Best of Both Worlds podcast: Thinking of having a third?

One of the most common listener questions Sarah and I receive usually begins “I’m thinking of having a third kid…” Since both Sarah and I have families with three (or more) kids, we tend to assume that this listener does in fact want a third, but is trying to figure out if the logistics/finances/etc. will work.

So this week we’re devoting an entire episode to that question! We obviously can’t answer for anyone if they should have a third (or fourth, or fifth…) kid. But there are some things to think about. Some expenses won’t necessarily rise (you might not need new baby gear or clothes, for instance), but others will (more years of paying for childcare; possibly needing a bigger car). Some lifestyle choices become more complicated — lots of hotel rooms fit 4 people; few fit 5. That 2-bedroom urban condo lifestyle becomes harder with three kids. Women with three children are less likely to be in the workforce than women with fewer children, though we suspect a lot of that is preference. If you’ve kept successfully building your career with two kids, we don’t think the third is going to be the thing that changes that.

Another baby means more years in the baby stage…which is hard. On the other hand, if you’ve got two kids already, you know how cool those little people are, and there would be another one in the world! We both love the “full table” feel of having lots of family gathered (though I can’t necessarily keep my two little ones sitting for dinner, ha ha…).

Anyway, please give the episode a listen, and if you know someone who is considering this question, please share it with them!

9 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Thinking of having a third?

  1. Very interesting episode! I love the idea of a big family – coming from one myself. I think what’s important to remember is the physical toll it takes on the woman, though. I don’t think I could carry and birth four or five children.

    1. Yes, agree completely about the physical toll and effects on health that sometimes are triggered by multiple pregnancies and childbirths.

      And, in general, parents’ health can play a huge role when thinking about family size and how many kids we can hope to have.

  2. This was such a lovely episode to listen to! I am an only child (and happy to be one, which I think is unusual?) but I do love the idea of a big family since it seems to foreign to me. I think the chaos sounds fun, though the logistics are challenging.

    That being said – and I understand if this is outside the scope of BOBW – I’d love to hear from a guest who decided not to have a third (or second or fourth or whatever) child. I would have loved a third, but my spouse was adamantly opposed so we are done at two. I’m mostly okay with this now (aging helps) but I had one pretty sad year a while back. The thing is, though, I do think I’d really struggle with three and the decision to stick with two was somewhat based around jobs and logistics. I know that OMDG has previously discussed a very deliberate decision to stick with one child and I think maybe her job was at least part of that?

    Clearly, a big job and multiple kids CAN be done (quite successfully!). But it’d be interesting (to me anyway) to hear the flip side of the people who made the opposite decision. And I’m not talking about people who always felt complete at number whatever, but people who debated another child and then didn’t have one.

    1. @KGC – we would love to cover this topic if we have a guest who will speak candidly about it. So if someone is reading this and that describes you, let me know!

  3. Every time this topic comes up, I am so glad that the choice was so clear for my husband and me. We love our family size – 4 kids – and have yet to regret not having another child and our youngest is 2.5. We started our family later in life, though (first at 37, 2nd just shy of 40) and we feel like parenting is a “young man’s game.” I am 1 of 5 kids and when I was younger, I thought I might have a big family but it turns out 2 is perfect. Of my siblings, everyone has 2 except one sibling has 3. I have a good friend who really wanted a 3rd and her husband did not and I know that was a hard thing for her to deal with so I am glad that I’m on the same page as my husband on this and that we have zero doubts!

  4. I really enjoyed this episode, and especially the talk about child ages / spacing. A lot I hadn’t thought about!

    We always thought we would have three children – my first two are 22 months apart and we were aiming for a 3 year gap for our third. The timings worked out really well and I’m due in October, but we found out at 12 weeks that we are having twins… so this will be #3 and #4 at once.

    I know it’s not super likely for everyone but probably a good thing to think about if you are over 35 and looking for a third.. make sure you’re OK with the potential for a 3rd and 4th!

    We will have a newly 3 and newly 5 year old when the twins are born (hopefully… there is always the chance we will have a 3 and 4 year old or even a 2 and 4 year old) and I’m hoping that after these tough baby years it will get easier and I’ll be glad we had a (somewhat short gap)

    Oh, and I’m trying to get a pretty big promotion before these babies come too – I love working now and I want to be super interested in what I do when I get back. The courage to interview at 5 months pregnant (with no “hiding”… because twins) is definitely something I’ve picked up for BOBW!

    1. @Rachel – yep, life can throw curve balls! You aim for three and wind up with four (or five, or other such crazy things that can happen…). Good luck on the promotion — that is awesome and yes, better to be really excited about work than feeling meh about it when your home life is going to be so busy.

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