed and read stories, and I fell asleep with her LMAO.. He understands but sometimes it is frustrating! But we also both know that these small child stages pass by quickly... I guess that is why we'd like to have them all close in age.

Just for reference we have a 6 year old, 5 year old, 2 year old and 5 month old.
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  #12  
December 2nd, 2009, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stace View Post
All very good points ladies. Thank you. So no one feels like they know their oldest child 'less' because of the attention being shared again?
I can think of many families with only one or two children who don't know them at all. They are too busy to give a rip about making their children a priority. And I also know large families where it seems like the children are left to raise themselves, also because the parents are too busy to give a rip about making them a priority.

I don't think the number of children matters, it's the effort you put into parenting them. The fact that you are concerned about this at all tells me you are genuinely invested in your kids. I wouldn't worry about one more hurting your oldest. A sibling is a gift that keeps on giving ever after you're dead, because they have each other for the rest of their lives.
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  #13  
December 2nd, 2009, 03:04 PM
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For us going from 3-4 was hard because they are only 11 1/2 months apart. That first year was hard but now it's awesome because they are so close.

Our 5th is going on 9 months and I can honestly say until I had him I didn't feel done. I can't imagine our life if we hadn't had him. He wasn't planned but he is just the most amazing child. With him here I can happily say I am done having children.

I don't think it takes anything away from the older kids. My oldest Sam and I spend lots of time together and we are super close. I don't think the number of kids you have has anything to do with how close you are to them.
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  #14  
December 2nd, 2009, 07:30 PM
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Having number 4 in no way took away from number 1. Number 3 was the one who had the hard time adjusting, since she was just 2 and the diva princess of her world. My two older kids were SUPER excited about the pregnancy and baby. They asked me the other day when I was going to have another one.
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  #15  
December 7th, 2009, 07:07 PM
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Thanks for all of your comments. Obviously I've been pondering this question for a long time and asking for an answer. You have all given me great feedback on adding to our family and today, my 4 year old drew a picture of our family w/6 of us, there was one little person added in and he doesn't even know my dilemma! Maybe that's my sign...
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  #16  
December 7th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
I don't even remember going from 3-4. The only really big adjustment I remember was going from none to one, for me everything after that was okay.
Lol! This is me, except I only have three myself. However, we're already thinking about number 4, and will definitely be trying by next July, at the latest. I would totally go for it; the feeling of inadequacy will pass. I remember thinking I couldn't handle more than one, and now that I can handle 3 okay for the most part, what difference will one more make?
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  #17  
December 8th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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There is always room for one more.
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  #18  
December 8th, 2009, 10:13 AM
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i have no regrets adding more. i know each of my children perfectly. adding more children allows me to get to know them more. it seems with which addition little quirks come out of the woodwork. Lucy for example. i didn't know how much she loves baby dolls until Oliver was born. I never realized how sweet and carrying Wyatt is until Oliver was born. i mean, i knew he was, but Oliver being there just magnified it by 1000.
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  #19  
December 12th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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Do any of you ever worry about something happening to you while pregnant or during delivery, leaving your other children without you?
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  #20  
December 12th, 2009, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stace View Post
Do any of you ever worry about something happening to you while pregnant or during delivery, leaving your other children without you?

yep, i have a clotting disorder so it's a real possibility but if something were to happen, i know my husband is capable of caring for them and family would step in to help out and my children would grow up knowing that they are loved. I lost my Dad when i was 1 (he died in a plane crash) and DH lost his mom when he was 4 (to breast cancer), maybe those experiences give us perspective- we both know that it would be hard but life would go on.

dont forget that anything worth having always carries some element of risk
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