Two kids or three?
What’s the difference?
Come on it can’t be that much of a stretch can it? After all you are already wiping two tiny bottoms how hard can another one be? You are already cooking enough for two small children to squish up in their tiny pudgy fingers and throw on the floor? Another serving of mashed spuds isn’t going to be much of a stretch. Is it?
One more car seat. One more bed. One more set of teeny-tiny baby footprints to hang on the wall. One more lot of daycare bills. One more person.
Because after all, that’s what it is isn’t it a whole new person in your life. A whole new being to love and cherish and delight in.
I love having three kids, the house is bustling, a non-stop merry-go-round. Its filled to the brim sure, crazy and noisy and but it is never boring. Personally I’d argue that life is happier with three but research disputes me.
According to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) having a third baby doesn’t make you any happier. They conducted a study that found parents’ happiness increases in the year before and after the first and second children but not with the third.
(Aw come on don’t take it personally surely its not true for EVERY third child.)
“The arrival of a third child is not associated with an increase in the parents’ happiness, but this is not to suggest they are any less loved than their older siblings,” Mikko Myrskylä, professor of demography at LSE said at the time of the study.
“Instead, this may reflect that the experience of parenthood is less novel and exciting by the time the third child is born or that a larger family puts extra pressure on the parents’ resources..”
Well yes, there are extra strains, more resources needed and you’ve kinda been there done that for a lot of it, but there are many many changes.
1. The washing pile doesn’t go up by a third. It doubles.
Three kids means three times mess and three times mess means double the washing. Some mathematician figure that out and get back to me.
2. Your sleeping changes.
There’s not just no napping when the baby sleeps, remember those days? There is no napping whatsoever.
(And, sorry to break it to you, not much sleeping at night either because with three you’ll soon learn as soon as one goes to sleep one of the others will wake up.)
3. When they hit school age the after activity schedule will look like some kind of complicated spreadsheet.
Just pray you get three with the same interests and you can stick them all in the same soccer team right?
4. You find the most common comment from strangers you get now is “Oh they must be a handful”
Followed by “You must be busy..”
5. You start to realise how many things come in twos.
Twix bars anyone?
6. You spend an inordinate amount of time googling “how to fit three car seats in a backseat.”
Come on you don't HAVE to buy a new car do you?
7. Family sized rooms in hotels never quite seem big enough anymore.
And don’t get me started on getting taxis when you are on holidays. What’s the number for a maxicab again?
8. You will have multiple conversations with managers of fun parks/ restaurants/ travel agencies/ zoos/ you name it about how a family deal really should extend not just to those with two parents and two kids.
But why can’t we get the same deal for three kids, she’s really small…?
9. You have more kids than hands to hold them with.
But that just seems kind of normal after a while.
10. They learn to look after each other.
You can’t be there all the time, you can’t helicopter, you have to sometimes let them fall, you have to sometimes ask one of the older kids to get the baby. They get close, they learn to look out for each other.
(And melt your heart each time they do.)
11. You will find babysitters a lot harder to source.
Who wants to look after three kids for the same price as two? No one I know.
12. You will get out-sung, out-talked and out-cuddled each and every day.
I told you life with three was wonderful.
How hard did you find the transition from two to three?