Don’t have a third child…(unless)

Back in the hazy days of pregnancy no. 3, I wrote a post called ‘So, do you have a third child?’  I also predicted that I would write a follow up post called ‘Don’t have a third child’ where I retract everything I said.  So, true to form, here it is.

It’s a BIG question.

Just today, four people have found my blog by searching ‘can’t decide on third baby’, ‘backed out of a third child,’ ‘why did I have a third baby’? and ‘can’t get over not having a third child.’

Well, there’s four scenarios for you right there.  Yikes.

Yes, having a third child can be an all-consuming question that throws you into turmoil.

Especially when the answer is so different for everyone.


This is the part where I say, ‘I wouldn’t change it for the world’ or ‘I wouldn’t turn the clock back’ and churn out a hundred other cliches blah, blah, blah.

And the truth is, I wouldn’t (and not just because I can’t).

Because now that there are three, unique little individuals in my care, I honestly couldn’t say which one I’d put back.  And for the five minutes each week, where everyone is synched in happiness, I look at our family and I feel perfectly content.  Complete.  Proud.

It’s the remaining 10,075 minutes I struggle with.

The list.

Only four months in, I’m really not qualified to write about three kids.  Yet.  You’d be better off heading over to the lovely 3 Children and It.  She has tweens AND teenagers all sewn up.

But I’ve compiled a little list anyway.  On what I DO know, whilst they’re young.

It goes something like this.

Don’t have a third child…(unless)

  1. You like sleep deprivation. Because by adding another child into the mix, you’ve increased the chances of SOMEONE being up by 33.3% recurring. And my. Is it recurring. Night after night after night after night.
  2. You have an industrial washing machine and your very own Dot Cotton manning it. Because like the sleep deprivation, you also increase the washing by 33.3%. And just as kids grow bigger.  So do their clothes. See where I’m going with this?
  3. You have an enormous car. Preferably a convertible. Or an actual bus. Because even when you manage to get a car that’s big enough, someone still has to sit in the middle. And how do you get to that middle seat? How indeed. I’ve tried flinging Godivy in and hoping she lands somewhere near the seat, going in from the boot (once I’ve unloaded it) and finally opening the sunroof and parachuting her in. Of course, once you have got everyone in, you’ll drive off and a tiny voice will pipe up, ‘Mummy, you’ve forgotten to strap me in.’  And it begins all over again.
  4. You like noise. And lots of it. Chatter. Questions. Whinging. Crying. I think this one is pretty self explanatory.
  5. You like chaos and avoid routine. Because suddenly no one will do what they’re asked. Even if they used to. The baby will carve out its own erratic lifestyle, based on the fact that you are erratic. And the older children will take advantage of the fact that you’re dealing with the baby and use the opportunity to do any of the following a) bicker b) sample the delights of nappy cream or c) eat everything in the sweetie tin.
  6. You like being with your partner ALL of the time. Because having three young kids is a team game. A game where neither of you ever wins but at least you lose together. Your other half can go to the pub again in four or five years. Just in case he’s wondering.
  7. You like your partner. Because otherwise no. 6 is going to KILL you.
  8. Your family live nearby. By which I really mean upstairs. If they live any more than 10 metres away, don’t even think about having another child.
  9. You’re agoraphobic and antisocial. Because not only will the effort involved in getting all five of you out prevent you from doing it very often, but you’ll probably not get invited anywhere as a family again. Most dining tables are built for eight and you put their seating plan right out.  Not that any of yours actually sit at the table anymore.
  10. You don’t need time for yourself. That 33.3%? Yes, you guessed it. 33.3% LESS time for you. Which I think leaves you with a deficit of about, oh 963%.
  11. You have a full time nanny, cleaner and chauffeur. An in-house psychiatrist is worth the cash.
  12. You have no expectations whatsoever.  Of anything ever again.

Do have a third child…(if)

  1. None of the above puts you off.  

So.  There you have it.  My two pennies worth.  Did I say that I wouldn’t change it for the world?  If you have three children and something to add or are in the throes of decision making, I’d love to hear your comments below.  There’s a whole Three Kids section on the blog to help you make that oh so difficult decision. Then come and join Surviving Life and Motherhood where I decide whether to have a fourth child (cries with laughter at her own joke).

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    61 thoughts on “Don’t have a third child…(unless)

    1. Candace

      Hi I’m 37 and I just found out I’m pregnant 9 weeks. There be no father night out. Im a (widow )single mom now of a 15 and 5. I’m not sure what to do.
      Anyone eles single and pregnancy
      I’m older my kid’s are older and I’m going for my phd in business at the end of 2016

      I don’t get sleep now or time alone
      I’m just not sure because of my age and how my oldest son will act. My 5 year old daughter drive him crazy. I think he will hate me.

      1. Lekka

        Hi Candace,
        I am happy that I have just found your comment from 2015 as I am in the similar situation. I am 37 and it seems that pregnant for 4-5weeks, my kids are 15 and 9 and I am a bit worried about my age and how wil the kids act. I haven’ t slept over a week not sure what to do. Could you pls let me know how you decided and how is your life now?
        Thanks a lot ?.

    2. Andrew

      Thanks Amy,
      As a father of 2 boys ( considering a third) I have been searching around for the pro’s & cons for expanding the team. Your comments made me smile, resonate and are well balanced. It really is a big decision when you already see the controlled chaos you talk about with 2! . A really hard call yet to be made

    3. Abby

      A mother of two girls and pregnant with no. 3. The first is 4and the second is 2. Don’t know how this third pregnancy came about but been feeling kinda awful. Its been difficult with 2and now 3 huh! Thought of taking it out but my spouse won’t let me… Am now 14weeks gone, and still feeling miserable.

      1. Amy RansomAmy Ransom Post author

        Oh Abby, I think the shock of an unplanned third really throws you. It sounds trite but when they come along (even with its challenges) the dynamic is pretty amazing. Check out my 3 Kids section on the blog – there’s lots of reassurance there as well as a post I loved when I fell pregnant accidentally with no. 3 – The Gift of the Third Child. Hang in there and try not to overthink things. You’ll be ok x

    4. Maria

      Wow! I just found this post, and of ALL the stuff I’ve read online about wether to have a 3er child or not, this is definitely THE BEST! It’s so simple yet so genius! I’ve been really struggling with the decision-making process and now it’s so clear: none of the above has put me off. In fact, when I picture us 10 or 20 years from now, all around the dinner table, I can’t imagine we’ll only be four.
      We have a 12-yo son and a 9-yo daughter, so I don’t think it’d be as stressful as if #3 had been born when the others were little.
      Thank you for your wonderful insight!

    5. Suzy

      I stumbled upon this post through a Facebook link.
      I have two children 12 and 14 from my previous marriage.
      Remarried 4 years ago and now 28 weeks pregnant.
      I’m hoping that the older two being quite self-sufficient means that number 3 will be slightly less stressful(!).
      If kind of feels like starting all over again! My husband has no other children so it’s his first time as a father.
      I know it was the right thing to do. I know if we hadn’t tried we’d regret it one day (I’m 41).

    6. Katie

      This is brilliant and spot on. The difference between 2 and 3 kids is massive. My girls are 10 and 7 and my boy is 4 and my house is constant chaos ,noise and arguing but I wouldn’t change it for the world ?

    7. Katie

      This is brilliant and spot on. The difference between 2 and 3 kids is massive. My girls are 10 and 7 and my boy is 4 and my house is constant chaos ,noise and arguing but I wouldn’t change it for the world ?

    8. Nicole

      I’m 37, I have two boys (6&3) and I’ve been struggling with this thought for a while. I work full time and my husband is currently home raising our boys. I was able to work from home with my first two. But I think I would have a hard time going back to work!
      I can’t decide ?

    9. Nicole

      I’m 37, I have two boys (6&3) and I’ve been struggling with this thought for a while. I work full time and my husband is currently home raising our boys. I was able to work from home with my first two. But I think I would have a hard time going back to work!
      I can’t decide ?

    10. Robyn S

      Ha ha, we can answer ‘yes’ to most of those Qs! No family nearby to help, but money/time/space is not a problem. We have loud, rambunctious children, so what’s a bit more noise, eh? They are at least mostly very good sleepers. Our 2 kids are currently 2 & 3 years old (17 months between them), girl then boy. That age gap has been hard work. Not to mention our children’s personalities, ha! And honestly, with all the crap that’s gone on in the past 3-4 years, even the idea of having twins as our ‘3rd’ (ie 4 kids) doesn’t faze me! Sometimes, when you feel like you’ve been up and down all the hills anyway (PND x2 as well in there & rather lost out financially with work), some things just don’t look scary anymore. I just wish I had a bit more time up my sleeve as turning 38 at the end of this year makes me think I don’t have all the time in the world to decide on a 3rd, or even a 4th (!).

      I agree with some other sentiments out there that it *would* be nice to read more about how having a 3rd child is good as opposed to bad, but I guess if so many people are saying how difficult it is, then I guess that’s exactly how a lot of parents feel about this issue!! I’m just hoping it won’t be that way for us, but if it is, well, it’s nothing we’re not used to on a daily basis 😉

    11. Extatic

      Loved some of these. I m a bloke on a bus with a clearblue in my back pocket laughing out loud from the comments and on my way to cement it tonight. Always wanted a trio but even two is a struggle at times. The missus cant even comprehend the thought. But i know we will BREEZE through it. LoL. And i mean WE. Sleep well everyone.

    12. Desa

      Hi ladies, I have 10 year old and 4 year old daughters and my mom is here with us, my hubby works out of state, I have a full time job. Now I am having a difficulties to deciding to have or not a third child. Financially we are ok, have a house and 7 seated SUV. I want a boy if God grants my wish and I am 40 years old. Please help me to decide, I love kids and I used to wish to have 4 or more kids.
      Thank you!

    13. H&H

      Am a 25 years old young lady, i had twins a boy & girl age 4 years, now pregnant with my 3rd, cried my eyes out when i found out. I love my life the way it is at the moment, back to work, kids in full time, 2 bedrooms flat, a lovely, helpful partner. i am really scared the 3rd child will mess up our routine, i am confused, a part of me wants to keep the baby because i cant think of doing abortion, and i know the twins will love, care and look after the lil one, am just scared that the relationship between my partner and I might be affected because he doesn’t want a big family, since he came from a huge family himself, and i am forcing him into having the 3rd. Am i selfish, inconsiderate, heartless? i know my life will be on hold for the next 2-3 years, due to cost of childcare and a lil financial difficulties because i will be out of work but i actually dont mind.
      Do you think its selfish of me to have 3 when i already have a perfect family?

    14. AE

      H&H, you are not selfish at all. Your partner is equally responsible for your pregnancy. My husband chose not to have a third and there are things he can personally do to make sure that doesn’t happen! Also it sounds like you have a lot of love in your heart for another child. Things seem perfect now with two but life would always change and go through phases even if you didn’t have a third. Hang in there and hugs!


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