Having a third child can definitely impact your household financially, and the added time to now manage your newborn and 2 other children. It might be negatively impacting your marriage, and the lack of space in your home or freedom with your time might add to the regret. A few ways to heal from the regret are to relish in the small moments and special milestones your newborn passes, and have the comfort in knowing that it’ll be the 3rd time around and you’ve built up lots of experience in handling tough situations.
When the dream of having more than two children becomes a reality, many couples begin to regret it. After all, children are hard work, and when exhaustion from those sleepless nights begins to set in, all that’s left are regrets.
Here we look at the most common reasons that might lead you to regret having your third baby and some advice on how to regret less and enjoy the experience more.
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Reasons why you might regret having a third baby
You are not alone. There are plenty of other parents out there who regret having their third-born babies, and they wonder why.
Here are the most common reasons that may lead parents to regret having a third baby.
1. You’re outnumbered
As soon as you add a third child to your family dynamics, you are outnumbered, which shifts the balance in favor of children making it harder to equitably divide and conquer household tasks as one parent will always have more than 50% of the responsibilities.
It’s hard to keep up with chores, work, each other, and the children when you’re outnumbered. Children quickly learn to take advantage of the situation, and chaos will ensue.
These power dynamics are one of the most common reasons parents regret having a third baby.
2. Takes attention away from other children
You and your partner have learned how to split your attention equally amongst your children making sure you spend important one-on-one time together to strengthen your bond.
However, the balance will shift once a third baby is added into the mix. You’ll start feeling guilty about the third baby taking attention away from the other children mainly because you’ll be too tired or stressed to do the same activities you used to do with your older babies.
3. Having three kids is expensive
Generally, children are expensive, and adding a third baby to your home can be costly, especially if it’s a different gender or if there is a wide age gap because you’ll have to buy all new things if you’ve already disposed of the baby items from your last pregnancy.
There are also doctor’s visits, daycare costs, food, diapers, and so much more, all of which will add up to more expenses that can stress your family, especially if your budget was already stretched thin even before the third baby’s arrival.
From their crib to clothes, to toys, and everything in between, babies take up a lot of space even though they are so small themselves. You need space to care for and entertain your baby properly.
As the third little human is added into the mix, what might feel cozy will start feeling cramped, and your living arrangement might shift to ensure the baby has a nursery.
This might lead to guilt and regret that your older ones might have to compromise to make room for the new baby.
5. Negatively impacts your marriage
On top of the financial stress, emotional turmoil, and general exhaustion of daily life, having a third child can start to crack an otherwise solid foundation of your marriage.
As much as children are a gift, they can change the dynamics of your relationship with your partner. As soon as they arrive, your relationship changes. The love you feel for each other makes way for a new type of love.
This can overwhelm your relationship if you don’t protect your marriage, especially with partners who are jealous of the new arrival. Scheduled date nights, intimacy, and other moments will ensure that you have time for each other on top of your growing family.
How to regret your third child lesser
Not every moment will be filled with wonder and positivity, but just because you are starting to succumb to the stress of having a third child doesn’t mean you should wallow in regret.
Instead, there are ways you can change your approach and shift your perspective to help you regret less having a third child with each passing day.
Relish in the last moments
Your third child will most likely be your last, so take extra time to enjoy and appreciate all of those milestones that mark your child’s development.
Don’t rush through them just because you are exhausted or feeling guilty. Instead, take a moment to appreciate them just as you did with your first child.
These special moments will help you feel present in your child’s life and help you appreciate each day with them as they grow up because it might just be the last time they want to cuddle with you or run into your arms as they grow up so quickly. So enjoy it while it lasts.
Enjoy the company
Children grow up to be well-rounded when they are surrounded by other children. It helps them learn how to share, compromise, and all sorts of other essential life skills that help in their development.
When you have a third child, it will help your other two children to become properly socialized, plus they will have built-in buddies to play with, confide in, and get in trouble with.
The siblings will always have a companion outside of you that they can rely on, so while it can be exhausting, it can also be enriching. Besides, who doesn’t want a living doll to experiment on?
Five is still manageable
Most cars comfortably fit five people, so you may not have to upgrade when your third little addition arrives. Same with your home, the children can share a room.
The idea of being a family of five may be daunting, but it is still manageable with patience and time from you and your partner. It’s a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
The older brother or sister will also help you raise the new baby even though it could add to mental and physical stress, but things will be easier once you get out of the baby years and the toddler tantrum stage.
Your new baby should be easier
You may regret having your third baby, but because you now have more experience, you should take solace in the fact that the third time should be easier.
You will have fewer baby clothes and other baby items to buy if you kept your other kid’s stuff from when they were younger. The older siblings can also look after the new baby when possible, but as an adult, you are still responsible.
Is labor quicker with a third baby?
This is what is referred to as being fully dilated. The time from the start of established labor to being fully dilated is usually 8-12 hours in a first-time pregnancy, while it’s usually quicker, around 5 hours, in subsequent pregnancies.
What is third child syndrome?
The third child syndrome is when a child enters a household with parents who are relaxed and not worried about simple things like diaper rashes or each sniffle from their experience in raising the other older children, making the third born a calmer, more easy-going child.
For example, if your first child eats dirt, you’ll call the doctor, then if your second one does the same, you’ll clean their mouths, but if the third child eats dirt, you’ll simply start to wonder if they are hungry.
From having your second baby, you already know that having more than one child is a challenge. Having the third one is a whole new ball game! That’s the beginning of a big family.
If you actively decided to have a third baby, then hopefully, it allowed you to prepare a bit more, but if the third baby was a ” surprise,” the regret might be stronger.
It is up to you and your partner to ride it out until things become a little easier, around the time that they start to communicate a little better.
Good luck! You may end up wishing for another baby when your nest becomes empty.