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This is my experience: At first it's easy. The baby sleeps a lot, the eldest child adores the new baby, and the middle child enjoys their new found responsibilities as an older sibling.
All is well. They start crawling and getting into mischief, but that's okay because you've done this before and know what to expect.
Then they start walking and want to be like the big kids. This is where shit hits the fans. The "I do it" stage.
Mornings are all about peppa pig, and wrestling them into their clothes. Repeat the process about 4 times, every time you dress one, another will strip off. You can spend all day doing activities with them, while peppa pig and the octonauts play on repeat in the background. Unless you have errands to run....
That quick drive to the shops? Hahaha not anymore. They want to do their shoes, their seat belt, their hair. Or maybe you'll decide to walk down? Hahaha once they've finally done their pram buckle (and trust me, this can be up to an hour of them trying before they allow you to help), you'll be exactly half way there when they'll start to escape their pram. They want to walk like big sissa and pookie (my sons nickname). DO NOT LET THEM WALK! It takes about 10 minutes to take 3 steps, then you have to chase them away from those ducks, then off that cranky old biddies lawn, oh look they've seen the playground. Now you're screwed.
An hour later, you've dragged/bribed/threatened them back home and have sworn never to take them out for walks again. You didn't really need those things from the shops anyway, you'll survive without toilet paper I guess.
Meal times are good. They'll typically swap and change until they've all got their favourite parts of the meal. Then they'll enjoy the sandwiches you'll have to make (because 90% of that dinner didn't get eaten).
Bath times will become an entire family affair. They'll all fit in the tub together, and you'll get a nice shower with all their splashing.
Then story time.
At the end of the day, you tuck them in to bed, again and again, until they fall asleep. When you'll stare at them in wonder, completely and utterly in love with these little darlings. You might even nudge your husband and suggest maybe one more baby would be nice. After all, look how sweet they are. And those beautiful little squishy cheeks oh my gosh. This is a trap. Don't do it. 2 is ideal, 3 is a party, 4+ is chaos. There's toys and shoes and toast crusts everywhere all the time. Nothing stays clean for more than 10 minutes, and your walls will be covered in perma-prints (hand prints that is).
Save yourself. If you have a third, don't leave that hospital without some contraceptives. Seriously.
Lol. Perfectly put!
Sign me up!
But I need to amend this: 4+ kids is chaos, but it's amazing. Expensive, exhausting, and repetitive. But 100% awesome.
These kids, are the best.
My unplanned third is just 4.5 months. We also have a 6 & 3 year old. We had been debating a 3rd for a while so we were happy when we found out I was pregnant.
She's such a great, happy, relaxed baby. She just doesn't stop smiling. She wakes every 3 hours but goes straight back to sleep each time no worries.
We love her to the end of the earth. But we've both agreed if we had've known what we know now we wouldn't have contemplated a 3rd.
I guess a big part of it is that we felt like we were just starting to get our lives back. We were able to go out so much easier. The eldest was at Kindy so I was able to get more done during the day with just one home. The usual freeing as the kids get older. But also we are out numbered. It used to be if they were both going off we could each take one and deal with it and it was all done. It doesn't work like that anymore. And I'm so busy forever tending to the younger 2 my eldest said to me for the first time the other day that I don't cuddle her anymore, she doesn't remember when I last cuddled her, and I thought about it and she was right. I'm always so busy tending to the younger 2 I expect the eldest to just make it that bit easier for me and entertain herself while I try to survive:
When I was pregnant everyone kept saying that the 3rd just slips right in (I suspected they were just trying to ease my mind). Apart from one older guy who didn't know I was pregnant and described it as "2 kids is organised chaos. 3 kids is uncontrollable chaos". I think he hit the nail on the head.
The way I describe it is with 2 kids it felt like I was treading water but my head was pretty safely above surface most of the time. With 3 kids i'm treading water but my head keeps slipping under, and I'm just managing to get my head up just enough to catch a few breaths and stay alive.
BUT we also have no family or friends around who could watch the kids for us or anything so we NEVER get a break. It may be different for people who could actually get a break once a month or something?
I found the third really easy for about the first 6 months, was a happy chilled baby, slept amazingly, then all of a sudden everything changed, became a terrible sleeper, clingy, wingey. Now she's almost 2 things are starting to get easier again, but she's so independent, and strong willed and wants to do everything the older 2 do, gets into everything.
A third was harder than expected at times, but also a lot more joy and lots more love
I have 4 kids and with 2 I was like 2 isn’t that bad.. then 3 came along and it was harder but not as bad as I thought and whoops 4 and it’s crazy.
3-4 kids are a lot of work and it’s kinder like the more you have the less time you get with the others and when the grow they eat and need more things and it gets hell expensive.
Xmas it’s like 4 cheap gifts each $100
Sports 4 x $150 $600 for sports.
A cinema trip or going out for dinner sends you broke.
4 kids asking you a question at once and then start fighting about who asked first sends you mad.
But at ththe same time I love them all more then anything..
Just do what you feel is right..
I always felt clucky until after my fourth now I see a baby or a pregnant woman and get a cold sick feeling.. so I know 4 was my number.
I have three. 5, 4 and nearly 2. I have reached capacity and will stop at three. Two just didn’t seem like we were finished so we had another to stop wondering if we should. You already know what it’s like to have babies and toddlers. You’re just doing it again.
Three is hard and I have 4 year gaps between each. Seems to be endless negotiating, they each want to do what the one older than them does and don’t understand when they are told no. Oh and the fighting, it never ends, toys that one grew out of three years previously become a favourite the minute another plays with it.
But we love each of our kids and wouldn’t change it for the world!
Best explanation Iv heard? Your close to drowning but you don't realise your heads just above water .... then someone hands you a baby.
Look I'm sure others fair better than myself but my last was my hardest baby... cried a lot colicky never slept (still doesn't at 4)
If I could have him but only have two kids somehow I would.
2 to 3 was the hardest transition and we have 5. It's really because we could no longer divide and conquer. We became outnumbered!
Do you think it's still the case (of being terribly hard with three kids) when there's a big age gap?
I've got a 14yr old, a 18mth old and we're considering going again. Our kids get along great, despite the age gap - do you think having a big age gap will be like only having 2 given the teenager is very independent?
If you had another how was it with the big age gap and then the small one?
There is a lot of helpful info here and I agree with pretty much all of it.
My biggest tips are...
Think about the cost long term (sports, schooling, holidays, electronic device's etc), not just short term (babies are cheap).
You are adding 4 extra relationships (one relationship with the baby per existing family member), not just one. Are you good with conflict resolution and do you and your family have what it takes to support all those relationships?
Are you good with noise, mess and not being in control at all times?
If you're ok with all that, go for it! But just some good points to think about and maybe discuss with your partner.
I have 4 and found number 3 to be the biggest adjustment. But I wouldn't change it for the world!
Welp, I have 3 and wouldn't change a thing. The age gap is different though (7, 5, and now 2). When I found out I was pregnant with #3 I was gutted. I thought that part of my life was finished, and along comes another pregnancy. But she's been the easiest one yet. The pregnancy was a breeze compared to the others, the birth was easier too as was recovery (3 c sections), and now as a toddler she's such a cool little lass. Mostly she just folded into the family quite easily. But my husband and I both have a lot of experience with kids and big families (think big Irish family meets big wog family) so it wasn't that big of a culture shock once she arrived.
Things get more expensive obviously, but it's still doable. When we go out anywhere now, we bring our drink bottles and a home packed snack to avoid any temptations. And if we're going to a restaurant, two of the kids will share an adults meal and one will share with me (I don't have a big appetite anyway and am usually happy to have a sandwich at home later if need be). Entertainment is usually at home or we go for bike rides together or to the park. Birthdays and Christmases are easy enough too. If you decide to have another, and you end up worried about everyday costs, there's usually some obvious compromises.
The biggest problem we've had is when we stay at hotels. I've started to lie about the babies age/how many kids we have.
But usually we just book the family room and we're fine.
My mum had 3 kids who were all 2-3 years apart, she said it was a major difference and very hard but she loves us all and would never Change it for the world (I could tell she struggled) she was always juggling cooking / keeling house clean / mediating the constant incessant fights and squabbling between us siblings 😂😂
My three are easy. My only problem was having a boy in between two girls. When they were younger it wasn’t a problem, but they are now 10, 12, 17. My son feels the girls gang up on him but this is really because the younger one now idolises her big sister so my son feels left out. Lots of fighting at the moment but lots of good times too.
We have 2 and while pregnant with #2 we were considering a 3rd. #2 is turning 5 soon and I haven't gone back haha. 2 is enough for me. Good luck x
Hard. Very hard. I can't stand the fighting and the constant questions. All 3 at the same time.
I realise two would fight and ask questions but 3 gas to be worse right?!
Of course I love my 3 with all of my being and we have amazing/funny/loving and normal moments too.