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Most stressful number of children?


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This mom of three (5, 3.5, 1) is wondering, is three the critical mass when it comes to number of kids, as this article claims? I am definitely feeling stressed these days! However, I can't imagine one or two more would make things easier!! http://www.today.com/moms/mom-survey-says-three-most-stressful-number-kids-6C9774150 For those of you with large families, do you remember hitting some sort of peak before things seemed to get easier and what was the number?

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Well, I only have two right now, so I don't know. Two is easier than one was for me (in the long run - maybe not right away!). I'm sure the kids' ages must play a big part. I could see how you would be stressed with three little ones! Maybe by the time someone has four kids, it is likely that their oldest is old enough to help out a bit.

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I will have four still at home in August, 7, 3, 22 months, and a newborn. As next-to-the-oldest in a family with six dc, my older sister and I were constantly being called on to "babysit" even when we were 6-7. I do ask my oldest dd to do a couple of things, but I felt such resentment when I was growing up and I don't want her to feel that.

 

Personally, different seasons of my life are more stressful than the number of dc. For instance, when we lived in Europe and dh was deployed, my older ds hit the teens and gave me all kinds of trouble. Once dad was back and able to resume his role as the daddy, that changed.

 

Right now is stressful for me because dh is in school about 50 hours a week, and that does not include travel and study time, so he is gone quite a bit. I have three little ones, another on the way, and managing everything essentailly alone most of the time is more stressful for me than when he was deployed. Of course, these are me personal experiences and opinions. :)

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For me, one to two was the impossible place. Two to three was not a big deal. Three to four was a doodle.

 

Here is what I've found: it's all about the toddlers. The more toddlers, the more trouble. Preschoolers are no great joy either. Babies are fine, and school-aged children are a dream. You are stressed because you have one semi-human and two pre-humans. A short year from now, you're going to have a human being who lives in your house. You'll also have a semi-human. You'll have one toddler, and that toddler will be responsible for 80% of your problems.

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Age definitely plays a part. My kids are so spaced (16, 13, 8, and 4months) so adding one more was never an issue. If they were all little at the same time I can see it being stressful. And as pentacostal mom said, my stresses in raising children have had more to do with hubby being absent than anything else.

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Definitely the closer their ages huddle around toddlerdom, the more crazy. At one time my kids were baby, 2, 3, and 5. Three in diapers for a few months there! Now that they are 10, 8, 7, and 5-1/2 it is SO much easier. One very civilized, one nearly civilized, one that will terrify me until she's 25 at which point she will be rich and famous, and one who's just sweet and easy. :)

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I agree with scrapbabe. I think it has more to do with spacing than number. I have a friend with four kids the oldest just finished Kindergarten and will be turning 6 this summer. :svengo: I can't even imagine. I spent a couple of days with them recently and I was exhausted just watching her.

 

If we decide to have a fourth it will be when my ds is four or five. He's a handful (three years old and ALL boy) so I'm waiting to make that decision in a year or two. That would put my kids at 11, 7, 4, and newborn. That's manageable for me.

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My three are each about 19 months apart. My first was exactly 3 years and 3 months old when my third was born. I was busy, obviously, but I found the switch from 2 to 3 much easier than the switch from 1 to 2. Much, much easier! I agree that the stress is not so much about the number but the ages. Mine are older now and my life is really pretty stress free. This mom of three is very content with that number. :)

 

ETA: Personally, I would find having a large range in ages the most stressful. We are a a point when we can all do stuff together (movies, water parks, camping...just about everything!). I do not like the thought of being restricted (still or again) by the needs of younger kids. I feel like we are in such a great season as a family. That said, I ogle babies. A lot. :lol:

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For me, one to two was the impossible place. Two to three was not a big deal. Three to four was a doodle.

 

Here is what I've found: it's all about the toddlers. The more toddlers, the more trouble. Preschoolers are no great joy either. Babies are fine, and school-aged children are a dream. You are stressed because you have one semi-human and two pre-humans. A short year from now, you're going to have a human being who lives in your house. You'll also have a semi-human. You'll have one toddler, and that toddler will be responsible for 80% of your problems.

 

 

Absolutely. This is what I always say. It's having a two year old and a baby that's a killer. Our spacing is two years, almost four years, and two years. It was only this second time around that I figured out it was the spacing that was so hard. Not doing that again. (Although I do like that the close in age kids are the best of friends....)

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For me, three is easier than two. Again, it depends on the kids. Digby was a miserable sleeper, waking five to seven times a night. Chuck was a dream sleeper her first six months. It's busy now, but Digby had learned a little self control. Not much, but enough to keep me from crying everyday. Pigby is seven and a HUGE help.

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I agree that the ages and spacing are key. I have 3 boys. The oldest two are 2.5 years apart and had each other to bother... I mean play with. My youngest is 9 years younger than my middle ds. It was not stressful having an 11yo, 9yo, and a newborn. Now the youngest is a 10yo only and it is exhausting. He only has me to bother, uhhm play with, and that is much more stressful than two who have each other. I wish he had a sibling close to his age. Yes, I would have had 4, but 2 groups of 2 sounds very, very manageable- much easier than 2 and a straggler. OTOH, 4 kids all about two years apart like my good friend has makes for a busy, busy day when they are 6, 4, 2, and newborn. :D

 

Mandy

 

 

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Agreeing that it's the spacing!

 

Three of my middle boys came over a period of 25 months. That was challenging for a brief minute (nursing and sleeping) but they've mostly felt like "one" because they're a little pack. They have great relationships, plus similar interests and abilities. They're easy, even though they're three; I think it's because they're so close in age and their personalities gel. It didn't feel like I added three, it felt like I added 1 or 1.5 LOL.

 

Then I have a gaggle of older boys, who were born over a larger span of time. They average 14-20 months apart in age, which was neither short enough nor long enough to be particularly easy. They really do feel like the number of kids they are! I feel like I was more stressed with that group because every kid was at a different place. I'm glad I had them first because after them, it all got easier even though we were adding kids!

 

And then my little caboose :) she's the youngest of a lot of boys, and her arrival hasn't felt like we really added any one. There are four years between her and my youngest boy. She has hardly made a dent in my stress-level in terms of existing LOL.

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I also agree that it's the spacing more than the actual number. One child was easy; two was also pretty easy because they're three years apart -- only one infant (easy but needing a lot of direct care from me) and only one busy preschooler at a time. Three was even easier than two, because again, they're three years apart (actually 3y8m), so the older two were much more independent, able to get their own drinks, take themselves to the bathroom, the 6yo could prepare a couple of simple meals so they didn't have to wait if I was busy with the baby, etc. Plus, they had each other for entertainment and companionship.

 

Four is more laundry, more toys gotten out, and just more in general, and I do struggle to find time/energy to spend with each of the children, but it's also easy because the older kids are now 11, 8, and 4.5, and they're really, really capable of being helpful. I try not to take too much advantage of them, but they can (and do) do things like keep an eye on the toddler outside, buckle the little guys into their seats, unload and put away groceries, do household chores that are actually useful to me (instead of "helping" when it's good practice but ultimately takes longer), clean up without a ton of supervision, etc. My 11yo is particularly fond of caring for the toddler and asks to get him ready for bed and such. The two small boys model after the older two kids, too -- woe to anyone who won't let the toddler put away groceries! And there are plenty of spare siblings, LOL -- if you need a break from one sibling, chances are high that there will be someone else available to play with.

 

Now, five. That's going to be a whole different ballgame, I think, because of the spacing. Four kids close together would have been a lot harder than four kids spread out. In a few weeks, I'll have the two big kids, plus three kids under five, and if I didn't have the older kids, I'd be expecting it to be a ton harder. Some of it may depend on the temperament of the kids too; my 8yo was my most velcro-ish baby (although easy on the general spectrum, not very fussy, not colicky, just wanted to be held all the time until he was 3), and if I'd had another baby when he was barely 2, that would have been really hard. But my current 23 month old is pretty easy-going and has embraced the big boy concept (he decided two weeks ago that he wanted to use the potty and hasn't looked back), so I think that will help. But getting time to work with everyone, even though the big kids are often independent in their learning, will be a struggle. The middle one is the one who tends to lose out, because he doesn't need anything official like the older two do, and he's not one of the babies, so he is always at the forefront of my mind.

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I found the jump from three to four to be the hardest. I had a 6 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old when my fourth was born. everyone had told me that the jump from three to four was easy -- I think that expectation didn't help when it was harder than I thought it would be...

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Going from one to two was the hardest for me, probably because they're just under two years apart in age, though. Going from two to three, and then three to four, was a breeze! When people ask me how I do it, I tell them what a blessing it is to have had two girls first because they are like "little mommies." They WANT to hold, feed, change, and entertain the little ones! It's amazing! When I need to use the restroom, take a shower, make dinner, etc, I can do all of this with ease because my older daughters offer to play with the younger two and keep them busy. For Mother's Day, my nine year old daughter actually made me some coupons, which included "free babysitting any time"! She told me any time I needed a break, she would happily watch the youngers! How sweet is that?! However, I do make sure that I don't take advantage of my two oldest daughter's willingness to help out; I don't want them to ever feel taken advantage of. I really believe that if you start off on the right foot, in terms of training and discipline, with the first child, the others will tend to follow by example. It also helps to be very organized, which I admit, is totally my "gift." I absolutely do not struggle in this area at all. However, I have a friend with six kids whose house/life are a total wreck because she has no sense or idea of how to be organized and manage her time wisely. As a result, she's often stressed out and very flaky. But, her kids are very sweet! All in all, I would say it's a mixture of your personality and how you choose to nurture, train, and discipline your children! I am at a point where I would gladly welcome more children!

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For me, it's not the numbers, it's the ages. My first two are 19 months apart. That was rough. Number 3 is nearly 5 years younger than number 2. Adding him was super easy. Number 4 came two years later and was not very hard because #3 was always so easy and #1 and 2 were older. So, because of the spacing, one to two was hardest for me and two to three was the easiest.

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When mine were little and we were home all the time, there were more messes and physical work, but better 'synergy'; we all slept a lot, ate really well, read oodles of books, and had time to play for hours every day. Now that two are officially young women with very active lives of their own, one is an easy middle-er, and the youngest is a relatively-easy four, our biggest challenge is the age span/developmental difference between the kids. Our older three swim competitively, so we spend every evening and most weekends at a pool (or going back & forth). Dragging along a small child who should really be playing in the back yard or sleeping or on mama's lap in a comfy chair reading aloud is maddening sometimes. She gets a lot of good time with my husband and me, but it is often in weird places at strange times. I don't cook and bake like I used to, I've never made home-made play-dough with her, and I can't think of the last time that she got a bath at home (showers at the pool!). The guilt is the hardest part. I think she is perfectly pleased with life, but it IS a different life, being the youngest of a busy family.

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I'm going to vote that depends on their personality. My first was a crushing experience, it was a hard, very hard initiation into parenthood. He didn't sleep and he cried, a lot. After we figured out food issues and he got a bit older it was much better. 2 and 3 were easy peasy to add, "good" babies, slept well. I jumped right back into life. #4, oh, vey, just the other day I took them all out and it was the first time I didn't feel worried I was going to lose one. She doesn't sleep near as well as the others and is what they call spirited. She is ready to go, now. I do remember w/ #1 things were better after he started to crawl as it greatly improved his mood to be able to get himself places (although then keeping track of the tornado that followed was a different stress). #4 is just starting to crawl and it seems to be better for her as well. I do worry about school this coming year as this past year it was much more difficult to school then it was with the last baby. She'll be 9 months when we start our fall studies and hopefully playing w/ the toddler and 6 yo better by then.

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This mom of three (5, 3.5, 1) is wondering, is three the critical mass when it comes to number of kids, as this article claims? I am definitely feeling stressed these days! However, I can't imagine one or two more would make things easier!! http://www.today.com...-kids-6C9774150 For those of you with large families, do you remember hitting some sort of peak before things seemed to get easier and what was the number?

 

 

This is an unanswerable question. I would have said six tipped my scales before the last few months.

 

Currently my youngest five are ages six and under.

 

We had Ana, three year gap, Christian, two year gap, then we lost our daughter Hannah.

Elizabeth was number four but I was juggling only three.

Two year gap then Rebecca in Jan. 2004. Tim followed eleven months later in Dec. 2004. I *would have* said that next year was really an adjustment, but I don't know if I would have said it was hard per se. Um, challenging.

 

I think the adjustment from 1 to 2 was really hard.

 

I think the three months after #9 was hard - she was in and out of the hospital and we had a cross country move and she was MIS-diagnosed with a fatal illness. (She's fine.)

 

And I would tell you, now that #11 is almost three months old, that *this* has been insanely hard for me. A death in my extended family, a hard pregnancy, and two months of bedrest. Baby Cate spent fifteen days in the NICU, followed by a tooth extraction and a root canal for Mama. (Tooth pain really *is* worse than birth. I've confirmed it.) :D Followed by the flu, the *real* flu, not some piddly cold virus. :p It has been a *very* long couple of months.

 

The mama who says "I've hit my stride," and has four children in ten years and hasn't started schooling high school, middle school, and elementary school yet still has a lot to learn about juggling. And, I suspect the mama who still has an older teen daughter at home helping still has a LOT to learn yet, lol. Just as the mama who has all daughters still has a lot to learn, lol....... Or any mother who thinks she has it together because she's organized her time well.... (Giggling inside because that used to be me. There is no organization that works well with bedrest, a 1yo, and a 2yo while trying to school and praying the DH will just bring home pizza and hoping the 16yo can stay on top of laundry and you're only supposed to get up to pee.)

 

But, even now, I can feel the bumps smoothing out and we're hitting our rhythm again.

The truth?

One IS hard.

Two IS hard.

Three IS hard.

Four IS hard.

Five IS hard.

You get the picture, right?

 

For goodness sakes if it isn't a challenge are you working at it?

Who said it was supposed to be easy? That person should be beat.

 

*But* I do believe mamas worry about the wrong things.

And I think they HURRY too much.

 

Hurrying is the absolute key to impatience and crabbiness. Stop hurrying. There should be some kind of campaign.

Don't overdo it. Realize you're human. Allow for error.

 

Anxiety solves nothing.

We have this innate need to get a "B" in everything. Look through the blogs, know that you're doing better than some, then compare yourself to the ones getting an "A", push harder, worry more, try to be happy with your B.

That's not a good way to live.

 

Walk away from the blog.

I had a good friend over once before she was a good friend. She looked at my garden and was complimentary. I had weeds, etc., but there was food planted in it. ;) Several days later I ran across a blog, her blog ironically. In it there were pictures of her garden and OH. MY. Goodness. I was horrified I had let her see my weedy, sad little garden!! I sent her an email, lol, saying essentially she wasn't allowed to look at my garden again as I didn't realize when I let her peek what an avid gardener she was. :p She wrote back explaining she takes pictures of the things that give her joy, not the weeds.

 

Ya'all. That's life.

We focus on the weeds.

The truth is that parenting is hard. Then it has easy times. Then it goes back to being hard.

You ask a mom on the right day and she'll tell you it's currently a breeze and there was that one time when it was really hard for her....

Ask her on another day and she'll tell you she's finding it challenging right now.

Ask her on yet a different day and she might say, "Kids?! What kids??" And panic and look around her.

 

Too many factors.... Life circumstances, age gaps, homeschooling or not, current support system, cross country moves, you name it... Parenting is hard. And totally worth it.

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Two was eaeier than one. But I swear I never recovered after baby #3. I did have three in five years, including one with developmental delays and associated services and another with a birth defect, all while my mom's health was failing and she passed away so I'm sure my life overall was part of the issue. My last baby also had health issues and was very difficult, fussy, couldn't be put down and didn't sleep through the night until she was 2 1/2. I was almost 39 when she was born so it all took a toll on me, body and mind.

 

Now, I'm just busy. :) The years between one year and four years were the worst. Toddlers are one man destruction machines, and they never stop. My last two gave up naps early and wouldn't nap unless held before that so I didn't enjoy that stage. This is a better stage now.

 

There are ten years between my oldest and youngest, and there are pros and cons to that.

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My three are each about 19 months apart. My first was exactly 3 years and 3 months old when my third was born. I was busy, obviously, but I found the switch from 2 to 3 much easier than the switch from 1 to 2. Much, much easier! I agree that the stress is not so much about the number but the ages. Mine are older now and my life is really pretty stress free. This mom of three is very content with that number. :)

 

 

 

 

I agree that going from one child to two was the most stressful for me. Adding in three and four was fairly easy. Now, the twins came along when the olders were 19, 17, 14 and 10 SO it was very much like starting all over again x 2:) Plus I was old. and. tired. I didn't require a lot of help from my olders when the twins were babies, they had lives too and I didn't want them to feel resentful. I was enough that "I" was feeling resentful:P When the twins were about 1 things became much more manageable for me.

 

My dil (bless her heart!) has 5, 4, 2.5 and 2.5 months! I had more children but hers are much closer together in age and that is, imo, more of a challenge at this stage of the game.

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Like others have said, it's not so much adding a new baby, it's more when that baby turns into a toddler.

 

My first was a serious challenge. Terrible sleeper, cried nonstop, couldn't be put down, didn't nap. Everyone I knew couldn't believe I had more after him. But after he turned about 15 months, he did a total turn around and was a great toddler and is now a pretty easy, helpful young boy. I got pregnant again when he was about 15-16 months and that was tough toward the end. Then that baby was born early and in the NICU. Which was stressful until we got home, but he was a dream baby. Slept like a champ, content, the whole works. It was soo easy having two!! Ha. It was great until he turned one and I got pregnant again. He turned into a toddler tornado and still is. I was on bed rest. Then baby girl was born and three weeks later we moved from Alaska to Texas. We drove. 96 hours. But she was also a really easy baby. It was easy again! Then she turned one And here we go again! It's the toddlers! They are so incredibly tiring. But I wouldn't change it, I wanted them close and I am still glad they are. And this is just a season. A really hard season, but it will pass and change. They are now almost 6, 4, and 2. And it's getting easier. Sort of.

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I think, at 3 kids you have everything under control, or you think you can and should have everything under control. Four is the magic number at which mom realizes, "I cannot be everything to all people." and prioritizes and surrenders the things that don't make a big difference in the long run.

 

 

Right now, my big 3 are outside playing together, probably getting into some minimal trouble. I will deal with it as it comes. I'm inside folding laundry with the baby. ahhh...

 

 

I barely even *remember* the year my 3rd child was a baby. I.had.to.do.it.all....and perfectly! Ack!!!!!

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I have two - twins. A friend just had her fourth and we were talking about this the other day. She said she totally agreed with that finding. She said with three, she felt like she could still do everything that needed to be done. That was stressful. Now that there's four, she said she knows better! :lol:

 

I'm convinced that after the h-e-hockeysticks that was the first two years of life with twins, that there's nothing easier than a single set of twins. I mean, it has some specific challenges, but I think I have it way easier than the parents with two who are different ages and the parents with singletons.

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Mine stress has more to do with age difference than number of children. I only have three but the oldest is five years older than the youngest and it's hard to do things. Usually it's too old for the youngers or too young for the oldest. Another issue I had at our last duty station was that I had a son. I was excluded from going on events with my girls because of my son. Girls were allowed but not my son and I was asked more than once to find a sitter for him because I had to go too. Those times we all just stayed home.

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LOL, on the season thing.

 

I had people say this to me and I repeated it to others (and myself) often.

 

Then it hit me.

 

I remember it clearly. And I realized it's NOT a season for me. I don't believe in using birth control. This. Is. My. Whole. Life.

 

And I had a mini panic attack. LOL!

 

Then, as time passed, I realized hard children get easier, littles get older, helpless become helpful.... And I was able to take a deep breath and breathe again! :D

 

Parenting is a lot like swimming. Sometimes you just float along and admire the sky and the water and everything is easy. Other days the waves are choppy and you just keep popping your head up and grabbing a breath before going under again. But it's all worthwhile. I'm sitting her snuggling one very beautiful little girl (#10) while #9 is singing to #11 and I sure wouldn't trade it for anything even if it is hard some days. ;)

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Toddlers are crazy, but as it is with babies some are harder than others. They are all a certain amount of exhausting but that is a wide range. I do feel it has gotten easier and I'm more more organized but there is more to do as well. My first broke me pretty well from perfectionism but I'm had to let more go w/ #4. I'm hoping that it life is more "normal" when my sleep is better but maybe this is the new normal.

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You know, it's funny, I look back to when we were schooling 1st grade and my son was only 16 months old and I think, off the cuff, that was so nice! Then I remember that a few months later I had a broken foot and was precancerous.

 

SMH

 

Yeah, it's all hard, it's all nice. Except right now. Right now is hard. ;)

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I'm expecting my fifth and I've found spacing rather than the number to be the bigger factor. Mine are all fairly close but there is 2.5 rather than just 2 years between my second and third and that made a huge difference. My fifth will come after almost a three-year gap and I'm not feeling too stressed about that, either. A baby and a two-year-old is rough and possibly a one-and three-year old is even worse.

 

I've always thought, too, that the stress of each additional kid is more like a "percent change." The first child is 100% harder than the second and the second is 50% harder plus the logistical challenge of more than one child. But from then on the percent change goes down each time. People comment all the time on my four compared to their two and I always say, "Except for the laundry, it's not any harder." And my older ones can help with the laundry now.

 

Big families aren't a cake walk but it's not as much harder as moms of fewer often seem to think.

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I haven't read the responses or the article ;)

 

For me, it isn't the amount of kids, but the ages. I've gone from 1 to 3 and then 3 to 5. (2 sets of twins) Then, 5 to 6. When I had 3, I had a 26 month old and twin newborns. When I had 5, I had a 4.5 year old, 27 month old twins and newborn twins. When I had my 6th, I had a 7 year old, twin 4 year olds (who are now 5) and twin 2.5 year olds and my newborn. It is definitely much harder now that it was when I only had 3...much harder. But it is because mine are all young still. If my olders were older, it would be less stressful. The 7 year old is a big help and the 5 and 3 year old chip in with cleaning up, but they still need a lot of direction. I'm schooling a raising 2nd grader and 2 K'ers. They can't do much independently yet, even if that is because they struggle with focus. Right now, my life is crazy! It's stressful and just plan hard many days. I feel like for our family, I'm in the hardest and most stressful phase we will go through. My "olders" are getting older and things will get easier. Unfortunately, one of my 3 year olds is more stressful than the other 5 put together and that really adds to my stress level during this phase. But, it won't last forever and I love my children and I enjoy them even if it's stressful.

 

So for me, it is more about the ages than the number. I definitely didn't find 3 littles as stressful as I find 6 littles. :)

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Three is the worst, I'm sure of it. My mom was always more stressed at times with 3 in the house--4 made for less sibling strife (which tended to be 2 vs. 1) overall. This was true regardless of ages, either hers or childrens.' (though 3 close in age seems to be worse than a wide spread, too).

 

If I decide to have more, I'm not stopping until 4.

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Going from two to three was the hardest for me -- and my 3rd kid was my easiest baby. Having five right now (during summer, light schooling) is pretty easy because the youngest is POTTY TRAINED and not the whirling dervish/chaos-maker that some of his older sisters were.

 

LOL at the "season" thing (agreeing with BlsdMama) because until this pause-in-children I'm currently enjoying, I agree that it isn't a season, it-is-my-life.

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Well, I've only been a mom of 3 and then 4, but speaking of periods when kids were with grandparents or whatever -

 

- ONE is REALLY hard b/c they expect YOU to be talking to them / interacting with them ALL THE TIME.

- THREE is really hard b/c there is an odd man out, and so there is a lot of fighting.

- Two & four much easier - they entertain each other, and no one is left out.

- Unless one happens to be high-maintenance. My youngest is easily 10 times more tiring than the other three combined!

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I just had my second last summer and going from one to two was ridiculously challenging. I agree with those that mentioned age range also plays a big factor. My kids are almost exactly 6 years apart. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to coordinate the schedules of two kids that are 6 years apart. Also, the fact that my little one will NOT nap unless she is at home in quiet place doesn't help much either. And then her naps are VERY short. Sigh...

 

I have a friend with 6 children (13, 8, 6, 5, 3, and 6 months). She said that it gets easier and easier after 3 kids. She's just waiting for the baby to be old enough to play with the 3 year old. Then, she'll be flying high! :)

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I haven't read ALL the responses, but I'm glad no one said going from 4 to 5 was the hardest! :lol: (I say this as I'm overdue for #5, and yesterday wasn't a stellar day with 4 under 7yrs old.)

 

I will say that #2 wasn't planned (15mos apart) and it has been the best thing for our family! They are the best of friends. They were instant playmates. DH deployed weeks after I had #2, so it wasn't easy on me, but I was thankful for the distraction. And then #3 (a boy) has been my easiest child. The fourth is only just becoming a toddler, and life is a bit more work. (Honestly, I have a harder time with age three though...) I am very fortunate that my oldest ADORES playing with her little siblings. I cannot imagine having her gone at PS all day. I don't really have any anxiety at all about having a fifth. Seems like a piece of cake at this point. That said, I don't ever want to be pregnant again. Ever. :laugh:

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For me 4 was hard because I couldn't do it all myself, I needed help. Therefore, the kids learned to pitch in a little more and my oldest who is just 8 is a great blessing :) I will say my cousin stayed with us a few days and together we had 11 kids in 1 house and it was a lot easier like that than just me with my 4 ;)

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I've had lots of friends agree with this article, that #3 is the breaker. It has certainly been the case for me. I was totally on top of my game with #1. #2 took a few months of adjustment but then I was on top again. #3 turns a year old tomorrow and I STILL don't feel like myself! My house is never as clean as it used to be. I don't do any of the little side projects I used to do (hobbies? What???). I used to shower at least every other day and now it isn't uncommon to go three days (I know, I'm gross!). I feel like I've never been as busy--moving, moving all day long--but I've never had less to show for it at the end of the day.

 

BUT I also feel like I've chilled out A LOT just because I've had to let go of some of my expectations and lower my standards a bit. I always joke that I started out so uptight that my standards had some room for dropping, though. I've become WAY less judgmental of other moms and other people in general (I was SUCH a judgy mom of one baby, when I was the master of the mothering universe). I have just grown a lot more in the last year than I did in my first five years of parenting. It has been really painful growth, but I'm glad for it. I'm also glad that so many people say it's pretty much downhill from here on out, because we want one more. :)

 

Oh, and ditto on the toddler causing 80% of my stress!

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Guest erinbeth

Number three was the crazy maker in our family!

 

But after you reach crazy, why not throw one...or a few...more on the pile :)

 

We have 5. They are all close together (2 years or less) and I love it.

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1 to 2: I remember thinking--if I'd known it would be this easy, I would have had #2 sooner. BUT I also remember weeping over the # of diapers.

 

2 to 3: Well...she was colicky, & we moved when she wasn't 3mos old, but

 

3 to 4? *faint* Difficult #3 was only 14mos old. I haven't recovered enough from the PTSD to look at the pics of those first 2 years yet. LOL!

 

4 to 5: *shrug* LOL--I guess that's when it got easier. *Lots* of "helpers."

 

Someone told me recently they couldn't imagine my # of kids, but theirs were the ages yours are: 5 & under. So here's the thing: they come (generally) one at a time. And no one *stays* 18mos old forever. ;) 12yo has its difficulties, but they come tied in a pretty ribbon of being able to take out the trash, do the dishes & laundry...

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