As a mom of three, I frequently get a question from moms and dads of two children: “Ok, so the jump to three...how bad is it?"
Personally, I found the transition to having even one kid to be the most jarring. Who is this little person who cries nonstop (mine had colic) and has no regard for when I feel like sitting/eating/resting/sleeping?
What. On. earth.
But once you're used to two kids, three is pretty much a variation on the theme. You've already experienced simultaneously juggling the demands of more than one kid, and you know that you can't be in more than one place at a time.
Here's what I love and appreciate about having three kids:
1. Your kids learn to be more independent.
There are two (or one) of you and three of them. An adult simply cannot be there at all times to attend to their individual needs. So they have to learn to be more independent.
2. The kids learn to help each other.
This is not a situation where they are *raising* each other, but they do learn how to help each other, because… refer to #1. The oldest and middle children learn responsibility and leadership, and the youngest and middle children (the middle child gets the bonus of both) grow into leadership as they watch it modeled right before them.
3. You have more helpers at home.
Once they're old enough, you can have them mow the lawn, do the laundry, and mop the floors all at the same time while you sit and bury your nose in a good book. Ok, just kidding. Kind of.
4. You have more built-in playmates.
For all those days when you're stuck inside due to weather, have no desire to leave the house, or just don't want to bother planning a playdate, you have one already at your house. Done and done.
5. The kids have the opportunity to develop multiple relationships with others.
A and B, B and C, A and C, and A, B, and C! These combinations help your kids learn to be with kids with different personalities and get along. When one needs space from another, there are other options for them to interact.
6. Having three kids pretty much destroys the illusion that you as a parent are in control.
This is a good thing. You were never in control of everything, and being outnumbered by small people reminds you of this. I found this to be a gift, both at the birth of my third and since then. As soon as our third was born, I felt the freedom let go and be satisfied with just doing my best.
7. It's fun.
Three's a crowd, and this is ever-so true with three kids. Plus, you have a built-in basketball team. Ok, I hate basketball, but maybe you like it. But really, the love grows with each member added to the family, and getting to know and enjoy each of your three kids is really a treasure (no, this is not a Hallmark card).
Is life crazy? Sure thing. It never slows down. But being a parent of any number of little ones is likely the craziest thing you've ever done. Do I regret having three? Never. Really. I love our family of five.