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Old 26.01.2021, 12:04
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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This is exactly my background and situation. I was the only child, and I did not like it (despite the luxury of being able to travel and do things that came with being the only child). Fast forward, and me and the wife had 2 kids with an age difference of only 20 months - they are (mostly ) best friends and I can happily watch them grow up together, also knowing that no matter what happens to me and/or the mother, they'll at least have each other.



Now I want(ed) a third one but my wife did initially not, and after some consideration she managed to convince me. The main reason for not going for a third one is that I feel like the younger one of the two (he's only 1.5) would be the "forgotten", as the oldest is always the first in learning things and requires attention, and the third one would be the baby requiring a lot of attention - so the middle one would be the "loser", which I really don't want.
I am the middle child. It is the best thing ever. You get your protection, deal with authority, a fair amount of freedom, no overly anxious parents watching your every step and you learn how to be responsible for the little ones, too. If I can suggest anything to anyone - be the middle child.
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  #62  
Old 26.01.2021, 12:07
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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Not sure I could have coped with two only two years apart. The thought of being pregnant while dealing with a toddler.... plus having a nappy gap is great..
I had two children in two years and am one of three born in three consecutive years. I didn't personally find having two babies that difficult to deal with. If you are changing one nappy, why not change another one? It also means that all your activities tend to suit both children (I have 2 boys), might be different with boys and girls. I felt rather liberated when both my boys were in kindergarten/school and my friends were still dealing with nappies and sleepless nights.

As a sibling, it was great being so close in age. I have 2 brothers and their friends were a great pool of potential boyfriends (I married one in the end) and we had a great time as teenagers going out together and then later holidaying together with our partners etc.

There's obviously advantages and disadvantages to age gaps and no way is right or wrong, but when you consider that the longest relationships you have in your life are likely to be with your siblings, then just having one (or more) in your life is a privilege.
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Old 26.01.2021, 12:09
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

Just to throw something into the mix:

A family member married a man who already had children. He was a good father to his now-adult children, but made it very clear at the start of their relationship that he was done parenting.

A few years down the road, the wife found she now desperately wanted children of her own. The husband didn't want to deny her something so important to her, so said that he would go along - as long as she agreed that the child would be 'her project', he would not be significantly involved in the day to day upbringing.

They stuck to that agreement.

There is now a child approaching the teen years. And dear doG, that is one f'd up family. Child resents his rather distant father, mother and father resent one another for the road their lives have taken.

---

Having a child has to be something both parents are truly on board with, and once the child is here both must be willing to put whatever reservations they had aside and put their whole hearts into that child and all that the child brings with him.

I've always thought that having or not having children is a 'one veto' question. Of course compromise is possible, and should be pursued. But both parents must in their hearts truly come to 'yes'. Anything else is not fair - on the parents, other family members, and most importantly the child.

---

If you and your wife are at an impass, I would strongly recommend couples counselling to help hash these issues out.


Wishing your family all the best.
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Old 26.01.2021, 12:28
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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Just to throw something into the mix:

as long as she agreed that the child would be 'her project', he would not be significantly involved in the day to day upbringing.

They stuck to that agreement.
Wow. And they did not see any problems coming in the future?? The only victim here is the child, poor kid.
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Old 26.01.2021, 12:37
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

We have two young boys (2.5y and 10 months), and although my wife (39) and I(49) would like to have a third, it would be a great risk due to our age. Such a shame we didn't meet 5/10 years earlier..

As it is I'll be retiring as the boys leave school, and be 70 if/when they graduate Uni. And I want to be a parent to my kids, not a grandparent!
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Old 26.01.2021, 12:42
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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I am the middle child. It is the best thing ever. You get your protection, deal with authority, a fair amount of freedom, no overly anxious parents watching your every step and you learn how to be responsible for the little ones, too. If I can suggest anything to anyone - be the middle child.
I am the middle child. It is the worst thing ever. As kids: the eldest will beat you up when you try to bully the youngest. The parents will punish mainly you because the other two are quicker (okay, smarter ) to start running away after something went wrong. As grown ups: you spend a lot of time and effort mediating between the erstwhile allies because for some reason they can’t stand each other anymore.
If I can suggest anything to anyone – don’t be the middle child – unless you are really smart and can run like hell
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Old 26.01.2021, 12:43
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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We have two young boys (2.5y and 10 months), and although my wife (39) and I(49) would like to have a third, it would be a great risk due to our age. Such a shame we didn't meet 5/10 years earlier..

As it is I'll be retiring as the boys leave school, and be 70 if/when they graduate Uni. And I want to be a parent to my kids, not a grandparent!
yeah. i'm kinda sad that i didn't have kids earlier. i guess there's no good time to have kids. either you have them late and are old when they are older (and may not be in good health for grandkids) or have them young and sacrifice some of your early years and finances.
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Old 26.01.2021, 12:45
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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Having a child has to be something both parents are truly on board with, and once the child is here both must be willing to put whatever reservations they had aside and put their whole hearts into that child and all that the child brings with him.

I've always thought that having or not having children is a 'one veto' question. Of course compromise is possible, and should be pursued. But both parents must in their hearts truly come to 'yes'. Anything else is not fair - on the parents, other family members, and most importantly the child.
This, exactly. Except the part about: "once the child is here". I think, instead: "before conception".
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Old 26.01.2021, 12:55
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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If I can suggest anything to anyone – don’t be the middle child – unless you are really smart and can run like hell


It is not for everybody, I guess. A mix of supervision, homework and freedom.
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Old 26.01.2021, 13:05
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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yeah. i'm kinda sad that i didn't have kids earlier. i guess there's no good time to have kids. either you have them late and are old when they are older (and may not be in good health for grandkids) or have them young and sacrifice some of your early years and finances.
Well, for me it was more that I didn't find the right partner until late in the game...and to me the right partner was always key, not just from my perspective but also from that of the kids.
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Old 26.01.2021, 13:10
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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Well, for me it was more that I didn't find the right partner until late in the game...and to me the right partner was always key, not just from my perspective but also from that of the kids.
But then you are luckier than most, in my experience. I think it is better to have fewer children with the right partner than more children with a blah one or straight out wrong one. The divorce rates of marriages with children says that many people have kids with wrong partners. But then, the kids are phenomenal, which makes the worst mating partner into the best one, really.

Western society is thought not to reproduce enough. Maybe Elu's wife has that on her mind.
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Old 26.01.2021, 13:18
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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I am the middle child. It is the worst thing ever. As kids: the eldest will beat you up when you try to bully the youngest. The parents will punish mainly you because the other two are quicker (okay, smarter ) to start running away after something went wrong. As grown ups: you spend a lot of time and effort mediating between the erstwhile allies because for some reason they can’t stand each other anymore.
If I can suggest anything to anyone – don’t be the middle child – unless you are really smart and can run like hell
Now this post sounds more like real life.

Much more than some of the other posts which have seemed, to me, to be rather romanticising the wonderfulness of growing up with siblings with whom they would have played all day for years, and then go on to be one another's confidantes as adults, as they plan, together, for their parents' aging. Yes, indeed, some families do really work like that, and I'm sure some people ache and yearn for their sister or brother, across the miles. I don't see many of them around me, though.

I just mentally went through roughly 30 or 40 people with whom I have fairly frequent contact in a range of contexts, and was surprised to find only a small handful who, as adults, have a strong bond to a sibling whom they regard as someone they want to see and even as a good friend.

For some of the others, their siblings are okay-ish but ever at a distance. They're people whom they dread or tolerate or vaguely like meeting at Christmas, Bayram or at the obligatory birthday parties of Aunt Louisa, (only to be reminded, then, why they don't have more frequent contact) or, despite all differences, if someone needs help moving home, and perhaps also if there's an emergency. Some need to remind themselves to put their siblings on a To Do List (call Bruno). A few are antagonists or even ex-siblings, but for most of them, their siblings are largely not much part of their current lives, one way or another.
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  #73  
Old 26.01.2021, 13:18
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

And I'll just sit here happily reading these comments, perfectly content with my choice of "No kids"

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Old 26.01.2021, 13:24
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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My family swear by it, get it all out of the way in one go and much easier to hand down clothing. Plus the kids are a similar age to have more in common as they age. Too much of an age gap and they aren't going to be able to play together which imo is a huge downside.
Very easy to hand down clothing - save it in the attic. No guarantee it will even be suitable. My two play brilliantly thanks. Though siblings getting on /liking each other is not guaranteed whatever the gap.

It's maybe much easier to have plans before you face the reality. Not all women would like to be pregnant again so soon, especially if breastfeeding. Our eldest got our undivided attention until she was a little more independent and wasn't jealous ofthe baby.



Edit having read Doro's post: the closest adult siblings I know have an 8 and an 11 year age gap, or are step-siblings. The ones I know who like each other least are 4 girls all born within 7 years. A friend here also has 4 kids in a similar range and is constantly mediating. My brother and I (4y gap) only got on once we both hit our 20s. Now we are friends as well as siblings - though living far apart may help! - and our 4 daughters are close.
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Old 26.01.2021, 13:44
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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And I'll just sit here happily reading these comments, perfectly content with my choice of "No kids"

Good for you! This is often a choice unfairly judged by society.
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  #76  
Old 26.01.2021, 13:51
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

In view of two couples who are close family friends, and who had triplets, on couple for the second, when toddler was 18 months, and the other couple, who had triplet for the 3rd- when they were already discussin divorce ...

ask here how she would feel is 3rd baby turnout out to be twins or triplets?

(remember if you feel strongly about not having 3rd- you need to take charge of contraception. Sadly, I have known it to happen just so many times around us, the 3rd just arrived, and more ...by accident (on purpose on one part) - sometimes with joy, other times ... not.)

Must say I am glad we were both 100% agreed, we would have two, then OH would take responsibility for ensuring we would have no more- without hesitation or regret. Always said if anything happened to one of our children, they would not and could not ever be replaced, and we would adopt.
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Old 26.01.2021, 13:52
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

Huge admiration for our youngest, who met the right man too late.
At 49 and 46, they are now in the process of becoming foster parents, with a view to adopt.
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Old 26.01.2021, 14:08
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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And I'll just sit here happily reading these comments, perfectly content with my choice of "No kids"

Same Unless you count the furry kind ... I could have 10 of those.
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Old 26.01.2021, 14:22
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

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Well, for me it was more that I didn't find the right partner until late in the game...and to me the right partner was always key, not just from my perspective but also from that of the kids.
I would be happy to have kids in my mid-40's and if I do have kids it's likely to be around that time. I think it's much better to have them later in life when you are in a really good and stable position, than too soon when you aren't ready either in your head or in terms of your life situation.
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Old 26.01.2021, 14:41
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Re: Asking for advice: Wife wants a third child, I don't

I think you have to have a lot of patience and a lot of tolerance for noise and chaos to have three kids. I think you also have to be willing to sacrifice a big part of yourself for that, because when you have kids, they become the epicenter of your universe.
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