As the mother of three children I was fascinated to read this article in the Sunday Papers about the realities of having three children.
Some of the points that really jumped out at me were:
- The “why” people choose to (or not to) have three children
- That three children is considered a ‘tipping point’ – the storm before the calm (if you have 4 children). Research apparently says that parents with three children are more stressed than parents with two or four children.
- The parents of three children may not always tell “the truth” about what it is REALLY like to have three kids.
One of my values in all that I do in my coaching and blogging is to be honest and open about the good and the bad of my personal and professional experiences. With that in mind the following in my truth about having three children.
Why did I have three children?
When I married my husband my vision of the family we would one day have included three kids. Simple as that. Once we had two children I still felt that three was my perfect number. I was clear I didn’t want four children but really felt strongly about having more than two if I could. Simply the vision I held in my heart about the family I wanted to have.
I have three daughters. It really annoyed me when we fell pregnant with our third child and people would constantly say “Oh, are you trying to have a boy?” and I would say “No, I am trying to have three children”.
Will I have another child?
I confess my husband used to want more kids and I never wanted more than three. Now that he has experienced the juggle of three young children he is happy to stop here. I think we would have both needed to be younger to have more children. I am now 40 and he is 47.
Is it harder to have three children rather than two?
Yes … and no.
When I went from one child to two I really felt a big shift in learning how to juggle the simultaneous needs of two young children. I found that very stressful initially and then along the way you figure it out. So when we went from two to three I didn’t find that shift stressful at all.
What is harder?
Having more kids than I have hands! Juggling them in shopping centres, crossing roads, getting them in and out of cars etc. They are very independent girls and I try to encourage that but that increases the challenge.
The constant ‘yibber yabber’ of three young children … some days it is lovely, and some days it is just exhausting.
Lack of one on one time with our children. Kids out number the parents so creating one on one time is harder … but possible if we make conscious effort.
It was harder for me to regain some “me time” after my third baby, to start getting regular exercise. I felt that the little part of me that I had left after two kids was suddenly gone. Happy to say I am getting it back again.
Are we more stressed now than when we had two children?
Yes. But I don’t believe that will last forever. Our girls are now 7, 5 and 3 so we have been in a very intense phase of parenthood. I think in another year or two it will feel simpler again. I am done with 3 year old tantrums – LOL
If I had my time again would I stop at two?
No way. Three kids is still be crazy, happy, chaotic vision of what I want my family to be. I adore my three girls and can’t wait to see what magnificent young women they grow up to be.
A side note … sometimes Mums with one or two kids will say to me “I don’t know how you do it! I am struggling to cope with just one/two” …
I have a message just for you …
I struggled when I had one and two kids as well. Parenting babies and young children is a struggle sometimes. There is as many tears and tantrums as there are laughter and joy. It is the journey. Please don’t look at me on a good day with my three kids (you know that rare day where nobody is fighting, having a tantrum or hanging off my leg) and compare yourself. You are just seeing me in a calm and tranquil moment … it is only a moment … and I promise I will only be the blink of an eye away from tears and tantrums again.