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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Third Time's A... Charm or a Curse?


Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day! I am being featured over on Childwise Chat and am talking about my tips for getting started with Babywise (so all you new mamas...be sure to check it out!). Rachel is blogging over here today and she recently welcomed her third baby into her family. With my third pregnancy well under way I asked her to help me feel a little less freaked out by this whole three kids idea ;) 



Third time’s a… charm or a curse?
By: Rachel Norman at A Mother Far From Home



When I was pregnant with my third child everyone told me that having three kids was the hardest. I heard numerous reasons why this was so, the biggest being that they physically outnumber you and your husband. Other reasons were that three is an odd number so one child can be left out, and also that schedules can be difficult to create.

I’m here to bring encouragement to anyone expecting their third baby (that’s you, Emily) or to a mother of two wondering if three will be too many! The simple fact is: it all boils down to your personality and your home rhythm.  Some women find one enough, some could keep having babies every year until menopause. While you might not know exactly how you’ll handle three kids until you have them, you can consider your own habits and the ages of your children and get a pretty good idea how you’ll cope.

Some moms think going from no children to 1 was the hardest. I personally think two was more difficult than three. For me, having a toddler and a baby, then two toddlers, and now a pre-schooler, toddler and baby, the hard part is not the baby. Babies eat, sleep and are generally agreeable (unless there are allergy complications etc). Having a pre-schooler and toddler is difficult enough so adding a baby just means more cuddles. It was hard with two, it’s hard with three, but it’s not harder. In fact, my daughter will turn 3 in March and I can already see the signs of a super helper in the making.

Here are some encouraging points to consider if you are moving into the three child family territory.

1)   Schedules can still happen.

Oh sure, it’ll be more difficult to figure out a good schedule and, if you’re like me, it’ll change somewhat each month as you determine what works and what doesn’t. However, having a schedule is a saving grace. I’ve written a post called Routine brings sanity. I know people think that with three you’ll need to throw the schedule out the window, but I beg to differ very loudly! If I didn’t keep a schedule I’d be tempted to go back to work. Aka, I don’t think I could cope day in and day out without one. In fact, I know I couldn’t cope. My husband is a full-time student working part-time in the evenings so, needless to say, I am with the children almost exclusively and in order for me to maintain my positive disposition, I need order.

2)   Three means playmates.

Mine are still too young to pair off and leave one out, but at this point having three is very helpful. My youngest just turned 5 months so when I need to feed him or put him to sleep, the older two are content to play together. When I had one toddler and a baby the toddler was not able to entertain herself as well alone. Independent play she could do, but you can’t put a toddler in independent play each time you need to feed the baby! Especially not if you have a long feeder. I utilize the fact that they play together to my advantage and schedule it in for times when I’ll need to be with the baby.

3) A sedan will still be big enough.

While three will be a shock to the system, you’ll still be able to use your family sedan. In fact, our car is a tad smaller than a family sedan and we still fit three car seats in the back. It’s snug, but they all go in safely and legally and we don’t intend to upgrade our car until baby number four (if we are so lucky). When you move up from a family of 5 to a family of 6 you will have to make quite a few changes, but going from two to three children you are still within that realm of keeping the car. Also, if you live in a two-bedroom house (not common, but it does happen, particularly in cities) and have your two children sharing, you’ll have to determine if you want to squeeze three in a room or find somewhere new to live. Here is a great read on small houses.

4)   3 is a first glimpse into a large family.

Two children per family is probably average in the US. If you move into three, you’re going into a “big family” territory. I think it’s a great way to see how you cope, how the kids cope, if you have the emotional capacity to meet that many children’s needs as well as your own and your husbands. If you love it – and I do so love it – then you may even feel ready to have another child or two. Or even adopt! I think some mothers with 2 kids think “I want at least 4” but then when they have three, someone goes trotting off to the doctor to get tied or snipped. I think with three, you’ll know where you stand.

So, if you are expecting a third and a tad worried then just relax. Start thinking about a good schedule you can implement, and that will help ease your mind. If you don’t do schedules then you should get worried. Okay, I’m kidding. But I do think if you prefer not to schedule your day, then having three will really be challenging! So whether the transition to 1, 2 or 3, or even more, was the hardest, I think we’ll all agree: our heart expands with each new addition to our family!

What number was the hardest for you?

Rachel blogs at A Mother Far from Home

2 comments:

  1. For me, number 3 wasn't difficult, surprisingly. Number 4 was the hardest! And that is largely in part to the child herself. The first three were easy pregnancies, easy babies - for the most part. Number four pregnancy made up for the first three being so easy, haha. Same after she was born - only one that had colic, didn't sleep through the night from day one, only one that has teething issues...the list goes on and on ;)

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  2. I totally agree that adding #3 isn't as hard is it seems like it would be (I was pretty nervous when I was pg with #3!). Point #2 about playmates is sooo true and helpful!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Reading your comments makes my day!



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