People ask me all the time what it’s like having three kids. Usually, it is parents of one or two. Sometimes it’s just friends who know what a crappy mom I really am wondering how I haven’t killed them all yet! HA
My experience having The Baby is a little different than some families. We had The Boy and The Girl 19 months apart. Then there is a 4.5-year gap before The Baby was born. This gap was necessary. Having two babies at once is hard.
So, consider all of this with the knowledge that I don’t have 3 BABIES! I don’t have two babies and a toddler or two toddlers and a baby. I have two relatively independent “big kids” and a baby.
Having Three Kids – The Good
Go-fers – Simply having some extra hands can be so useful. If I pop down to the floor to change a diaper, only to realize I didn’t grab the wipes, there’s always a kid to run and grab them for me! If I left my phone on the counter and only realize after the baby is securely latched on the boob, there is someone around to fetch it.
It’s awesome not to have to constantly be getting up to fetch this or that, and just sit down and feed the baby when it’s time. I left the remote on the other side of the room, The Bigs will grab it. Need a drink from the fridge? Here comes The Girl, eager to please!
Entertainment Staff – The Bigs get the most smiles and laughs out of The Baby! Making funny faces and noises is their specialty, but they can play a mean game of peek-a-boo, too. I love getting in on the action, but it is really helpful that I’m not the only person in the family that The Baby likes.
In-house babysitters – So, The Bigs cannot be responsible for the baby by themselves. The Boy isn’t even 7 yet. But they can be responsible with me close by. I can go to the bathroom while The Baby is playing on the floor if one of The Bigs is watching TV right next to her. They will either stop her if she is doing something dangerous or come yell at me to get her.
I was even able to take a phone interview for some freelance work in my bedroom while the baby was in the high chair with her big brother and sister playing video games and coloring near by. I would even feel comfortable running all the way out to the mailbox with her under the care of her big brother. It’s great!
Having Three Kids – The Bad
THE NOISE – Kids are noisy. That’s just what it is. But for some reason adding one more child to our house didn’t add one person’s worth of noises. It seems to have multiplied the noises. On top of the actual baby noises of cooing, crying, grunting, and toys there are the noises that The Bigs make specifically for The Baby.
Whether they are making funny noises to make her smile, singing silly songs about her, or whining and saying “NO” to her when she crawls up to get their snacks from their hands The Bigs are making WAY more noise than simply talking to/arguing with each other. They are mimicking HER noises to connect and be involved, which is adorable. But they are not sophisticated enough to realize that doing the EXACT SAME NOISE OVER AND OVER AND OVER is not entertaining to the baby or her parents.
The Danger – With The Boy and The Girl being 19 months apart, there wasn’t a huge issue of having “big kid” toys with little pieces around a baby. They could both pretty much choke on all the same things and grew up and out of that danger together. Now, however, there are dangers.
From tiny Lego pieces to bits of food to things set next to the edges of tables the world is now filled with Danger for The Baby. Danger directly resulting from having two older kids in the house already. Dangers in addition to the already dangerous, scary world we live in.
The MESSSSSSS – More laundry, more dishes, more toys, more more more. We have worked hard to limit the amount of “stuff” The Baby brings into our lives. But it is inevitable that with each new human in the house, there comes more stuff. And that stuff needs to be picked up, cleaned, put away, moved around the house because it’s ultimately temporary and doesn’t have a permanent home.
It’s easy to forget that baby messes aren’t just “pick up and put away” type messes. They are “get out the cleaners and a rag” messes. And when you add in helpful older siblings feeding The Baby, that means those messes spread to The Bigs, too. So Now three outfits have staining orange carrot mush on them.
Having Three Kids – The Fun
My gosh guys, having three kids is FUN! There isn’t really a list for this. It just IS. It is fun to watch them all play together. I crack up when I watch The Baby crawl-chase The Bigs around the house. I can’t help but smile when The Boy kneels next to the bouncer and shows The Baby her face in the sunshine mirror!
Seeing The Baby picking up on the mannerisms and behaviors of her big sister and big brother is fun. Watching them rub off on her, and sometimes her on them is hilarious. When they are delighted by her learning to make new noises, and when they try to talk to her in her own “language” it cracks me up.
It’s hard to have kids. It’s hard having one kid and it’s hard having three kids. But even on the days when it’s hardest, there is something delightful that shows me that our family would never have been right with just two kids. Seeing how much The Boy adores her or watching The Girl cuddle her makes it easy to see why we had The Baby.
What about you? Is your family perfect with just one or two kids? Are you crazier than me and have 4 or more kids? Tell me what makes your family size just right in the comments!