The Magic Number

Becky Sappor

The magic number? Well it’s three according to De La Soul… but to me, I think it’s probably two. Or maybe it is three? I change my mind like the wind.

Pretty much immediately after Tayo was born I was like yep… Let’s get another one of these bad boys. I even felt like that six months in to his lovely little life but of late… hell NO. Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation? Maybe it’s finding my mojo a bit again back at work… Maybe it’s finally feeling like I can start rebuilding my body again… Maybe it’s because I find two really hard work and I now feel that I simply wouldn’t cope with a third. But man, they are so flippin’ adorable when the going is good. My heart skips a beat at the thought of a third little human running around but my brain wants to slap my heart for feeling like that because frankly, it’s a bit fried and barely functioning on a daily basis as it is.

So I guess today’s post is just me being nosey really. How many do you have? Did you stop at one or did you carry on until you had five and then decided to call it a day? I think that magic number is different for everyone I just don’t know how you decide when ‘you’re done’.

How did you decide? Was it money? Was it time? Was it actually that you’re super Mom and can totally manage four little rug rats running around your feet so why the hell not?

Please share… can’t wait to hear all your reasonings/well thought out decisions/little accidents πŸ˜‰

x

Becky loves her boys, her pooch and designing. She also loves chocolate digestives, probably a bit too much.
Follow Becky on instagram @becky.sappor

52 Comments. Leave new

We’ve got two girls (aged 2 and 4 months) and I think I’m done. I have moments where I think I could add a third but then I remind myself that I completely hated being pregnant and certainly don’t want to do that again. To try and ensure I don’t change my mind I’ve already given away my maternity clothes and as my youngest grows out of clothes/nappies/toys I’m immediately boxing them up and passing them on to friends so it’ll be totally impractical to have a third. I’m also working hard on getting my pre-babies body back and I’m pretty sure once all the hard work is done I’m not going to want to undo it again. So for us two is the magic number and my head is doing all it can to ensure my baby loving heart doesn’t change my mind!

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I’m having very much the same feelings as you Becky. Always knew I wanted more than one so didn’t face many dilemmas after Anna was born (apart from some really bad nights when I thought I can’t possibly go through it again). Now we have 2 which rationally is the magic number for us I found it ever so sad that this should be our last squishy newborn. At the same time though I find myself tipped over the edge on almost daily basis and don’t feel I would cope with 3 or at least not in a way I’d want. The prospect of claiming my body for myself again and getting excited about my work is so appealing. For me I think it’s time to appreciate how lucky I am to have two healthy children and soak up every moment. My husband has always said 2 was our magic number and maybe without all the raging hormones he was actually right.

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So lucky Kat and that’s such a fab way to look at it… But like Lisa says below… Never say never πŸ˜‰

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We always knew we’d have 3! We didn’t plan to have the two little ones so close together however breastfeeding ‘accidents/surprise’ happened. I’m in the camp (currently) that 3.5 plus year age gap is great as the eldest is mature enough to help out and understand more. We are a NEVER SAY NEVER family and are lucky enough to have jobs that fit around school and childcare is easier as I predominantly choose my own hours. We are not planning on 4, (And after lasts nights tag team crying with the two little ones I’m looking forward to more sleep) The big ‘however’… I get that life is fluid, people’s emotions change, house sizes change, income changes and if I’m in a position when I’m broody at 38/39 (currently 33) then I’m comfortable to accept that we might just make 4 work. Madness I know I, but we are a ‘never say never’ (just give me at least a 4 year break this time!)

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Lisa a friend of mine has 4, all two years between them. She is a warrior! So you know, 4 can definitely work especially if you never say never πŸ™‚ x

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Oh Becky you know we have had this debate many times!! I think I am sticking at two and as much as Edd would like a third I’m just not sure for so many reasons. Firstly two seems a nice number and as the years go on everything is more manageable emotionally and financially. I’m through the baby phase and going back to that would scare the s**t out of me!! I’m not a huge fan of being pregnant, nor labour so that part isn’t appealing and I’ll be honest that as Alice was such a nightmare newborn it kind of put me off that part too. In a way I wish I’d had more space between the girls but that wasn’t the case so I can’t change that now and it’s brilliant now they are older (they are currently sat building Duplo houses together).

On the flip side I know we could give another baby a lovely home and they would just as loved, although deep down I know Edd would like a boy though and that might not be the case. I also know that we would manage. I’d get through the chaotic bedtimes and the sleepless nights because I know it does get better. In my head I only ever wanted two though so I think I need to just stick with that. As my mum says you will always want more no matter how many you have because as they get older you crave that cute baby/toddler again but you have to stop somewhere!

xxx

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We’re sticking at one and that brings up so much debate from others. I honestly can’t imagine starting all over again with another one. Our one is totally loved and I find motherhood absolutely amazing (which people question when they hear I don’t want another baby) but I’m happy to just continue this adventure with this amazing girl.

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I’m with you on this one Jo. I find it as uncomfortable as when people ask when are you getting married/having your first. The number of times I hear ‘oh you don’t want an only child, he’ll be a spoilt brat unable to cope with the world’. I tell them my dad is an only child and he’s a damn fine man. I love my little boy with all my heart and love watching him grow up. I am sad that he’s starting school soon (can we have a post on how to cope with this transition??? Pretty please) but know for us, our lives and hopes for the future that sticking with one is the right decision.

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Oh Jane, Leo starts in September and I am a mess! It’s his last day at nursery today as I want to spend some real time with him before he starts and I CRIED when I dropped him off. I’m not sure I’m coping but we can definitely put a post together about it and I’m sure our amazing community will come to the rescue as always x

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My little boy has just finished his first year- I felt exactly the same this time last year! Spent the whole of the holidays trying to cram in lots of time with him- in my head it felt like I was never going to see him again!! My husband kept pointing out we weren’t sending him off to boarding school never to be seen again until he was 16 but in my head we may as well have been!! He was absolutely fine and it’s amazing how quickly you settle into the rhythm of the school run but I think it’s definitely hard on us mummy’s! Big hugs to you all xxx

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Fully agree with you – we have one boy (5.5 yrs) and although we had always said we’d have two kids, I just don’t have any desire to go back and start again. Every new phase with my boy is so much better than the stage before it, and while I truly loved being a mama when he was a baby, I love it so much more now that he’s a real little guy with his own personality (even if it can be incredibly difficult sometimes!)
I do hate the questions (and almost accusations) from others, though, about having more kids – I know plenty of adults who are an only-child who are wonderful people, and plenty of people who grew up with siblings who aren’t so wonderful! It’s not about the number of kids in your family, it’s about the person you are and the way you’re raised. We make sure our son has plenty of play-dates with his friends, with our friends and their kids, and with family, but he also has his own space when he needs it. It works for us, and that’s all there is to it.

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Ah Miss Mouse sounds like your set up is perfect. You get the questions about having more kids and I get the ‘are you going to try for a girl’ question ALL the time. You can’t win can you! x

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I feel completely the same – I have a one year old daughter and before we had her I assumed that we would have two children, but now just can’t imagine doing it all again. I absolutely adore her and love being a mum more than anything (people assume there must be something wrong for me not to want another one), but I love our little gang of three and just want to focus on raising our little girl in the best way that we can and cherishing every second.

I must admit that I sometimes find myself doubting my decision due to comments from other people – a colleague who is an only child recently told me that she has always longed to have a sibling and it scared me that my daughter may grow up feeling that way, but ultimately I know that having one child is the right thing for our family and I know that our daughter will grow up feeling completely loved.

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Sounds prefect Jo! x

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I’m lucky enough after a lot of heart break to have two gorgeous little ladies: Mila 3 and Una 1.
When I much younger and blissfully naive I thought I wanted four, having come from a big family.
However in the process of having our first I was extremely sure that two was in fact our magic number. Having been one of three for the first 16 years of my life I think it is really hard with three to not have an odd one out. Our baby sister was 6 years younger than me and four years younger than my middle sister. It’s always meant that me and my middle sister have more in common with just a two year gap.
So once our number one was hear, although it was a bit of a trauma I wanted to get number two out of the way. So with a two year and five week gap she was here. I was SO delighted to have two healthy little girls. And equally delighted that my body was done.
I’d made peace with the fact that she was my last before she was created so the whole way through I tried to take it all in. I think it helped as I feel like I have enjoyed her more with the knowledge that it was never to be again.
My husband has sealed the deal with the old βœ‚οΈ
So we will be a very happy family of four, but with a big extended family of lots of aunties, uncles and cousins!
Feeling extremely lucky!

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I have two girls, ages 5&2. We are done, mainly because of money but also because I love what we have and don’t want to jinx it all but that doesn’t stop the broodiness and the pull of wanting another. I daily go through the pros and cons of baby#3 to convince myself we are complete but it’s head vs heart so it’s a daily fight!!

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We have two, a boy and a girl and that’s definitely my husband’s magic number. People also assume we’re done as we have the “perfect” family (as in one of each). I’m not sure I’m done though. I’m one of four and I loved being part of a big family plus we make amazing babies!!! But on the other hand two are manageable in many ways – divide and conquer, we can have a better quality of life etc… and when we have bad days I certainly question my capability of having a third. We would have to be on the same page and 100% want another one. It’s so difficult, how do you know?

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We’ve just had our third child six months ago, which means we have three under five.

I am officially done.

I have reached the threshold for my sanity! I know I cannot cope with anymore. It’s not just the childcare, its the increase in washing and tidying etc which adds to the burden.

Plus now that our eldest has just finished her first year at school, I’m starting to see how much emotional support our children are going to need as they get older. I think we are stretched pretty thin with three kids, and a fourth is going to prove too much.

I also have horrendous pregnancies (I have no idea why I agreed to go through it three times!) and have absolutely no desire to ever EVER do that again.

My husband could quite happily have a fourth, as he loves the baby stage, but as I work part time and he travels extensively for work (and works long hours) most of the drudgery work falls to me, and I can’t do any more.

Plus I want to get started on the family time, the holidays, the travel, the time together once the sleepless nights are behind us. So I’m focussing on that instead.

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Lora those are lovely things to focus on. And your point about the level of emotional support that they need growing up has really struck a chord with me. I feel like Leo already needs quite a lot as he transitions from nursery to school and I’m sure he’s only going to need more as trials and tribulations of school life start to kick in. Thanks so much for your comment x

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Lora you have just described my life! 3 under five, one just finished the first year at school and a husband who works away a lot!

We are also DEFINITELY done at 3! I love it but 4 would definitely push me firmly over the edge that i already come dangerously close to at times now!

And totally with you on the washing- how does something so small create so much more washing! I’m constantly juggling washing, drying and putting away clothes! Ironing went out the window sometime around the arrival of number 2! X

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We have a 2.5 year old and I’m currently expecting no 2. After that we’re done. Sometimes I think a third would be lovely, but for financial and age related reasons (I’m 37, hubby is 47), we are definitely not going again.

I’m also stepmum to a 13 year old, so we have got three really, though she is obviously older and therefore much more self sufficient (but no less expensive lol!).

As my firstborn is now firmly lodged in the terrible twos, that is actually kind of acting as an effective family planning tool and has made me happy to stop after this baby! I wanted another baby as soon as she was born, but now there are days when I wonder how on earth I’ll cope with her and a newborn. I have a friend who’s just had her 4th – they’re 6, 4, 2 and 0 – and she’s managing brilliantly, but I know I wouldn’t cope as well as she does. One thing she once said to me that hit home though was, if you think you’d like another baby, just have one as you’ll never regret it once they arrive. On one hand I completely agree with her – on the other, we still have to pay our mortgage! ☺️ x

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Haha Tracy yes we do! But I do like her advice… I better forget she said it though because who doesn’t want a big ball of curled up cuddles and first smiles and to be told I love you by an extra tiny person?! Gah….

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We are 9 months in to 3! We thought we were done at our 2 little ivf miracles and then along came a glorious spontaneous surprise in the form of baby Ted! My oldest two were only 4 and 3 when he arrived. I think if we’d talked through the practicalities and 3 had been an informed choice we would probably have stayed at 2 but I’m so glad fate took the choice out of our hands!! It’s mental, relentless and crazy most of the time but I love the buzz of our house and I’m really looking forward to seeing the dynamics of the 3 of them as they get older! I’ve also loved the baby part 3rd time round- I feel like I finally know what I’m doing and have really savoured it knowing i will definitely never do it again! This link is to my blog about the transition from 2 to 3- the key is setting low standards I think! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

https://stayingsaneasamummyof3.com/2017/04/13/new-addition-transitions/

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Aawww Rachel congratulations on your wonderful surprise! Sounds like you’re doing a great job and I agree about expectations. I have recently taken a bit of step back in my day to day routine, calmed things down… Lowered my expectations a touch and I feel SO much better for it. x

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Yep! Same here! Little things like cutting down on the number of classes and activities we were doing has helped. Sometimes felt like we were never just at home! Also silly little things like realising they are having a cooked meal at nursery and school twice a week so why was I busting a gut to try to cook another cooked meal in an evening on those days for them when they were just as happy witha sandwich or beans on toast! Sometimes I think we set ourselves ridiculous standards and we’re our own worst critics when we don’t meet them- one of the benefits of having 3 is that you have to lower the bar a bit as you just don’t have the time or headspace to stress about it!!

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Ahhh Becky I have this debate with myself in my head pretty much daily at the moment. I have 2 (my youngest is the same age at Tayo) and it’s funny because after my first baby I didn’t exactly feel broody, we just knew we wanted more than one so we tried for another when the time seemed right. During my second pregnancy I thought ‘this is definitely the last’ as I found it hard coping with the sickness etc with a toddler to look after as well. I was certain of my decision, 2 would be it. What I didn’t expect at all was to feel immensely broody pretty much straight after the birth and still now 11 months on! I think about a third all the time! Don’t get me wrong, on the hard days I think ‘there’s no way I’d cope’ and I can totally see all the practical reasons to stop at 2, but my heart says I want just one more! I also think there would be lots of lovely things about having 3 and of course once that little person is here you’d love them so much. I know some people don’t like the baby stage but I love it (not that I think it’s always easy but I love those baby snuggles and the magic of it all) and I feel so sad at never doing it again. My husband however is happy to stick at 2, so I might not have a choice in the matter 😒 We will see I suppose! I think if I did go for a third I would leave a 3 year gap though, my first gap is 2y 3m and that has been hard at times. Jealousy has been a problem too (still is πŸ˜”) and I don’t know whether an extra sibling would alleviate that (not so much direct competition with one other) or make it even worse?! Arrghh who knows, but it’s a constant battle in my head at the moment! X

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Glad I’m not alone Sarah! And as a fellow mum of an almost one year old (or maybe just turned one?) HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! x

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Done at three (boys), first two were twins so I wanted to experience having a single baby (quite a gamble in hindsight, paid off though!). It’s tough day to day as the twins are only just three, but moments of brilliance when all goes well. Finances, house size, car size, my dislike of pregnancy and labour) are all factors. I’m early thirties and looking forward to moving past baby weight and breast feeding. Also looking forward to proper sleep sometime in the next 6 months…

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We have twin girls who are 4 and I desperately want another for all the reasons you mentioned (experiencing a singleton pregnancy and having only one baby to cuddle!) but my husband isn’t so keen (he’s terrified it could be two again!) Part of me wonders if we’ve left it too late now as there would be a big age gap, but not sure. They start school this year so hoping that hubby might change his mind when things are a little calmer at home!

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Oh man the hormones and the feels! I am one of 3 and love it- there’s always a bit of space emotionally as you’re not together all the time and can bounce off whichever sibling isn’t irritating you so much that day. Everyone I know who is part of a two has a really intense relationship with their sibling (for better or worse) so I would really like another to let off the steam!

I’m baby crazy though. My husband is terrified. He thinks we are done for stupid (aka sensible) reasons like one parent per birthday party attended, no shared bedrooms and keeping his hatchback. We will see who wins…, πŸ˜‚

I think he’s got no chance as a few weeks ago I bought a posy from a traveller lady who looked at the two children and said matter of factly I’d have another son..! Superstitious nonsense yes, what I wanted to hear also yes (not the son part, I’m not fussed).

To be fair (God this comment is rambling) I’m also a little worried- we’ve been blessed with two healthy littles, is a third pushing it? Paddys labour was a healing experience in many ways- do I want to risk that wellbeing? And oh, the puking. It’s a quandary.

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“…and keeping his hatchback”. HAHAHA, this is so hilariously sensible!

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I know right? He needs to give up and embrace the dad van !

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I was really worried about whether a third was pushing our luck. we had two healthy children and I just felt like we were tempting fate.

Our baby is thankfully healthy too, but I worried about it the entire pregnancy. It was worth it, but I definitely wouldn’t go for a fourth child, and that is a big part of the reasoning.

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I’ve always wanted two (I think because it was my bro and me growing up) but I’ve got a 16 month old son at the moment and I had hyperemesis during my pregnancy with him. I CANNOT EVEN START TO IMAGINE going through that again but with a little one in tow. But then I also can’t quite imagine my little guy not having a little bro or sis.

I’m also not that young so it’s something we’re going to have to decide sooner rather than later, but it’s really tough. After my horrendous pregnancy, I found the first few months of motherhood really tough because I was so physically, mentally and emotionally drained. But NOW it’s great! If I could have a bub who arrives as a one year old that would be fabulous! πŸ˜‰

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Kate, I’m exactly the same, one of 2 so always wanted 2, and also had a bad labour and first year so if I could have the second bub at 6 months to a year that would be great! πŸ™‚ I went through a period in that first year (I had PND too) where I said never again but as things got better I went back to my original plan of 2. My hubby is an only child and felt strongly that he wanted a sibling for our wee boy. I’m now 13 weeks with our second (there’ll be 2 years and 2 months between them, at 37 I’ve not got time on my side!) and keeping everything crossed that the first 6 months are better this time round. Then hubby will be going for the snip! πŸ™‚

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Amazing Laura, that’s really brave and awesome of you! I’m sure it’s all going to be totally fine. All the v best for the rest of your pregnancy. I feel quite inspired!

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I also had hyperemesis the first time round but being one of two I wanted a second although I never got broody for the second baby. Number 2 is now almost 2 and although I has sickness this time round it wasn’t as bad and certainly not hyperemesis. Two is tough but worth it. I will be stopping at 2 though. Life feels like it’s starting to get easier again and they do have a great relationship most of the time! And I have two boys so constantly getting the “trying for a girl” question. What does that even mean??

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I don’t have any yet and want to wait till we’re married but then I’m really concious I’m nearly 33 and time is marching on. My own sister is 12 years younger than me and we have zero relationship now, we might as well have been only children. I’d like two fairly close together for that reason. The romantic in me would like a boisterous happy family of three, but I just don’t think we could afford it, especially as they get to teenagers (even shoes are so expensive!). Plus I think I’d struggle to fit three in before 40! Unless I got twins – I’d be gutted about missing out on a second maternity leave but having two babies πŸ™‚

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I am expecting my first at the moment and we have no plans to have more. I already feel the odd looks when I say this to people and get told ‘Oh you will change your mind’ which may be the case but this is our plan for our family and I remind myself we are having a baby for us not for these people. I was an only and (as far as I’m aware) I have grown up perfectly fine, unspoilt and extremely considerate of other people. We have every intention of having lots of play dates so little one can have time with other littlies and then have our sole attention when it’s family time. I’m really looking forward to it! ☺

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Such a biggie isn’t it. I am one of four and always wanted four. I have three. When Murray came along (second) I was soooooo happy but I knew I wasn’t done. Then Meade came along, the little cherry on top Andy calls her. I am not the Mum I wanted to be, I don’t think I am very good at it really. I wanted to be the ‘yes’ Mum. The “Can we go to the park Mum” “Yes sure, get your coats” – “Can we bake a cake Mum” “Yes sure grab the eggs” I am more the ‘maybe later Mum’ I have little patience some days and today for instance I am finding parenting a huge struggle. I can’t imagine having a fourth, how I would cope. I have never wanted a particular sex, boy or girl but actually now, if someone said I would have a girl I would do it. I would love for Meade to have a sister.

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I feel the same Amy. I often feel I’m not doing a good job at being a good mum. Patience is a bitg issue for me – but I’m working on it.

I find planning what we are going to do in advance helps. I am not good at being ambushed.

So I’ve been planning trips to nature trails etc (almost always outside as I find it helps keep me calm and the kids occupied) so I always have some fun to take them. x

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I am the ‘maybe later’ mum too or ‘in a bit’. Basically means we aren’t!!! Makes me feel terrible all the time but I’m pretty confident you, and hopefully me, are doing an ace job so don’t let that put you off the fourth!! x

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We have 3 (6, 4 and 1), – I had an endless debate in my head as to whether to have a third, we had a boy and a girl and i was just ‘finding myself’ and work was going well again. After deciding to stick with two we discovered shortly after that number three was coming after all (a happy accident)!
I’m not going to lie, to begin with it was tough – she wasn’t an easy baby, but now it has all settled in I can honestly say it was the best thing that could have happened. She is such a little joy and her brother and sister love her. She completes the family in a way I didn’t ever consider, and I love watching their relationship develop and the way they care for her. She crawls around looking for them constantly! Yes we have to get a ‘practical car (there are no ‘sexy’ seven seaters πŸ˜†), yes it’s a challenge finding rooms for five, and we will definitely have to have a limit on expensive days out when they are older. Our shopping bill is starting to get expensive and I’m having to be more creative on a budget! But on the plus side, every meal time is a party (albeit a noisy tantrum filled one at the moment but still πŸ˜…)! I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Any number of children is amazing but for us 3 is the magic number! 😊 I’d say go for it! xx ps I should also clarify there is defo no number 4! βœ‚οΈπŸ˜†

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Haha Emma! Those scissors have made an appearance a few times in these comments! You make three sound SUPER appealing. I love that she crawls around looking for the rest of her gang! Gorgeous x

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Another thought, is that if we don’t have a 4th. My hubby and I are really interested in fostering when the kids are a little bit older. That’s a whole other post! Would love to hear from other foster parents πŸ‘πŸ»

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Oh Lisa thats wonderful… We will see if we can find someone to share their experiences of fostering x

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Thanks Becky! I’d love to hear more, although I understand it will be s sensitive article to write with all the laws and what not!

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One for us and no more. She has just turned two. I love being her mum and as a unit of 3 (plus dog) we are complete. To the inevitable question of ‘when are you…’ from Nebby Nora’s I used to answer that 1 was enough but I always felt that was taken as a bit of ‘oh, finding it tough are you?’ so now I answer 1 is everything.

But maybe another puppy one day.

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Steph what a brilliant response! Also… Nebby Noras… Absolutely stealing this! x

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I would LOVE four, two boys and two girls (because you can control that, right?!). We have a little boy at the moment, and I would love a little girl too, the problem is my relationship with my sisters is second to none so if I were to have a little girl in the future I would love that for them – if that makes sense?! And I feel like my little boy would get so much out of another little terror to run around with. But my husband is firmly against this, two perhaps three if the second is another boy. When I suggest four he looks at me like I’m a loon. So who knows?!

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Sian that’s what I want too!!! I would love my body to screw my husband over and have boy girl twins….

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Including my stepson, we have three, and that’s it – we’re done. There are quite big age gaps (10, 4 and 1) and both Mr H and I feel pretty much at the end of our tether in terms of giving all the children the individual attention they need. If we were to add another child into the mix then we would be stretched beyond our limits and our relationship would suffer. I would probably have another one if it weren’t for those factors but that, combined with a nasty haemorrhage after the last one, means that it’s completely off the table for Himself. Also, as he pointed out – he has spent the last 10 years doing ‘baby’ stuff and at some point would like his life back a bit. I can’t say I entirely blame him.

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