People have asked me lately, “What is it like having three kids?”, and “Is three kids a lot different than two kids?”. I mentioned it a little bit when I started blogging again last month but here’s a post solely devoted to those questions.
DISCLAIMER: I’m no child expert. Nor do I think I’m amazing because I have three kids. (Well not JUST that. 🤣) I know a few people with 6 kids and they completely inspire me. I’m just letting you know about my experience with three.
In my opinion, every kid you have is a bit of a shock. The first kid is shocking because you’ve never had a child before. There’s the weight of being solely responsible for a person’s well being. You have a lot of love for them but you may not know how to care for a baby. If you do have childcare experience, then you may not know how to care for YOUR baby specifically. You’re getting to know them and their preferences – which are subject to change – day by day. Not to mention how exhausted you are. A lot of the things that you read in baby books may not apply to your child at all.
Your second child is less of a shock but still surprising none the less. As much as you may have learned with your first kid, you are learning that the second is a whole different person. The things that worked for the first may or may not work for the second. Then there’s being super tired on top of caring for another child. 😴 There’s a lot less pressure though and that’s nice. For me, I’d been through a first birthday and knew I could at least keep a baby alive. 😏
With my third, I’m not really shocked by anything. (Well except maybe how exhausted feeding a baby every 2-3 hours in the beginning while taking care of other kids can make you. 😴 😴 😴) I think I’ve come to the place where I’m okay that I don’t know it all. I just realized the other day that the groove that I had with my two kids is gone forever. Although things have gotten more routine (as in doing the same things again and again) the way I was able to get things done before is over. Three months later there is a whole new normal that is starting to take shape. Being outnumber is definitely different. A lot of the battles I picked over things with my children before have had to go out the window. I also have had to let them learn more responsibility. (Such as, please pick out your own clothes and get dressed. Get your own snack. Hand me that burp cloth for your little brother. etc.) My 3 and 5-year-old have had to become a lot more self-sufficient as of late because I’m not always available. I see this as a good thing. The more they can do for themselves at this point the better.
For me, three has been WWAAAAAYYY different than two. Overall there is a lot more juggling. With two kids you have two arms/hands and can kind of pretend that things are divided evenly. With three kids, you just have to give whatever you have available of yourself to each child. Like a pat on the back with your free hand instead of a full-on hug. (Although I always to set the baby down and give a hug when I can.) Then there are times you just have to tell them to wait because you physically can’t help them. Like if your baby is crying or you are deep in a dirty diaper change.
Another thing that I’ve learned is that I need to be more intentional about giving each child quality time. Sometimes it’s making extra time to play a round of board game or having one-on-one time to talk with just them. I already did this before but I have to be a bit more creative with three.
But the most shocking thing of all has been this. Having a school-aged child. Oh man! Having a Kindergartner has been a much bigger adjustment than having a third baby (at least for me). Just getting up and having to get your child somewhere every day and be on time is a whole new world and then after school and evenings are way different than before. Next week, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned so far as a parent of a Kindergartner and what NOBODY told me.
If you’re a parent, I’d love to hear something that surprised you about handling the number of kids that you have. Post it below in the comments!