Family Sizes, Age Gaps, Experiences?

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10 years 7 months ago #29650 by *~Flake~*
This is one predominately for the mothers of the forums I guess.
I've just copied and pasted this straight from a blog because that's where it's made the most sense to me so far! It's a bit of a ramble, bear with me.

I grew up wanting four children. Quadruplets actually, big family, only have to deal with pregnancy once. That was 'the dream'.

As I got older, reality set in.

Our gorgeous girl Butterfly was about 5 years early. She turns 3 on Sunday :O! We love her with all our heart and all our soul. She was a crash course in parenting - she's been a very intense little girl from the start. First she had severe colic. She takes after her father and we are relatively sure she is acedemically gifted. Yes this can be a great thing, but it means we need to be very very careful as parents too. More about that later. She's hypersensitive to sound, and this means we have to constantly be aware of whats happening around her. Butterfly is a perfectionist, awesome help in the kitchen, and has a wicked sense of humour.

Snoopy has just turned one. He too takes after his father, but is far more relaxed and laid back than Hollie. He chills, thinks, watches, thinks, then reacts. He also has an awesome charater and sense of humour :)

The engineer is tested gifted. He went to manage the family business so that we could purchase our first home, and I could be a stay at home mother for our children. He then returned to uni to complete degree number two in Chemical Engineering. He's got a sharp fine mind, and is easily fustrated when it's not working to it's potential. It's best he does what he needs to do! The benefits for our family will pay off immensly ~ just one more year of full time teaching for me.

The thing is, we decided on 3 children. 3 children feels 'right'. 3 children would leave our family feeling complete.

We've agreed that the best thing for our family, is going to be to relocate them to Taranaki. The lifestyle and opportunities up there will provide us with the most stability. (We're from Canterbury - no pun intended). We'll go, whe nchild three is 1.

The thing is, children are awesome, children are a gift ,but children are also incredibly hard work. I love my children with everything in me, but I really don't know if I can cope with 3 young children, in a new town, witthout family support, when I may still need to work part time.

So then we have two - Butterfly and Snoopy. Time to pack up the baby gear, sell on the extras, and start planning forward. I can't imagine just the two at Christmas time though.

I thought Iwanted three close in age. We DID want three close in age.

Now it makes more sense to wait, move, settle, and then have two more, with a further gap apart. More settled, big family.

I'm only 25...that could work, right?


[;)]“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." Dr. Seuss[;)]
:oOne stunning daughter, one laidback son, one loving engineer husband, one intellegent poodle, one shy cockatiel, one 'assertive' budgie, one silver cat, and a madam mare off...

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10 years 7 months ago #401932 by igor
Mine range from almost eighteen down to just turned six. My wife and I have both been married before. I have two (13 and almost 18) who live with their mother, my wife has an almost 15yo who lives with us, and we have 10, 8 & 6 year olds together. We are both in our 40's. My wife was 42 when the youngest was born. This seems to be a trend in her family as her mother and aunt were both 42 when they had their youngest children. Don't rush anything Flake, you have plenty of time yet.

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10 years 7 months ago #401940 by Seaside
I have three, each three and a half years apart in age. I find three much harder than two. Mind you, on the occasions when we only have one (the other two are elsewhere), it's easier still. But, I wouldn't want a one-child family. Always good to have a 'spare' and also as an adult I value my (many) siblings to want my child to have at least one.

I would have stopped at two, but their dad and I split up (while I was still pregnant with number two), and I met my husband a couple of years later. He had no children of his own so we decided to have another. The older two live with us, but their dad has them most weekends.

My boys are now 6, 10 and 13, so I have been parenting for almost 14 years. It feels like forever - yet my first was born when I was 30 and before that I had a life. Tramping every weekend, quick drink at the pub after work, holidays every year, travelled the world for a couple of years...

I think if I parented from the age of 22 until the age of 50 (if you have your next two in, say, 5 years), I would feel that my whole life had been looking after kids. Indeed, my good friend had her first two young (in her 20s) to her first husband, divorced, met her second husband when her youngest was 13 and had two more. She is now 51 with a 11 and 13 year old and 30 year old, plus one grandchild, and is a little 'over' parenting, especially when her boys get into trouble.

But it's an individual thing, and only you know what's right for you. I know that once the hard years are over (and it's not the physical work, but the arguing and rivalry and general riot control that wears me down as the boys push the boundries and I try to enforce them without losing my nut), I will be so pleased I had my three boys and will treasure these years we were together as a family. So yes, it's absolutely do-able. I certainly wouldn't rush into your third if you are hesitant that you can cope at this time. You know what they say about the devil and the best laid plans, so things may change over time and you may end up with only two.

Kids, beasts, and chillies in Swannanoa South.
www.farmaway.co.nz

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10 years 7 months ago #401997 by Simkin
We've got 3 as well, the age gaps are 3 years 7 months and I was able to enjoy each of them individually when they were little. I, too, had a career, travel etc before starting our family and it's really really worth it.

I learnt what not to do from my parents: Have them young close together. My mum forever blamed us for not being able to travel, for not being able to afford a more expensive car and so forth. I can't recall a single time when she read a story to me or spent some quality time with me. She was like a zombie, not knowing what to attend to first, and I do know that she did not get any enjoyment whatsoever out of having kids when we were young.

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10 years 7 months ago #402036 by SarahM
One child here (almost 3) and still working on No 2. I've just turned 37. It's not so much as waiting until my mid 30's to be ready to have a child, as finding the right man as a suitable loving husband and father. It took that long to find the right one. :)

Before that I had a career, travel, long lazy Sundays, etc. I don't regret anything though as I've had plenty of time to have fun while I was younger.

5 acres, husband, daughter, son, me, about 12 sheep and their lambs, currently no ram (yay!), 2 Galloways, about 35 chooks, 3 cats and 2 budgies.

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10 years 7 months ago #402042 by Sue
Interesting how times change!
I had my two when I was 25 and 28, they are now in their late thirties and in fact both have birthdays this week. They are 3 years apart. Funny thing is, at the time I was considered an 'old' mother!

After leaving school I had a fun filled student life of 3 years, travelled (to NZ!) got a good managerial job, which continued without a break, apart from 5 days sick leave to have a baby, somehow children and a full time job just fitted together.

We were lucky enough to live on the poultry farm I managed and the children just came to work. T. worked for the same firm but off farm. No close family-mine were in the UK and T's lived 200kms away.

We fitted in all the usual things, work, school and hobby activities, bought 13 acres and built a house on it, continued working full time for 34 years, family and all. Put both of them through University, travelled to UK on holiday with family twice and individually a couple more times before they left home.

I think it's a myth that life is too busy or too much fun to have a family at an earlier age these days!
We worked damn hard back then too-without computers and cell phones etc to distract/help us! I'm pleased I had my kids when I did, and then still had some time once they grew up to appreciate work, travel and the company of grown up children and even 3 grandchildren (in small doses) whilst still fit enough to do so!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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10 years 7 months ago #402046 by LongRidge
The Manager and I have 2, and that is probably 1 too many. The elder (or if there were more than 2, the oldest) thinks that we have more money than we know what to do with. He is at Med School in Dunedin, and is absolutely positive than he will be able to support us in our old age ...... yeah, right ..... So I will loan him to you if you like.
The younger is perhaps less academic, but at least knows how to live within his means. I'll keep him, at least for a bit longer.
So I'm very grateful that you will take over my financial responsibilities for the elder who has just passed his 3rd year exams to be a doctor ..... :-). PS He's getting married in January to his long-term girlfriend, and the granddaughter is one of the guests ......

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10 years 7 months ago #402047 by highgirl
I'm in a bit of a similar situation to seaside... I have two (9 and 14) to my ex-huband and a 3rd wee girl (3) to my new husband. I would dearly love another but my husband isn't keen (he's 42 and I just turned 35 last week).

Three definitely adds on a lot more work than 3! ...but I'm picking that a 4th won't be such a dramatic increase. I was also a bit on the back foot with the 3rd because she was so desperate to become part of the family that she made her entrance 11 wks and 4 days early! and while she may have been ready to deal with it, the rest of us weren't [:0] Finally we are all quite settled now...3 and a half years later [;)]

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10 years 7 months ago #402065 by DiDi
I agree Flake - it sounds like a very sensible solution!

I set out to have four close together but lost my first to miscarriage and then had two girls 17 months apart, born in different countries. It was soooo hard as my second was also born with chronic colic. We had moved back to NZ, bought a lifestyle block by the time she was born (with a 560 tree orchard) and no family anywhere near as in 300km away.

My second was born just before I turned 30 and you are only 25? The sanity for me was Playcentre and then Primary School where I met people in the same situation. One gorgeous neighbour who would turn up out of the blue when baby 2 was under 3 months, scoop the older one up and disappear for the day. Sleep precious sleep until the colic medication wore off and we were up again.

Hubby was away working for most of that 3 months and I would be there at 4am in the morning sobbing saying "Please baby go to sleep. I have to be up in 3 hours".

We can't make that decision for you obviously as it also depends on how much support you have from your husband. I can only say that looking back, I am glad I only had two. I then lost an unplanned baby to miscarriage when I was 35 and I was shocked at how resentful I was to be pregnant! I had plans to go to Uni when the youngest turned 5 etc. Instead, hubby's work changed again and we moved to another LSB that was too far from Uni etc. In those days there was no distance Uni learning!

That is one thing I would do today if I was young and had small children, make the time to do a Degree and ensure that you are qualified to be employed and earn money once your children are at school. It will give you so many more choices.

Wishing you all the best with your decision.

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10 years 7 months ago #402072 by Leonie
The Master (laughs) and I have 2 sons, 19 and 14 and another son on the way (due on feb the 1st).

Had our first son when I was 17 and am now 36. Our oldest has moved out on his own so it's kind of like starting all over again but because I am older I am appreciating the experience way more than I did when I was younger.

We may have a fourth child but who knows, we shall leave that for when we come to it :D . Get through this experience first and see how we feel.

'REGRET IS A DULL AND RUSTED BLADE'

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10 years 7 months ago #402074 by Kiwi303
18 months between me and my older sis, and then 4 years to my brother, and another 4 to my younger sis... Mum never seemed to have any troubles... having Grandma (Mum's Ma) living 75 meters away across a stile and a garden gate with only a paddock in between, plus "Daddy Nana" (Dads mother) in the retirement village with a boundary fence right onto the school grounds made for easy babysitting.

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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10 years 7 months ago #402099 by igor
As I see it there are two angles here. If you start too young you might not be mentally ready to be a parent but if you wait too long you may be too old to enjoy your grandchildren.
When my youngest is 21 I will be 60. My dad's father was 68 the year I was born so I only knew him as an old man but I spent a lot of time with him as, like Kiwi303's Grandma, Nana & Pop lived in the other house on our home place.

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10 years 7 months ago #402184 by *~Flake~*
Thanks everyone for your experiences and ideas, I really appreciate it! Just to claify, we do have children already, The eldest is 3 on Sunday, and the youngest was 1 in August :)


[;)]“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." Dr. Seuss[;)]
:oOne stunning daughter, one laidback son, one loving engineer husband, one intellegent poodle, one shy cockatiel, one 'assertive' budgie, one silver cat, and a madam mare off...

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10 years 7 months ago #402188 by DiDi
I got that! :D

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10 years 7 months ago #402230 by terralee
We married when we were very young :) ...I turned 16 and just 3 days later we married[:0] and Terry had just turned 19 ...then our first daughter was born just a few weeks later[:I]:o[:X] ...had 2nd daughter just over 5 years later when I was 21 ....we had it tough financially but we survived ...we went to Australia for 2 and 1/2 years when the girls were aged 2 and 7 ...came back NZ and have lived in many places during the rest of the time ..the kids never stopped us trying things and had a neat life ...both have turned out great strong women and neither has been in jail[;)] Terry and I worked hard (still do) and have been freehold for a number of years which has made things easier but it took a fair amount of staying power sometimes!
....so I think have a child when you feel the need and don't wait to be rich enough, settled enough, old enough etc etc the time is right when you are ready :D and how many ...well you'll know when to stop too:) .
Oh and I have 4 grandsons ...eldest is 18 in Feb (and he calls me his young Nana[:X]) youngest is 5 ....and Terry and I will have been married 40 years in March:D ..and everyone though we wouldn't make it ...too young :rolleyes:[}:)][:X]
Cheers

Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:

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