On Life With Three
Boy this sure seems odd emailing a complete stranger about our decision for baby #3! I read your article about your decision for baby #3 and it made me cry. It was as if had written that article myself. We also have 2 kids–a boy age 5 and a girl age 2.5. We have been indecisive for a year about another and I had made the decision to be done with 2 for all the reasons you stated –but mainly the worries for being able to juggle another (type A personality), I’m a working mom, a house that needs more space, what if there would be something wrong with the baby, how will I be able to nurse with 2 others, etc. Yet, I keep coming back to the question…should we just go for it? We’ve also thought about just “not trying”. I pray for God to give me a sign.
I guess I’m writing to ask what life is like now for you with 3. Is it manageable, did you have to move, do you feel that you have enough of you to go around???!!
I would love to hear your response. My dad was recently diagnosed with a form of melanoma. Amazing how that even impacted my decision to go for another.
Thanks for being so open in your article.
“What is life like now for you with 3?”
Life is good. Life is hectic. Life is noisy and messy and the to-do list is endless.
There is a LOT of laundry. Looking around the room I’m in right now I count 17 kid-related items that do not belong here, including one random sock, a football helmet, an assortment of Legos to step on, and empty packaging from a birthday gift that my youngest refuses to let me throw out.
He’s at day camp right now. I should probably just throw that out.
There’s also a music stand with my oldest son’s sheet music. He plays the saxophone now and he’s really, REALLY good. My middle son is learning the guitar and takes extra classes for drawing and painting, as he hopes to be an author and illustrator some day. Or maybe a fireman, but only if he gets to be the chef for the firehouse.
My youngest son is the most stubborn little spitfire I have ever met in my life. He is hilariously wonderful, while also frustrating as all get out, some days.
And on those days I definitely don’t have enough patience. Some days I’m just like, GUYS. COME ON. from morning til night. But I’ve never felt like there isn’t “enough” of me to go around. It might mean those 17 misplaced items stay where they are because I actively choose to sit and cuddle and talk with a kid about their day instead of nagging him about cleaning up.
My husband and I are constantly juggling the schedule, who picks up who and who will take someone to whatever thing they need to go to. It’s fine. He handles weekend music lessons and appointments while I’m the default Monday-Friday school/camp/appointment person. He takes them all out for donuts on Saturday mornings and makes pancakes on Sundays. I cook dinner most of the time, we both help with homework and are always down for a family Star Wars marathon.
Date nights are important. We are better parents with them.
Also a minivan. With automatic sliding doors and keyless entry. Sorry. It’s seriously the only way to transport all of them without going completely insane.
We did move, but I wouldn’t say we “had” to. My two youngest loved sharing a room and still bunk together about 75% of the time. I do like that everybody has their own closet, at least. We moved mostly for work/commute-related reasons, but more space and a lower cost of living was certainly a big bonus.
They still have more toys than places to put them.
And did I mention the laundry? Oh my God, SO MUCH LAUNDRY. And they’re always, always hungry.
My husband says going from two to three was the hardest transition, while I felt like going from one to two was more of a shock. By baby number three I was just like, yep, here we go again, add another one to the big ol’ pile. Zone defense, we joke, when someone asks what it’s like to be outnumbered.
Sometimes I can’t believe we have three children, three boys. We originally said one. Then two. Then okay, hell with it, maybe we’ll go for three. (Although by the time we had that discussion and made the decision, I was already pregnant. I still love that story.)
Going for number three was a big decision, yet probably made somewhat impulsively, based on some vague squishy feeling of not being “done” or “complete.” During my pregnancy I secretly worried that we were getting in over our heads while believing in some mythical feeling or sense of completeness that would never come.
But in the months after his birth, it absolutely 100% did come. And NOT in a “okay whoa enough this is crazy” way. In a “yes, this is our family, everybody who is supposed to be here, IS.” Once he was born, I had all my babies with me, and that feeling has only grown stronger and more peaceful as time goes on.
I once wrote that having a second baby was like “discovering that there is, in fact, a second sun and moon and galaxy of stars. They may be a lot like the ones you’ve seen before, but are still completely unique and amazing. And you sit and you stare and you smile, as your heart bends and expands to fit this new universe.”
Having a third baby was no different. The second he was there, I couldn’t imagine living another second without him. His brothers will talk about things that happened before he was born and similarly all seem baffled that such a time ever existed. They remember events but not his absence, if that makes sense. Because it is the three of them now and forever, exactly as it should be.
Photo source: Photodune/saiyoodsrikamonPublished June 22, 2016. Last updated March 27, 2018.