Family dynamic change when having multiple children

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  1. WeddingConsultant profile image64
    WeddingConsultantposted 15 years ago

    I'm wondering if anyone had heard the same thing I have heard in the past concerning children.

    I have heard that your first child is the hardest because of the many life changes.  Then the second one is also hard because then mom and dad are both tied up with one child each.  Then, once you have three or more children it makes much less of a difference in the "difficulty level" of raising kids.

    Is this true?  Anyone out there (esp. with lots of kids!) is welcome to respond.

    1. vietnamese profile image70
      vietnameseposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      I think that it would be easier with the third one. I guess I was thinking about it financially. Once you have the second one, you basically have everything ready already: clothes, toys, stroller, etc. But of course I don't know anything about this since I am still happily single! hehheehehehe

  2. Misha profile image64
    Mishaposted 15 years ago

    My former wife used to say "It's much easier with every fourteenth" big_smile

    Having a total of three, and only two of them growing together currently, I can only speculate that what you heard should be true - to some extent - because you change your perception of what has to be done and what is important to the point where you almost don't care about the things single child mom would freak out...

    Also, elder children tend to take care of youngsters in big families

  3. caspar profile image61
    casparposted 15 years ago

    Here's my personal experience:

    First child:  Obviously massive change to lifestyle, but looking back this was a relatively easy child (didn't realise this at the time of course, thought it was our natural skill as parents :-) )

    Second child:  Very hard work (our first two were 20 months apart).  Realised we were not naturally skilled parents at all and had just been lucky the first time!  Swore never to have another.

    Third child:  Blissful...contented baby giving us the feeling that we knew what we were doing.

    Only difficulty being on family outings when all three children run off in different directions - can be hard to manage with only two parents (need a granny to help here).

  4. Blogger Mom profile image58
    Blogger Momposted 15 years ago

    When I had one, my husband and I thought it was really tough - and it is - to have a kid.  Even though there are two of you with just one baby, there is a pretty big learning curve that you are both getting over.  I was also adjusting to leaving a full time job to stay at home.

    We had our second only 18 months after our first - but at that time we were in such a great routine that it was like, hey, throw another one into the mix.  I had two in diapers, one toddler and one newborn, and I honestly have to say it wasn't terrible.  Oh, it was hard, but not impossible.

    Our third kind of took us by surprise 16 months later - our first wasn't yet 3 years old.  So for me, personally, three kids was the hardest to adjust to.  But everyday as they all get older, life gets a bit easier.

    I think with each family it's different - different dynamics, different relationships.  You have to ask questions - will you stay at home, does your husband help out around the house, have we had enough "couple time" to build a strong relationship, etc.

    Having children is hard - one, two or ten - it's all hard.  You just accept your situation, appreciate that others may not have it as easy as you, be thankful you have a family, and hope for the best! smile

  5. elisabeth reid profile image66
    elisabeth reidposted 15 years ago

    I have five  It doesn't necessarily get easier when you get over two.  I expected all the changes and the work associated with #1.  And I expected the work to double with #2.  What I didn't expect was for it to double again with #3.  And again with #4.  And again with #5.  Then there's the financial stress...ever try to pay for day care for five kids?  Makes working outside the home virtually impossible -- so you wind up being the neighborhood carpool ("Oh, Johnny has a stay-at-home mom, lets get her to drive") -- with all the attendant car seats and booster seats.  Then there are the issues that arise when brothers #1 and #2 are in school (with all the activities, conferences and performances that involves -- x2) and you still have #3, #4 and #5 at home.

    THEN, when they're all in school and you think you can breathe, you need to think again.  All of a sudden there are conflicts right and left and everyone needs a ride to practice, lessons, rehearsals, try-outs...the list goes on and on.

    And THEN...when they finally start moving out on their own and you think it's going to get easier....LOLOLOLOLOL....

    Nope.  The more the merrier does apply sometimes, and I wouldn't trade my hectic life for anything (well...maybe a good nights' sleep), but 'the more the merrier' doesn't necessarily mean 'easier'.

  6. Inspirepub profile image75
    Inspirepubposted 15 years ago

    I think the third is the worst, because then the parents are outnumbered.

    I you have more after the third, you won't have the brain space to do anything but stay afloat ... some of the time ...

    (I only have three, but we got #2 and #3 as a package deal - twins. We were going to have four, but after having twins we had an attack of sanity and stopped there.)


  7. WeddingConsultant profile image64
    WeddingConsultantposted 15 years ago

    haha I'm loving the posts so far.  Such a unique mix of people responding and such different experiences from each of you!

    One thing I know for sure- my wife and I love children!
    Another thing I know for sure- we haven't officially had one yet!  Not until April, at least...

    Thanks for sharing thoughts/experiences/etc.  We'd like to have three - five kids but we'll just have to wait and see I guess.  Hopefully we won't get any "attacks of sanity."

  8. Blogger Mom profile image58
    Blogger Momposted 15 years ago

    Before we had kids, we thought we would have 4 - both my husband and I are one of four kids, so it was the perfect number for our family.  That is, until we had one, then two.  All of the sudden 2 seemed pretty ideal.  We're done at 3. wink

  9. LdsNana-AskMormon profile image74
    LdsNana-AskMormonposted 15 years ago

    Alright.... I'm in!

    I have five!  Three girls, two boys.  First four came in five years.... sat on fence knowing I wanted number five.... which came seven years later!  Crazy, huh?

    Now - the spacing of children can be another thread.  LOL  and yet.... the spacing can have a lot to do with 'how' the dynamics and needs of all family members are met, thus   applying to your questions.

    But, let me just say on the number of children that you have... take it one at a time - check the emotional health of she who births these little ones FIRST!  There is where your strength will be.  Yes dad - you are equally important, but when your children are young... a mothers ability to nurture is very critical in your children's overall well-being...  Your most important job, is to make sure, she is strong!

    As they mature, you will be more than a wrestling partner for them and the One who makes bedtimes difficult on 'mom'....  cuz, dads just wanna have fun! 

    First children.... set the tone of your entire family.  First children are the leaders.... meaning if you have other children, they will work off of the type of personality and behaviors and experiences that you have had with that first child and that will make up the dynamics of your entire family.

    My theory... in my world, has proven very very true.  I could go on!

    First child - is easy or difficult, dependent upon mom and dad, their readiness to be parents, and their ability to let a child be a child and not FREAK OUT!  Give them their agency - age appropriate as soon as you can... then use it to teach them. 

    Good parents love it when their children use their agency, choose poorly, thus creating a golden opportunity to teach!  When children are young, the consequences of their choices are less painful, when made poorly.  So I feel that between about four and 12... are absolutely golden years to teach.

    Parents are teachers first.

    So don't freak out as a parent....  You don't know it all, no matter how many books you have read... so listen to those older and wiser than you.  Their advice is quite sound... and you can take it or leave it, but do listen to it.  I say... every generation better!

    I pound this into my three daughters who are now mother's themselves.  They see this wisdom already.

    Children, as they come along, do not ever just blend in...  ridiculous.  If you have that attitude, then you are in for trouble... because you have not felt that your children needed to be known.

    I refer to that as parenting by assumption... assuming all is well!  NOT.

    Take it from a gal who has been through.... now the last at home - FIVE teenagers, each and every child is work, as well as enjoyable;   and will some day, be a delight 
    in your life... beyond anything that I can explain in this simple answer:-)

    And the amount of that joy, will be 'times' the number that you have...  the ebb and flow of adversity in raising them as individuals, together as a team - you and your sweetie:-)


  10. chantelg4 profile image72
    chantelg4posted 15 years ago

    I have 4

    #1 (now 13) was hard, I was young, so it was difficult

    #2 (now 12) a breeze, hardly of an adjustment)

    #3 (now 11) Got much harder

    #4 (now 1 1/2) ten years later, super hard getting used to the whole thing

    I think it depends what ages they are. Mine were all born within a span of 2 1/2 years, so it was a busy time, and just when I was getting comfortable, I decided to have another in my thirties.

    Also, my 12 year old is a special needs child, so it was hard to split the attention and not be completely exausted!

    1. LdsNana-AskMormon profile image74
      LdsNana-AskMormonposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Chantel -

      Well you are right in the thick of it just like my own daughters right now.  Enjoy... these are priceless years:-)

      Or perhaps I should say.... you are now entering the thickest years...


    2. WeddingConsultant profile image64
      WeddingConsultantposted 15 years agoin reply to this

      Wow, so many people have so many kids!  Thanks for sharing.  It's interesting to see how each family has had different changes with different numbers of kids and different personalities in each.

  11. stephhicks68 profile image88
    stephhicks68posted 15 years ago

    OK, I just found this thread, and got to weigh in.  I have four kids too.  Boy, age 10; Boy, age 8, and Boy-Girl twins, age 5.  The twins were kind of a surprise - we wanted one more, but AHA!  A bonus child.  smile

    The first one was tough because we were new to the whole baby crying, diapers, breast-feeding thing (which didn't work for him).  The second baby actually did seem easier for us.  He's 27 months younger than #1.  It was an easy pregnancy and relatively easy delivery (again, compared to the first go-around).  They are both boys, so they started playing together by the time #2 was about 18 months old.   Now they share a bedroom, sports activities, and the like.  Its really special.

    So... then we had twins.  Tough in a lot of ways, but I actually adore my big family.  We pair off the kids (or they do naturally), with hubby taking one set to baseball practices and I'll take the other to gym class.  I worry about the years when all 4 are very busy with after school activities.  It will be hectic!

    Dynamics change, of course.  My oldest is starting to act like a pre-teen, sighing and rolling his eyes at everything.  The twins are not yet in elementary school, so it seems like a big gap.   Everything is like an assembly line - from breakfast, to backpacks to coats.  Otherwise, it would be an even nuttier house than it already is!  Though we are done having kids, I honestly can't imagine that if we had one more, it would make any difference!

  12. profile image51
    LunarVixenposted 15 years ago

    Hi.. I'm 32, going on 33.. I found out yesterday that I'm pregnant (even though I was on birthcontrol, the only foolproof control is to abstain!).

    I have two boys, 5 (almost 6) and 3. They are 2 years and 4 months apart. the oldest was very very hard.. 27 hours labour, not breathing at birth... but after 2 hours in NICU, he was just fine and though he was severly colicky for the first 6 months he has been hale and hearty ever since. My second, I had polyhydramnios in the 97th percentile (only 3 women in 100 would have had more amnio fluid than I) and that was scary, but he was 12 to 13 hours in labour, cord wrapped twice around his neck and a true knot, but not NICU this time. Both of them are potty trained of course, and even my 3 year old doesn't wear pullups to bed anymore. He's insisted on wearing "unnerwear".

    I am the oldest of 2, my husband is the oldest of 3. My sister is 17 months younger then me. His brothers are 8 and 10 years younger then him. I wanted 2kids.. he wanted 3... after having our second.. he wants only 2.. and I want 3.

    He wants me to terminate. I want to keep. He says it's too much work, I say it's nothing we can't handle. He says the world is over populated, unplanned pregnancies are wrong (which means that none of should be alive because neither my sis nor I, nor he and his brothers were planned).

    I think the space between is very important.. especially when it comes to diaper work, and formula needs and such.. it was tough with my second cause they were both in diapers (not for lack of struggling to pottytrain the eldest who didn't get it til he was 4). This time around.. there aren't others in diapers, we still have the cradle, crib, playpen, clothes (boy or girl as my sister had a girl and I am the storer of everything). When you still have all the stuff.. and the olderst aren't using it.. it doesn't increase (when they are far enough apart).

    Sure.. with two boys I'm hoping hard for a girl.. but in the end it doesn't matter.. I would like another Child.. boy or girl... I have the Strong, and Love for as many as possible, but I do draw the line at 3.. for me.

    When I was a toddler.. I wanted to have 100 babies (ten tables with ten babies for each table.. don't ask me... I was obviously more insane as a child).

  13. Lissie profile image66
    Lissieposted 15 years ago

    LunarV  - that's terrible - there is not much I am paranoid about - but getting pregnant is one of them!  This is probably not the advice you will get from others - so I will give it - your husband is part of the team, of your family - if both of you don't want another don't have it.  The most important thing for your kids is your relationship with your man- you are risking that big time.  Yes you probably can love another one - your hormones are designed to tell you that after all - but if you can't make the decision as a team don't risk the team by forcing it. 
    Also with your medical history whats the odds that you are going to have trouble with this one and how much harder would that make it for you , your partner and the other kids

    I am the oldest of 2 - my brother is 5.5 years younger than me - I hated him from birth until he was old enough to go out drinking with (about 21) I resented him , I hated being told to look after him, we fought until we got to teenage and then we ignored each other.  We are best mates now but my mother barely lived to see it - it must have been hell for her (she was a solo parent)

  14. werdux profile image59
    werduxposted 15 years ago

    My mom keeps telling me that 2 is easier than one!  I'm not sure I'll believe her until I have another one!

  15. Astralbex profile image57
    Astralbexposted 15 years ago

    I have 5 , 3 girls of 22,21,19........all different, close in age, love to squabble and love to love!
    Once you have laid out the expence for 1 it last very well for 3.
    I was 19 when I had the 1st child and 23 when the 3rd was born , I was young  and full of energy but still got tired. It was hard to get used to 1 but once you know what your doing you, hopefully,  become a natural.
    After the girls we decided that would do. Sadly things in life aren't all fairy tales and my 1st hubby went to work one day and didn't come back; we buried him a week later.

    After 2 years I met another chap and we married and had 2 boys. It was a dodle 2nd time round but being 31 myself I now lacked the energy I had when the girls were small.

    I'd have more kids but medically should not plus my youngest son has special needs.

    I work with children and my house is one that is always full of everyone elses kids. wink

    The more the merrier for me! smile

  16. profile image49
    mike12572posted 15 years ago

    well i have 4   , i never really thought of the way it changes my life, that didnt matter to me. my job is too get my kids ready for life, before i pass.. my only job in life is to protect them in all aspects of life and make sure the become(not good citezens) but good human beings..

    whan you have kids dont be selfish with your material needs.. you werent put on earth to enjoy the pleasures of technology and what not...  huh and i dont even buy the whole "god " thing..

      enjoy the kids they r the greatest and most innocent people you will ever meet..

  17. SweetiePie profile image82
    SweetiePieposted 15 years ago

    I do not have kids, but all of my friends growing up thought my parents had it hard having three of us.  Really I thought three was great because we always had someone to play with, etc.  However, I used to envy my friend because she was an only child and did not have to take care of younger siblings, but she envied me because I always had someone to play with.  I have seen lots of families who have three or more kids, so I guess that always seemed like a fun number to me.  I most likely will not have kids, but I love my niece and nephew smile.

  18. Marisa Wright profile image90
    Marisa Wrightposted 15 years ago

    I don't have kids myself but talking to friends, I think it depends a lot on your personality, your lifestyle, your financial situation and your support network.

    My sister had three quite late in life - plus four grown-up stepchildren!  Her husband just loves kids, but then he's been lucky to be in a very high-paying job all his life (and so is she) so they've been able to afford it.  He's now retired and a full-time stay at home Dad, so that's another thing which helps it work.

    At the other extreme, one of my good friends has two children.  One night (after a few too many Chardies) she confessed to me that if she could go back and do it all again, she'd only have one.  Not that she would ever give up her darling son now he's here! 

    Any parent will tell you that having your first child requires a big adjustment, but she felt the second one was even worse. 

    When they only had one child, they could take her with them to a nice restaurant, or a weekend away, or on an overseas touring holiday, so their lifestyle wasn't compromised too much.  Two small children were just too much of a handful and had to be left behind, which meant babysitters, which they couldn't afford. Her elderly mother was happy to babysit when there was only one baby, but didn't have enough energy to handle two.   

    Bottom line was, with one child, they still felt like a couple who happened to have a child.  They could still maintain their own interests and habits.  With two children, they had become parents whose lives were subservient to the kids.

  19. SweetiePie profile image82
    SweetiePieposted 15 years ago

    This is true, it is harder to have free time with the more and more children one has.  It is all personal choice, but I have known some people who were able to schedule themselves to where they could have a nanny to watch the kids and go out and do things, but if people do not have a large income that is an impossibility.  I know my mom gave up a lot of her interests and free time to raise three children, but I am so greatful for it every day and I always thank her.  Now I try to remind her to start getting back into things she enjoyed before having kids because she has more free time, but I guess it is hard for her to adjust sometimes.  I love what my mom did for us and the sacrifices she made, but I know I could never be a selfless person and completely devote myself to raising a child.  I commend those who do as it is the greatest job ever.

  20. profile image0
    JohnBeeposted 15 years ago

    We have a blended family of eleven children, and we've seen the family dynamics change considerably.  The main things that children need are love, understanding, discipline, an structure, structure, structure.  They need to know that home is a place they can feel safe and secure.

    But back to the question posed at the beginning of this thread - yes it get much easier as the older ones help with the younger ones and you adjust to the workload.  The hardest by far for us was three children.  After that its much easier.

    Last week we had an activity with only five of our children and we laughed that it seemed like a breeze!


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