When thinking about a future as a family, many couples wonder what the ideal number of children is. Although socially there is a tendency to consider that two children is the perfect number, the truth is that there is no answer to such a question, and any option is good depending on the circumstances of each one.
In this sense, if you already have two children, you may have considered going for the third one, but you have doubts about the changes that becoming a large family may entail .
As a mother of three children, I would like to share with you the most significant changes that occur on a day-to-day basis in a middle-class family, as well as aspects to take into account if you are considering having a third child .
The work multiplies, but it is also an opportunity to involve children and encourage their autonomy
One of the first things you should know if you are considering having a third child is that the work at home is going to multiply… and a lot!
For example, if you want to prevent the pile of dirty clothes from reaching the ceiling, putting in washing machines will become an almost daily task. It also becomes essential to maintain order at home on a daily basis, especially when it comes to toys, stories, clothes and other everyday items.
But this is also an opportunity to encourage children’s autonomy from an early age, teaching them the importance of getting involved in household chores so that everything runs smoothly, while they gain confidence and security, and improve their self-esteem.
You will have to readjust the expenses
If the pocket accuses going from one to two children, becoming a large family is an economic challenge . The shopping basket grows and becomes more expensive, and certain times of the year such as Christmas, holidays or back to school can cause real headaches.
Likewise, family home plans and activities in nature are gaining popularity to the detriment of other leisure plans, such as eating out, going to the cinema or visiting a theme park. These types of activities end up becoming small “luxuries” that can only be enjoyed from time to time, but perhaps for this reason they are valued and appreciated much more.
As for the expenses that the arrival of a third baby implies, except for diapers and wipes, you may not need to buy anything , because with two older brothers there are many possibilities of inheriting all kinds of items, clothes and toys.
You will have to rethink childcare
Finding a family member or friend willing to take care of three children while you do some errands can sometimes be difficult. And we no longer talk about what it means to let them sleep away from home! And it is that if that person also has children, adding three more at once is not always possible.
Something similar happens with the grandparents, since no matter how much will and desire they have to stay with their grandchildren, the work that three children give could suppose a significant overexertion.
In our case, we solve this issue by separating the children : two of them are left in the care of a family member or friend, and the third in the care of another. In any case, these types of situations are usually punctual and it is always possible to find a solution.
Three children for two arms and a huge heart
Caring for three children at once can be difficult , and sometimes even stressful.
From my experience, one of the most delicate moments is when we take the three children to the park, because it is difficult not to lose sight of them for a second, or attend to the needs of one without neglecting what the others are doing. Other complex situations can be going out on the street when the three of them are small, going to a shopping center or shopping at the supermarket with the three of them.
My advice is that while the youngest of your three children is a baby , support yourself in carrying it, both inside and outside the home, as this will allow you to continue putting your eyes and hands at the complete disposal of the other two. I also recommend dressing all three children in the same bright color of T-shirt , in order to locate them quickly in one glance.
But despite experiencing stressful situations at certain times, it is wonderful to see how children understand from a very young age the importance of caring for and protecting each other.
Family logistics get complicated, but creativity soars
Since you are a mother/father: do you see your child’s pediatrician more than your friends? Is it difficult for you to get to places on time? Are you one of those who hates the school parents’ chat? Do you hyperventilate when it’s time to check the child’s hair before the warning of pediculosis? Are you overwhelmed by thinking about how to organize a birthday party for your child? Do you have a hard time finding a hole in the agenda to have a tutorial with your little one’s teacher?…
Well now imagine all these situations multiplied by three!
There is no doubt that family logistics become more complicated as the number of children increases. But I have always thought that this also increases our creativity when it comes to solving problems, we eliminate expectations and we don’t get complicated with things that have easy solutions.
New ways of traveling are discovered
Leaving day-to-day logistics aside, there is another aspect that also changes noticeably when the family expands (although it is not something essential or important): summer vacations.
To begin with, going on vacation is a significant expense for any family , but in the case of large families this expense skyrockets. If you are also used to staying in hotels, you should know that most do not have large rooms for the whole family, so you will have to hire two special rooms or suites (with the significant expense that this entails).
But there are more economical, comfortable and “friendly” options for large families , such as campsites with accommodation in bungalows or motorhomes, holiday apartments or rural houses. This type of accommodation allows us great freedom and flexibility, so that the holidays end up being enjoyed much more.
Organization and routines become essential
Routines and schedules are good and necessary in a home with children, but in the case of large families they become essential. To make day-to-day life easier, it is essential to promote children’s autonomy from an early age, teaching them basic hygiene, sleep, food and study routines, among others.
I also believe that planning in the kitchen is important and not leaving anything to chance. In this sense, preparing a weekly menu of meals and doing batch cooking becomes a great help to make better use of time and eat healthily.
You may have to change cars
The safety of children on the road is paramount, and for this it is essential that they travel rear-facing (ACM) for as long as possible, or failing that, until they are at least four years old.
But not all passenger cars fit three rear-facing child restraint systems correctly. For this reason, it might be necessary to have to buy a new car with three completely independent rear seats (each with its respective Isofix system) and, incidentally, with greater interior and trunk space.
The space at home is reduced, but the home is always full of life
Increasing the family also implies having to make some changes at home that perhaps you had not considered. For example, it is likely that your children will have to share a room, you will have to look for storage spaces in the most unexpected places or you will have to buy a larger sofa and a dining table where you all fit.
But even if the space at home is reduced, you will notice that laughter, voices, shouts, songs, games, fights, reconciliations, kisses increase… in short, you will have a home always full of life! And all this without mentioning how nice it must be to meet again in the future with the children and their respective families.
Two brothers, two treasures
They say that whoever has a brother has a treasure, so having two brothers means having two great and wonderful treasures to enjoy and learn from every day.
Growing up with two brothers is always having two playmates; it is having fun together wherever they go; it is learning to share, manage conflicts, discuss without hurting, wait turns, help each other… As parents, it is precious to see day after day the solid relationship that is being forged between them.
Have a baby at home again
Having a third child also means there will be a baby in the house again for a while, and that’s an absolutely wonderful thing! Babies make us better people, they bring out the best in each one of us, they fill us with peace and allow us to rediscover life through each step they take.
But also, having a third baby gives us parents the opportunity to do things differently (if we are left with a “thorn stuck” with our previous experiences) and to enjoy their upbringing more fully and consciously. Well, better than anyone we know that time passes too quickly and soon we will miss it.