I hear allot of questions and debate and even fear around whether or not to go for baby #3 while the other two are still so small. As a mom of a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 3 year old, I agree that these moms have good reason for their uncertainty and their need to be completely sure before taking the giant leap of growing the family tree. And it’s our maternal instinct to always want to reassure these moms that everything is going to be just fine, even at those times when we are not sure of this ourselves.
I therefore also hear many moms urging these parents on to have another baby. They claim the other two kids will have another ‘friend’ to play with and, my absolute favourite, they will have more kids around to look after them when they’re old and gray. Maybe these are somewhat true, but they are certainly not the basis on which you should make your decision.
So, here are my ten proven facts of what life is really like with three little ones.
1. You know the phrase that goes something like this: ‘you gotta have hair on your teeth’? Well, with three toddlers this is definitely a requirement. You’ll want to murder them all.the.time! But you don’t, because even though they terrorise the living hell out of you (and each other!), they are the most precious beings to you and you would literally walk over molten lava for them.
2. Everything is a competition. Everything. Which is not a bad thing at all, however it does tend to push you to the edge when the one wants to sing louder than the other, or swim faster, have the last goodnight kiss, when all three compete to sit next to mom, hold mom’s hand in the mall or be the same movie character. Not to mention they all have their own taste in movies, which mean three movies all at once unless your negotiating skills are on point. Which it unfortunately as to be most times. It really is THAT crazy and the only thing keeping you sane is to remind yourself of your unconditional love for them ruckers. #woosah
3. Speaking of keeping sane. You HAVE to make time for just you and hubby at least once a month. This is non-negotiable. If grandma will allow you once a week or you can find a babysitter twice a month then all the better. Raising three toddlers is HARD work and like sponges, they suck every bit of energy from you. All three require individual, undivided attention all day, every day. You may think I’m exaggerating right now, but I’m only giving you the cold hard facts. What keeps me from completely losing my mind is a sunset walk on the beach after work, a Baxter theater show and the occasional Tuesday date night at HQ.
4. Then just when you think your life is about to become a whole lot more peaceful with the firstborn finally outgrowing the tantrums or terrible two’s, the other one starts the exact same sequence, followed by the next. I’m afraid, honey, it doesn’t get easier, you just become better at controlling the situation, your kids and yourself. Which is what makes us moms so fabulous.
5. Going on holiday is not so easy anymore. In my vain attempts to book family holidays, I noticed most places offer free flights and accommodation for two kids under 12. With three kids I still have to pay full price for the third child. Not exactly the end of the world, this only means our plans might be slightly delayed and we’ll have to save up a little longer.
6. School fees and study policies are always quadrupled. So when deciding on baby number 3, think of your career goals and which schools you would like your kids to attend. They may seem like minor details but has the potential to cause serious implications on not only your pocket but also your relationship with your spouse.
7. Everything comes in threes. Clothes, toys, life stages, I love yous – you name it. And bath-time takes forever!
8. Oh, and you’ll sadly have to say goodbye to your beloved 2 door sports car or the 5-seater family sedan for that matter. With you, hubby and three kids, all still in their baby seats, I recommend you find yourself a more reliable 7-seater fast! Although your family of 5 may still easily fit into the 5-seater, it, unfortunately, does not allow any other family members or friends to join in on the ride. Which we discovered is a big problem for us. So 7-seater it is. They are however costly, in value and petrol, so be sure to do your research carefully before deciding on baby number 3.
9. Three is such an uneven number. The buy-one-get-one-free concept means little to nothing to you when you have three little ones. On New year we bought tickets on daddy’s deals for bugs play park – 2 tickets, including all kiddies rides, for the price of one ticket. Great deal, except we then ended up with one extra ticket we could not use. This is just one example of many, but you get my point. I’m almost tempted to say that having 4 kids instead of 3 may make more sense.
10. You have more kids than hands. Any mom would agree that having just one child is already physically and emotionally demanding. Having three, even more so. Sure your kids have each other to occupy. Until one pisses off the other and then it’s right back to mom and dad to clean up the mess.
I’m sorry I didn’t sugercoat more, but this is reality. MY reality right now. These facts are not meant to scare you, but to prepare you. It’s tough and it’s messy, but at the same time it’s also beautiful to see them grow up together, protective of one another, an unbelievable friendship and an unbreakable bond. Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. The truth is you are never going to be ready. You simply have to ask yourself if you are ready to become a stronger version of you, a wiser one, a more tolerant one, grow a bigger heart.