11 Things No One Tells You about Having a Third Baby
Things No One Says To You When Your on Baby Number 3
One … Two … Three …! Casual figures of the Hindu-Arabic numerals. They take on a new significance, however when you can identify a child of yours with each figure. Bucking the trend and having three kids close in age is an interesting roller coaster of a ride that we continue to live as a family.
No one can know it though, who doesn’t live it. After our third child in four years arrived, I did expect some adjustment to our lives, but alas not at the speed they came, or the variety they assumed. The grocery bill still has me clutching reflexively for my purse every time the checkout clerk gives me that look. For all it is worth, here’s how it looks from where I stand as the progenitor of three …
1. You won’t believe you’re Starting All over Again
You are so convinced you have it down pat. You are so relaxed this time, the other two times of frantic racing to every doctor’s appointment, and seating edge of seat for test results, are liable to bring a smile of amusement to your lips. That is until the first baby cry announcing midnight feeding has you reeling from your bed. That’s when it dawns on you that you are indeed on the bottom rung all over again.
2. The Transition Might Be Less Intense
Despite the above, things do settle down much faster than they probably did with the arrival of number two. I can still recall the way time seemed to just zing from baby one to two, and the constant calculations I did with the birth of my second. Everything had to be planned for, and it was indeed numbing to realize I was mom of two! Third time around, and I feel as comfortable as a worn glove. It isn’t so much a surprise as a pleasant, warm awareness that things have changed.
3. You’ll feel Less Guilty than You Did after Your Second Was Born
We are always over thinking things as human beings. The arrival of my second had me insanely trying to balance time and affection between my two then. I constantly was on overdrive attempting to make sure I didn’t over-do or under-do either. Christmas and birthday presents were a nightmare. With the birth of my third, I was much more relaxed, and ready to enjoy my baby, because I knew the older two had each other.
4. Things Will Be Different With Your Partner
When you have 3 kids, your partner cannot but forego hanging out with the fellas to pitch in. You will tend to see more of them picking up the slack you inevitably leave. You will also find that every second word you have is about the kids, and getting time alone will have to really be
worked at. Going out also will need advance planning, because apparently for baby sisters, two is about the limit they can handle sanely. See point 6.
5. Your Standards Will Go Out the Window
Your house used to be spick and span? You will be lucky if you can manage basic hygiene. You used to have meals ready an hour before dinner time? Be glad if you are having it half an hour after. Oh, and about dinner, sometimes that will just be anything leftover in the fridge, even on the weekends. You get used to it slowly, even though you fight it every inch. Stay sane; accept that this is your life now. You can’t change it, so don’t even try. Changing your high expectations however, now that’s doable.
6. It’s Harder to Leave Them
When you have a crowd of three, slipping away becomes a military operation with maps and battle orders. It costs more than most wars too. It’s, as said earlier, more difficult to find good minders for those times you absolutely must get away. So, you need to make the most of it. Don’t waste it on a hamburger.
7. Its Nonstop
Something is always happening to someone somewhere. There’s always a new water color painting to look at, someone is always complaining about someone else, there is ball practice, music lessons, someone to get a drink for, someone to make a sandwich just the way they like it for, washing, cleaning, and then again, and you just never catch up to it all. Everyone’s schedule is expected to magically sync for important family events, and guess who does sync it? You are always on the go with no whistle stops. And this is just 6 months in. Phew.
8. Things Escalate Quickly
It’s a keg full of powder every moment. Though there are moments of serene tranquility, it takes a snap to suddenly have pandemonium at full blast. I have learnt to develop high tech radar about trouble, and try to head it off in time. I don’t succeed half of the time of course. Babies naturally have their own ideas about when and where to let loose from their rather strong lungs. You imagined the terrible twos were terrible? Throw a bay into that mix, and then you really know.
9. There Will Be More Laundry than You Thought Possible
Some you never even see when they were used. It’s just always there. A lot.
10. You Might Have to Make Big Changes
Get used to change. You will see enough, and acclimatize to sacrifices too. When there are three kids, everything is exponentially pushed up to that power. Dentist visits, school, even simple things like meals assume an all-important cast. Your expenses of course need to e critically overhauled to reflect the reality on ground. You will have to plan for more rooms, move if that is the viable option, and take a long look at your car. You will need to think smarter much faster every time to stay ahead.
11. Two will feel like a Vacation
Whoever came up with the quote, “The more the merrier” may not have had three kids. Cacophony is the best term as a description. So when for any reason just one is out, you may find a sudden downturn in tempo. You will find yourself able to manage again, instead of tethering on the brink of anarchy perpetually. You might even find you have time to really listen to one or both of them about something, or the quiet to read a book, or see a video.