Monday, October 13, 2014

Three Is The New Two. {5 Reasons Having 3 Kids Is Awesome).

Growing up it was a rarity that a friend or friend of a friend or friend of a friend's cousin had more than one sibling. Two kids seemed pretty standard back in the early 80's if you weren't an only child. I'm one of two, each of my cousin's are one of two, my childhood best friend is one of two, my babysitters were both one of two- the list could go on and on. 

Today it seems as if the social norm has shifted. Three seems to be the new two as not only have we dove head first into the waters of three but a few of my girlfriends have also taken the plunge along with the few that are currently testing the waters (or playing with fire, depending on how you look at it). Many of my peers on social media have also eagerly joined the ranks of three (many also under the age of five).

I've been quite open about how our transition to three affected me. In summary, one week in and I was seriously questioning our decision, as if there was anything I could do about it with a sweet, intoxicating newborn on my chest. It felt as if all my fears about altering the delicate happy balance of our family were materializing and there wasn't a whole lot I could do except be a witness of my own train wreck. Three weeks in and it wasn't looking any better. It wasn't until we hit the three month mark that I really felt like I'd hit my stride as a mom of three and nearly six months later, I can hardly remember our life before our third was born. It's as if somewhere between months 2 and 3, a switch was flipped and I'd begun to surface from the depths of insanity. 

Sure we still have our days (don't we all?) and for anyone whom I might've caused to seriously re-think their decision to have a third, I want to take a moment to say how truly awesome having three kids is. 

Before I do that, however, I want to make it clear that I am much more aware that with three (or four or five) comes more of the not so great stuff. More responsibility, more financial obligations, more time to spend less one on one time with each of them, and ultimately more to worry about. I get that. I'm living it but while all of that rings true, I think by the time you decide to have three kids, you tend to be better equipped at handling those circumstances or you learn very quickly how to make it work. As it is, you've already adjusted to surviving on less (less time, less sleep, less resources per child). Adding a third just means even more less.

You shouldn't let someone else's fears dictate the number of children you decide to have. Yes, our first few weeks were scary. Horrifying if you were to ask the sleep-deprived side of me. Our world was knocked on its side with the arrival of our third but that doesn't mean you'll have the same experience I did. I want to take some time to reassure you that despite any fears you may have, you will survive having a third baby and perhaps become a bit better for it.

Here's (my) five reasons why having three kids is awesome:

1. Mommy Wars are inconsequential at this point. By my third baby I've ultimately become confident in my abilities and decision-making as a mother. After my first baby, I wore this confidence like a dress-up costume. I wanted people to believe I was confident in my decisions but I questioned them as much as my neighbor. After all, just like necessity is the mother of invention, insecurity is the mother of the Mommy Wars. After my second, I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing but I still let judgment creep in. Three kids later and not only do I not have time for the Mommy Wars but I can look at my older two and confidently say, "I've got this." 

2. More kids means more to love. This may seem obvious but it's true. Yes, the boys are dirtier, louder, messier and some days three times as obnoxious, but there's so much more love in our home because of our third baby. The boys can't get enough of him, we as his parents can't get enough of him and when I see my older boys and my husband reduced to puddles of mush over the third baby, I love them even more. It's kind of like a giant love fest every single day. And when my kitchen floor is coated in goldfish, Cheerios are flung around my house like nerf balls and the baby won't nap? I just remind myself of those moments. 

3. Zone Defense is fun. What? No one has ever said that before? Some nights my husband and I like to play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" in the kitchen while all three of the boys melt down simultaneously. We like to think this kind of game keeps us sharp and on our toes. It's especially fun if you try to guess why each one of them is melting down. The answer in our house always seems to be, "there's too much cheese sauce on his macaroni." We also sometimes like to play Eenie Meenie Miney Mo which is especially helpful when you have three, although your kids may find it mildly irritating. 

4. Running Errands Feels Like A Party. Actually, scratch that. Any outing which involves the lot of you feels like a party. When you have three kids as close in age as I do, you roll deep every where you go. Whether it's to the barber shop, the grocery store or to the local cafe for coffee and chocolate milks, it feels like a party. Even bed time most nights feels that way. It could be because someone, usually the middle child, is always singing Happy Birthday. 

5. A wise somebody once told me, "you'll always regret the baby you didn't have, but never the one you did." And truer words have never been spoken. If you're really on the fence about adding a third (or a second or a fifth), think about it that way. For us, there was never really a question about having a third baby. I never knew I wanted three but once I had my second, I knew I wasn't done yet. I don't for a second regret having our last little baby and I'm not sure I could have lived happily with myself had we not taken the plunge. 

Ultimately only you (and hopefully your significant other) can make the decision as to whether or not a third baby is best. Sometimes that decision is made for you. Sometimes you have to trust the higher powers that be know something you don't. And just sometimes, you may surprise yourself at just how much more you can handle. At just how much more you can love, laugh and cry. At how many more balls you can juggle. 

And in my household, just how many more (sets of) balls you can raise. 

What can I say? I have three boys. There's much more potty humor where that came from.

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  1. What is it about that 3 month mark? I just had my first, and as soon as she hit that 3 month mark it was like everything fell in to place. And I've heard so many moms say the same thing.

  2. Thanks for this! Recent mom of three here, ages 4, 3, and {almost} 3 months. Just what I needed to hear!

  3. Some day I'll find time to write about the fun of going from 1 to 3. I'm 7.5 months in and want a shirt that says just have 1! But I'm currently scarfing Mac and cheese down so I can get the 3 year old in his room for quiet time before the twins wake up so I can get my two work outs done because I didn't work out last week because I was cleaning my house.

  4. Hehe! Love this and your precious brood! I want a few more (I use the term loosely) my husband wants just that one more (to equal three). I'm hopefully the third will convince him of a fourth if we survive :)

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE. And I love your joke at the end. Boy moms just get potty humor, don't they ;)

  6. I love having three kids too! There is so much more love and to love with three crazy kids running around!

  7. Love. I can already feel myself feeling those same things with two girls in the house. I definitely don't have the mom of two rhythm down yet, but I'm feeling more confident. I also have a feeling we aren't done yet, so the "you'll regret the baby you didn't have" is kinda pulling at my heart strings, here...

  8. We only have one at the moment with discussions of having a second. When hubs mentioned getting "fixed" after the second if we have a girl (one of each), it sent me into a panic. How can he be so sure!?! I know guys are hard wired differently but I need time. I always always always thought I'd end up with two kids no matter boys, girls, or one of each. Becoming a mom completely changes that feeling. Now I have no clue haha.

  9. Awww. Such cute boys!
    I totally understand what you mean about having 3 kids. But now, for me, I transfer all that you've said to having 4 - because I'm due next month! ;)

  10. Great post. I won't lie, it made me a little sad though...I am sad every day we can't have a third baby due to my hyperemesis. Enjoy your sweet boys and all that chaos!

  11. Love this AP, as Caroline gets closer to one I find myself going back and forth on a third. The quote "you'll regret the baby you didn't have" really hits home! We shall see what the future holds.


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