Third child??

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    I see that the discussion on having a second child is a HOT topic. Here’s my question! I have two and would like to have another child. My youngest is 2 and I’m 32 right now. How many of you have more than two kids, my thought is that three kids would make medical school virtually impossible. In my mind, my choice is medical school or a third child, I think that this is realistic. How doable is a third child during medical school or residency?




    I have three children, ages 7,6 and 3 1/2…and I think that my vote would be to not have another if you are really serious about medical school. I am sure that I’ll stand alone on feeling this way…and no one has to be shy about disagreeing with me 🙂 …but the amount of work just seems overwhelming to me at times! With two, things were fairly balanced. I’m 32 also, and during my MS program, I really struggled to find a way to give the 3 of them attention that they needed. The truth be told? I think that they often got the short end of the stick in that regards…I was just too busy. I also got the short end of the stick because I was too busy changing diapers on baby#3 and helping with schoolwork or social issues for the kids to even be able to study the way that I wanted. I felt overburdened by guilt at leaving my little guy while I worked in the lab and went to class…

    I have also struggled to find professional, affordable childcare, issues with schools, homework and afterschoolcare….

    I wouldn’t trade having baby#3 for the world now. He is truly my little burst of daily sunshine..but if I had not had three, I might have been starting med school this Fall….as it is…I might not ever be starting…….

    I don’t know…this is just my perspective…but if you do decide for #3, I’ll cheer you on all the way!



    Okay, not a third child, but here’s my perspective.

    My husband and I agreed that if we had a 2nd child I would not go to med school because we didn’t think that I could give them both enough attention and get school done. Now this is considering 2 young-ish kids. If I had a couple of teenagers I’m not sure the time would be such an issue. That’s not to say that teenagers don’t need as much time from mom, just that they aren’t as time-intensive as younger children.

    I do obviously know people with multiple children completing med school without their kids being screwed up, but I know that I could not balance it all well enough.


    My $.02…. Being a mom in medical school is tough. Unless you are a lot smarter than I am, the coursework is incredibly time-consuming. I always feel like I need to be studying a little more, but I will NOT give up the time I do spend with my son (he’s 5).

    Prior to starting medical school, it had always been easy to do it all well. It was a rude awakening when I had to start cutting corners in order to fit everything in. It hit me pretty hard, because I had not anticipated medical school really cutting into my family time the way it did. There’s really no way to comprehend, before starting school, what you’re really in for.

    I hear a lot of encouraging people saying, “You can do it” frequently. And it’s true….it can be done. However, I do think that there’s a lot more to consider besides whether it CAN be done. Kids are resilient. There’s no doubt about that. But it’s also important to think about whether you WANT to be putting in a good 70 hours a week during your first two years….and no telling what after that…..with three young kids at home.

    I, personally, wouldn’t want to be attempting this with more kids. I know moms who are doing it with more than 1 kid, though, and their families seem to be no worse for the wear. It’s certainly not a decision to be taken lightly though…..

    Good luck to you!



    I have to say that I’m in agreement with the majority. Having a third would not be a good idea if you can help it (if you know what I mean). I would have a different opinion if you were already in medical school, but the four years are so demanding and time consuming. I only have one and its a constant balancing act. I think the things that are most important in making this decision are, ages of the children- if they are self sufficient and out of pampers go for it, your husbands career- its easier if he has flexiblity and can take on more than half of the responsibilities your doing now, How smart you are- me, I’m not smart enough to do it with 3 and lastly if you can afford a nanny or part time helper- you probably could if you weren’t paying for this site, right??!? Anything is doable and possible, but at what cost??


    Thanks! Yes, I thought I was right about this third child thing, I just wanted some opinions. I think it will boil down to either, or. Unless of course we win the lottery and my husband can stay home full time and we hire help!!

    Anyone else??


    hi Sethina

    I am finishing residency and my husband and I are contemplating a third as well. I am older than you (36) and my children are 3 and 1. I heard someone say that most people get one more child than they can realistically manage. I am not sure that I agree with that, because I am amazed what people do when the “surprise” comes along and they manage wonderfully. That being said, three children (one a baby) during medical school would be a lot of work. If you have great family support and/or a wonderful childcare arrangement (i.e. live-in nanny) I think you can do it but you will likely feel very very torn with the demands of both lives (mummy and school).

    In my eyes, 32 is still quite young, and perhaps you can still do both, by attending medical school soon, and then having a third towards the end of medical school. Then your other two will be older and you can work residency around a newborn. Just a thought.

    I live in Canada and having a baby during residency here appears to be much more manageable as we have a year-long maternity leave and most programs are very accomodating.

    Whatever you decide – it will be the right thing. All the best.

    CaLiGirL :)CaLiGirL:)


    Have you made a decision about the third child??? Just wondering… 😉



    I have three girls, but my youngest is 6 and diapers are long behind us 😀 . I agree with an earlier statement that I was in no way prepared for the amount of time medical school would consume. I did great balancing everything through 4 years of undergrad. If you know how it feels during final exam week and everything just falls to the side while you study for those exams, well that is the year-long intensity of medical school 😮 . Its like final exam week all the time. I am an expert crammer–getting all A’s by attending all classes and cramming it in the day or two before the exam. Well, that strategy will kill you in med school.

    I’m so glad I’m here in medical school, it has been the reward of 4 years of hard work. However, I am SOOOOO glad I did not give into my baby cravings and have baby #4 before getting here. I’d probably die of exhaustion trying to do all that. Others have done so, but there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to be super mom, super student, and (in the future) super doc. Add a baby and you’ve just broken the camel’s back.

    Additionally, I think it would be unfair to a baby #4 to be brought up with a super busy mom. I was home during the infancy of my three daughters and enjoyed one-on-one time with them, breastfeeding, and seeing all of their “firsts”. Unfair for a fourth baby to not get all of my attention too.

    However, as we all know no birth control method is 100%. If the great fates above choose to give us a child 😮 I would absolutely overjoyed, and I would charge through medical school with baby-on-hip. I just wouldn’t choose to put my family through it “on purpose”.

    Good luck to all of you!

    Elise 😀

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