It took 2 years for my husband and I to finally decide to have a 3rd child. We are often asked if he was an accident because of the 4-5 year gap between our middle child and our third. Our number 3 was no accident. We had always toyed with the idea of having 3 children which all sounded like a nice idea until we actually had children haha.
I personally found being the mother of 2 children under 3 pretty full on. I don’t believe I suffered from post natal depression during those years but I will admit to really struggling at times to make the transition from no kids to kids. For a couple of years my experience of being a mother was not enjoyable and I found myself going through the motions of life in a tired haze wondering if I would ever really enjoy this thing called motherhood.
About 5 years it took me to finally accept this new life with kids (you can read about that here) but I am glad to say that I got there. It was at this point when hubby and I really starting to enjoy family life more than survive it that we started toying with the idea of a 3rd.
I am the type of person who generally does what I say I am going to do so a part of me felt some pressure to have a 3rd because I always said I would. Another part of me worried that if something ever happened to one of our kids then there would only be one and when we got older they would have no immediate family. And then this other part of me liked the idea of the chaos of 3 and increasing my chances of having people come and visit me when I was old lol.
I spent many night stressing about “to 3 or not to 3” because I feared that this happy family place we had finally managed to get to might be over. I feared that a baby would take me back to that place where I was going through the motions of life and not really enjoying it.
Our number 3 turned 1 recently and I have been reflecting on what I wish I knew before having our third baby. So below are my top 5 things I wish I knew before having a 3rd baby …
- I wish I knew that having a 4 year age gap between our 2nd and 3rd child was going to be an awesome thing. I spent days stressing about the fact that there was going to be a big age gap between our 2 and 3. So many people talk about “getting it over and done with” all at once and having your kids close together. I wondered if we were crazy having a 3rd when it was all over and done with already. Which brings me to my second point ..
- I wish I knew how much love and joy was going to fill my heart seeing Miss 8 and Miss 5 look after and love their little brother. Never once have either one of the girls been jealous or tried to hurt their younger brother. Because they are that bit older it was like getting a puppy. Since the day he came home they have loved and looked after him like he was their own. This was not the experience I had when I brought my number 2 home from hospital with a 2 year old running around.
- I wish I knew how having a 3rd baby would change both of my girls to be more understanding, loving and patient. They love their little brother like I do and they can see he is a baby and is vulnerable. They have learnt to wait and be flexible because of their little brother.
- I wish I knew that I was not going to have to carry most of the load like I did with the first 2. It’s funny that you spend hours watching your first child waiting for them to crawl and walk and talk but by the 3rd you don’t have time to sit around watching as you are so busy. It is Miss 8 and Miss 5 who are sitting around watching alerting me to the latest developments in their little brother and it is so awesome to watch how excited they get.
- I wish I knew how much I was going to enjoy having a baby/ toddler around again. The reality is I didn’t really enjoy being a mother the first and second time as I was still struggling with the transition from life being all about me to life being all about us. I have come to accept this change so the struggle is gone. Now I sit and watch and play and soak up every minute of being a mother to my baby. Finally, I get it and I love it. It has made me a better mother to the two older girls as well as I am enjoying who they are as much as my baby. I love the diversity of ages and it keeps things interesting.
So these are a few things I wish I knew before having our 3rd baby! And for those wondering will there be a fourth … HELL NO!!