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What it’s like to have three kids
Have you ever wondered what it’s really like having three kids? Maybe you’ve heard that three is the new two. You’re probably here because you’re either expecting a third child or considering thinking about a third child. What is life with three kids like? Maybe you just want to know more about three child families, who knows!
I’ve had three kids for almost five years now. The #1 thing I can say about what it’s like to have three kids is that it does get easier. If all three of your kids are close together, life will be tough for a while. Doing anything is tough when you’re working around (different) nap schedules, having multiple kids in diapers, etc.! It does get easier. It doesn’t get less chaotic, but it gets easier. Here are ten facts about having 3 kids that may surprise you.
1. Having three makes having one or two seem easy
I assume that you’re reading this because you have two kids and are either expecting a third or considering a third. You know how you hear first-time moms complaining about how they never get anything done because they have one baby? You know how you kind of roll your eyes and go about your day? It’s going to happen again.
Having three makes having two seem like a piece of cake. If one of my kids is gone, the entire dynamic is different. It’s like a vacation! I read this article about how having three is the hardest. Do you see how it was published in May of 2013? My youngest was born in August 2013. Great timing.
So why isn’t it more difficult having four or five? Having stepkids, I believe it is because you are so outnumbered once there are three or more, it doesn’t even matter anymore! I also believe that the more kids you have, the more likely you are to have older kids who can help. Even having a child old enough to “watch” the baby while you shower is a blessing!
2. Three kids means more laundry
Here is a fun fact about having three kids: the laundry is endless. When my youngest was born, he was in cloth diapers and the laundry quadrupled. Even though my kids are older now, there is still so much laundry! I do laundry almost daily, and I recommend doing that if you can to save from having a mountain of laundry at the end of the week. I wrote a post with more productivity tips for busy moms, check it out!
Related post: You might also enjoy how to get kids to do chores. Having a few kids might mean a lot of laundry, but the truth is that they can help with laundry from a pretty young age!
3. You now have more kids than hands
You now have more kids than hands. Fortunately, there is a solution. When I had my oldest, babywearing wasn’t really mainstream yet. I wasn’t very educated about babywearing and didn’t do it much because we had a terrible baby carrier. Fortunately, I learned a lot more after baby #2, and by baby #3 I had quite the stash of baby carriers. You will need one.
One more thing. Some people say that their babies “don’t like to be worn” If you feel like this, you’re probably using the wrong carrier. Babies LOVE being carried close to their moms, especially if you do it from the beginning. If it seems like it isn’t working, try a new carrier. It would be very, very rare that a young baby wouldn’t “like” to be near his mommy.
I don’t want to go off on a rant, but those V-shaped “crotch dangler” carriers are uncomfortable for mom and baby. Yes, they do work and you aren’t a bad mom if you use them, but they aren’t the best option. Infantino makes a Mei Tei baby carrier that is both affordable and comfortable. If you have a bigger budget, explore ring slings, wraps or soft structured carriers like the Tula (one of my favorites).
I had a five year old, two-year-old and an infant. Babywearing saved (most of) my sanity.
4. “Assume” makes an ass out of U and me
If you have two girls, people will assume you were trying for a boy. Two boys? Oh, you must have wanted a girl. If you have a boy and a girl, you will get comments about how #3 must have been an accident. I won’t even start with how incredibly rude that is. Clearly, they haven’t heard that three is the new two.
I’m sure that it’s much worse with four or five kids, but you might also get some of those “do you know what causes that?” comments.
5. “You have lots of helpers.”
I’ve never run a marathon, but I imagine it’s something like taking three little kids to the grocery store. That may be an exaggeration, but taking three kids to the grocery store is no joke!
A grocery store is also a place where you get lots of unsolicited advice and comments from possibly (but maybe not) well-meaning people. No, the baby in the carrier isn’t suffocating. Yes, I have a lot of “helpers.” No, they aren’t being helpful at all. Yes, I have my hands full.
6. Your older kids seemed “older” than your youngest at the same age
My oldest was four when I was pregnant with my youngest. He seemed like such a big kid! My daughter, a very early talker, also seemed like a “big kid” at four. My youngest? Now he is four, and he still seems like a baby.
There are several reasons for this, beyond that every kid is different. Once you have a couple of kids, you realize that kids learn when they learn and you stop pushing them as much. You will probably also tend to baby the “baby.” Guilty.
I think he’s still a baby.
7. Travel is infinitely more difficult
Once you have three kids, you either have to sneak one of them into a hotel (not that I am suggesting this or admitting that I have done it) or get a vacation rental. I love vacation rentals for long stays but for one or two nights, a hotel is usually more convenient. This is just one of the things that you don’t really think about until you have three kids.
Want to know more about saving money on hotels, even with multiple kids? Check out this post on how to save on hotels and lodging.
Speaking of travel, air travel also gets extremely expensive. We’re really good at finding cheap flights, but even a $100 flight x 5 is $500.
8. You really need a van or SUV
Again, the travel situation. More kids probably mean more road trips since flights get so expensive. Most cars make it difficult to fit three car seats or car seat/booster combos in the back. It’s possible with seats like the Diono Radian, but the kids can still touch each other. That’s bad. We want to avoid that is possible.
If you ever plan to drive anyone besides your kids around, you actually need the bigger vehicle. Plus, bigger vehicles have cool things like stow and go seats and DVD players. I swore that I’d never drive a van, but honestly, my van is pretty comfortable. I might go back to an SUV someday, but never a car.
9. Do two gang up on the other one?
I read something about how, when you have three kids, two will gang up on the other one. I don’t see this much in my house. Sure, the younger two sometimes try to annoy the oldest, but in general, it’s every man for themselves.
Picking a movie or playing a board game also becomes interesting. It’s hard enough to get two to agree, let alone three. Throwing a bunch of different ages into the mix makes it even more difficult.
10. Will a third child be more like the first or the second?
My first two kids are so different. My oldest is quiet, really well behaved, and a little socially awkward. One word to describe my second would be loud. She has never met someone who isn’t her friend, and she is very, very strong-willed. When I was pregnant with my third, I wondered who he would be like. As it turns out, neither of them!
Every child is so different. My youngest is wild. He thinks he is a dinosaur, he doesn’t care what anyone thinks (ever, at all) but he is also very kind.
Even though life with three kids is absolute chaos at times (most of the time) I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Do you think three is the new two? If you’re a mom of three, what is your life like with three kids? If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends!