‘Just How Hard Can 3 Kids Be……’

‘It could be worse you could be having a third kid like Tom’ laughed my best mate at a recent stag do!

When I first met high command over ten years ago one of the things we shared in common was a longing to have a family and a big one at that!

I don’t mean enough kids to fill a minibus but that nice round number of 3 kids.

We are blessed with two beautiful healthy daughters, No1 and No2, who are almost 4 and 2 respectively with our third daughter due to join us in early March 2014.

Making the decision to have a third child has not been an easy one but not in the way I thought it would.

High Command and I both wanted a third child. It just didn’t feel right with only two kids.

In some way after No2 joined us it felt that there was still a person missing from the team. I know High Command secretly wanted a Boy but for me the motivation was always just to have a bigg(ish) family.

But for the year after No2 was born we both tried very hard to convince ourselves that it would be a bad idea.

‘It will be too expensive’

‘We’ll need a bigger car’

‘What about holidays?’

‘We wont be able to cope’

‘We wont have enough space’

‘We’ll go mad’

But a year after wrangling with our conscience it basically boiled down to one thing:

‘It just felt right!’

It was that simple.

We both wanted a third child.

There are lots of families that have 3 kids and survive so why could’nt we?

So after making the decision to plough ahead I was prepared to take my role as chief sperm donor very seriously. To role up my sleeves and get stuck in, as lets be honest there is nothing better in my view than baby making whoopy!

Anyway one week in you can imagine my mixed feelings when High Command happily informed me that she was pregnant. I was secretly deflated as the news meant I would have to pencil in some bedroom action for Summer ’14 at the earliest. But on the other hand I was made up that the expansion of the family was on track.

‘You must be mad!!!’ has been the stock response from our friends.

Other comments have included:

‘You have two hands and two knees for a reason. You must be bonkers!’

‘Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha’

‘Oh dear that’s going to be expensive’

‘How crazy are YOU!

‘I think your stupid’ (this was my favourite from my Brother in Law)

At present we are the only family from our various friendship groups to forge ahead with having three children. When we speak to people they are of the opinion that its a bad idea but good luck anyway!

So what has prompted me to write this well it dawned on me this morning as I was on another train journey for work that in early March next year family life is going to take another significant turn.

Are we, and more importantly, am I ready for it?

Well the honest answer is No!

To say I am more laid back after going through the process twice previously would be an understatement. Certainly before No1 was born I had read every book available and even drawn diagrams on how to fit the Tens Machine in case I crumbled under pressure!

So I need to get my bottom in gear and get prepared for D-day. I think my forthcoming posts are going to revolve around getting ready for the birth and my thoughts on how to manage three kids.

So any advice on how to cope with three young kids would be gratefully appreciated :-)

Tom

This post was also published on Love All Dads

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42 Responses to ‘Just How Hard Can 3 Kids Be……’

  1. Char says:

    I have three small ones: 6, 3 and just turned 1. Which means I have handed myself the ‘Yay! I survived a year of 3!’ trophy. Honestly, I haven’t found it all that bad. The house was already pretty busy and chaotic, so number 3 just had to slot in and grab attention where she could. Don’t get me wrong, it has been stressful at times but not as bad as I expected.

    And now she is a little older, she plays with number 2 and I only a few times a day have to break up a fight. And number 1 mothers her and carries her round like a sack of spuds.

    My favourite thing about having 3 is that I don’t really have enough time to sweat the small stuff like I used to.

    • ideas4dads says:

      HI Char thanks for taking the time to comment – congratulations on winning the trophy :-) I guess its just a question of rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck – I mean what am I going to do – send her back on a Stork where she came from! Our 4yr old has been practicing on dolls so I think it will be a team effort!

  2. Andy says:

    Our 9 week old baby girl is our third we have a 2 & 3 year old ( 10 months between them ) like you we knew we wanted a third child. Has our other 2 girls are so close we didn’t want a huge gap between them.

    We had all the comments you have had and then some. But she literally as just arrived and fitted in. I have a ford focus and can fit all the car seats in the back. And to be honest having to get a bigger car was our only big financial worry.

    With kids money is always tight and there is never a right time to have or not have children.

    We feel totally complete as a family. It is hard and it is tough but you know what it’s no harder or tougher than been a first time parent except this time round you know not to buy silly toys and gizmos that get given away and never used. After going through it twice the baby stuff comes back quick and you can’t help but wish for them to be bigger so they can all play together.

    We thought our 2 yr old would find it hardest to adjust but it was our eldest. Tantrums and really poor behaviour lots of stet too seeking it subsided after a couple of weeks and all is back to normal, or as normal as toddlers can be. That is the only thing I would say beware of. We consciously try to make an effort to spend one to one time with all 3 children as well as stuff as a family.

    Look forward to reading how life adjust once he/she arrives

    @northerngrit

    • ideas4dads says:

      Hi Andy – congrats on the new arrival – wowsers youve certainly popped them out quickly – we thought the same (although not that quick) so that they can play with each other and keep each other entertained. Thanks for the tip on the 1-2-1 time I think thats important and something we don’t do enough of at the moment with the two of them individually – I also have a focus and hearing that they all fit in the back is great news – its on my list to go to Halfords to try the different seats in the back to make sure they fit :-)

    • Swan Project says:

      Love both the original post and Andy’s reply. We have two (2 years and 9 months) and want a 3rd (same as Andy as we have two close together we don’t want a big gap). But people always say you’re mad or ruder! Yes it’s going to be hard work but we’re not naive, to have a 3rd just feels right, I can’t give any other arguments other than it feels like that is the right thing to do.
      I am encourage Andy though about the car seats fitting in your focus – what seats do you have?! We’re not there yet but am obviously planning!!

  3. Yeah if it feels right it feels right! Good on you and best wishes… though my wife does say two is perfect because if you had a third and you had one by each hand then you’ve only a foot left to kick the other with!

    But that’s with a touch of sadness on our part, we would probably love more kids but we can’t. We’re blessed with our two but more isn’t possible unless we go through a different route… which we very well may do sometime down the line.

    Both my wife and I have two or more siblings each… you’ll have a ball mate. Though you might never sleep again!

    • ideas4dads says:

      Lol cheers matey and i feel blessed we have a 3rd on the way. Im sure it will be fine and glad to hear your gratitude for your two little ones :-) As you say there are other avenues that can be taken. Never say never and all that.

  4. It’s no harder than 2,it is busier, messier and louder but to all the nay Sayers…… In your face ! three is the perfect number, and I shall keep telling myself that when my three are all teenagers together!!!

  5. James says:

    Tom,

    I had my 3rd daughter in March this year. It was another unbelievable experience and don’t worry, majority of my friends also have/had the exact same reaction as yours.

    Three kids are a handful but just wait until they are older and imagine the amount of house work that will be able to be completed whilst sitting down and watching some sport.

    All the best for the rest of the pregnancy! If you want to see how crazy I really am, stop by my blog. Then you can decide whether to freak out or not :-)

    • ideas4dads says:

      Hi James thanks for commenting. Lolyes im looking forward to the utilising the team to do chores although im not looking forward to those teenage hormones and teenage romances :-s.

  6. MummyTries says:

    Love this post! My hubby & I have our third joining us in Feb and have pretty much gone through all these emotions. We’ve also had to put up with similar comments from friends and family. My favourite was when we saw a friend that we’d need seen in over a year ago – I was about 4 months pregnant at the time, and having not made a social media announcement she didn’t know. She took one look at me and said ‘my god, you’re not pregnant again?’ When did ‘congratulations’ go out of fashion?

    I look forward to hearing about your three child adventure. Maybe we can swap notes around Easter time ;-)

    • ideas4dads says:

      Hey there thanks for taking the time to comment. Its good to know we are not the only ones battening down the hatches for No3 :-) I think it will be well worth it in the long run. All the best with the preparations :-)

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  8. Bless you I don’t think your mad. I do think your brave I have two sons aged 11 and 8 that’s enough maybe I should have taken the leap for number 3 when they were smaller

  9. Tim says:

    I’m a little bit ahead of you, time-wise. We have three already the other way round – boy, boy, girl – aged 6, nearly 4 and 20 months – and while I won’t pretend it’s easy, if both parents contribute equally and cover each other’s backs I didn’t think it was as tough as the transition from one to two, despite our daughter being a real handful.

    I think the hardest thing has been going out as a family. There’s one more child than there are pairs of grown-up hands. We’ve found going out in crowds quite stressful, particularly because one parent is then tied up with a buggy that isn’t easy to manoeuvre on stairs in tube stations, for instance, but we’ve found ways to cope with pretty much all eventualities now.

    One thing I would watch out for, though. Having a third child can place a lot of responsibility on the oldest sibling. Our eldest son is mature and copes with it well (in fact, he thrives on it), but it’s worth remembering that he’s still a child as well as an occasional third parent.

    Above all, good luck! I’ll be following your progress with interest – and hoping you can avoid some of the mistakes we’ve made along the way.

    • ideas4dads says:

      Hi Tim thanks for taking the time to post its very much appreciated. Will def hit up your blog to get some tips of successfully dealing with 3. Your point about responsibility being placed on the eldest really resonated. Alot of people have said about the middle child syndrome and I hadnt thought much about our eldest. But it makes a lot of sense and need to be mindful of too. Also I couldnt agree more about the importance of team work :-)

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  12. Mat says:

    No advice from me I’m afraid, but a request that as you learn it, you report back regularly! We’re in a very similar boat with 2 girls. Our eldest is a year older than yours, our soon-to-be-middle is also 2, our soon-to-be-youngest is a work in progress, expected mid April. Our ‘reasoning’, or lack of it, was virtually identical, too.
    So you can see that I’m very keen to learn from your mistakes :)
    Good luck!

    • ideas4dads says:

      Thannks Matt…I think…no such thing as a mistake…..rather just a learning journey in the rich tapestry of life…….(he says holding his head in his hands saying what have I done lol). Hope the pregnancy is going well and will do doubt be offering regular updates on the goings ons in what already is a madhouse :-)

  13. Firstly, I am amazed that anyone has the balls to go out there and tell you that you are mad for making a very personal decision! Seriously?! Some people are very cheeky. Secondly, I had 3 children with a very similar age gap to you. When my 3rd was born (a boy, after 2 girls), my girls were 4 yrs 4 months and 2 yrs 9 months. I won’t deny it, life was tough and you do need to work together as a team but when someone says “you only have 2 knees and 2 hands for a reason”, when you’re a couple, you have 4 knees and 4 hands so why not have one more?! We decided that 3 was enough for us, it kept us on our toes and was a challenge but that’s how I like life – never one to take the easy road! There’s never a dull moment in our house and it’s always slightly chaotic but you could never describe our family life as boring. Just make sure that as a couple, you are always looking out for each other, don’t let your marriage take a back seat, make it a priority :)

    • ideas4dads says:

      Thanks for the advice and reassurance its much appreciated. One of our mantras in our house is that we work as a team. Am glad you said about not letting marriage take a back seat. This something we were only talking about at the weekend. Although we are very fortunate that nana and grandpa have the kids once a month for us to have some time together I dont think thats enough so its ‘Operation find Some Baby Sitters’ at the mo. Thanks again for the advice :-)

  14. You will be absolutely fine! We have a 10, 2 and 10 month old, all girls. You will be outnumbered, and at times I feel like I actually have about 20 kids because they all make so much noise. Our third was our happy surprise, and we can’t imagine life without her. More childen = more love and more fun. The hard work is worth it :)

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  16. Suzanne says:

    Three is fabulous! We have three gorgeous girls aged 9, 6 and 5 and we love our little family! We’re blessed to be surrounded with a significant number of friends who have more than two children, so that always felt fine to keep going ;-) We’re also hoping to add to our family in the next couple of years. Don’t pay any attention to the nay-sayers….You’ll do fine and the adventure is magnificent!

    • ideas4dads says:

      Thanks for coming by and commenting. Boo to the naysayers I say :-) wowsers I dont think we will be going beyond three but great stuff. If its right for you then its right for you :-)

  17. I have one and a stepdaughter. That’s enough ;-D I think if money wasn’t an issue and working wasn’t an issue, we’d have another, but it’s not right for us. My good friend has four kids! Nice round number though, don’t you think?

    • ideas4dads says:

      Lol I think we will def be stopping at 3 :-). I agree you have to do what’s right for you and thats all that matters. Saying that witj all those blogging awards Kippy must be on the way to his 1st million ;-) thanks for coming :-)

  18. Kerry says:

    Congratulations on your impending arrival!

    We also have 2 daughters aged 3 & 1 and we are currently undecided on a third mainly because of all the questions you have said you asked yourself.

    I am the eldest of 3, (2brothers) and my husband is the eldest of 5, so we know how nice it feels to have more than 1 sibling.

    I’ll be following your posts with interest to see how life with 3 is to see if we can make our final decision.

    • ideas4dads says:

      Thanks for stopping by :-) Ive heard it said often that people can regret not having a third but you never regret having a third. Will keep you posted im sure we are going to be fine……….. :-)

  19. Good for you, don’t listen to other people just do what’s right for you. We’ve got one little one at the moment but I’ve always felt like three will be our magic number. Hubby is still on the fence, but he’s one of three so I think he will come round to the idea. I will follow your story with interest!

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  22. It was exactly the same for me, err, us! Just knew I wanted three despite no rational reasons in favour. Welcome to da club! X

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