Whenever I am asked if having three kids is hard, I say it is a lot, but in a good way. The hardest adjustment for me, if I am being honest, was going from having no children to having one. This sounds insane to anyone, except people with two children. Going from not being a mother to being a mother to a human child is a monumental lifestyle change, but having a second child didn’t feel like a giant leap. However, I knew in my bones that going for a third would be a game changer: we would be outnumbered. It wouldn’t be just when I was alone: even with my husband, we would be the minority in our own family.
Here is how how it started vs how it’s going with 3 under 5 two years later:
In the newborn feeding frenzy of 2019 following the birth of my third baby, I thought that I would never work again, never see my friends again, frankly I thought I would never be able to do anything again. But just a few weeks in, I brought the baby with me to get a pedicure. I nursed her while I waited in line to return something at Saks. I distinctly remember the woman behind me saying, “what number?” I said, “third.” She replied, “I can tell.” The truth was, I never would have done any of the above with my first. I started working again and was so fortunate to see friends during and after the newborn haze. Over time, my feelings of doubt and logistical fears gave way to a newfound confidence: I knew how to take care of my baby and my toddlers in a more relaxed way than I had before.
I loved the chaos and embraced it, and often contemplated having a fourth. It started to feel like if we could handle 3, why not have another? I finally understood all of the “mama of many” sayings. I still do, and two years later, I know for sure that having a third baby was the right choice for us. The amount of times that I feel overwhelmed or incapable are outnumbered by my feelings of confidence and joy. I can’t imagine our family without these three babies.
I would say the biggest change in my mentality is that I admitted I needed help, and I was willing to accept any and all help when the baby came and it continues today. Before our daughter was born we hired an amazing full time nanny, and it has made a world of difference. Some days I do it alone, and I can, but if it’s a weekday have to ask my mom or my husband to pitch in come afternoon so the baby can nap while my oldest is picked up from school and the boys are shuffled to their activities. Keeping it all moving is a feat in logistics, and I don’t know how anyone does it without a village. If that’s you, I bow down.
The most interesting difference is that now when I see family members who used to ask why we didn’t have kids when we were struggling to start our family, they say, “you’re not going to go for a fourth, are you?”