Things your friends with three children don’t tell you

When I was pregnant with my third child, I often wondered what it was going to be like with our new family addition. I was so much more relaxed during my third pregnancy than with my first two and wasn’t really worried so much about actually caring for the baby because I had already gone through it - and can confidently say that I had learned a few good tips from time to time.

Instead, I often wondered how the new baby would impact our day-to-day lives. How would he change the family dynamics? Would he change the existing relationship between my other two children? Would we need to get a bigger house or make the younger two children share a room? (Yes, this did really cross my mind from time to time.)  Or would we really have less time for other things or commitments, or even each other?

Then I had my third child and realized all the things that my friends and family who already had three children didn’t tell me (…or maybe they did). Some of the things that I’ve learned so far....

  1. You still have people asking you if you’re done having children.
  2. Your children now officially outnumber you and your partner. When you had two kids, the whole “Divide and Conquer” thing worked. Forget about that now. With three, it’s all about “Zoning and Survival”. 
  3. You are now only one seat away from taking an entire row, when traveling with your family on a plane. 
  4. People start asking you all the time if you’re getting a minivan (not that there is anything wrong with a minivan, they are so practical and the new ones come with all the bells and whistles, but they are still not for me). 
  5. Your floors just got stickier and your house just got messier. 
  6. Your shopping cart is now full of children instead of food.
  7. You are now making multiple (upon multiple) trips to your car to get your children out of the car and the groceries, etc.
  8. If your children are little, someone is always either crying, needs or wants something, and a nose always needs a wipe or two.
  9. People stop giving you parenting advice because you now have more children than they do.
  10. Yes, your life does get more chaotic and challenging but also much more interesting and fun! 
  11. You have a newfound respect for parents who have four children.
  12. Although all your children will have their own unique personalities, all babies have the same basic needs - sleeping, feeding and changing. You now become a pro at reading the signs. 
  13. Sleep training officially becomes a survival skill.
  14. When you only have one child with you, you feel like you’re on vacation. 
  15. You really do have an abundance of love and you never run short of it no matter how many children you end up having. 

I’m sure I have much more to learn and discover about having three children. For those of you who have three or more, please share some things that you have learned as your family has grown.