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Old 09-15-2006, 10:47 PM   #1
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How do I know if I can handle another child?...

OK this is gonna be long...

I have 3 very energetic boys. I am so very happy with my family. In some ways I feel complete, but in some ways I'm itching to have just one more baby. I'm not getting any younger and will be 40 in a few months. I don't feel "old" in any way. I have had no difficulties having three children. I find special time with each one and together time with all or in pairs. I am loving everything about everyones stages.

I worry about having enough space in our house, as we can't afford to move to a bigger house.

I worry one more baby will be harder financially. We have huge grocery bills since I try and buy all organic or at least what I can find that is. I can't shop at bargin places because they don't really carry a lot of organics or vegan foods...I worry about being able to pay for more kids in preschool and activities. And then there is college. I want to pay for all our kids to go if we can.

I worry about how to give everyone all the attention they deserve and need without splitting myself up so thin that nobody gets quality attention or enough. Like homework, activities, just special conversations or time like I have with my three already.

Like I said I love my family as it is. I love the balance we have going, the spacing and everyone is healthy thank goodness. How do I know I will have that balance and happiness with a fourth child? I mean I can't say I will have a healthy child forsure, but...

Will I be able to handle the behaviors of 4 energetic and crazy kids? I mean lets face it, once I'm pregnant I can't go back to this perfect place.

I love being pregnant. I just love babies. I love caring for them and falling in love with them deeper every day. I love birthing, I love seeing their face for the first time, I love seeing them meet their brothers and becoming part of all our lives. I really don't want to be done. But how do I know I can handle it?

OK, I have said it. I've been trying to get up the courage to say this for weeks. It is on my mind alot. I'd love to hear opinions from all different family sizes. I btw was raised in a 2 child family and I have friends with one, two and three kids. No one I can think of close to me has more than 3 kids and people think I'm crazy when i say I want 1 more.

And thanks for the support as I try to verbalize my thoughts...

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Old 09-16-2006, 08:02 AM   #2
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I understand your thoughts completly. Having a family of 5 is expensive and our food bill is huge too. I buy lot's of healthy food and "some" organic and it just costs so much to feed a large family healthy. There are so many things to think about financially when having another child as your said.

Me and dh are self employed and have to save and invest on our own for retirement. I have accepted the fact that we "might" not be able to put our children through college, but that is not the end of the world. They can get loans just like lot's of other people have done. If we can help then of course we will. We have to think of our financial future too though. Having 3 in college at the exact same time will be very expensive.

I just knew for sure that my family was complete. Maybe it was having 3 babies in less than 13 months that helped me come to that conclusion. My dh had a vasectomy almost 2 years ago after I knew I didn't want anymore children.

I LOVE being able to give all of them lot's of attention. That is very important to me. I think if children are spaced out though then it's not hard to give them all lot's of individual time. Mine were like triplets almost so it was very challenging and I knew that I didn't want to have to divide up my time more than I already was. It's definitely got easier since they are older now.

I'm 38 and am just looking forward at this point to family vacations etc...

How does your dh feel about having another baby?
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:20 AM   #3
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Re: How do I know if I can handle another child?...

I'm right there with you on the "another baby??" thoughts. I just had my second 4 months ago, but am ready to do it again. DH, not so much! I thought I'd have a hard time convincing him of 2 (he's an only) and now 3 is really pushing it. Does it get that much harder from 2-3 kids? I keep thinking that now, with 2, DH and I can attend most school/sports/dance etc. things, even if we have to split up. BUT, what do you do when you have 3 who have something the same day? Who ends up getting jilted?? Any as for expensive, I'm assuming it only gets worse from here! I'm a stay at home mom and dh is in law enforcement, so doesn't get paid a whole lot, unfortunately! Like you said, once you're there, you're there; no turning back. I just have such a burning desire for one more - ya know, like knowing it's the last one and relishing it? Then again, I may have #3 and be ready for #4, or we'll have twins!! LOL

I'll keep watching the thread - I'm curious to see what others think!!
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:00 AM   #4
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Re: How do I know if I can handle another child?...

I had these same thoughts when I was pregnant with my 4th. I wanted "just one more" and even had to talk dh into it. There were even times while I was pregnant when I thought to myself " OMG! What am I doing?!? Our family is fine just the way it is" even though I knew I wanted this child to complete our family. Well, she's here and our family finally feels complete. I'll miss never giving birth again and there's a certain bittersweetness about all her baby milestones but I can say now without a doubt that we are done. Money is tight, just as it always was, we live in a tiny 3 bdrm 1.5bath house (but we will be moving next year, hopefully to a bigger house) but we make do. I've always been a SAHM, homeschooling mom and I try to make our money stretch as far as I can and be as frugal as I can. My kids don't wear all new clothes, most are thriftshop or hand-me-downs (but you'd never know just by looking at alot of them), they have more toys than they know what to do with but in compairison with my neighbor's and such I realize that my kids really don't have nearly as many as they do. We've been on one real vacation and even though it was almost 2 years ago, my kids all still talk about it. Even my youngest who was only 3yo when we went on that trip still remembers alot from it (we went to England to visit my MIL who she had never met before that trip)

I would love for my kids to all go to college, if that is what they want to do. Dh and I have both gone to college but not right out of high school and both of us agree that we appreciate our higher education more because we were older and wiser when we went and had to fund it ourselves. The military paid for most of dh's college education and I went on scholarships and PELL grants. I will help my children go to college, yes, but mostly likely not by paying their way. I will help them find scholarships, grants and other ways to acheive their goals just as I did. I strongly believe in the old adage, "If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish, and he will never be hungry again."

Dh and I both know that we will always find a way to obtain the things we need and sometimes even the things we just want. Dh's grandmother told us "it's better to fill your heart with love and children while you are young than to wonder "what if" when you're too old to do anything about it. Don't worry about everything else, with a little faith, it will all fall into place" I'm glad we followed our hearts and had "just one more", we feel complete and whole now.

HTH

Jeni
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:10 AM   #5
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Re: How do I know if I can handle another child?...

I am right there with ya. I do have triplets--10 mos old. I LOVE being mommy. It is stressful, but to me, what's one more baby? One baby should be a piece of cake at this point. So, while i'm not ready yet--just starting to feel normal, I sympathize. it took a while to get pg with the babies, and it is hard to pay for healthy food. I am big on organic stuff too. So--I guess I just have to decide what we are willing to do without. I remind myself and DH that our parents made it with alot less 'fluff' than we do. Our kids dont have to have alot of the things that society deems necessity. So--we live in a small house and my kids' clothes come from consignment sales and hand me downs, or target if new. My decision is not to let money get in the way of choosing our family size. We currently have college savings plans for the babies. We started them at birth. We pay $25 per month per child. I HIGHLY encourage you to do this. We intend to pay for our kids college, but also intend to encourage scholarships and grants, etc. BUT--worst case scenario, they get loans which is NOT the end of the world. incovenient and not ideal, but not the end of the world. anyway--jsut my .

good luck!
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:53 AM   #6
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Re: How do I know if I can handle another child?...

LOL Dh and I were just talking about this last week. We still haven't decided.
We both just turned 44 so you are not too old thats for sure.
Our baby is gong to be two soon and one just went off to college, and one started middle school.
I'm bouncing back and forth, some days I like the three and other days I yearn for another little baby.
We just have to decide and make the phonecall then wait a while (our youngest is adopt) The Social worker asked last month if we are ready for another, I was shocked she asked.
I don't worry about college anymore, Ds is a nice private college, our cost per semester is $2000. his cost $1000. he has $3000. in loans per semester and is on the work study program and loving life. He'll do just fine. This college costs more per year than dh earns We had no idea that the federal grants and college scholarships pay so much of the cost.
We hope that all our kids go to 4 year college, but it's their choice in the end.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:19 AM   #7
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Re: How do I know if I can handle another child?...

My Dh will have another baby one if I want to, but he also feels done. He is a great guy. He can see a 4th, but shares all of the same worries as I do.

The paying for College thing is not as big of a worry as the paying the food bills, vacations... We love to camp, so I'm sure we will do that often enough.

But the MOST inportant thing in making my decision is spending time with each child. I can do that with three. Going from 2-3, well I loved that jump. Right now as I type my DH has my 5 and 3 year olds at swimmming class and I am with our 16 month old. We have no problem getting alone time with each of our three. But my question is to moms of 4 or more, does that change once there is a 4th?

I guess I'd just get into a routine naturally and it would feel right like going from 2-3 did, but I need to make the decision with my eyes wide open. I really want another, but I love my family the way it is....

Thanks for reading and being part of this discussion. It is on my mind all of the time.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:56 AM   #8
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Re: How do I know if I can handle another child?...

All good questions, really. I guess, for me, here's the question I have for you:

If you decide not to have a fourth child, do you feel that you will regret doing so? Will there always be a part of you that says "what if?"
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:19 PM   #9
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Re: How do I know if I can handle another child?...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBreeder
All good questions, really. I guess, for me, here's the question I have for you:

If you decide not to have a fourth child, do you feel that you will regret doing so? Will there always be a part of you that says "what if?"


Yes! I will always wonder who could have been with us at the dinner table. I still see one more face missing...but can I handle it? Will my kids have the same quality from me? They mean the world to me and so I wonder will the next baby make their lives fuller like it will mine?

does that make sense?
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:45 PM   #10
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Re: How do I know if I can handle another child?...

I am having the same debate with myself and my dh right now; but we are contemplating the third. I've heard going from 2-3 is easier than 1-2; but I would love advice from the experts, not to hijack your thread, it's just been on my mind recently too. I think money is my dh's main concern. I also think that he just doesn't have the confidence in himself. He still can't imagine taking two kids anywhere alone. I would think going to four would be really easy, unless you had a girl, . No, I think you'd still find the time to be with each kid, just like you've done already. You will do what you want to do and if you make together time a priority, then it will happen. Oh, and I LOANED my way through college, along with working. It wasn't easy, but certainly doable (and I came out with $27k in loans, OUCH!). And DH and I paid them off in five years. Now Dh is really stressed about not having money for the kids college; but I'm not so much.
Anyway, goodluck to you. Hope you get some good advice from mammas of four, oh, and hope you give me some good advice too about going to three!
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