So, You Would Like to Have Three Children…

I regularly speak with people who have zero children, or one child, or two children. And they tell me they might consider or would like to have three children. My first impulse, I will own, is to bark, “No, you don’t want three kids.” But that is not helpful, I know this.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I am not going to assume anything about you. I’m just going to tell you what having three kids is like for me. Especially three kids with not quite enough space between the last two.

Here is my disclaimer: I think each of my three children is wonderful. I am very glad I have each one of them. Every child is a blessing. Even when they kind of aren’t acting like blessings. I don’t need a gentle reminder of how precious they are. Because I really do know. But this is what it is like to live with three of them at once.

  • Having three kids is not “kind of like having two kids, but with more Christmas presents.” It is a whole other universe, a universe that is just as shocking as that transition to having your first child, only also a universe that’s kind of like running a marathon and hitting a wall and then being handed some bricks to carry while you run the last 7 miles. If you are lucky, you have at least two adults living in your house–but they still outnumber you. And even when you have two adults living in your house, there will be many times when you don’t even have a 2:3 ratio but a 1:3 ratio. There is no time when nobody needs anything. Ever. It does get a heck of a lot better once none of the children are infants that need to be fed every three hours or more, but it’s still very hard when any of them are toddlers intent on killing themselves or your pets, or even just preschoolers, who can’t quite be trusted.
See What Happens?

See What Happens?

  • It is so tiring, and yet you find yourself with less help than you have available when you have two kids. You see, many people cannot handle your three kids. They are either people who can’t handle groups of children, or they already have a group of children, and if they babysit your kids, you take their kid-count from three or four up to six or seven. Do you see what I’m getting at here? Youngish babysitters (and maybe oldish ones) will have trouble keeping the baby alive while the middle child tries to test their limits and the oldest child, in a bid for attention, acts just like the middle child. Grandparents are often too old to take care of the three kids–which makes sense, because I don’t really have enough energy for it either, and I’m 33.
Table Surfing Baby

Table Surfing Baby

  • None of them have the same needs at the same time, and what worked for one won’t work for another–these are three distinct people you are talking about, with different genders, ages, personality traits, and yes, birth order. And when there are this many, it frankly gets kind of hard to keep track of whose what is whose. My dad called me “Sarah” for most of my childhood. I found this terribly insulting. But now I get it. It’s not that you can’t tell them apart, it’s that you are exhausted and your brain has died, and there seems to be this multitude of people who all want the same thing, but need different things. I have a cryer, a bolter, and a climber, and they’re all different ages and capable of different things. And everybody needs one thing: attention from you, but you can’t deliver that to three people at once very often. So they will fight to get it.
Three-Person Brawl

Three-Person Brawl

  • The logistics become extremely difficult. When my third was born, my second was just over two. And he was an “explorer.” I had to preplan what to do for when the toddler bolted when I was carrying approximately 45 pounds of baby seat plus 20 pounds of diaper bag. I actually considered swinging the baby seat at him to knock him over until I could reach him. Because that would still be better than him getting hit by a car. I also will not be owning a car with fewer than three rows of seats again until our daughter weighs 60 pounds or more. Well, she’s seven, and she is still in the neighborhood of 50. In most vehicles, three car seats will not fit side-by-side. And there’s no way to fairly divide up bedrooms if you would like people to share. Our daughter got off easy, because she’s the girl, so we moved her on up to her own room eventually and put the boys together. Except she’s really the person who could have had the patience (and been thoughtful enough) to more easily share a room with the youngest. Most of the stuff you got when the first was a baby does not last until the third one is a baby, or it becomes evident that your first baby was lucky to survive those particular products without injury/therapy/other adverse consequences. So you basically have to start again in the baby-gear roundup. The box of unhealthy food product you should surely never serve your children always serves four people. Tickets come in twos and fours. And don’t get me started on the expensive medical bills/college tuitions/food/larger home to live in/gas for the larger vehicles/etc.
Hate Minivans? Yeah, Me Too.

Hate Minivans? Yeah, Me Too.

  • I know lots of people with more than three kids. And somehow it seems easier. Here’s my theory: when you have three, you have not yet reached that critical mass phase, where the children act as a group. Instead, it’s just lots of separate individuals, acting randomly. Someone is always left out. I don’t think it helps that there was also never a plan for one of us to be a full-time stay at home parent and a plan to have large numbers of children. Instead, I am a working mother of one to two children–already very difficult–but I have three. I have even heard from a few friends with more than three that the jump from two to three was the hardest.
  • More logistics. Let’s say you have three kids, who are seven, almost four, and not quite two. The oldest one goes to school. Let me tell you about school. It sounds like it’s all day, but that’s actually an outrageous lie. That child’s school might run from 8:05 a.m. to 2:35 p.m. That’s a little challenging, because if you work, you probably don’t get off by 2 p.m. Well, let’s throw in that in her district, Thursdays are early out days, and school closes at 1:15 p.m. Now let’s throw in a preschool. Preschool runs from nine to noon. So yes, there’s an hour or two at either end. Not quite enough time in which to get anything done. And then throw in the baby. He doesn’t even go to school yet, which is actually kind of easier, because you don’t know how in the world you would drive him somewhere, too. But when he’s a young baby, his naptime coincides with the preschool dropoff. And his afternoon nap (and the preschooler’s) both coincide with the 1:15 p.m./2:35 p.m. pickup. Awesome, right? You could solve the need for having to spend two to three hours a day loading three kids in and out of the car to take people to school by purchasing them all individualized child care, where everyone either stayed on-site where she or he was or was driven to or from school, for a mere two to six thousand more dollars a month, depending on which scenario you choose. No really, I’m not kidding. And guess how much it costs to have a nanny who is capable of handling not just three children, but the difficult load-up and drop-off scenarios that you yourself are basically incapable of handling?
  • If you have any children at all, or are close to some, you know that having babies is really hard, but the more other young children are around, in some ways the harder it gets. Nursing one baby is difficult at times for various reasons, but nursing one baby while managing two other children is nearly impossible. Noah got used to me bellowing over his head while he was just trying to eat, and then I felt guilty because none of my other babies were subjected to my shrieks while they were nursing.
  • If you are any kind of parent or caregiver, you have probably grown used to the public comment period that accompanies any excursion you take, and perhaps the occasional bout of despair. I cannot step out my door without someone informing me either that I am brave or that I have my hands full. And they either look pitying or they laugh. It’s super helpful. And I kind of can’t go anywhere without everything falling apart. (Coming soon: my essay, “She Needs Groceries,” written for the Listen to Your Mother show.) When my third child was brand new, my spouse came with the four of us to a party that was about fourteen feet from our house, and then left for a work obligation. Well, while I was alone there, I had to sit down to nurse the baby. The other two kids immediately started behaving badly, and there was very little I could do about it. I got the eyebrow from various people around, but my middle child was too young to give a darn. He was an unattended two year old. And then the baby spat up all over his clothes. So I took his clothes off, barking scolds at the other two, who were supposed to be carving pumpkins, but who were actually ruining the garden. As soon as I took the baby’s clothes off and resumed nursing, he did that baby party trick where they manage to pee straight out of their diaper without even getting the thing wet. He peed all over both of us. I knew I needed to go. But I looked at the naked, wet baby, my dirty two year old, who was digging, and my regular old five year old, who was not actively misbehaving but who was too young to really help me do anything. And I knew I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get back to my house, which was only two doors down. And I felt like a failure of a parent, because I couldn’t handle this many children, but they were going to require that I manage to handle them. I don’t say this as a pity party–now it’s finally funny–but I imagine that many of you have been in this spot at some point, and I can’t imagine that anyone with three or more kids would not end up in this spot at some point.
  • Noise. OMG, don’t get me started. Suffice it to say that the noise is probably the hardest thing for me, as as parent. I am sensitive to noises. And by sensitive, I mean that I get irritable and snappish when there is a constant din in the background. I think I have thus grown increasingly irritable and snappish over the past seven and a half years.
  • The mess is troublesome. My family generates more than one load of dishes a day, plus about one load of laundry per day, or more. Just doing those things would be a job, but there are also more toys and debris on the floor, more garbage, more random acts of destruction…I love having a clean house. But I can’t keep up. And I was historically so organized, so thoughtful, so together. I’m money ahead if I get a birthday card for my own mom or husband at this point, and I forgot to go to my daughter’s first parent-teacher conferences (see Signs of Subpar Parenting), because I was in the throes of new-baby exhaustion and dementia. Talk about guilt.

I would be remiss if I did not own up to the benefits that having three kids comes with. Such as the fact that you really do get better at babies. I can nurse a baby, change a diaper, or teach a baby to sleep like nothing. Also, people finally stop thinking they can give you advice, because most of them don’t have as many children as you do. When I was pregnant with Selah, strangers would admonish me, “It’s not going to be easy–just wait,” as if I had said it was easy. When I was pregnant with Asher, they would warn me that having two was no picnic. When I was pregnant with Noah, the commenters would approach, ready to dole it out, and would often start with, “Is it your first?” since I am a baby face. I started to feel this kind of sadistic glee in saying, “Oh, no, it’s my third,” and watching their expressions change from helpful know-it-all to horrified stumped person. I refrained from saying, “What do you want to say NOW? What’s your ADVICE?” but only narrowly. I’m sure there are many benefits, too, in being a jovial crowd, including the fact that each child brings funny new sayings, gifts, and ways of expressing affection to the table. But sometimes I’m so tired that I am missing out on what those are, and I cannot write them all down, photograph them, and document them the way I could when I just had one child.

So there it is. Make your own decisions. And if you have a third child, I can try to watch them for you. Though I might get kind of snappish or forget where one of them is.

All Three Kids Smiling at the Same Time, Captured on Film

All Three Kids Smiling at the Same Time, Captured on Film

If you’d like more about cherishing these blessed moments with three kids, read Worst Baptism Ever.

While I love nearly all of the comments I have received, I wrote another post meant to rebut the argument that parenting is or should be easy: Rebuttal and Train Museums.

And for those who are irritated by my venting (this clearly happens), I also honestly enjoy many of the other moments. Here are thoughts on trying to clean my daughter’s room: The Things She Carried.

***

After a number of people read this (thanks to all those who have affirmed me in my fatigue), Brian of i would be frail, wrote a good essay that doesn’t disagree with, but adds on to my story. His children are slightly older, and in some ways that gives me hope! Hopefully you enjoy reading both, and if you have three kids, find a little hope in his words of encouragement: So, You Would Like to Have Three Children: A Non-Rebutting Counterpoint

Comments

  1. Anne Parker:

    Thank you for the laugh. And to think, part of my logic in wanting to have a third child was, “if the Meehan’s can do it, so can we.” Three may be a handful, but you have a beautiful family and great hearts and a wonderful sense of humor. Great job mommy of three!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      What made you think we can do it? Haha! Thank you, friend.

      Reply

      • Lisa:

        I have four kids, but I have to admit that the transition from two to three was definitely the hardest. I wish I had had some insight like this blog prior to embarking upon it because I could have been better mentally prepared. So much chaos occurred during this transition that I would not relive those days for anything. One of the hardest hurdles was telling my own family (I came from a family with two kids)and hearing the response of “So you’re Catholic now!” I have felt by the fourth child, I have experienced so many different parenting moments that by this time it is practically a walk in the park, tongue-in-cheek. I agree with the comment of having more than three that a camaraderie begins to form. Everyone always seems to have a playmate, the older ones can pitch in to help out with the younger ones. Since I have two of each, the boys share a room and the girls share a room, although like mentioned, personalities would have dictated that otherwise. We have learned to function as a team because we feel like we’ve been around the block a few times now. I have taken all four to the store, to church, and other places by myself and have survived. I have to admit that these moments have made me feel courageous and proud. I feel better organized and focused because they are now all school-aged and can do most things independently. Keep your chin up! It is totally worth it! You will survive the chaos and triumph victoriously! Keep sharing!

    • louisa:

      Thank you much for this blog, as a uk mum of three (aged 2, nearly 4 and nearly 8) I can really appreciate all you say especially the school run stress, worse now that we need hats, scarves and gloves x 3! I was beginning to come to the end if my tether after another hard week and thinking that perhaps it was my parenting at fault but your uplifting blog has made me realise that this is “just third child syndrome” and I should accept and maybe even embrace it. Xx

      Reply

      • Laura:

        It’s not you! It’s having kids!

    • stacey murieen:

      Great blog..cracked me up! I am also a mother of three, two girls and a boy. I can relate. My youngest is now four and everything gets soooo much easier, almost peaceful. Its easy now to truly enjoy every moment and well worth it. I laugh now at memories of everything falling apart at once. Guess what? We made it! Love your blog!

      Reply

  2. Mariette:

    One of the funniest articles I’ve read in awhile!! Officially subscribing to my first blog! As a single girl wanting babies- brilliant- appreciate the humor you find in this supposed amazing logistical nightmare!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thanks! Welcome aboard the roller coaster! And best of luck to you.

      Reply

      • Ann Tillman:

        I did laugh with you……not at you:) Just remembering what it was like raising our 5 children, all 18 months apart. I did survive and they are now all grown, married and having children of their own.

      • Kristina:

        I have four ,ages 10,6,2 and 4 months. people always ask the same question…How do you do it… My answer is..I have no choice ,you have to figure it out and hope that maybe in. A few years you can keep the house clean,or sleep or take the kids out in public . after my first two I thought I was a professional parent .they were so well behave and always dressed nice then the third came along and completely blind sighted me. Now I’m that mom running after the child that could care less that I’m holding an infant or that I left my purse and buggy behind to run after him…I dread gong to anyone’s house with him who has nice things because the minute I tell him to put something down he hurls it like a major league Player. But as crazy as things get,I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

  3. Shannon:

    Laura, You are right…three is…ummm…insane. You are out numbered and out gunned…and they know it. They know how to take you down and strike when you are least capable of defending yourself. (ex: nursing, talking on the phone, changing a diaper, etc.) I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “yes” to some question they asked while I was changing a diaper…only to realize later, when I find them feasting on an entire box of double stuffed oreo cookies and vanilla wafers, that I didn’t really hear what they asked but just gave them carte blanche on controlling their entire snacking destiny with my absentminded “yes” response. Fortunately, (for me at least) four is easier… Now, there is a buddy system and, for the most part, those crazy little beings line up together and start behaving in a somewhat predictable manner. So, in my opinion… it’s 2 or 4… but, you can’t stop at 3 or you will possibly never regain control of your life. :) Glad to have found your blog… a friend of mine shared it on Facebook. It’s a good read!

    Blessings,
    Shannon

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thanks, Shannon! I already wrote a blog post about the things that happen when I am not looking (i.e., spaced out), so I know what you mean! Thanks for reading. :)

      Reply

      • yasuzie:

        I have to say as a fellow mom of 3, I completely agree. I feel you’ve captured my life completely and written it down for me! I’ve experienced every one of the things that you’ve gone through! It’s absolute chaos all the time. I recall a recent trip to Costco where the whole family went. My hubby and I after 30 minutes got back in the car, exhausted and called off plans for the rest of the day. I sometimes jokingly refer to the expression losing my marbles, because I feel that having 3 kids is like having marbles rolling around on the floor, literally, losing marbles! :)

        I have a girl nearly 9, and my boys, oh those boys, 16 months apart at 5 and 4! I’m so infinitely grateful to be out of the diaper/nursing /potty phase, but now we’re in the fighting screaming and yelling phase. “He looked at me, He’s lying, no I’m not, yes you are….” oh, the joy! And my daughter either stirs the pot, tries to control her minions, or stays out of it all together. It’s impossible to do something for all of them all the time. They all demand attention but different sorts. When my daughter gets frustrated that she can’t sit and do things with me she’ll say things like “I remember what it was like, mom, before the boys (she was only 3!!) It was just you me and dad, and we did so many things together”. My youngest wonders why there are no framed pics of him anywhere! poor kiddo.

        I find myself running around like a chicken with no head for a big portion of the day. 3 separate school schedules, and a husband who commutes every day and travels a lot!! I’m blessed to have my parents living with me, but that has it’s downside as well, with elderly parents not tolerating as much as they used to, and 2 sets of authority figures to deal with. (at least I can leave them home on my grocery runs!) Some of my friends tell me I should have 4 to even things out, but the thought of another nearly puts me in tears!! Don’t get me wrong, I, like you, love, adore and cherish every inch of my kids. And I couldn’t imagine life without my 3rd schmoozer cuddle bug, but as an older mom (I was 36 when I had my 3rd), the noise, chaos and sheer energy drain that I go through every day is about all I can handle.
        The upside is that In some regards life gets a little easier when they can dress themselves, etc But, in some ways things become more challenging. Explaining why, or how or what 3x’s is never effective. Helping 3 kids with homework/assignments, picking and dropping from activities, inevitably, someone is always left behind. It’s funny. I have 2 brothers but I don’t recall this kind of chaos, and neither does my mom. I don’t know what it is about our generation that makes life so much more complicated.

        At any rate, THANK YOU! for sharing this with the world. I genuinely enjoyed it! Thank you for making me feel like I’m not the only one who feels like a crazy psycho screaming banshee just trying to hold it together some days. You made me laugh, smile and remember some wonderfully funny times with my kiddos (they’re funny in retrospect, ofcourse!)

    • Christina:

      Thanks Shannon! I need to show this to my husband who feels he is definitely done at 3 and I would like to try for one more in a few years (we have 3 girls, 6, 4, & 1)!

      Reply

    • Rhian Tooley:

      Ah, but in my case, after 3 with 18m gaps we waited 3 years and had number 4, except 4 was twins, giving me 5, aged 6, 4.5, 3 and a bit and two newborns. They’re now almost 2 years older. I wouldn’t call it easy!

      Reply

    • TheArchies WeAre:

      We’re in the process of building our family (have an 11 month old and one on the way) and we were contemplating 3 kids. After reading this and the comments, maybe we should up it to 4! It definitely sounds like 2 or 4 is best. Thanks for the insight!

      Reply

  4. Allison:

    I have an almost 3.5 year old, a newly 2 year old and a 9 month old. Everything you wrote about sounds exactly like my life!! Having 3 kids is much more difficult than I ever thought and somehow, just reading what you wrote and knowing someone else is dealing with the exact same thing makes me feel a lot better. And don’t even get me started on the noise factor!! Almost daily by 8:30 pm I am ready for Tylenol, more wine and my body is rendered useless from exhaustion. Cheers to you!

    Reply

  5. Alice:

    You had some time to get a blog post up, it can’t be all bad right? Luckily having children is usually a voluntary decision and you won’t need to try for number four!

    Reply

    • Haili G.:

      Yes, she had twenty whole minutes to herself and your point is? She’s not saying it’s all bad or looking for sympathy/empathy (which, by the way, it’s okay to do and also okay to HAVE for someone), she’s just sharing her experience in a humorous, exasperated way. And why is it “lucky” that she won’t be “voluntarily” having a fourth child? Exclamation points don’t quite take the snark out.

      Reply

    • Gina A.:

      I second Haili G.!!!

      Reply

      • Laura:

        Aw, thanks.

      • Catherine:

        No, I agree with Alice. I have four kids. Three was relatively easy. Four is hard, particularly when the younger two are 16 months apart. I’ve been a sole parent since the youngest was 12 months old and I work full time because I have to. I have no family nearby to help. I manage to hold the show together. I’m no hero. I’m just doing what I have to do. I chose to have four children, and now it’s up to me to do what has to be done to raise them well. Great article, but at the end of the day anyone who has multiple children has them because they chose to (unless they have naturally-conceived triplets or quads). No point in resenting or belittlng other people who have made different choices.

    • Nicole:

      She’s probably hiding in the bathroom and sporadically typing this post while pretending to crap.
      Love,
      Another mother of 3

      Reply

      • Heather:

        How do you think I’m reading this blog right now?
        Mom of a 5 yo and twin 2.75yos

    • Craig Susen:

      likely this was written just after bed time for the first two and in between feedings when mom probably should be sleeping but needed to so “just one thing today” for herself.

      -craig and his 3 kids…

      Reply

    • Lisa (@4OurCountryRoad):

      Yes exactly!! Wonder what she thinks of my almost 5. LOL!

      Reply

    • Lisa Smith:

      Ha ha Alice! If a person is having a really rough time parenting three then maybe they SHOULD be really careful with their birth control from here on out. My number four was way too close in age to my number three child because I didn’t count correctly. Laura, You made me laugh and you’re a wonderful writer. I have seven, two with special needs, one adoption, and I also write about our experiences. I don’t have nearly as much talent as you do but I’ve had some pretty funny experiences also. The toddlers and preschoolers always knew they could do really neat stuff when the baby needed to nurse. And…. I remember that I NEVER felt like I’d had enough sleep. Three of mine are in college now and the oldest is out and married. They were all here for Xmas and it was almost as wild as when they were all babies together. Talk about noise! I loved (almost) every minute of it. Thanks for reminding me of some of the things I’d forgotten about. When I was hearing, “You really will miss this one day” I thought folks were nuts but I do miss it. I really do!

      Reply

    • erin toensing:

      i went for number three and the fourth came along with it! i get everything that your saying and then some. mine are 5, 3, and 5 months going all boys and then my girl. my life is fun and exhausting. i can be crying my eyes out but still i wouldnt have it any other way. i dont know why anyone would belittle this story. to me it just tells me there is another person out there who totally gets it and that makes us stronger. and by the way, i have been on the computer for a record 16 minutes while having 4 kids so thanks alice, i must be a rockstar today!

      Reply

    • SoldierGrrrl:

      Alice- Geeeeeze. Judgmental and rude much?

      Reply

    • Shari:

      What a bitchy comment. And yes, I said bitchy…I’m not gonna be underhandedly snarky like you, Alice. I’ll just come right out & say it. She didn’t say it was all bad. In fact, she said the opposite several times. I picture you, Alice, as one of those Mom’s at play dates that judges the other mothers for the occasional processed food or letting their kids watch TV.

      It’s okay to talk about the tough part of parenting. It keeps us all sane to know others have the same struggles that we do. And, if you don’t cop to the fact that parenting is damn hard, you’re either delusional or a liar.

      Here’s a tip for you – if you don’t like her blog, don’t read it anymore! (Like the exclamation point?!)

      Reply

    • Sandra:

      Alice, try not being such a hag. Thanks so much for totally missing the point of the whole blog, sunshine! :)

      Reply

  6. Erin:

    As a mom of 3, with a stepdaughter (making it 4), I can totally relate. Mine are 16, 6, 2, and 9 months. They are all girls. And still all different! What works for one doesn’t work for another (the baby is too soon to tell). and the chaos, the noise, the insanity of all of it. You would be amazed at how many people think the 16 year old should help more (really, she didn’t have the kids), or assume she did have one!

    When I was pumping in a public restroom (you do what you got to do), I had many folks commenting on how calm I was. After finding out I was on round 4, they’d laugh and say, maybe not calm, maybe just shell-shocked.

    Some day, get on a plane with all of those kids and then marvel at what people say, think, glare!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha! You do get better at at least not looking panicked, even when it may be that you’re more like permanently panicked.

      Reply

  7. PD Williams:

    OGL – The moment my second daughter was mobile, my head began screaming “What the hell were we thinking?” — that is, between catching a perpetually nude toddler who thought it would be fun to take flight from the back of the sofa and going into a mad panic because my child was “missing” (she was hiding beneath the kitchen sink). My thoughts on a third child? Nevermore…

    Reply

    • Laura:

      That’s about how I was feeling already when we got pregnant with our third child. Hang in there!

      Reply

      • Patricia:

        I have 3, I remember a bad day when I was about 3 months pregnant with the third. My husband found me crying in the sofa saying “What have we done?”. He laughed and replied “Too late now”. Lucky for us she was the easiest baby of the 3. Two are in college now. Hang on. But I would not change a thing, Eben the right days

      • Laura:

        You know, my youngest was easiest too.

  8. Kelle Thomas:

    I am not convinced. Despite your post I still want three. Keeping in mind that 1) we only have one now and she’s still a baby and 2) my husband only wants two. Guess we’ ll see what happens :)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Hey, I said you could make your own decision! :) Maybe you want three!

      Reply

    • megan:

      That might be because you have one. Now that I have two I look at parents with one and think “they have NO idea”. I also used to want three (when my first was a baby). Yes. I had NO idea lol

      Reply

    • Clair:

      I have 3 kids under 3. I love it! It’s tiring but in my opinion not much worse than having 2. I wanted 3 or 4 kids and after having 3 I would still love to adopt our 4th one day.

      Reply

      • Laura:

        Oddly, I think I can imagine adopting or fostering another child some day. I really do love children. I think a lot of it is that it’s hard for me to be my best self with the hormones and physical fatigue that accompany having babies. I would happily have more children if they were born about four years old. :) I am glad the transition to three wasn’t too hard for you.

      • Jolene Mason:

        I had three and wished I would have had 4. Just never really liked 3. Seemed like two would stick together and gang up on the one. Never really found it that hard, yes sometimes I would be tired but I’m that way now and they have all grown up and two now live on their own. Hope some day you do get to adopt another one.

      • Kim:

        I agree with Clair. I had my third just before my first turned three and I was tired but didn’t find it hard. Now we have four and we homeschool them and we are hoping to have more.

    • Zionjawa Sines:

      Wow kelle were the same! I want three but my husband wants two and our daughter will be two next month. This article is a little scary but we’ve already decided that the next baby’s gender will decide on the amount. If its a boy we’re done, but if its a girl we go for number three. I guess I’m hoping strategic spacing between babies will save me from the total chaos you’ve experienced lol

      Reply

    • kissa:

      Good for you Kelle Thomas, This blog keeps coming up and I hate it! I just want to say suck it up. As a mom of three I love it, and wouldn’t change it for the world. Even one child can drive you nuts some time they all know how to press the right buttons. I have three boys ages 5,4,and 2. I would have had the last one closer but I had to talk my husband into it. They are the best of friends and my little team. So if you want three do it. If you had three but its not what you wanted don’t share it with the world, some women can’t even have one..so keep it to your shelf.

      Reply

  9. Byron Wade:

    Laura – Great post! My wife and I only have a son who is eleven now (we lost two before he came along) and just reading about your experiences made me re-live some hilarious-now-but-not-so-much-then childrearing stories. All in all it seems like you are holding on, doing the best you can. Hopefully when your children get a little older they will come up to you in that magical moment and say, “Thanks, Mom, for everything you’ve done.” And hopefully that will be worth it! Blessings to you and your family.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thanks for your encouragement! Sometimes I think I will survive if I can just get everyone to be three or older. :) And I am very sorry to hear about your losses.

      Reply

  10. mla:

    Thanks for this. I have a lot of the same feelings you do.

    Have you read frailb’s response to your post? http://frailb.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/so-you-would-like-to-have-three-children-a-non-rebutting-counterpoint/#comments

    I thought it was interesting and gave me hope, as a parent of three, that as they get older it will maybe get easier.

    I didn’t choose to have three. That number was thrust upon me when #2 ended up being twins. We’ve just gotten through the first year of twin parentdom, and it’s been quite a ride. It’s been hard and amazing and exciting and defeating and full of love and wonder. But yeah. Hard.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I also really liked his response, and I shared it on FB. Maybe I will link to it here too, once I have a minute. One reason I like blogging, even sometimes gripey posts, is because of the chorus of me toos. We all need to stick together and encourage each other. And I am fairly certain it will be easier for me once they are older and can somewhat function independently.

      Blessings to you.

      Reply

  11. MLA:

    If you’re like me, maybe #2 will be twins, and you’ll get your three. :D

    Reply

  12. MLA:

    Yeah, I think baby and toddlerhood is just really rough. Of course, I hear that the teen stage is no bed of roses, either. ;)

    Reply

  13. Jen Matthews:

    Thank you so much for making me feel normal! I am the mom of three boys ages 9, 6 (7 in 2 weeks!), and 5. There are 2.5 years between my oldest and middle and 18 months between the middle and youngest. I thought I was going nuts sometimes and people with 1 or 2 kids just always had it together compared to me. Now I see the light! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I hope to read many more fun stories from you in the future!!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You do have it together, because you have survived this long! :) Hang in there. We parents need each other’s encouragement.

      Reply

  14. Kate:

    A friend posted this on Facebook. As a stepmom to a 9-year-old boy, and mom to 5 and 3 year old boys, a 16 month old girl and soon-to-be boy in August, I had to laugh at this article. I had a little bit of a softer transition from 2 to 3 of my own because I already had the 2 to 3 part-time experience (full-time in the summer), so I had a taste of it before I jumped in to the full-time. I’m actually terrified of this next baby. It was a bit of an accident and completely caught us by surprise. We were going to be done after our girl. I’m having to completely go back into infant-mode thinking. I’m so exhausted now; I just am praying every day for God to give me the energy, patience, sanity, etc… that I need.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      That’s how I felt during my last pregnancy. I will pray for you, too. Blessings to you.

      Reply

  15. tedbohne:

    i have no children. there are good reasons why this is the case, however perhaps you or your readers might be offended. i love children though. i wish my generation had left them with a better world than we did1

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I could not be less offended. Many people do not choose to have children, and that’s fine! :) Funnily, I am writing a post about ideals and trying to leave my kids with a good world.

      Reply

  16. Kristen:

    Hilarious! So true and makes me feel so much more normal! My three are just as active as your sound but I wouldn’t have it any other way, crazy or not…and I’ve grown to love my mini van!

    Reply

  17. Stacy B.:

    I. LOVE. THIS!!! As a mom to 3 age 3 and under (two of which are currently serenading me at the breakfast table), I can 1,000,000% relate! Great read. Thanks for the laugh!!! I will be following your blog from now on!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Hang in there (and I will too).

      Reply

  18. Shane:

    Funny article. My wife and I have 4 kids that at one point were 5 and under. Once, while telling a daily story at work, a coworker suggested I travel the US and teach abstinence to high schools. I stinkin’ LOVE having 4 kids but we are now done! Granted there are many social functions that we currently decline due to numbers or naps but I’d rather have 2 more kids than attend half of them.

    Even though we have a full house of shorties I make sure that my wife has plenty of outings with her girlfriends while I take on all four kids and the bedtimes. Our family circus is a blast and I’d encourage anyone to dive into the challenge.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      We do arrange a lot of life around naps! And it’s funny, because we work with the young group at our church, and people (and we) constantly joke that we’re a pretty good birth control campaign.

      Reply

      • Beth:

        I am a mother of 4 too and I always felt that having children is hard no matter how many children you have. It is just a different kind of hard at each stage. I have never regretted having 4 children and have loved having a big family!! Of course I think only having one would be easier than 4 but I feel having 4 is very rewarding. I had my first 3 in 3 1/2 years. I knew I wanted a 4th and thought I would do it within 2 years but when that 2 yr mark came along I knew I couldn’t handle it at that time. So we waited and after having a little trouble getting pregnant and a miscarriage we were blessed with our 4th child 3 3/4 years after our 3rd was born. Giving ourselves a little gap between our 3rd & 4th helped with the craziness but it is still challenging. One thing I realized after having 3 was that I couldn’t do everything the way I used to do it. Something had to give and unfortunately it was usually keeping the house as neat as I used to. I would set a daily goal of trying to just get one thing done that day. If I got that one thing done I would feel like I won the lottery!! My husband and I had to work as a team and always made sure that we each got time for ourselves too. Now that my kids are 14 1/2, 13, 11 and 7 3/4 life is still hard but like I said it is just a different hard. I have always tried to not over schedule them. I think that is where people can really get overwhelmed because they have their kids doing every activity available and the kids get burnt out along with the parents!! My kids have always had the chance to be involved in plenty but they realized that they need some down time too. That has definitely helped our lives from getting out of control and my kids are happy easy going kids (most of the time)! I would say to anyone out there thinking of having a 3rd or 4th – Go for it!!! Whenever I would be out in public with my 4 small children I would always her comments but my favorite was when people would say “Oh…God Bless You!”(with pity). I would always respond with “Yes, he already has 4 times!!”

  19. Cherise South:

    This was AWESOME!!!! I have four so I can totally relate! :D

    Reply

    • Laura:

      So is four still harder than three? Or is it easier with the even number?

      Reply

      • Erin:

        I have five within seven years. I miss the stress of having three because the stress of five is WAY worse! But you adjust, and kids grow (all too quickly). I promise you’ll live to tell the tale! :)

      • Matthew:

        Four is harder Laura. Four is harder. When one is at a friends house the entire house seems so much more peaceful. Almost like having only one kid…

      • Laura:

        Oh, I don’t really doubt it. Which is why I am seriously considering having my tubes tied.

      • Gail Feil:

        When I was having my 8 children, after the first 3, I remember going to the other mom’s with lot’s of small children and asking, “What am I missing? This isn’t going well. What do I need to be doing better?” They would chuckle and say it’s hard now but wait till the older ones can begin to help! Geez Louise! They were right. Grin and bear it and then reap the rewards! Three was THE HARDEST NUMBER I HAD. I mean it, hands down! The oldest couldn’t do squat and like you described, the different developmental stages is a KILLER. My home was FULL OF 3 STAGES OF BABYDOM! Yikes! When the oldest is able empty the dishwasher, buckle their own seatbelt, tie their own shoes, dress themselves, put away clothing, fetch most anything, entertain a sibling without putting their life at danger, the BALANCE TURNS THE OTHER WAY! I started getting a big head on #4 and then someone pointed out the efficiency factor…… Baby #5 was almost fun! I rang a bell for service and I had Two GO GETTER older siblings that felt like they’d gotten a promotion! And as far as I was concerned, they had. BTW, those two are the most successful kids to date! One is a top salesperson, married to a sweet school teacher with 2 girls and the other is traveling the world with her hubby and 3 year old! My last child was born when I was 48! The last 3 babies were the BEST. I had Five older siblings to do ANYTHING for them, dote on them and give them advice on how to fool me. The joke is that I learned all the pranks from the oldest ones so policy for the younger ones is STRICTER! I think baby #6 was my favorite because there was a 5 year gap and the 5 kids fought over holding him, bathing him, diapering him, … you get the picture. The older ones always give the younger one’s advice on THEIR take on things because they are more tech savy and such. When I am gone, most of my kids will feel like they still have someone to look up to and someone who is looking after them.

        My dining room table, when they are all eating seated all 10 of us. It would make me cry with joy almost every time. I still get choked up just thinking of how quiet it got for a few minutes….. then the soft MMMmmmm’s and the genuine smiles of appreciation that I had cooked for them. Hearing all the stories and day’s happenings was always a hoot!

        BTW, we weren’t rich or really poor. We recycled everything, shopped for luxeries at yard sales and wore hand me downs. The kids NEVER knew we could have qualified for every fed aid program available but didn’t take it. They knew we didn’t get name brand anything but they thought it was because it was a waste of money not because we couldn’t afford it. All worked before 18 and all say they had a great child hood.

        I wish I could say I’m a super mom or really talented. I just did what was next, laughed at myself and the kids and tried to adjust to the span of untidiness that came and went as different activities came through our home. I grew up faster during their childhood than I did my own.

      • Laura:

        That is all wonderful to hear. Especially because sometimes I feel guilty about giving my oldest (now nearly 8) too much responsibility.

  20. Kristie Cohen:

    I have a 10yr old girl, 8 yr old girl and almost 5 little boy. Certainly all rings true, made me smile! Good, funny and smart insight…I came from a family of 3 kids but was really more like an only child (me, the oldest) and then 2 kids (my younger brothers) because of age difference, so didn’t have all the mini battles for attention and time I struggle with…I’m fortunate though I don’t work much out of the home. Kudos to U :)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You know, I was in a similar situation–I was youngest of three, but by six and ten years, so it was sometimes like being an only. Maybe that’s why I was so surprised by how hard three was!

      Reply

  21. Dawn:

    I guess I just didn’t see this as funny. Mostly because the entire post is about how much your kids detract from your life, bookended by weak comments that “despite all this he’ll, I really do love my kids!”…added in so you can avoid looking completely selfish and a malcontent. I’ve noticed a theme here, with this and the baptism post:” How my kids are cramping my style.”

    I have 5 children and the first three came in 3 years, one after the other. And yes, it was hard. But I can’t imagine writing about all the horrible sacrifices of having them. Mainly because despite your couching this in humor, you’re still complaining about the people you are supposed to love the most. Marriage is tough sometimes, too, but would you find it funny if your husband wrote a similar article about you? Would you be OK with an article warning people about getting married based on all the reasons it’s tough, as long as he framed it with, “Don’t get me wrong, I really love my wife, but…..”? I don’t understand how our kids are supposed to feel unconditionally loved when as a society we’re constantly bitching about the cost of having them.

    Reply

    • Beth:

      Well, I can speak only for myself, obviously, but I tend to prefer an honest depiction of potentially challenging circumstances to a discussion that focuses only on the good stuff. I’m pretty sure that applies to kids as well. How are they supposed to really comprehend our unconditional love if they DON’T know about the sacrifices we have made for them?

      As far as your husband analogy, I happen to know that my own husband HAS told soon-to-be-married fellas that marriage can be hard (actually, I think he even told Jeremy that!); he then adds that it is worth it. Am I offended when he does this? No, because a. it’s true and b. it’s important to be honest, not so the person can opt out, but so he can be prepared. Dashed expectations are hard to reconcile, whether it is regarding marriage, family size, or any of a number of other things both significant and not. I think this post handles a frank discussion of the trickier aspects of having more than two children not in a complaining manner, as you state, but with warmth and good humor.

      Reply

    • Kris:

      I agree with you. I didn’t find her article amusing.

      Reply

    • Sue:

      I agree; I didn’t find this funny at all. She probably should have stopped at 2 kids or maybe even none. I think we all can appreciate a little humor but this wasn’t it. -from a mom of 3

      Reply

    • Steph:

      I agree with you this was not amusing and telling your kids everything that they “took away from you” will not show your unconditional love for them. It will blame and give them guilt. It was not your children’s choice for you to have them which resulted in you not getting what you want anymore.

      Reply

    • Richard:

      I agree with you, Dawn. There are so many complaining parents out there now! I really, really don’t think our parents (or their parents) complained this much. I pretty much think that our generation of parents is comparatively spoiled and very self-centered, and so cannot stop feeling sorry for themselves when their lives are challenging. These parents seem to think that life should be fun and easy, because their lives had been so fun and so easy until parenthood. This blog post is much less harsh toward the kids than many others out there, though.

      Reply

    • Melissa:

      There is something called a sense of humor. You might want to look into getting one.

      Reply

    • Courtney:

      I absolutely agree with you. If I read something similar that my husband wrote, or that my parents wrote about me, I would be extremely hurt. And, yes, I do have a sense of humor.

      What I don’t find funny, however, is making disparaging remarks about children. As if adding, “but I love them…” a couple times makes the rest of what was written OK. Nope.

      Yes, parenting is hard, but I wouldn’t complain about my children, even on my worst day. Why? Because they could be taken from me in a second, or I from them, and I will cherish every moment with them, good or not so good.

      Reply

    • Charles:

      Thank you. This woman writes as if she is the only one to have three kids. 50 years ago 3 kids was the norm. I have three kids and I wouldn’t want any less. If you only have two it is a warped dynamic where the two focus on competing against each other.

      Reply

    • Kesha:

      Dawn, I really appreciate your comment. I’m almost due with my first, so I’m a complete newbie, but I much prefer to hear someone with 5 children say they wouldn’t trade it for anything. That’s the kind of encouragement and positivity I want to hear! You’re spot-on with your point comparing it to marriage. If I were a child (or an adult knowing my parent had written about how difficult it was to raise me), I would certainly not feel a sense of unconditional love. I’d feel like I was a burden to complain about.

      It would be good to encourage parents of 2-going-on-3 to say, “Here are some things you should think about, because it’s not the same,” but in another manner than was presented here. For some reason, trying to make it humorous feels like it undermines the value of children as people… at least to me.

      Reply

      • LisaKami:

        I disagree. She disclaims at the beginning that she loves her kids and wouldn’t trade it. Finding humor in struggle is a positive way of coping and it doesn’t demean anyone.

    • Debra:

      I completely agree. Being someone who had to spend years and thousands and thousands of dollars to be able to have children, I find this to be a slap in the face. You should feel grateful for what you have and not complain about being a parent. There are so many people out there that would give up so much to have what you have. People who would love the noise, craziness, unpredictability of having children. Feel blessed for what you have. Putting this in a “humorous” way does not make it any better. I am a mother of two children who works full time and if tomorrow I found out I was pregnant I would be overjoyed and bit waste one minute of complaining about anything.

      Reply

  22. Cari:

    I am so glad you wrote this. It is often that my fiance throws out how many kids we should have. I have always been firm that two would be my cap. We both are oldest children of two so sounds good to me. He will say, well a third wouldn’t be so bad. Both of my parents are oldest children of three kids. I always, always disagree. Your blog really reconfirms, two is a cut off. I don’t think I can handle any more. This week I also have my nephew who is 4 years old. Between a week with him and your blog, I think this has been very effective birth control!

    Reply

  23. Nanny:

    We have 9 children. 6 boys and 3 girls. At one point, I was actually a single parent of 4, who worked full time, had three in 2 different schools, and one in day care. We also did dance classes, karate and scouts. At the time, the three boys were 5, 6, and 8, and the girl was 2. Not because my husband couldn’t take it and left, but he was taken away for work for an extended period of time (nearly 3 years) for work. After we were reunited (for more than a weekend here and there), we continued our family. The shortest gap in our children was 5 1/2 months (due to a premature birth following the loss of one twin). In our group, there are to boys who are the same age for a month, and two girls who are the same age for 7 months. I can’t honestly say I have ever found myself in any of those situations you describe, even though one of my boys is autistic and tended to wander. I actually do like minivans, but don’t care for suv’s, which we had for a while while they were all under 18. I nursed all of them, and even used cloth diapers for many of them. I really did enjoy your blog, however. It was quite entertaining. I have a niece who insists they won’t have three because being outnumbered will be a bad situation. However, I would never try to talk anyone out of having more children. I absolutely could not have been talked out of it. I always wanted a large family, even at 3 years old, I knew I wanted at least 7. We would have had a few more, but I developed lupus, and it became too big of a health risk for the baby, so we decided to not risk it. My youngest is no 4, and I really miss babies. However, my older children are now marrying and starting families. I have a 3 year old granddaughter, with two more grand babies coming in October and January. Thank you for the entertaining blog. You made me smile and revisit my children’s childhoods. Such a blessing.

    Reply

    • Connie:

      Nanny we have a lot in common I have 9 Children of my own also! I have 5 boys ages are 13;12;10;8;4 and I have 4 girls ages are 6;3;18months & 6months!!! My 3 year old was a twin and I ended up miscarriage a boy at 18 weeks pregnant!! And we stay crazy busy with all their Sports & Activties they have but I wouldn’t change a thing we love spending time together and there is never a dull moment at our house!!!

      Reply

    • Judy:

      I had 5 children, 4 boys 1 girl, all were 3 1/2 yrs apart except the last one who was boorn 15 months afther his brother. At one point they went to 5 different schools, high school, jr. high, grade school, kindergarten and pre-school…..different holidays and days off…not to mention teacher meetings. I was divorced, so raising them on my own. Plus I worked the graveyard shift ( which actually worked out well for me, as if kids were sick I was home for them and didn’t miss work ), I would get home at 6:30 – 7a,m get first 3 off, walk the 4th up to bus stop ( with youngest in tow) about half hour after the first 3 left, then had to wait another hour to take last one to pre-school bus stop. I would then go home to bed, sleep 2 hrs, get up and pick up the one from kindergarten bus….give him lunch, and nap, then at 2:30pm pick up the pre-schooler….the other 3 would walk home the youngest. Would help with homework, get a good dinner on….about 8:30pm , I would get the 3 youngest in bed, and I would go nap to rest for my 11pm shift at work…… All I could ever think about was sleep….was a rough couple of yrs…but did improve when all the young ones were in real school and all left the house and came home at same time.

      Reply

  24. Nanny:

    I forgot to mention that while I was a single mother of four, I also worked full time, had three boys in two different schools, and a girl in Montessori, while doing dance, gymnastics, karate and scouts. All while visiting friends, attending get-togethers, and visiting relatives. After our “reunion”, we moved to another state away from all family, so no relative helpers. My parents were the only ones who ever watched my kids, (the oldest 4 when I was a “single”) and was usually at their request, not mine. I was the youngest of 3 (by 13, and 15 years). My husband was the youngest of 11. My mother the oldest girl of 13 kids.

    Reply

    • Matthew:

      Jesus.

      Reply

      • Laura:

        Ha!

    • chrissy:

      Children are a lot of work but also such a blessing. I would have more if I could. Three for me, all boys. My house is loud and untidy. One day it will be clean and quiet..and I will be wanting the grandbabies over to visit and make it loud and untidy again!

      Reply

  25. Staci Cochran:

    Been there,done that, and ALL of what you shared is the absolute truth!!!! Mine were 18 and 22 months apart. The first day home from the hospital with my third, I lost my two boys to the creek we had just moved next to…that’s when I thought I wasn’t a fit mother, and that’s when I knew, this was different! The funny thing now is, my oldest, now 30, and the only one to give me grandchildren, just had his second son, exactly 18 months apart, same birth months as him and his brother. I want another grand baby, but I cannot tell a lie, and just say, do it, it’s wonderful! Thanks for the memories!!!!

    Reply

  26. Andi:

    Laura,
    Thank you for writing this blog. I too have 3 children. 3 boys ages 3, 6, & 9, and I completely empathize with you. I love each of my boys boys more than anything, and I love their different personalities and perspectives, and the hilarious things they say and do. But, my husband and I have had more than our fair share of rough times.

    Case in point: last night I discovered that our little dog had pooped in my oldest sons room. The middle son took one of the oldest sons books, laid in on the poop and pressed down. When the oldest son discovered this, he kicked his book off and set out to find one of his brother’s books (turn about is fair play, right?). Once he had selected the right one, he placed it on the poop and stepped on it. After dealing with this fiasco, I returned to the 3 year old’s room, where I was helping him clean. While moving things I discovered that for unexplainable reasons, he peed on a pile of clothes in his closet. Mind you that his is fully potty trained. Then to top the evening off, the oldest son discovered ants in his closet. I felt like I was living in the Twilight Zone.

    To the Naysayers: Speaking about the struggles we face in life, does in no way, shape, or form, negate the love and joy we experience, or mean that we love our children, husbands, friends, or family any less. As mothers we all need help and support at times, and to deny the existence of struggle is completely fake and unrealistic.

    Reply

    • Melanie:

      Andi, hilarious story, as was this blog post. I like your comment to the naysayers–very well said! I also have 3 kids. A girl age 5, a girl age 3 and a boy almost 1. I describe us as a traveling circus. Some days are really, really hard, but certain people just don’t want to hear it. I find that invalidating, and was so relieved when I found this blog post! It described my life very accurately, although there wasn’t any mention of years and years of sleep deprivation b/c at LEAST one child wakes up every night, and at LEAST one wakes up by 6 am every morning.

      Reply

    • Laura:

      Thank you so much for your support. I agree about the importance of being transparent, for ourselves and for others.

      Reply

  27. Knitting with Olof:

    LOL wow. You got my number. I have 3 BOYS ages 5, 3 and 10 months. With my first I had a schedule at 10 months we had art, music and vocabulary. And I cloth diapered him breast fed and cosleeped. The second was the sameish but I only clothed part time. The third, well I have maybe used cloth on him for 3 weeks and broke down and did disposables. Like you I can’t keep up with laundry, dishes, messes, and all of it. I gave birth to 3 babies in 4 and a half years. I have a friend that is desperate to have a third and there is no way to warn her how much more work it is to go from 2 to 3. How insane it is. I love my boys but I have 3 BOYS!

    Thank you for this post.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha! I understand! Once someone sent me an email forward about birth order, and it was basically to the effect of “First child: you watch them sleep, making sure they’re still breathing. Second child: you check in on them a lot. Third child: you teach the three year old to rewind the baby swing.”

      Reply

      • Kris:

        I’ve also heard that when your first child swallows a quarter you rush him to the ER, when your second swallows a quarter you give him some pepto bismal and check his poop until it comes out. When your third child swallows a quarter, you deduct it from his allowance. :) I had five kids in four years- three girls on purpose, then surprise twin boys! I love them all to death, but the noise, the mess, and the laundry drive me nuts everyday! If I couldn’t laugh about the absurdity of it all, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed each morning. Thanks for giving someone to laugh with!

  28. Mama Gale:

    I have 3 boys – ages 4, 2, and barely 1. This article was hilarious and spot on! Thanks! :-)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Glad you liked it. We all have to hang together! :)

      Reply

  29. Gina:

    Can I just say I love you?!? I am a single mother of 3 and boy can I relate!! If you are ever in Louisiana, I have a porch. We can let the kids ruin the house and sit on the porch in the peace and quiet :)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      That sounds wonderful! I will bring the ear plugs.

      Reply

  30. Nicole:

    Too funny so much I can relate to. So glad I’m not the only one who gets my kids names mixed up sometimes I like to throw in the pets names. I went from 3 boys to 4. Yep I’m still here haven’t checked into the loony bin yet. They are 11,8, 3 and 11 months. People stop asking for your volunteering or other time consuming projects and you always have an excuse of why your late.

    Reply

  31. mamajudes:

    I love your humor as you describe parenting 3 children! I am a mother of 3 daughters ~ now all grown. I am here to testify that you will survive, and so will they! Before you know it, yours will be grown and you can begin to enjoy grandchildren! ha ha We have one grandson so far, and he is the best gift ever! Enjoyed your post!

    Reply

  32. Laura Polito:

    Laura, thank you for this. I am the eldest of 4; there are 4, 5, and 7 years younger than I so it was like growing up with 3 crazy people in my house. This is why I am 32 and have no children. This blog is so true. Thanks for being honest and filling us in on the realities of life before its “too late” lol.

    Reply

  33. Mary:

    I have three…no big deal. You go to zone defense from man to man defense. It’s doable. I wanted more. I really really admire the happy families I know with six or more….now that is something! :-)

    Reply

  34. Heidi:

    This is my first blog comment ever, but I can’t resist. I, too, have 3 children. Three boys, ages 7, 5 and 1. My first two are named Asher and Noah. :) Thanks for the laughs. You will also be the first blog I ever subscribe to because I was laughing hysterically.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      That’s so funny! And thank you! :)

      Reply

  35. Wendy Foster:

    I’m a single mom with triplets. The first thing I was told to buy from another triplet mom was ear plugs. I did and it has made all the difference. Lol

    Reply

  36. Sarah:

    When I met my husband, he proclaimed that he WANTED to have three kids… you know, because the MIDDLE CHILD (like HE is in his family dynamics) would be “the best”. Now, I don’t agree with his philosophy of one child being “the best” BUT it became a moot point when after becoming parents to a very active son, hubby soon decided “Maybe ONE is enough.” After having a second (also active) son, he’s convinced that “TWO is enough! What if next time, they’re twins?” AND WITH THAT… yes, he’s convinced me that WE’RE (likely) DONE! Your description of parenthood is entertaining; I can relate to much of it, other than the ratio of 3:2. We’re still EVEN in this house, but THAT is challenging enough. Thanks for the laugh(s). Large families were “the norm” in the past; I don’t know HOW they did it?!?

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I don’t know! How did they?

      Reply

      • Tara Paisley:

        I think it was called help! More often than not, family members (grandparents or maybe aunts and uncles) lived close by and helped when they could. Also, kids had a lot more responsibility back then. I remember when I was just 4 or 5 having to dust and by the time I was 14, I did everything but pay bills, grocery shopped, and work. I did go to school full time though and brought home straight A’s. Then you have the fact that until the 1940’s and later it was rare for a married woman to work outside the home, especially if she had children. In some instances teachers who became pregnant were asked to leave their positions.
        I also have 3 kids that are now 11, 9, and 7. Other than keeping up with school stuff, it isn’t bad now. But when those kids were 4, 2, and newborn, it was TOUGH! Especially since my middle child has autism and was a year behind developmentally at the time. He could not feed or dress himself and he did not talk.

      • Laura:

        I agree. And parenting was different in the past. I basically stayed outside in the hills every day until bedtime, and came home alone every day in first grade. So did my friends. Today’s near-constant supervision without the support means it’s tiring. But I also suspect it was always tiring. My mom seemed awfully tired!

  37. Melissa:

    There are so many reasons we only want 2 but now that I have my second I keep thinking…”ahhh, is this really my last time” and have started romanticizing having a third. I need to keep this bookmarked for future support against having a third. I can tell that having a third is hard by my friends who have had three and wanted nothing more than to be immediately sterilized afterwards.

    Reply

  38. Ann:

    I have 5 children, the oldest two are special needs which makes things slightly more hectic as they are forces of nature in their own rights. But it’s not hard… It’s busy, scheduled, time demanding of course but not hard. It’s only difficult for people who go into parenthood expecting their children to ‘compliment’ their lifestyle. This just isn’t reality and people who expect it should be should not have children. You should have them for the desire to mold and shape individuals into happy, healthy, functioning members of our community. My kids are totally awesome, even when they make messes or don’t sleep. (With 5 it’s rare that nobody has an issue at night) but I didn’t have them as accessories to MY lifestyle. I had children so that I could commit my life to them.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I think you are the first person I have ever heard describe parenting as “not hard.” Good for you for having an easy time, I guess. Hard to believe, though.

      Reply

    • Amy:

      Perhaps we all just have different definitions of “hard”. What you are describing fits my definition of “hard”. And, I too, have a “special needs” kiddo. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s not “hard” then I’m not working “hard” enough.

      Reply

    • Rachael:

      I would disagree with Ann. It is hard even if you plan to have children to raise them to be happy healthy individuals. I love my 3 children and it is incredibly hard. Especially with my strong willed child who came out of the womb needing far more molding and shaping to be a child who is not self centered, is caring and kind. They are a joy and hard work. Some children do have easier temperaments. My middle child is gentle, needs less reminding to be kind and gentle with her words. Laura thank you so much for being transparent with the realities of life with our blessings.

      Reply

  39. Hollis:

    Mom of three closer in age than yours! Agree with a lot of this! Three is hard. I’m now in the throes of managing a 9,7 and 6 yr old and the different after school activities. It’s so hard to coordinate!!!!!

    Reply

  40. Angel:

    I found your article really funny but after reading it and the comments, I feel horribly depressed! I have two boys and both my husband and I work. I want to try for another girl. My husband is on the fence. We agreed to wait at least another 3 years before even discussing it again for a few reasons (need bigger house, car, salary or less debt, and we want the youngest to have plenty of time to be the baby). My boys are almost 2.5 years apart and I find myself struggling to give them both equal attention. So yes, I can’t imagine at this point how it would be possible for another one, but I wasn’t completely sold that it was a bad idea.

    I grew up as the youngest of three girls, all of us about 2 years apart in age. My mom was single. I always felt SO loved by her and I love my childhood memories – I don’t know how she did it. Maybe it was the dynamics that made it work. I felt like we were a team of four women against the world, even though we fought more than Tom and Jerry most days. My older sister, or the middle child, is developmentally disabled and I found that I was more like the middle child because of all the attention she received. Her needs were a higher priority than mine. So even with all that we had against us, I loved every moment of our family life. I can’t say the same for my mom. She was really young (17 when she had her first) so she had plenty of energy. I know she remembers it being really tough emotionally and financially but she never showed it. I guess I always thought that I could be the same way, and love every bad and good moment, as I do now.

    I guess because of my childhood in a family of 3 children, I was convinced that having three of my own, even if I get another boy, will be a lot of fun (work, yes, but FUN). Now, after reading your post, and all the others agreeing with you, I’m terrified and want to get my tubes tied. So yes, this was helpful, but I’m sad now. :(

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I was youngest of three, and we did have fun! I think a lot for me is my own build–I was really physically exhausted by just two, and hadn’t planned to have 3. I really do think everyone is “built” for different numbers of kids. And now that my youngest is approaching 2, I have hope that I will survive! You may also want to read the post I linked to. I hope you can figure out what is best for you and your family. :)

      Reply

    • Susan Kemmerer:

      Oh, Angel, don’t give up on your dreams! I had 6 boys before my first girl was born. I have 9 kids, ranging in age from 10-30. My youngest son is only a few years older than my oldest grandchild…so I’m at that amazing season where I truly am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! I’ve experienced everything the author experienced and more (I homeschooled all my kids – truly crazy!)…and it was hard…but so very, very, very worth it. While you’re in the midst of it, it’s so hard to see the value and the worth and the fruit of what you’re doing, but believe me…you WILL reap the benefits of a large family. We just celebrated our family Christmas…all 5 of the married kids came home with their families to join the 4 still living at home – filling our house with laughter and joy and fellowship! I just sat their and cried. All those sleepless nights and hard days, the wrinkles on my face from laughter and worry, the gray in my hair, the stretched out baggy body, the years of sacrifice – it has been more than worth it. I would willingly – now – give so much more to experience the amazing benefits I now enjoy with my precious family. All the things you don’t like about yourself now???…having kids can change you for the better. You’ll grow more patient, more creative, more unconditionally loving, more joyful based on internal values rather than external circumstances (such as clean houses and cool cars)…and so on. Every mom here will tell you it’s true. You’ll feel it keenly – the changes, the disappointments, the sacrifices, the hardships, the annoyance and fatigue and impatience – but only for a time. Don’t give up your dream! It’ll be worth every sacrifice, every judgmental raised eyebrow tossed your way, every sleepless night… Hugs!

      Reply

    • tcarl1031T:

      Angel, I don’t usually comment on these things but I read your post and had to say to you that you should NOT be scared. I have four boys ages 10, 7, 6 and almost 2. I am pregnant with number five. For me going from one to two was the hardest transition of all. Going from two to three was a cake walk. Obviously being a parent isn’t always easy and it can get crazy but having a big family comes with it’s fair share of hilarity and awesomeness. Every parent and family is different, I personally didn’t relate too much to this blog and my first three are closer in age and my husband worked nights when number three came along, making me handle most of the parenting solo….after two, you become a pro at juggling…trust me, it isn’t as bad as it is made out to be : )

      Reply

  41. mary:

    This mom of 3 agrees!! Great read…I just wish I wasn’t thinking about adding a puppy too!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Ah, why not? Haha. We have a dog, two cats, and fish too. I think I have a problem. :)

      Reply

    • Lisa Smith:

      Puppies are even harder than kids!!!! Don’t do it!

      Reply

  42. McKenzie Ritchie Reints:

    oh my gosh, that was one of the best blog posts i’ve ever read. love the bluntness. love the dry sarcasm (i’m filled with it). about to have my third shortly, glad to know that the “dragon” traits i have now are just normal for three. heh. thanks for the odd comfort.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Sometimes I think it helps to just know you’re not the only one losing it, haha.

      Reply

  43. Melissa:

    Laura- great blog! Well written and so true. My children are 5, almost 4 and 2. Some interesting comments here that I wonder are generational. I don’t think any of us are really complaining about our children, but there is something so comforting and reassuring about us all laughing at our common experiences and challenges. I often get same comments I.e. “In my day, we just did just did our job and didn’t air our dirty laundry,” etc. I am also curious about what you do for work (you allude to your job, but I’m not clear as to what that is). This is in no way meant to judge whatever you do, but I come across so few moms who work outside the house with three kids so young. I do, and it just adds a whole different level of insanity.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I am a writer and editor–I own my own business. I actually work from home (but with various levels of child care). Working at home is easier and harder, and sometimes it adds to the hysteria (like if I can tell the kids are tormenting their sitter). I only know one other mom of 3 who works, partly just because of childcare.

      Reply

  44. Jack:

    You hit the nail on the head at so many levels. Thanks for your humor and wit in sharing your battle scars. You had my wife and I roaring in laughter and shaking out heads in agreement. We have three under three and absolutely loved your blog post! Can’t wait to read more posts.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply

  45. Michelle Ramos:

    I wish I never had 3! It’s everything you said plus some! The noise is ridiculous and puts me on edge instantly. The constant needs of the 3 of them is more than I can handle. I have OCD and anxiety disorders so coping with three kids ages 9, 6 and 5 wears me down almost instantly upon waking each morning. If I could go back in time I would of had NO kids at all.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Aw, I’m sorry. I do think my own anxiety makes it harder too.

      Reply

  46. Beth:

    I have four kids. There are days where I think, “why the heck did you do this?” but I do enjoy them all. But I do have a (not so) secret countdown to 2016 when they are all in school. I’ll be 40, and I hear that’s the new 30, so BRING IT!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I did have a moment after my third was born when I realized, “He’s not going to be in kindergarten for SIX YEARS!” Now we are down to four years. And kindergarten’s still only 3 hours. But hey.

      Reply

      • Jen M.:

        What state do you live in that still has kindergarten for only 3 hours? I live in Florida and kindergarten is the same hours as the rest of the elementary kids – 8:25-2:25!!

      • Laura:

        California, sigh. Our school system does not fare well when rated against the other states’.

  47. 5in6:

    As a mom of 5, I agree that the jump from 2 to 3 has a learning curve. I do, however, strongly disagree that more than 3 is easier. Maybe it would be if you treated them as a “critical mass,” but they have the same individual needs, logistics, and laundry/messes. I doubt if you have another that the rest of your children will “start acting as a group” as you assume kids of large families do. I would bet that if you had another, you would have a new blog post about how people with 3 kids assume more would be easier!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha! Quite possibly!

      Reply

  48. squigletsblog:

    As a mum of 3 (13, 5 and 18 months – all girls) this made me laugh. I will say that by the time you have number 3 you are in so deep you no longer care. Everyone says how relaxed I am about #3, and she’s a very laid back little thing.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You certainly learn how to let some things go, don’t you? More and more with each kid.

      Reply

  49. Kate:

    I feel like we’re kindred spirits

    Reply

    • Laura:

      That’s why I write (and sometimes vent all over the place). We need our kindred spirits! :) Oh, and thanks for sharing my blog–I can see you linked to it.

      Reply

  50. Cerys Byrne:

    I’ve had 3 children for 10 years & I’m not sure it does get easier, the problems are just different. My daughter (the elder sister of 2 brothers) commented today that we should have had 4 – perhaps she’s right!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      That was good. I appreciate the “You are maxed out at whatever number you have” comment. I think that is probably true.

      Reply

  51. livewellmama:

    Great blog post! I have 4 children ages 5 and under…so I feel your pain (and joys)! :)

    Reply

  52. Frankly Katie:

    As a middle child, I spent a long time thinking I’d have two, or if I had that third, go straight on to four. And then one day I realized that middle children are awesome.

    Almost out of necessity they’re typically hilarious. Also, they’re generally very in tune with the feelings and needs of other people. (I surround myself with delightful middles).

    So, for all your hard work and patience, thank you, because you are adding one more amazing middle to the world!!

    P.S. I’m sure your eldest and youngest are pretty great people too :).

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thanks for your kind words about middles. You always hear people complain about that spot, and so I felt guilty for a while for making our middle a middle. But at the same time, all three find blessings and difficulties with their spots in the family. My middle child is pretty awesome.

      Reply

  53. Elissa:

    As someone on the precipice of having a third child…this scared me. And then I scrolled down to the picture of your wonderful, smiling children. Yeah, I bet having 3 is hard. Having 2 is hard. Having one was hard. Life is hard. I bet I’ll be so busy in a year or so and I’ll re-read this and see it in a new light. But I still know that right now my family is missing someone – a needy, dirty, screaming time vampire – but someone I want nonetheless.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Someone sent me a good blog in the comments here that said you are maxed out at whatever number of children you have. I think that is probably true! :) I think it’s good to know what you want.

      Reply

  54. Tiffani:

    Love this! I also work and have 3 children (6,3 and 2). It is nice to know I am not alone in my thoughts!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      No, not alone! I found myself trying to explain having three kids to someone last night, and just continually coming back to being outnumbered. :)

      Reply

  55. Sara H:

    Not my experience at all, but thanks for the giggle! Our third was literally like a blip in our lives and by the time we had 4, they could actually start to help with her.

    Reply

  56. Nikki:

    I have two boys 4 and 7 months and I keep feeling like “am I done? I don’t know. Am I done?” I kind of want to be done but I think I am romanticizing having a baby already (because this baby is so easy) Thank you for the read and the perspective, I think we ARE done and it will just take time to be 100% okay with that. Won’t be too difficult with two amazing boys at home.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You know, I think we all feel that way. Even with all my griping, I do long for babies sometimes, and grieve my youngest getting older.

      Reply

    • Ashley:

      I can totally relate!! We have 2 boys. 4 & almost 2. We’re so back & forth on a 3rd which makes me feel crazy. 2 works….won’t 3 just be too much chaos?? I’m scared to find out!!

      Reply

  57. Monica Lynn Brown:

    This is a great insight. Thank you for sharing a look see into your world.
    I must say though. We have 6 children. ages of 11 months, 2 years, 5 years, 11 years, 13 years and 16 years old.
    I think the first child was a learning experience all of its own and then learning to accommodate a lifestyle of having 2 children was interesting in it self.
    How ever for us after 2 we have not felt much of a difference. Holidays and family activities are a lot of fun. Not that I don’t have moments where i am tempted to pull out my hair for a split second But as a proud mother of 6 typically well rounded and well behaved children my favorite is when we go out to a nice dinner and as other customers are leaving they will stop and comment on our lovely family and how well behaved our children are. Being a stay at home mom that feels like recognition for employee of the year every time.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I’m sure it does! I love when people praise my kids (and when they actually seem to have absorbed what I am trying to teach them).

      Reply

  58. Lara:

    And this is why I’m getting my tubes tied on Friday. =) I have two beautiful kids that I had close together, but my oldest is very high needs. Just watching mom’s chase around 18 month olds almost sends me into a panic attack. Thanks for telling the truth!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Being a parent is tiring, isn’t it? Haha. Best of luck with your two and your procedure.

      Reply

  59. April:

    everyone tried to warn us… we have a five(08/08), a two(07/11), and a zero(07/13) … insanity is my new normal, as is yelling over a baby’s head.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Ha! Sounds just about exactly where we were. But something wonderful happened the other night–I saw a woman struggling with her three at Target, one of whom was a newborn, and I realized that it’s easier even just now that my youngest is two and my middle four. I found myself wanting to reassure her that it won’t always be this hard. I have fantasies about just getting to the point where everyone can kind of feed themselves and clothe themselves. But I’m 2/3 of the way there.

      Reply

      • April:

        I am looking forward to the day that everyone can go potty by themselves and eat without ending to be fed. I received the best compliment from a mother of one… that I make it look so easy that she thinks she could try it. I was amazed. bless you!

  60. donna kelly (Butrica):

    I enjoyed reading your blog…it rings true to my memories…mine are now grown…my daughter is getting married and my sons are in college…I sometimes would give anything to relive the chaos..it passes quickly…and I no longer drive a minivan…or drive to three schools or soccer practice…..smelly kleats and princess parties are replaced with graduations and wedding showers….enjoy these crazy days…in a blink, they are gone…3 was awesome in my book…..but I had 5 years between my last two…maybe that helped..who knows….

    Reply

  61. Bec:

    I have a hilarious picture my mom snapped when my 3rd child was just a few days old. i am sitting in the rocker trying to nurse her with this crazed look of pain and torture (breastfeeding was still painful then) and my half dressed, hair crumpled 3 year old twin boys are wiggly blurry spots in front of me playing with my breast pump out of my reach just enough that i can’t stop them. My mom could have, but a photo opp was better! i laugh hard everytime i look at it, and I feel like that pretty much sums up the “having 3 kids” experience for me! I love it, though! And it is nice to know I’m not alone in the madness! Thanks for the laugh!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I love this comment. I can picture it so clearly. It’s funny; I wrote this not that long ago, but I already feel like it has gotten so much easier just with my youngest being 2 and my oldest being 7.5. Usually. Sometimes not! :)

      Reply

  62. Jade:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I have been telling myself for so long that I wanted three kids but when it came to the crunch, I just couldn’t see myself with another baby. Your blog has helped me to articulate to my husband my concerns with have a third child.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Sometimes other people’s words are easier. I hope you wind up happy whatever you choose to do.

      Reply

  63. Lindsey Alvarez:

    Hahaha! Oh, thank you. I was searching for the originator of the comment “once you have 2, it’s all the same” so I could call him a liar on Facebook. I’m so glad to have stumbled across your blog. I’ve bookmarked and plan on reading more “in my freetime” ::dry laugh:: (did I mention I have a 4.5 year old, 1.5 yo, and a 4 week old?) Your post speaks to me.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, sometimes I try to tell myself people have different experiences and perspectives. But then I get comments like, “I have never thought being a parent was difficult,” and I’m like, “Huh? Really?” I do feel like things have already gotten so much easier since when I wrote this post, but the difficulties arise daily! Sigh. :)

      Reply

  64. Allison:

    Thank you! You took the words right out of my head! When #3 was born 15 months ago, I waited for that slightly overwhelmed feeling (that comes with every new baby for me) to go away. I finally decided on his first birthday, that I just get to be overwhelmed for the long haul! Haha! Good thing they are cute, or I would be looking for a tribe of traveling gypsies to sell them to…

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, their sweetness and cuteness gets me through many a day.

      Reply

  65. TV:

    Thank you for putting my words exactly onto this Screen. 3 Kids are not easy, and you are right! There is barely any help available. There is never a minute to ourselves…You have to reset your expectations, Clean house, No Laundry, etc, just to stay sane.. School is the biggest pain in the Butt, but thankfully we can pay extra to have our son in all day Preschool. All day being 9:05-2:45, our 6 year old is out at 3:01….Some of our family still thinks they have the right to tell us what we should be doing. Putting our 6 and 4 year old in extra curricular activities as one of the few because their other daughter with 2 kids has had hers in Hockey since they were young..They get upset because we don’t bring all three around on Halloween night to their house. They don’t see the problem in it because they would bring my husband all around when he was a baby. Yes he was an only child. So that’s one very tired child to have to deal with the next day.. Yet no one has any clue and to offer any advice is just annoying. Not willing to help at all in the midst of this advice. The advice on how to raise a baby and what to do and not to do has subsided, thank God… Don’t get me wrong not everyone is like this. The family who actually play an active part in my children’s and our lives know all this that you have written.. They are my only saving Grace!! They really try to lessen our load when they can. Although battling terminal cancer has definitely made it more tough for them also. I can’t wait to share this with my friends and family. I’d like to say if someone had written this 29 months sooner, the decision to have a third would have quickly been erased. Although I don’t regret having a third, my only girl, but I see a real bumpy road ahead for the next few years at least. I’m going to hold on for the ride. Thank you for this amazing truthful article. Good luck and Blessings to you and your family.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I’m glad it resonated with you. I’m awfully sorry to hear that someone is battling cancer, however. That makes everything harder. I’m sorry. And I do think things will gradually get easier–with each time my youngest has a birthday, I feel more like I will probably survive! Blessings to you as well.

      Reply

  66. Leanne:

    I also have 3 children. Everything and I mean everything you have said apply to my life. Oldest is 6 and baby2 and 3 are twins who are 3yrs. They are all boys which I can add to the mess and smells in the bathroom are super needy. The oldest reverts to his baby ways because of the younger ones and the twins are both runners. They have no fear because they have a partner so they are not scared. A trip to the grocery store is a grey haired stressful time for me especially if the twins are not on baby lock down in the cart. Almost all stores have a single kid seat. To get the double we have to go to a more expensive store and with a family of 5 you try to save as much as you can right? Our recent trip to see Santa alone cause hubs was working was embarrassing. I just love when you are sweating from carrying all the coats chasing the kids losing my place in line twice and someone says “ohh you are going to miss this time with them it goes so fast” WHAT? Are you bleeping kiddding me? I’m pretty sure this is the time I will want to forget and not miss. Ohh and thanks for holding the door open for my kid to escape out into the busy parking lot while I’m 3 people behind and can’t get through. But now I look bad that I can’t control my kids. Sigh……..I tell my husband I drink because I love them. Hahaha of course we love them but holy cow do we really need to smash all the eggs on the floor??lol

    Reply

  67. Christine Emmick:

    Dear Laura,

    As much as I would like to appease you and say that bigger groups of kids turn into one blob of humanity, it isn’t true. No matter how many children we are blessed with, each one is an individual and has individual needs. Some will be less needy, some will be more helpful, but each grows up their own person. It is a blessing to watch them grow!

    What doesn’t matter, the clean house, the christmas cards, the angry look of strangers when your little guys misbehave, will slowly disappear. Remember, you are building memories, and personalities, in those little people, and what they need is most important. Give them your time, your hugs, your praise and yourself. Everyone else, especially those who worship at the alter of perfect children, ignore them. It is really true, those that matter, won’t mind, and those that mind, don’t matter. :)

    As an aside, I’d make an effort to find a new set of friends. Almost all of my friends offer to watch my 4 at the drop of a hat. The more the merrier!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha, thanks. I don’t think I’m up to being pregnant again anyway (my body is unkind to me when pregnant), so it is unlikely that I would experiment to find out if four was easier! But it’s good to hear it confirmed. :) Oddly, things are already getting easier, at least for the moment, as my youngest is two instead of a baby. However, I know as they each go through their cycles, we’ll have easier times and harder times.

      Reply

      • Christine Emmick:

        It doesn’t get easier, you get better at it. :) Each trial makes you a better mom. This is why they call the oldest the trial model. LOL

      • Laura:

        This is very true. Thanks for pointing it out–I do feel like I have babies down now, and the third baby himself was a piece of cake because I knew how to feed him, how to get him to nap, etc., and what to expect. That may be why it occasionally feels easier to people with more children–you get better at parenting with practice.

  68. Julianne:

    Found your blog post on FB and loved it. I love that… “Sadistic Glee”! It’s even better when you announce that it isn’t your 1st but your 4th! I get the, “My, you have your hands full” a lot and I used to get irritated but now I look them in the eye and say, “yeah, I do” then stare at them blankly in hopes that they’ll get the door for me or something! It’s very funny! I do think 4 is easier than 3, though but that is probably because my 3rd is a tornado!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I know–it’s funny to me how many people still don’t offer assistance, however. And yet meanwhile, I’ve gotten really good at doing things like kind of kicking doors open so I can push a stroller through with one hand while I carry an angry four year old under the other arm.

      Reply

  69. Joe:

    Laura, A quick scroll through the comments (I didn’t read them all, but skimmed) and it appears no Dad posted? If so, I apologize to my fellow man. Your post made me smile and my wife would undoubtedly agree. But we were pretty dumb. As in, we didn’t think ANY of this through at the time! Our boys are now 11, 10 and 9. We’ve made it through what you write about and are now in the middle of another set of challenges: sports, scouts, church and other extra activities. All which present unique issues. For example, our 10-year old is passionate about football. From July to November youth football takes up a lot of time. A. Lot. His brothers play soccer. Divide and conquer! And come to grips with the guilt that you can’t be be at every game every time. Thankfully, our boys realize that. Or seem to anyway! Enjoy the ride and thanks for the post! Joe

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I’m so happy you posted! I am passionate about men’s voices being represented in the parenting mess. I will admit I am a bit terrified about multiple children being involved in activities! I have never wanted to overprogram them, but I would like them to have the chance to be in a sport and have some sort of art. But if they each only do one activity of each of those sort, that’s 6 activities right there! There’s only one of me! :)

      Reply

  70. Laura:

    I loved your article! You are so funny. I am hoping for 4. We are at one…lol. We’ll see how I feel later. ;-)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I hope you are happy with however many children you wind up with. :) Have fun and enjoy.

      Reply

  71. aura:

    Being a mother and UNABLE to have more children of my own (due to the unpredictable effects of chemo) , im incredibly disappointed to see so many woman complaining and discouraging other women from having more children if they wanted to. I mean, if you didnt WANT three kids, or cannot appreciate having them, why did you have them? Its a choice, and a slap in the face to those of us who dont HAVE that choice anymore. I appreciate the humor, and enjoyed the read, but cant help but feel that your making fun of those of us who have been robbed of even the choice of having more kids.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I certainly did not write this post with that intent. I did not intend to have three children, actually, and greatly struggled with supporting my family and raising a third child close in age to the others. I wrote this out of the fatigue and exhaustion of that time. I do feel greatly blessed, both with my health and fertility, and I would not wish away any of my children. I am sorry you felt mocked, because I would certainly never, never mock anyone who was having a difficult time. In some ways, I wrote it to mock myself. I am also sorry you have not been able to have what you wanted.

      Reply

    • Sara:

      I’m in agreement with this. Some of us aren’t afforded the luxury of choosing how many children we have. So when you look at that pile of laundry you complain about, think of those who choke back tears when they realize they will never be folding onesies.

      Reply

      • greenspirituality:

        Battling with fertility is so sad, no doubt about it.
        That being said, please understand that communication is humankind’s number one way to deal. She is writing about her experience so that others may learn, and so she can heal. Maybe to you, zero children is the most problematic thing in the world. It may be like cancer of your soul. But perhaps the author needs to write this in her own journey of healing, a path you long to walk but has been denied to you so far. Maybe her subconscious is trying to teach her a lesson via blogging, or reconcile parts of herself? Who knows? Not you or I. Please don’t judge her because you are jealous of what her uterus can achieve. We all walk our own paths of healing and love, and ideally should not be slammed for being honest.
        John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

      • Laura:

        Thank you for your thoughts for all of us. And yes, I absolutely use writing as both a coping mechanism and as a means of sharing in a community.

  72. Tony:

    As a parent of 5 going on 6 children….i find this article to be woefully inaccurate. It sounds like maybe you didn’t need 3 children, but don’t deter others from the awesome experience just because you struggle.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I’m glad it has been easier for you. Perhaps everyone has different needs and experiences.

      Reply

    • Greg:

      Woefully inaccurate? Aren’t you the father of the year? I wouldn’t call this a “discouragement” as much as a “hey, here is our experience”. Which, by the way, seems to be connecting with a TON of folks. I appreciated her wit and willingness to share some tough truths about parenting. Maybe you should share your secrets to perfect parenting.

      Reply

    • Alison Beavers:

      I don’t think she’s trying to deter anyone from having three kids…I think she is just sharing a VERY COMMON experience that those of us with three kids have. Some of us aren’t perfect and can’t handle everything all the time and its good to know that there are others that can relate to the craziness that sometimes consumes us. We all love our kids (no matter the number) but it helps to share our experiences with others. She’s only bringing humor to a sometimes stressful situation.

      Reply

  73. Marlin Woosley (@marlinwoosley):

    I totally relate with exception of the two genders. We had all boys. I was good with two boys but my wife really wanted a girl. Okay, one more. Then she still wanted a girl.

    I grew up with three siblings and we were transported in a three-seated station wagon. There were seven children in my wife’s family. When I reminded her of rows of children in a well-used passenger van, that brought her back to reality.

    The three boys were all involved in various activities. Try to make it to three different baseball games in one evening when they’re playing in three different leagues. Luckily, that was only one year. Two of the boys overlapped and played soccer and baseball together most of their years.With choir, band, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Tiger Cubs, etc. they kept us moving though. When the oldest went out on his own the household really settled down. There were 4 years from first to second son and 2 years to the third one.

    We’ve been blessed with a lot of granddaughters. Grandma has thoroughly enjoyed them. Thank you for a great article!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, I am terrified about activities! This year was my first year with two kids in soccer, and just that about killed me. :) I do often think that the joy and bustle of holidays and eventual grandchildren will be increased by my “happy accident.”

      Reply

  74. Rebecca:

    I loved reading this! I only have two girls, with the thought of a third. I think you helped me make my decision. ;) good luck

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Ha ha! Don’t take me too much at my word.

      Reply

  75. Mel:

    You forgot “the chaos theory of 3″… if you have 3 kids and you take 1 out of the equation (for an outing with the other parent or friends, grandparents, the neighbors dog, whomever) the other 2 will get along beautifully. They will play nicely and it won’t be crazy at all. But bring that 3rd child back into the house, doesn’t even have to be back in the same room with the other 2, just somewhere in the vicinity, and all heck breaks loose and the other 2, who were contentedly playing nicely and quietly, will suddenly become crazed lunatic once again. I used to think the constant craziness was our oldest’s fault (he’s 2 yr older than his brothers), that he was just too hyper and would incite the younger 2 (twin boys 2 yrs younger than the oldest), but it really doesn’t seem to matter which one is taken out of the equation, it seems to work the same for all 3. And I’ve talked to many others with 3, some with twins some with stairsteps, some with all boys, all girls and mixed, and it seems to apply across the board for any 3 kids. Chaos Theory of 3!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You are so right! I can take any two of them anywhere! It seems SO easy! And if you remove two, the third mopes and grieves their absence–until they come back and s/he starts punching everyone again and crying.

      Reply

  76. Jarod Krystin Morris:

    My wife and I (“mostly” her) just had our 5th. We can relate! There is at most 26 months between any of them. The closest is 19 months. (Between #2 and #3). When the doctor placed the third one in her arms she said she had a mother’s instinct feeling that he was going to be our most difficult. Now that he is the middle child, it all makes sense.

    For those of you struggling, just remember that admit the chaos there are times we would trade the world to make stand still. Do all you can to remember those and develop amnesia for the rest. ~Jarod

    Reply

    • Jarod Krystin Morris:

      “remember that amid”

      Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, it’s true that even already all of the chaos I wrote about six months ago has subsided and changed, and it’s a little fuzzy in my mind. My current challenge is watching my baby turn into a two year old, complete with opinions and stubbornness. :)

      Reply

  77. Liz:

    Loved the part about hitting one in the head with the car seat, because it would cause less damage than getting hit by a car!! I (unexpectantly) got pregnant a third time, we found out when our second daughter was just turning one. It took awhile for the shock to wear off… Until we went to the ultrasound to find out if it was a boy or girl, and the technician stopped and loudly said, Oh my goodness, there are TWO!!!! I about fell off the table and my husband went very pale. Yup , it was twin boys! They ended up being born @ 29 weeks, and stayed in the hospital for 7 1/2 weeks, all while we were building our new house and living in an apartment! To say it was crazy was an understatement! We had 4 children under the age of 4 (our oldest girl just turned 3!). Not really sure how we survived that first year, but it’s definitely easier know that they are all in school!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh my goodness! Yes, twins are a whole different ballpark, as I realized once my brother had a set. I’m so sorry they were in NICU–my middle child wound up there, and that was a terrible time. And I think it does all come down to surviving that first year!

      Reply

  78. Yvonne:

    As a mom of 9 (ages 22, 20, 18, 16, 15, 13, 11, 5, & 3), I often get the “how do you do it?”. My reply, “Once you get to 3 children it really doesn’t matter how many you have after that”! You are in the family groove already, so adding another child into the mix really isn’t that much more work. Enjoy the younger years, once you have teenagers, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I do appreciate that, while it’s physically tiring, the stakes are still pretty low! Once they are teenagers, I know there are a lot of new issues. [Bracing self.]

      Reply

    • Connie:

      I have 9 kids 13;12;10;8;6;4;3;18months;5 months and soon as I had my 4th it was all the same

      Reply

  79. lindy Parsons:

    After reading your post, i have to say i have had some of “those” moments. I am a christian and everywhere children are mentioned in the bible, they are considered blessings or rewards. Yes, it is hard raising multiples, but the benefits are eternal. By the way, i have 5 children (ages 6, 4, 3, 22 months and 7 weeks)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thank you. Yes, this is true that they are a blessing. And even the difficulties are a blessing (usually in retrospect).

      Reply

  80. Kathy:

    Laura, when I saw this blog shared on Facebook, I just had to read it because I have 3 children. The big difference is that my children, all girls, are grown. My first two were 15 months apart in age and number three came 4 1/2 years later. I can tell you that the first two were much more of a struggle being close in age and, this was before drive-thru windows and pay at the pump! My girls are now married with kids of their own. I would love to read your blog 15 years from now and see how you feel. I’ll agree that keeping up with 3 schedules was a challenge at times (most of the time) but I promise you it was worth it. The girls always have a sister available when they need someone and their kids have even more cousins to play with. Each of my daughters have 2 children and I’m trying to convince them to have number 3 so I hope they don’t read your blog! LOL (Grandmas can never have too many grandchildren.) The hardest part of 3 daughters was paying for three weddings! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that it does get easier. Enjoy every minute. The early years are gone much too quickly.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thank you–and bless you for your encouragement, haha. I always appreciate being around people who have survived the younger years. I myself look forward to seeing how my whole family changes through the years.

      Reply

  81. Pam:

    If I could write, this would have been me 20 years ago!!! You put my life with three small girls on paper. I remember one particularly bad day I called my grandmother ( who had raised me) to vent and whine about the children. She listened to me for a while and then she said “Try to enjoy them now, because they are just stepping on your apron strings….one day they will grow up and stomp on your heart strings” In my case my grandmother was right!!! So glad you can vent through your writing skills!! You will never run out of material!!!!!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thank you. :) Yes, every day is full of trials and hysterically funny little moments, not to mention sweet little tidbits. Life with children is certainly entertaining! Often more so after the fact, however.

      Reply

  82. Lindsay:

    This is my first time reading your blog. This was definitely a great read for me! We had planned on 2 children and ended up having triplets when our first was only 15 months old. I have been so frustrated with people thinking they understand what it’s like to have 4 children under 2. As my triplets have reached the year mark, it is getting easier, but I have most of the same issues you addressed here. Good luck to you! :)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh my goodness! That would be a big change! My nephews are twins, and they have the most intensely intimate relationship, but also a challenging one. And yes, when you hit the year mark, I think everything gets much easier, and then again at the two year mark.

      Reply

  83. Fabgrandma:

    Yes, I agree. I have three children. The oldest was three and a half when the youngest was born. Ir was difficult to go anywhere with them. It was hard to find a sitter for them. It was hard to get either grandmother to take them all for the day or the night because they were too much trouble.

    There is only 15 months between #2 and #3, both girls. The biggest problem I had was that I could never let #2 do things that I deemed age related, like wearing make-up and nylons, and going on dates, without #3 declaring that she, too, was old enough to do it. She thought they were both the same age from about 1 year old and up.

    And the fights. OH! GOD! The Fights! They still talk about the day I took all three of them out in the yard, gave them each a big stick, and told them to start hitting each other and don’t stop until only one is left alive, because they were slowly trying to kill each other on a daily basis. They all looked at me like I was the crazy one, but guess what? They did not fight for the remainder of THAT DAY.

    My children are now 39, 40, and 42. They still fight. They still drive me cra-zee. But, I still love them with all my heart.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I have that problem with both of my younger children–the four year old thinks he should do what the seven year old does, and the two year old REALLY thinks he should do everything the four year old does! Thanks for your stories and encouragement–I always look to those who have (sort of) survived the chaos.

      Reply

  84. cassie:

    That Was Greatness!!! I have Been there with My 3 and it Does Get…..I wont say Easier, But More Manageable! Thank God All 3 of Mine are in School, and of course they All Get Out at Different times. ..and You get that Random, “My Dog is My Child” Person asking if You Get Bored being a stay at Home Mom with No kids at Home…I wouldnt know what Bored looked like if it Kicked My In My Booty! My 3rd Child is the Child I Never Knew I Wanted! And to those thinking about it……Good Luck!!

    Reply

  85. Courtney:

    Oh man. This is my life. Mine are now a little older 11 1/2, 10, & 5. So things are easier. But still so exhausting sometimes. I sympathize on the clean house and low tolerance for noise. My husband thinks I’m mean but sometimes I just can’t handle it. Thank you for the laugh and making me feel better. I have those most kids out of my friends and they just don’t get it. :)

    Reply

  86. Hilary:

    I have three kids, too. My oldest is 5, my middle is 3, and my youngest is 1, all almost exactly 2 years apart. For us, honestly, 3 has not been bad at all! My then 4 year old was pretty helpful with the baby, and now at 5, she’s very helpful. She changes his diapers, plays with my 3 year old if I have to be with the baby, and even puts the baby to sleep. She helps make herself and her sister breakfast and snacks, helps buckle her sister into her carseat. You have to teach and train them to help. Maybe it’s because my oldest is just very “maternal” and loves babies and all that, but I dont know, I know many families of 8+ kids that say it’s easier with 8 than it was with 2, especially if they have older girls. I joke that when we have more (because we do want more!) that I’ll just hand it off to my oldest to take care of haha she’d love that. ;)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      It is true that as my daughter has gotten older, I have been able to give her increasing responsibility, and I have gradually been able to trust that the older two are watching out for Noah while they are playing.

      Reply

  87. Sarah:

    Yes, yes and YES! Though mine are ages 3,2, and yes 1!!! I had number 3 before number one was 3! Dang it I’m tired and not nearly the woman I once thought I might be as a “happy little mom”. but my kids are fed, they laugh, they fight, they are sometimes clean, and they really are happy…so there. lol! Thanks for reminding me others feel like me!

    Reply

  88. Lucia:

    Did you know know how babies are made? Maybe you should have spaced them out better or stopped at two. My children are a gift and those days may be challenging, I am so blessed to be a parent

    Reply

  89. kccmom:

    Nice read. I think age has a lot to do with it too though. I have an infant, a 6 year old and an 8 year old and its not that bad. :-)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I do agree that spacing can make a huge difference.

      Reply

  90. Nancy Talbert:

    I absolutely loved this!!! Just remembering when… I too have 3 kids daughter 14, daughter 10 and son 7. I never thought I or the kids would survive. I caught my oldest one day climbing on the dresser to try to restart her Cd player (which was on top of the mirror hutch and the remote was sitting right by her foot) I thought the whole thing was going to come down on top of her. I also have snipped more than I have cared to, but their hugs to cheer me up and try to get out of the trouble they have been into, makes the best medicine. The chaos has calmed down some, but I don’t know how the teenage years are going to be……guess we’ll see. :-)

    Reply

  91. fairygurl91787Jonni:

    This could have been me writing the story of the party 2 houses down. I am a new mommy to 3, ages (Just turned) 6, (almost) 21 months, and (almost) 3 months.There have been a couple occasions where I have been looking around helplessly and can only imagine the looks I got :) Thank you so much for sharing, and giving my insite on whats to come :D

    Reply

  92. Kris:

    Sorry you are a loser. Love my three and two of mine are twins. U complain too much.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Wow, I guess you’re one of those people who feels like they can call people names on the internet. Good luck with that.

      Reply

  93. Wendy Mitchell:

    Laughed our loud so many times! Thanks for the reminder that we moms of herds are not alone, haha! I have 4 – 12, 8, 6, and 4. Every day is a new sitcom :-) hang in there!

    Reply

  94. pepper:

    loved this! I am the mom of 4 girls: a 16 yr old, twin 14 yr old, and a 10 yr old. Let me say 4 is not easy either. My oldest was 23 months old when the twins were born. Thank God she had pretty much potty trained herself. The twins had colic for about 3 months between 6 and 9pm every day! That was the first time I thought I was going crazy. Then when the twins were potty training they would wake up at some point in the night before I checked in on them and would “paint” the walls…. Cleaning poo off the walls several times is enough to make you crazy. Second time I thought I was going to go crazy. Then when the youngest one was mobile she decided she didn’t want to wear clothes…or a diaper. She would start taking everything off no matter where we were. I was brave enough to enroll in college classes when the youngest was 2. I had no one to watch the girls for me to go to the school and do some paperwork. while standing in line and trying to keep them all quiet the youngest began to attempt to strip. Third time i almost went crazy. By this point i had learned the art of duct taping her diaper so she couldn’t get it off. Don’t judge me, i never taped it to her. Not many people are able to watch 4 small kids at once( or aren’t brave enough), Like I said in the beginning, three of them are now teenagers. The oldest one is calm but sneaky, the twins are normal dramatic teens and the youngest is trying to figure out what her boundaries are. 20th and current time I feel like im losing my mind. Yes I skipped a few but that will all be in my book : How I survived, 4 kids and 3 husbands later. Lol!!! Thankfully the older 3 are able to watch the youngest while I do what little I do without them. Some days I really feel like I’m going to lose my mind. They make me insane but I love them very much.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha! I wasn’t imagining you taped the diaper to the baby, don’t worry.

      Reply

  95. Jessica:

    This is the stuff I try to explain to my friends. My last trip to the grocery store was epic. I don’t understand why my daughter can go potty 5 minutes before we arrive and still end up needing to go poop every single trip to the grocery store. Then I have to corral my toddler son as he wants to touch every disgusting thing in the bathroom. I’m only thankful our Kroger has an amazing family bathroom. My daughter is sensitive to loud noises so the hurricane flushes of some toilets and super charged wind of the hand dryers causes major meltdowns. Every child is different and handles things in their own way. Don’t even get me started about the wise older woman who decide at those moments to dole out their extra special advice about cherishing every moment. I certainly do and love my children enormously! However, those are not the ones that I will be smiling back upon wishing I could redo them 30 years later. Thanks for keeping it real! I’m glad to know other people understand what it’s like.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Ugh, my daughter was terrified of those toilets for years! I would try to rig up some toilet paper to cover the eye, but it never worked that well, and she’d still freak out because of other people’s toilets! :) And yes to the poop thing–I think it’s a law of science.

      Reply

  96. Sara:

    My friend, and fellow mother of three, sent me this post and I loved every word. My kids are 6, 5 & 1 and even with a super husband, we are desperately outnumbered some days. Just this week, we got a sitter from 4-7 to feed them and put them to bed. It was pure heaven.

    Reply

  97. K. R.:

    Enjoyed the read. Thanks for this. We have 3 under 5 – the youngest 2 are twins under 2. Sometimes i think a 4th would balance it out but there’s no way I’d survive it. I’m 44. We do have an au pair which was the best priced childcare help to assist me as a stay at home mom. I am still exhausted all the time and never manage to get much beyond food, laundry, basic picking up, and bedtimes done on a daily basis.

    Reply

  98. theotherdiane:

    I only had 2, now adults, but a friend shared it and I enjoyed the read. I am the oldest of 5, so I appreciate getting Mom’s view. Ignore the haters and people who took this too personally. Sensible people know you love your children and wouldn’t send any back, and if God gave you another, you would love her too. I did enjoy this, especially the taking out the kid with the car seat, as I know it was all tongue-in-cheek. It brightened my day. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You are absolutely right that I love them and that everyone who knows me knows I do. I also would deeply love another child, the way I do my “happy accident.” Bless you for your kind words. :)

      Reply

  99. presenceinpoetry:

    I must wonder… why we make it so difficult these days. My dad was one of nine. I’m sure my grandmother was exhausted, but from the stories I’ve heard, it didn’t seem to rough :) seven boys and two girls. I’ve been a school teacher, 22 plus six-year-olds at a time, and you are trying to teach them too. I’ve been a private nanny with up to seven kids at a time. Oh, and then the experience with twin infants and a three year old. I’ll admit that was a bit trickier. I’m not saying any of it is easy, (esp. the summer camp experience, or dealing with many children who have extreme special needs) but I do find that many people I see seem to make it more difficult than it needs to be– structure, routine, and organization. Good luck.

    Reply

  100. Joshua-Kayleigh Aubrey-Emily:

    I have FOUR kids, three was easy!! I am 35 and my kids are boy 11 yr, and girls 9yr 7yr and almost 7m…yea it’s like a circus but the most fun…dont ever think u dont want one more the answer is YES..have as many as you want!! (I’m done of course only cuz im too old and hubs is 45) otherwise i’d def be having more!

    Reply

  101. gail moore:

    Amen sister!! I had three children within 5 years. Been there done that is an understatement as now my brood are in high school, middle school, and elementary school. Yes! Finally my last year of three different schools and my oldest will SOON be a driver! Im so excited I dont know whether to cry or jump for joy! My husband and I were blessed with two boys first and werent exactly trying for a third but the idea of having a daughter of my own was haunting me. So when I found out I was indeed getting my girl I was ecstatic! How very little did I know she would be excluded from nearly every activity and have to become one of the boys anyway! We are still learning and growing and loving our full house as too soon I know it will be empty once again. I loved your post! Keep up the good work!!

    Reply

  102. Glynn:

    Wow, so much food for thought and memories come to mind. I have six children, (4 in 6 years, all cesarean, all planned, and then we adopted twins same age as youngest child). We left America with one 5 month old and lived in 3rd world Africa raising them all overseas far from family, and now that I have an 18, 17, 15 12,12,&12 year old I considered them all to have been very good years, but no, not easy. Now, I don’t dread the teen phase at all. Your children teach you so much about the real matters of life, and God is gracious through it all. Enjoy the “long days, short years” phase you are in, soon you’ll miss them.

    Reply

  103. bree:

    yes. This is even true when you have them spaced apart- I have a 16 yr old, 8 yr old and 3 yr old- and I have forgotten parent teacher conferences, after school activities, etc. In some cases, it’s easier, because the teenager is SO old, but then someone thinks he’s the daddy and it all goes to hell. And anyone that says School lasts all day doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about- I swear, as soon as I get them both off, it’s time for one to come home. Up-side, I have no delusions that I’ll actually accomplish something during preschool hours, so that let down didn’t take me down this time… though I’ve had to buy baby crap 3 times over now, since they’re so far apart. That wasn’t any fun. I’ve been peed on, pooped on, puked on and run around ragged with spit up down my back. I am headed out the other side, where occasionally I get out of the house, alone (thank God for the teenager) with a matching, clean outfit and my hair actually dried by a hairdrier (just don’t look at my socks).

    Reply

  104. Maria:

    Mine are 8, 4 and 2. This made me nod and laugh. What’s really funny is when I am somewhere with just one, or more often, two, I get a lot of “advice” and people actually seem horrified/mad when I say oh I have three, my oldest is at school etc. As if they wasted their precious advice on me. ;-)

    Reply

  105. Nikki:

    OMG! Do you have secret cameras at my house? So very, very true on all counts! My daughter is 9.5, son #1 is 8 and son #2 is 3. Thank you for posting this. Laughed so hard I cried!

    Reply

    • Jennifer Holmes:

      This made me laugh… I have 6 children ages 18, 17, 14, 9, 7 and 4. It is harder physically when they are little… But mentally when they are older. The younger ones exhaust you, but the older ones need to chat late into the night. The hard work is all worth it, as they become your best friends:-) I cannot imagine life without any one if my children. I honestly believe that if I can raise 6 kids anyone can. I lack patience, am scatterbrained, and not too organized!! Lol. You’re children are your greatest blessings!! We are done having children though;)

      Reply

      • Laura:

        You can remind me of this later, but I often feel more up to the emotionally challenging years than these physically challenging ones. Remaining sane while tired/hungry/hormonal/in pain is very difficult for me–and I feel like I’m constantly all of those things when I have babies or toddlers! I love teenagers, though of course the stakes are so much higher at that point–and that does scare me a bit. But I sure hope they want to chat to me late into the night. You know you are doing something right if they do. Thanks.

  106. kerry:

    I have an 11 yr old boy, a 9 yr old girl and 4 yr old girl. It is loud and messy here day in day out. What I notice as a blogger is I don’t get invites as things are for fours usually and seating us a restaurant sucks. It is a roller coaster….

    Reply

  107. Kelly:

    I love having three, that being said I put almost 5 years between the first two, who are 26 months apart, and the baby. Life is crazy logistically with school, sports, etc. as you said but I feel like I can enjoy them.

    Reply

  108. Amy:

    Wow, that is exactly my life. Even the same genders and ages. Could not agree more!! This is rough! I love the part about birthday cards to your mom or husband – couldn’t be more right on. Thanks for verifying that there are others out there feeling like this. :)

    Reply

  109. quivermindedmama:

    I don’t really get this article. I think it’s supposed to be funny, but I am having a hard time seeing past the anti-child sentiment to get to the humor part. What it seems like is that you are trying to discourage people from having more kids, while lacing it with a bit of humor. We all have the funny stories, and the horror stories, whether we have 1 child or 20. You say that you love each of them, yet simultaneously you are telling others not to go for that third child. Think about that one for a sec… from an outsider-looking-in perspective, it sounds like you regret having the last kid. So much of parenting is about how you look at it; personally, I choose to embrace the chaos! Yes, things can get a little hectic sometimes, but it’s worth every second of it. It’s sad that you wrote paragraph after paragraph about how difficult it is to have 3, and then one little blip at the end basically said, “Oh, yeah, it has its rewards too.” And even then, it was followed by yet another complaint about not having any time. I have admittedly never read your blog before. Perhaps you do thoroughly enjoy the gift of motherhood, but it really doesn’t come across here AT ALL. It also makes me not particularly interested in reading anymore of your blog, if this is any indication of your attitude toward your children!

    Reply

    • Lani M Dingman Siciliano:

      I agree with you quiverminded mama. And what is on the internet stays on the internet. That poor third child will read this someday.

      Reply

    • Bardbabe:

      I agree with your take on the article. If I were one of her children, when I grew up read this I would feel like crap.

      I have four children. The oldest and the youngest are just under five years apart. The two youngest are 16 months apart. I loved it when they were little and still do now that my oldest is almost 15. Was it chaotic? Sure. What is amazing and fun? Definitely.

      I think the author is, for lack of a better word, a wuss.

      Reply

    • Hilary:

      I totally agree. I mean, how in the world does ANYONE have more than 3 children? Women used to have 10+ children and still lived to tell about it and their kids were probably more adjusted than kids nowadays.

      I really hope the author of this blog post deletes the post before her kids are old enough to read it. It would break my heart if my mom wrote some of these things about me, even if jokingly. :/

      Reply

      • Tippy:

        Exactly what I said! Funny. Women in prior generations had more than 3 children, no electricity or indoor plumbing. I bet they didn’t bitch about the blessing of the helping hands of their children.

      • Laura:

        Haha! People didn’t complain in the old days? Guess we’ve evolved quickly!

      • Allie:

        Seriously? It would break your heart if you knew your mom had jokingly complained about you running around naked as a toddler or peeing on yourself as a baby? These are things that babies and toddlers are *expected to do*- it’s not a personal insult. I’m quite certain that I was an enormous pain in the butt for most of my childhood, and probably a good portion of my teenagerhood as well. Anyone who believes otherwise is, quite frankly, deluding themselves.

    • AP:

      That was not AT ALL what I got from this blog. Laura’s responses to negative stuff like this are so kind. I think you, and the others who have replied in a negative manner, sound like self righteous jerks. Then there are the overly sensitive who read this article and think that it is a jab at those who can’t have children, or who already have multiple children. Ugh. It is so tiring to read. I enjoyed that the author has a sense of humor about herself, and the life she leads with her three kids (the good and the bad). Nowhere in there did I see any suggestion of regret for having her third child. Jump off your high horse, and don’t fall too hard on the way down.

      Reply

  110. Heather:

    I think my mom did it the right way. She had me young, then 8 years later she got married and had 3 more kids. They are 8, 10 and 13 years younger than me. I did a lot of the raising along with my parents, and they never had to pay for a babysitter, I was always available and free until I moved out at 19, and I couldn’t wait to leave! People used to ask me how many kids I wanted for a long time, my answer was NONE! I’ve already raised 3! Now I’m married and have a daughter. My little sister and my daughter are 13 years apart, just like our age difference. But my one child is extremely strong willed and stubborn. My husband and I couldn’t imagine having anymore right now. She’s 3 and we are waiting at least 2 more years before we try for another!

    Reply

  111. Katy Ivey:

    I agree that 3 is a handful and I have experienced some of the same scenarios. Once I was so tired that I backed out of the garage before the door was up completely. My three are 19, 12 and 8 now but I still spend a lot of time in my car driving them all to their activities including school, work, band practice and voice lessons but honestly I wouldn’t change a thing. I love being a tired mother of three!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha! I can see doing that with my car! I have certainly become a lot less “together” since my childless days!

      Reply

      • The Snark Side:

        Says the person who once drove into a parking garage with her bike on the roof rack…before she had ANY children?

      • Laura:

        Hahaha! So punky!

  112. Jill:

    Lol I feel like I wrote this in a pregnant dementia episode! I am 33, I have three children 7 and a half, 3 and 1/2 and almost two. I’m expecting #4. People ask if I’m crazy all the time or ask if it’s my first since I too have a baby face. thanks! Nice knowing someone else is going through it and is real

    Reply

  113. bonnie:

    I couldn’t DISAGREE with you more! As a mother to a 2, 3 and 4 year old with another on the way, your view saddens me and I truly hope those you spill your thoughts to find someone who takes the exact opposite stance to share their positive experiences. Raising ANY number of children is never going to be easy, but IT IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT!

    Reply

    • Tippy:

      Amen. Please don’t complain about motherhood on a public level. Talk to friends when you need to vent. I don’t even know you and I was easily able to find this blog. Imagine how terrible your children will feel when they are older and they read how stressed out their existence made you. Children are a blessing.

      Reply

      • Laura:

        Actually my daughter thinks this is great and loves when I write about them being silly or crazy (or about when I am silly or crazy). Guess everyone is different.

      • LisaKami:

        Some of you guys are really nuts. My own mom makes no secret of how hard she found it to be raising just two of us – “It’s the hardest job in the world!” If you’re telling your kids anything but the honest truth, which is what I see here – that it’s amazing but it’s HARD – you’re not doing them any favors. They themselves will be parents one day but apart from that, kids today should have an appreciation for what has been done for them and all they’ve been given living in the privileged circumstances those of reading this blog likely find ourselves.

    • Connie:

      I love what you wrote I couldn’t agree more!! I’m a mother of 9 and me personally thinks that being a mother is the most awarding thing anybody could ask for!!!

      Reply

  114. Kathy Schriefer:

    Oh, I LOVE this. Yes, I had three daughters within 4 years. And we had one bathroom. And it was in the late 1970s so the phone was on the wall and had a cord that was never long enough. They would defiantly do all kinds of horrible things just beyond the reach of the phone cord. And I used cloth diapers for two kids at a time for 5 years. And I was nursing and/or pregnant for 7 straight years. Those were the hardest years of my life. Anyone who says differently has amnesia or Alzheimer’s. BUT they all survived, as did I, and now they are 35, 33, and 31 years old–one is a producer for NPR, one works for a non-profit building and repairing homes for low-income persons, and that #3 just started private practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist. There is hope. They do grow up. But please, in 30 years, don’t ever forget how hard it was.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thank you so much. I do look forward to (and sometimes fear) the future. But this is hard! :)

      Reply

  115. AK:

    I am ecstatic to hear that I’m not the only one who has thought of taking down my middle child with the car seat.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      And I am also ecstatic to hear this!!

      Reply

  116. amy:

    I’m a mother to a 3yo and a 10 month old and I my heart wanted a 3. After reading this, I’m going to double up on the birth control!

    Reply

  117. dani:

    So true. I have a 1, 2, & 3 yr old. Life is never dull

    Reply

  118. md:

    Wow this was great! I couldn’t stop laughing at the “you have your hands full” Part. Hear it nearly every day. Yes, it’s oh so helpful lol. I have 2 young boys but have always wanted a girl. ..def should wait a few years lol

    Reply

  119. Donna:

    Great blog, Laura. We always thought we’d have three. Then our daughter was born! We still tell people we have three kids…we count her twice!

    Reply

  120. Kristy:

    I also am a mom of 3. My oldest is 10 then 8.5 and my youngest is 7. I truely didn’t think I would survive the first few years with three. Thank you for this story! I can relate to so much and it gave me a little laugh!

    Reply

  121. Harmony:

    HA! I feel like I just read a diary page from my past. I have three children who are 8, 10, and 12. It does get better. lol Maybe b/c if it didn’t, you’d loose what little sanity you have left. *Subscribing*

    Reply

  122. Matthew:

    This was a great post. As a half time single dad of four boys (and face it, there is no such thing as a half time parent) I know how amazingly challenging, hilarious, and frustrating it can be to have all these little humans clamoring for attention. Finding humor and joy in the exasperation is in itself rewarding. What are you going to do? Send them back? Thanks for the great anecdotes from a keen eye and a great wit!

    Reply

  123. Melissa:

    Just discovered your blog today. Love it! We have 2 girls (5 and 2), but are seriously considering a 3rd. Eek! Such a big decision. Thank you for your honesty about having 3!

    Reply

  124. Farrah (@Momofthreeunder):

    Like many people (in my circle) I have an oldest (4) and twins (3). They’re all boys. I am 38. And I am so tired.

    Reply

  125. jenireader:

    Very very funny – and true. My three are all adults now – you’ll love it when they’re adults!

    Reply

  126. Trina:

    Well I have three now. My youngest is six and in there first grade. And I’m 35. So what’s your thoughts on a fourth child, we’ve been talking.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oddly, I think if you’re up for it, you may as well go for it. Friends with various numbers of multiples have said the jump from 2 to 3 was the hardest. Some of the commenters say it is easier. Some say it is not. But of course I know it’s not something to be taken lightly.

      Reply

  127. Tina D. Smith:

    Asher is the name of my 3rd :)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh, cool! :) You have good taste.

      Reply

  128. Tracie:

    Loved this so much. Thanks for writing it.

    Reply

  129. Michael:

    Sounds like you need management training and should spend less time writing articles and more time practicing how to be a efficient with your time. Your article is more of a rant of your personal problems and not really advice.

    Reply

    • Jenny:

      Seriously, Michael? Either you have less than 3 children or their mother takes care of them.

      Reply

  130. Caroline Staley:

    Love this and totally agree! My youngest is 18M now and my wildest by far…a girl, after 2 boys (8 and 5yrs old). It’s A.LOT! Things are getting better, but it is busy. Very busy!

    Reply

  131. Kara Ariail:

    I just read this post after a friend of mine shared it on Facebook. I have a 7, 4 and 2 year old and you summed it all up perfectly, especially the part about the school drop-off logistics. You are a talented writer and I look forward to following your blog! Kara

    Reply

  132. Judith:

    HaHaHa!! LoL! This is my life, except mine is a little different. I have an almost 4 yr who is Autistic and a set of twins who are 2 1/2. The oldest and the twins are 17 months apart. You talk about fun times- Yea, we have tons of them here! I’m so scattered I barely can remember anyone’s name and sometimes I often have to check the sink for dirty dishes and particles of left over food just to see if I have fed them recently! LoL! You are so right! Once you reach the magical number 3 no one wants to help babysit and they’re all terrified to be in the same room with all of them! The worst part about the adventure is we’re often left out at family functions and gatherings because we have simply got to the point to where I want to punch someone in the throat when I hear, “You look tired. I don’t know how you do it!”

    Reply

  133. kim:

    I loved it speaking as a mother of 4!

    Reply

    • Richard:

      I like your attitude, Kim.

      Reply

  134. Heather:

    I totally understand as a mom of 3 girls (12,10,6) and all of them play sports. My husband and I had no idea what we were getting into when we had multiple children since we are both only children. As our girls grow we have to ask our friends and family questions about all the fighting to see if it is normal. I’m glad you have this blog this way I know I’m not alone with the feelings I have and the things we all go through having 3 blessings!!!

    Reply

  135. john:

    Nothing special about 3 kids, and it doesn’t make you any better of a parent. A few decades ago a family of 5 was considered “on the small side” considering it was then common for parents to have 6-9 children. Unfortunately, today many value possessions over children, which is why it is now less common to see families with 3 or more children.

    Reply

  136. Sara:

    I have a Selah as well, though she is number 2 of 4. I agree with much of what you said here. My two youngest are 14 months apart, so I don’t think, in our case, 4 is any easier. We have 3 girls and our youngest is a boy. Our youngest is now 5 and things have gotten a lot easier for us physically. No more worrying about someone running into the road or doing something that will get them killed. I’m feeling like we are in the golden years of multiple children. My oldest is 11, so we aren’t quite to the tumultuous teen years.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Say hi to your Selah. :) I have not encountered many.

      Reply

  137. April:

    a friend of a friend posted this on Facebook with a handful of negative comments. I have a 4 1/2 y/o (girl) , an almost 23 month old (a boy) and a 5 month old (a boy) and life is quite the challenge. To add even more of a challenge, we found out when #3 was 2 weeks old that my husband was offered and accepted job in another state. We sold our house, packed everything up and moved several states and 2 days away from the closest family. The only thing we could find was a 2 bedroom apartment. We have to be here at least until the end of March. Our 2 oldest are sharing a room for the 1st time and my daughter is struggling. Up several times a night and wetting the bed most nights, when she was sleeping through the night since about 14 months before this. Add to that, getting up to feed the baby a couple times a night. We also have 2 dogs and well, life kind of stinks right now.

    Anyway, all that to say, I feel you! I love my family and each one of my children, but life is crazy right now. I’ve heard it all: you have your hands full, you chose to have 3 kids, all the stuff to make certain I feel like a horrible mom.

    Thank you for being willing to be honest and taking the chance of getting all sorts of negativity. It’s nice to know were not alone. My parents had 3 kids and survived, so I know it can be done and that gives me hope.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You know, I have really appreciated all the comments that make me feel like we’re in it together. Yes, this post has certainly angered some people, which sort of surprises me, but that’s sort of how life is, I guess! Being a parent is wonderful, and also exhausting and demanding. And yes, I constantly hear those comments you refer to. I wouldn’t trade my children even if I might have to take someone out with a car seat, but I also literally cry with exhaustion fairly regularly. I’ve also gotten some comments about how it would be “easy” if I had “structure,” which is funny, because I highly value routine, structure, and discipline, and they are important aspects of my family. Still not easy! :)

      Reply

  138. Kristin:

    As someone thinking of having a third child in the next few years, I am simultaneously laughing and cringing. This is a great visual and I can totally picture my two kids in a few years doing just these things. Thanks for the warning/advice/laugh/cry!

    Reply

  139. sandy stewart:

    unimaginable………must pray every moment for sanity,maybe doable if you have a lot of outside help.

    Reply

  140. Greg:

    I don’t read blogs a ton, but this one caught my eye and made me laugh…out loud. My wife is amazing! 3 boys under 5 is all I need to say.

    Reply

  141. Carrie:

    Love, LOVE this post! I have my hands full and I only have two! We joke around about having a third, but that’s just it…a JOKE. I knew I couldn’t handle a third when I was nursing our youngest, only to find the 20 month old standing upright on the back of the couch. One look told me he had bigger plans, but I couldn’t get to him before he dove off. It was a slow motion moment. My only criticism would be your background…It’s terribly difficult to read anything.

    Reply

  142. Carrie:

    The background thing must have been a glitch for me because now the writing is in a nice, white box over the background. Please ignore.

    Reply

  143. mom2k:

    Oh my! If there was any doubt before… I will be stopping at my two angels!!! :)

    Reply

  144. jennifer:

    I have a 8 year old and two 6 year olds. I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, not to mention snarky, when one of my best friends sent me this. Thank you so much. I don’t feel so alone.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I am glad. Very glad. None of us can handle being alone in the parenting journey.

      Reply

  145. Kim:

    I have 20 month old triplet boys. They are, thank God, my only children and if I got pregnant again I’d be declared legally insane. Of course I love them and can’t imagine life without them, even when i want to change my name and move to Argentina.

    Reply

  146. Tania Finch:

    Haha – loved this!! Sounds like my house . . . we have 3 kids, now aged 13, 11 and 7 (a boy and 2 girls), when we decided to have the third, my hubby said “Three’s a party!” He is the youngest of 4. It does get easier now that the oldest is at middle school and the two girls are both doing dance, and the middle school is 2 blocks from the Studio – slightly less running around for me. You hit the nail on the head with the mess and the noise . . . we also have 2 dogs . . . the noise level gets up into the stratosphere sometimes . . . and the toys! LOL

    Reply

  147. dania:

    I had to laugh at most of this. Yes, it is hard when you have 3. I have 4, and 3 was the HARDEST number to have! I always tell people who have 3 children to have one more. They always look at me like I am crazy…but really, it is soooo much easier with an even number. Even when only one of them is a single sex…still easier! I have 3 girls and one lonely ‘middle’ boy….still easier than having 3!

    Reply

  148. Melissa Harris:

    I can SO relate! However, I have 4 and I promise it is not easier!(2 boys ages 11 and 6, and 2 girls ages 3 and 1) I think it was harder for me going from 3 to 4, than 2 to 3. My boys are 5 years apart, so that helped a lot. I think most days I feel like a failure as a mom from being too “snappish” from all of the noise, chaos and mess or just plain not having enough time to go around to all four of them.

    Try going furniture shopping (without the hubby) with an 11, 6, 3 and 1 year old! The 6 and 3 year old were wanting to run around and act crazy while the baby screamed because she wanted out of the stroller….and the looks I got. Ugh! Forget getting a Nanny for a date night, heck I want one just to go grocery shopping, and would’ve loved one when I went furniture shopping.

    As crazy as things can be, I try to remind myself they won’t always be little. Enjoy the hugs, kisses, and yes, messes they make as its a reminder of the little people we have running around!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thank you–and yes to just about everything you said.

      Reply

  149. Debi Robertson:

    You nailed it sister! My three are now 29, 27, and 23 and when I look back, I DON’T know how I did it! It’s pretty much a blur but I’ve got about 20 photo albums to prove I was there. There were very few times when all three were quiet, more typical was any two ganging up on the third and having an all – out war! It’s amazing that I have any teeth in my head because I was constantly grinding them and talking (yelling) that if you don’t mind me I’m going to get the wooden spoon!
    The good news is that they are all well adjusted, self-sufficient human beings today! I too had a daughter followed by two sons and YES, birth order is a big frikkin deal. My 3 year old had a full fledged panic attack on the way home from the hospital with the third, and has been the stereotypical middle child ever since. Note: Before the third was born, he was the happiest baby/child on the planet but quickly morphed into the neediest child on the planet, biting other children in his preschool and refusing to nap!
    Thanks for a good read and hang in there. I discovered Geritol daily vitamins when the third child was two years old and I was perpetually tired. The vitamins made a huge difference in my energy level.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Aww, poor middles. My middle child has been having a rough time lately too, and I think it’s partly being too old to be like the baby and too young to be like the oldest.

      Reply

  150. mommy monkey of 4:

    mother of 4 boys here all 7 and under. I know what your talking about. only wish my husband understood. he’ll take them on his own for a day and come back saying he had no problem keeping the house clean and children alive. another thing people to don’t understand is doing these things day in and out with out much of a brake for years. lol.

    Reply

  151. chopstikheroike:

    3? That’s cute. My grandmother was oldest of 18. I’m sure my great-grandmother had a hell of a time managing two baseball teams. LOL

    Reply

  152. I’m pregnant with my sixth child. Three was the hardest. Having more is easier because your other ones help out (and are old enough to help). Children aren’t easy…but again nothing worth anything is easy, right!?

    Reply

  153. Beth:

    Going from 2 to 3 was our hardest transition too. We have 6 children under the age of 5.

    Reply

    • t:

      Wow. I have four kids and there are 2.5 years between my oldest and youngest and it is amazingly fun. Yes busy with a 2nd, 1st and 2 kindergarteners and then throw in everyone doing sports but it is so much fun. Maybe the trick is to have them really close in age. I am never bored, i work full time and i just completed my master’s degree. I would never complain about the joy and hard and busy blessings. I would never want my children to read it because I would feel insulted if my mom wrote that about me.

      Reply

  154. noellemassey:

    I relate! Noise and chaos reigned at my house for years! My three are all older now (23, 19 & 16) and good friends. I’m amazed that they still like me – I was exhausted and overwhelmed most of the time when they were young – …but they do! And, oh, how I like them too!

    Reply

  155. casacaudill:

    Over the Thanksgiving holiday I gained a new appreciation for parents of three children. My sister recently started work as a nurse and her husband works full time. During the week, we were on babysitting duty for my nieces and nephew – the dramatic 7 year old, the high-energy-will-run-out-the-door five year old, and the two year old baby who follows her siblings into every scrape and tangle. The five year old came home from school and we were great: a trip to the store, reading time, etc. Then I picked up the seven year old from after school care and things got a bit more animated – they love each other to pieces, but they also love to antagonize one another. And then the babysitter dropped off the baby – who hadn’t napped all day and was clearly in “a mood” – and all hades broke loose. The noise! The mess! Oh god the noise. After three hours with the three of them hopped up on excitement over Aunt Becky and Uncle Alan babysitting, I was texting my brother-in-law to find out what time he’d be home. And then we did it again the next day. A week of this and I was BURNT OUT. So Bravo to all parents out there who not only do this day in and day out, but are also able to keep their sense of humor about it, like you surely have. Great read!

    Reply

  156. Paz:

    How adorable! How about folks stop having biological kids or quit complaining. In this day and age it is a choice. Not only are there already kids who need a home in this world, but your offspring are a continuing drain on our global resources. May the zombie apocalypse come in haste and solve all our problems!

    Reply

  157. Beka:

    I haven’t finished your article yet and there’s no way I can read through all the comments… But thanks! I just wanted to say I agree… Except I didn’t choose three children: #2 & #3 came together… Thanks for the laugh, the sympathy, and helping me understand I’m not alone :).

    Reply

  158. Rhonda Nostopthatgetdown Pruitt:

    I’m busy reading this because my son (1 of an identical set) has randomly walked up to women in stores who have a baby “hi you give us your baby?” And afterward stopping to think and ask me (his mommy and raiser of perspective 3rd child) “Mommy you get us that baby yourself? J and J wanna have that baby…” as if we go to the store and the baby aisle is where you pick up an additional baby! Yeah I was thinking about it, and I’m single parenting it….thanks for the heads up.

    Reply

  159. Lisa Zink:

    You think going from 2 to 3 is hard? Try going from 0 to 3! My husband and I are parents of spontaneous triplet girls now 7 years old. If you want to know what it is like to have your life literally turned upside down, you should have spent some time in my house over the last 7 years! And no – we don’t have any more nor will we try for any more!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh my! Yes, multiples are a whole other ballgame, and if they were your “first child,” I imagine that much more challenging!

      Reply

  160. Kristin Marie Knotts:

    This is hilarious to me. I also have 3 children. Girl age 4 ½, boy age 2½ and boy age 15 months. Its insane and everything you have said is so so true. I love our kids but the hubby works so much that I am drowning in a world of little monsters. :)

    Reply

  161. Leila:

    Yes, yes, yes! This was hilarious, and great to know that others feel the same way! I have a 3 1/2-year old, a 2-year old, and a 7-month old. (The first two are 18 months apart and the second two are 20 months apart.) We planned it this way and I wouldn’t change anything, but it is CRAZY up in this house. My husband is with the kids on his own about as much as I am because of our schedules, and some evenings we just look at each other and sigh, and are grateful that we made it through the day. :) Bedtimes and naptimes are like Defcon 3 around here..but we get through it. And it’s so rewarding when we see watch our kids play with and enjoy each other. This morning my 3-year old said, “I have a sister, and a brother. Some kids don’t have a sister and a brother.” Having grown up with 4 sisters I know the value of siblings, and they will too. Having said all that, I also feel that sadistic glee with the advice-givers…and don’t feel a tiny bit bad about it. :)

    Reply

  162. Sarah:

    I guess I can consider myself lucky. I really came into my own with my third. Even better with my fourth.

    Reply

  163. Krista:

    As a mother of three children, two of which died at birth I can tell you I would give anything to be the mother of three living children. Anything. I realize the difficulty of raising three little ones, I have a three year old at home and she keeps me hopping. I would trade my Prius in for a minivan in a heartbeat. I can also tell you one thing that is more difficult than raising three children, dealing with the deafening quiet when coming home from the hospital with empty arms and trying to plan a funeral for your children that never got to come home.
    I’m sorry to be such a downer, but as a bereaved parent it is always so difficult for me to hear the complaints of parents with living children. Enjoy every moment.

    Reply

  164. Judy:

    Totally related to your writing! We planned the first 2, with the 3rd being a surprise. I started asking around to friends with 3 and all of them said the 3rd was the most cuddly baby, almost like a reward. So instead of dreading it I looked forward to it. The first adjustment was buying a table with 6 chairs instead of 4. We ended up with 3 girls. The middle was the most difficult (the antagonist) and the first and last were the easiest. With 3 someone was always left out. But we survived. We had many stressful days, but we found that keeping them active in the youth group at church was the best thing ever! And no TV’s in their rooms. We watched family things together and stayed very close. Now our little girls are 35, 33 and 30 with 4 grandkids. We are so blessed that they all live closeby. I don’t think I could have handled 4, but 2 just seemed too neat, like I was limiting what God had for us. I can see His hand in each valuable life. They go from being physical labor when little to mental labor as they age. Now they are my best friends. Pray alot! Blessings to you!

    Reply

  165. Heather:

    Frankly, I’d give anything to have a third. Two losses in a row for me instead. Enjoy the craziness. I understand venting. I vent about my own kids too. I’m just really really jealous.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Sorry about your losses. That is very sad.

      Reply

  166. Deb:

    why do people have kids and then complain about them

    Reply

    • Sam:

      Why do people read blogs and then complain about them?

      Reply

  167. Megan todd:

    Oh my gosh!! Everything in this is true… down to the nursing and peeing! Lol… I am a mother of three… now all young adults, teens… add in our niece who lives with us now… that makes four…. one boy, the eldest, and three girls…. please pray for me to survive turn next 3-5 years until they can all hopefully survive on their own! Haha… but seriously…. as a parent of three or more… take time to find the humor, or they will win!! Love my babies to pieces and glad they have survived… moreover, glad I still have a glimpse of sanity left. :)

    Reply

  168. Janis:

    Wow! Thank you! I feel a little normal now.
    We have 3 children & they are ages, 6, 7 & 8. Sometimes we think it was good to have them so close together & sometimes we wonder what in the world we were thinking.
    Thank you for making me laugh as I related to your stories.

    Reply

  169. Susan Landis-Steward:

    While pregnant with my third, a friend with three told me that the third one pushes you over the edge and you could go on to have a dozen and never notice. Although my kids are grown, I still believe this is true. And you have confirmed it yet again. Thanks.

    Reply

  170. Helen:

    You describe the early years beautifully. But I can attest things do get easier. My boys are 10, 9 & 6 and I love most every moment. It helps that they all go to the same school, for the same time each day. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

    Reply

  171. Erica R.:

    Reading this felt as though someone had been spying on me for the last 3 years. My 3 are 8, 6, and 3 and I nodded in agreement with every single word. I love this!

    Reply

  172. Amy:

    I am a mother of three. Most of the year they are each two years apart. The rest of the year I can’t remember how old they are. I wanted four children, but couldn’t make it over the three kid bump. I was thirty-four when the first was born. He’s now almost nineteen. The good thing about having three kids in compressed time in your mid thirties is that when you’re going through menopause, you seriously won’t remember all the slack things that happened when they were young. And they won’t remember it either. Mine are all great kids and seem to adore their father and me despite our supposed short-comings. I was forever grateful to my OB-GYN upon my two week check-up after the third was born. He looked at me after the exam and said in his very perceptive wisdom, “You aren’t planning on breast feeding this one, are you?” Just the pass I needed. It may be maternal blasphemy, but number three is just fine (save a little sneezing during allergy season). And by not breast feeding him, I may have prevented some other catastrophy with the other two. As they say: Something’s gotta give. I totally relate and agree with what you compiled here in your essay. Motherhood burns sooo many brain cells. But that’s ok.

    Reply

  173. Cass:

    Awesome!! I related to everything you wrote! Thanks for a much needed laugh!

    Reply

  174. Sheila:

    You ABSOLUTELY nailed it! 3 is exponentially more than 2

    Reply

  175. Ralo:

    You have a new follower! I love your article. It is somehow comforting to know others have the same thoughts, feelings and adventures as I do. I am the oldest of three and you would have thought I learned from my parents, but no. I have two 9 year olds (10.5 months apart) and a 2.5 year old (surprise!). I crazily thought it would be a good idea to work full-time to help with my snappiness – not sure that helped with the noise factor let alone the house rarely ever getting cleaned. All that aside, I love my kids and the time I have with them and secretly, during my sleepless nights, look into fostering/adopting and/or hosting other children. (Yes, I might be looney.)

    Keep up the great writing!

    Reply

  176. Mama:

    Three kids does not necessarily mean minivan. We are trading in my compact SUV today for a minivan as we are expecting our fourth in a few months. I had three Diono RXT’s (previously Sunshine Kids XTSL) side by side. They are made to fit three across a narrow space, and we also had three in my husband’s sedan. Before my youngest transitioned to a convertible seat he was in a Chicco infant seat. Fit perfectly, didn’t stop me from doing anything and I loved it. Not enough people know about these fabulous car seats. We looked into other options for my next vehicle, but for four young kids a minivan was the next step. When they are older a crossover would be wonderful.

    Reply

  177. Maricia Parker:

    You made me laugh outloud so many times! I love this and my three boys!:) Thanks for the honesty and encouragement!

    Reply

  178. Cynetta:

    I thought someone had gotten in my head and read my thoughts reading this. Your kiddos are almost the exact age differences as mine and I can relate to everything you said. Like you, I wouldn’t trade my brood of 3 for all the sanity in the world, but it really is truly crazy how much sanity I lost going from 2 to 3. I’d also like to add that having both genders(I have 2 boys and a girl also) makes for more toys and stuff. Thanks for the transparency! :)

    Reply

  179. Angie:

    Loved the essay, having 3 in a mere 33 months for sure took a toll but my oldest just got his license & suddenly there’s another chauffeur in the house! It does get better!!

    Reply

  180. Becky Sarno:

    This made me laugh so hard because it is my life! My three are 2 1/2, 19 months and 7 weeks.I could relate to almost every point. Thanks for the smile :)

    Reply

  181. Diana Huertas:

    I just had my third not yet 7 weeks ago and I already agree :-/

    8 1/2, 5 and now baby. Maybe it’ll get easier with time, but at least they make me laugh :-)

    Reply

  182. theurbanjunglegym:

    Thanks for the honesty! I just had my second and would really like a third one day but with a bigger age gap than the one I’m working with right now (that just-barely-two-years thing is rough). But I’m one of four kids and I adored being part of a big-ish family and want to give that to my kids. It may be maddening now, but when they’re all grown and your family is expansive and delightful and the place everyone wants to be because any gathering is automatically a party, it’ll be worthwhile ;)

    Reply

  183. Deirdre Eldredge:

    This is pure awesomeness. I have totally been in that moment where using the carseat to knock down the two year old crossed my mind. I have 3 ages 5, 4 and 2. And I’m tired also! Deirdre

    Reply

  184. Lee-Ann:

    Hello, thanks for the laughs. It took me 3 different times to read this since i’m at home with a 5 year old and 2 x 4 year old. I get the comments all the time about ” you must be so busy, or you have your hands full “. Can’t wait to read more

    Lee-Ann

    Reply

  185. rebekah manacle:

    I found myself nodding my head constantly while reading this. I’m about to have my 4The in 3 weeks. They are all 16 months apart. Yes I am crazy, giggle. I will wholeheartedly agree that adding the third is very disruptive. Honestly I feel this little guy is not a big deal, I can take what you dish out, I’ve survived three. Lol thanks for the read. Really enjoyed it!!

    Reply

  186. Robyn:

    I have a 13 yr old, a 10 yr old and then just before my 40th birthday, SURPRISE, #3 was on the way. So we have 3, but it is a little better when there is more space between them. But the big challenge is that I am 41 and have to keep up with an adorable 10 month old who doesn’t yet sleep through the night and a beautiful teenaged daughter who has an active social life, all at the same time! Ugggg! My husband mostly keeps up with the 10 year old boy’s sports schedule. We both work full time and they are at 3 different schools / daycare. Everyone says that she’ll keep us young. But right now I feel so old!

    Reply

  187. Loreen:

    I feel so denied because I never got a younger sibling. I just have one older autistic brother so I don’t get to be an aunt and neither am I married or have kids of my own. If my mom could have had another kid after me,I think of how close we would be now that we are grown. I could have had a younger sister to be a best friend to me and a brother or a sister might have had kids and made my mom a grandmother. I am glad there are those mothers who try for a third child or more.

    Reply

  188. Carl:

    hey, five isn’t too bad, as long as you don’t mind picking something up off the floor with every step, doing another load of laundry any chance you get, and running the dishwasher twice a day, man I was so glad when we got that dishwasher. now its not as much of a fight to get the kids to help but still they like to argue about it. Mine are 9, 6,5,4, and 2. three boys and two girls. heck, I even have the 2 year old little girl who hates cloths, no matter where we are, on my lap right now as I type. but I wouldn’t trade a single one for the world; even though I threaten my parents that I will leave them all with them and run away. I find that one night a month for mommy and daddy to go out, completely kid free, helps a lot, even though we usually have to split them up between family members to accomplish that.

    Reply

  189. Erin:

    I just fly by the seat of my pants, pray for patience, and know that my house will never be clean, the floors will always be sticky, and that I’m lucky I’ve only had to call poison control twice. I have 4, ages 5, 4, 2, and almost 7 months. Going from 1 to 2 was difficult, 2 to 3 was easy, 3 to 4 was/is difficult. Why is this? All temperament. My second (first son) was a difficult baby until about 4 months. My first slept through the night (8 hours) starting at 6 weeks old and then longer as she got older and was the absolute most laid back baby ever. My second slept through the night at 11 months old, but he was high needs from 3 weeks – 4/5 months. My third (another girl) was (notice I said was) an angel. Easy baby, even if she didn’t sleep 8 hours straight until 15 months old. My fourth…let’s just say if I make it to his first birthday, it will be a miracle. He has been a very high maintenance baby since 3 weeks on. He is sweet as sweet can be but is a downright awful sleeper and just very needy. Add to my very high needs baby, that previously sweet #3? She is in the TERRIBLE two’s. My older 2 didn’t have a terrible 2’s. They had difficult 3’s and 4’s, but NOTHING like the terrible two’s — so I’m in new territory here. If I had a 5th, you would have to commit me.
    I just remind myself that they won’t be little for long and give myself — and them — an extra measure of grace. Some days are better than others, though. I also hold onto those cute little things that they do — the smiles, grins, remarks, etc. Then when 8:00 rolls around…BEDTIME. :-D

    Reply

    • Laura:

      My youngest has started trying on two. My others were also fairly easy two year olds, and then challenging threes. I feel like my sweet baby is turning on me, especially because he’s learned lots of naughty words and phrases from the older two and preschool.

      Reply

  190. Marla:

    Loved reading your blog! Thank you for the chuckle! My husband and I always said it was all downhill once we were outnumbered! We currently have 8 children ages 19,18,16,14,6,3,2, and 7 months and so far it hasn’t gotten any easier!

    Reply

  191. Bill:

    Not sure how I feel about this artical, I don’t disagree but I don’t think you equally point out the positives of three kids. I have a 10, 7 and a 4 yearold and it isn’t easy but it never really feels like a chore either. Its a big family thing, it works. Scary at times, insane at others but the laughs never end and the kids one day learn how to help in the every day motions. The beginning is hard but towards the end remember you know have 10 sets of hands now.

    Reply

  192. greenspirituality:

    We have triplets, and yes they are “natural”.
    FWIW, you can totally fit three car seats in a four-door car. (First a Nissan Sentra, then a Toyota Corolla here). We have the no-frills car seats (Senecas?) from WalMart… not necessarily the expensive ones. Even if you did get three expensive car seats (Radian?), it is still cheaper than getting a whole new car!

    Reply

  193. Marilyn Newton:

    I’ve got 3 – 2 boys & a girl! This was true to my life as well – & hilarious’ thanks!’

    Reply

  194. Walter:

    Great read. I grew up the middle of 3 to a single mom and we were all 1 year apart. I always told my mom that she had to have been crazy for having three kids, but she managed. Fast forward a couple of decades and I am now a 37 yr old proud parent of two. I’m constantly exhausted and broke, this experience has been affirmation that those who willingly have 3+kids are crazy (just kidding, but seriously). When my youngest was born, a dear friend and parent of 3 used a basketball analogy to give us advice……..”stay man-2-man, because if you zone up you will lose.”

    Reply

  195. Jessica:

    I felt pretty confident I was done with just my two precious blessings. Now I am 100% confident. Now if I could just get my husband on board and my monthly visitor to come…☺️

    Reply

  196. Dana:

    I’ve felt like this a lot :) but I’m a single mom to 2. It’s easier now that their older (10 & 7) I really think it’s the being outnumbered that’s the adjustment. I’ll have to be blessed with another one to know for sure though :)

    Reply

  197. corinne:

    Well if you didn’t think you could control 3 kids then you shouldn’t have had a third! I wouldn’t put doubts into someone else’s head just because you can’t handle your kids! I have been a single mom since my oldest was not quite 3 and my youngest was only 6 months old when my x husband and I got seperated! I too worked full time in the medical profession which also requires us to work every other weekend! I am now pregnant with my 3rd child and again will be doing it by myself…well with the help of family and friends cause you can’t do everything by yourself! You have to be able to ask for help! I do believe it is going to be a lot easier for me with my third cause my older ones are now 13 and 11 but that’s how I wanted it! I would never have 3 kids that close in age!

    Reply

    • LisaKami:

      My husband also works full-time in the medical field. No coincidence that he also probably thinks having multiple kids is easy. Sorry, but if you’re only with them evenings and weekends you really can’t speak to how hard it is to manage 3. You hired a minimum of 45 waking hours per week of it out to someone else.

      Reply

  198. Andrea:

    Lol good read. I have three, ages 7, 5, and 4. Throw into the mix that I have been fighting breast cancer for the past 4 years (found it while pregnant with #3). Now I found out that cancer has moved from breast to liver and spine. Life expectancy 2 years. I used to feel this way, but now cherish each mess and arguement.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh geez, I am so sorry. :/ I will pray for you and your family.

      Reply

  199. coffeepot_pot:

    Oh I had to laugh! You just narrated my life! 2-3 was definitely the hardest as #3 was the tricky baby and the other 2 (boys) were all over the place! Sling saved my life! Those years were challenging and the current phase brings its own too (now 6,8 & 11), but I could relate to everything you said. Thanks for expressing it so well!

    Reply

  200. frailb:

    Laura, I was taken aback by the resurgence of interest in these old posts. Based on the number of hits I’ve received the last few days, I can only imagine how many more you’ve received! But the issue of having (more) children is timeless. As it is, my wife wants a fourth, but I’ve really grown accustomed to joys of our now older kids: 9,7,5. But of course, the relative freedom that comes with older kids is counterbalanced by new challenges. Blessings this year’s end!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I have seen a lot of comments on yours too! :) Blessings to you and yours!

      Reply

  201. Laura (@Greek_Momma):

    I can so relate! We just added kid #4 to our family and most days sound like yours.

    P.S. Those people that say 4 is easier than 3? Liars. So. Much. Harder.

    Reply

  202. Cathy:

    So funny and so true. My sons are 25 23 21 now. We all survived and everyone loves our stories. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  203. Joy:

    This article is me to a tee! I love a clean house, dislike noise, and have a 6, 2 1/2 and 1 year old… all girls. As crazy as it has been I have still had those moments when a 4th sounds like a good idea (they are rare and far between). Thanks for being so honest about your own struggles! As a sidenote, my oldest is also named Selah :)

    Reply

  204. Joel Turner:

    wow lady you are terrible. how could you say such things. JUST KIDDING. Thank you for writing this. Someone on facebook shared this and I am glad I read it. Thought we were alone in out struggles with having three. It was really helpful and insightful. Looks as though we have kids around the same age differences, Our daughter is 8 and sons are 4 and 2. The differences from 2 to 3 is amazing. Anyway, thanks for writing this. I’m going to share this with my wife who will probably laugh hysterically in relating to what you’ve written
    .

    Reply

  205. Noelle:

    This is a great perspective. I had 5 kids in 4 years and was subjected to others opinions and unsolicited advice and comments consistently. I thought it was just me. Im happy to know that I’m not alone and that other moms are speaking the truth of what motherhood really is. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  206. Daisy:

    Ha, so my #2 is turning into #2 & #3 sometimes having only two was never an option…..

    Reply

  207. katie:

    Very true post in a lot of ways! I have 3 girls, my first two were 11 months apart (can we say “surprise”!) and my third came 18 months later so the gap between oldest and youngest is actually less than 2.5 years. Right now they are 3, 2 & 8 months. I am very terrified when my third becomes mobile! My main issue with having three is when they all get sick, which seems like once a month these days. It takes 2 weeks to cycle through and clear the house and in the meantime I get no sleep and am everyone’s lap. Regardless I love my kids so much I am thinking someday of a fourth (maybe next year!).

    Reply

  208. JoHannah:

    Thank you for posting this! I have 3 boys,7, 3, and out baby who’s 1. I often feel like a complete failure and the looks of judgment can become too much at times. I love my boys with all that I am, but can honestly say that the”what was o thinking” thought passes through my mind here and then. But its usually when the world’s falling around me lol. It’s nice to know that other moms struggle to and that I’m not a complete failure.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You are not a failure, don’t worry!

      Reply

  209. Janelle Dunn:

    hahahaha – I have 6 kiddos, and I have to say what I’ve always said: If you’re going to have 3 kids, you may as well have 6 or 7. Going from 2 to 3 kids was definitely the hardest. #4 &5 were barely a blip on the radar – they just assimilated right into the group. 6 was surprisingly tough (but not as tough as 3) because I had my second set of 3 little ones. I figure I could now have 10 kids, and it would just get easier. God bless you on your journey.

    Reply

  210. Guillermo:

    I have fathered over 67 children and it is not nearly as difficult as you portray it to be!

    Reply

  211. Tasha:

    I have to say that I disagree with this completely. I have found 3 to be the easiest number out of all of them! My kids are 6,4 and almost 2. The 6 & 4 year old play together amazingly and I get to spend most of my time with my littlest one! The transition between 1 to 2 was difficult, 2 to 3 was a breeze! I had more experience under my belt, was more relaxed and also had a really good schedule.

    I agree with a few previous posters that it seems like you do not really love your life. While I completely understand and recognize that having children (no matter how many you have!) is difficult, there are so many positives to having multiple children. None of which you highlighted?

    Here are some of the GREAT things about having 3 kids:

    I talk to many parents of one child and they are constantly entertaining their child. Their child is always demanding their attention. 3 kids are easily entertained together! They all play together, though sometimes the baby is “left out”, most often she is just watching or observing – not really being left out.

    School – You talk about school being an inconvenience? I don’t find that to be true at all. It is a wonderful part of our schedule. It helps me ensure that I wake up on time in the morning and that I get food on the table. It also helps prepare me for the end of the day! And by the way, it is your choice to put your three year old in preschool. That is a scheduling conflict you created for yourself. Would probably be much easier if he was home with you. You could also live closer to your school and walk your children to school. Why are you driving your kids to school if you find it to be too much work? They take the bus or you walk them. Walking them will also create wonderful time for your kids to spend outside in nature, enjoying your neighbourhood.

    Laundry – well of course there is more laundry! I love doing laundry so this is not a problem for me. There is something therapeutic about folding laundry when children are sleeping. Easy, comforting and I am getting a task accomplished.

    Messy house – it can happen when you have too much STUFF! You talk about messes, toys all around your house. How about getting rid of some of that stuff and your life will be much less messy. We have little clutter in our house and our kids are perfectly capably of cleaning up their own messes. Another advantage of having 3 is that the older kids will help tidy up the messes. They can sweep, empty the dishwasher, put away toys and books, put their clothing away. Take advantage of their skills instead of complaining about all you have to do.

    Noise – I guess it’s noisy? Naturally, there are more humans in one vicinity. Though it isn’t all that bothersome to me, especially knowing I get a break at the end of the day.

    Needs – all children are different, obviously! They all have their own needs, but in all honesty by the time they are 2 their needs are pretty obvious and easy to figure out (they change and grow and so do needs, but when they learn to talk it becomes easier).

    I am in no way saying my life is perfect. I struggle with postpartum depression, stress and anxiety and at times feel so very overwhelmed, but I think most of what you described is your OWN issue with parenting and less about having 3 kids. It seems to me that if you had 1, 2, 3 or 5 kids all these things would be problems for you.

    I work with moms on a daily basis, and the consensus from most of them is that 3 is much easier than 2!!!!

    Reply

    • LisaKami:

      But she did have 1 and then 2 kids and didn’t have these issues. It seems like 90% of the commenters with 3 agree with her, and that’s what my friends seem to say too. I don’t think these are “just her” issues.

      Reply

  212. Connie:

    I gave birth to 5. One died at birth so I raised 4. The last 2 are 12 months apart. I enjoyed every single minute of it. My only regret is that I didn’t have more. I really wanted to be like my aunt who had 16. You wouldn’t believe the wonderful family get togethers they have.

    Reply

  213. E. Morales:

    Great article and a good ‘heads up’ for anyone thinking about having more than 1-2 children. I am a 35 year old father with 2 children. My wife and I have always wanted just 2, though something inside of me wonders what it would be like to have the 3rd. After reading your article, I think I’ll stick with what my wife says, ‘we’re sticking with 2!’ :) Good luck and best wishes to you in 2014!

    Reply

  214. Karen:

    This was perfect. Everything I have felt over the last 8 months (since my 3rd was born). Thanks for the laugh and the reassurance that I’m not alone in the madness! (I have also had fleeting thoughts of tripping my toddler to take him down if he bolted in the parking lot…) Good mom, right?

    Reply

  215. Tessa:

    I can totally relate to the article and Laura’s experiences.. I had 3 also. My son was 3yrs, my daughter 1.5yrs, when I came home with the baby and recovering from a C-section and tubal because I knew my life would be handsful and crazy busy.. why would I want more!! This made for very interesting times since I was restricted to only holding the weight of the baby, good thing my oldest, even being 3 was a mommies little helper and do gooder.. bless him :) Years later I had baby fever again and ended up fostering babies.. the most children in house at one time was 8.. 2 of them babies under a year, a toddler and two 5yr olds. Now if that doesn’t teach you patience and strength, I don’t know what will. Raising them all on a farm helped.. thank you to the freedom of outdoors, little kitties to chase, trampolines, swingsets and sandboxes!! I agree, as the brood grew, it did get easier.. buddy system all the way :) The tough part was getting somewhere in one piece and not forgetting anyone lol.

    My plight about whether you should have 2, 4, or more and not 3, is based on my own personal upbringing. I was one of the 3.. the middle child. I hated being that middle child. My oldest sister got away with everything until things went wrong, then that priviledge or experience was out of the books for me. My parents theory, she can’t do it no more so you can’t either. The youngest sister was always classified as the baby even when she was 14yrs old! Aww.. she’s the baby, she can get away with anything or have anything. This resulted in me seeing most things I was deprived of doing or having being allowed for her.. just because she was the littliest or just so cute. I felt like the black sheep.. the one stuck in the middle.. can’t do or have this because the oldest ruined it or because you just weren’t the smallest/cutest to get away with it. Sigh.

    In conclusion, have as many kids as your heart chooses to love and your arms are big enough to hug. But for the life of me, if you have 3.. remember that middle child. Treat all the same and don’t show favoritism leaving that middle one the odd one out.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You know, one of my maim regrets was turning my youngest into a middle when he was so young. It does seem like a tough spot–not a baby, not as old as his sister!

      Reply

  216. Frances:

    Well, my three are a bit different. I had a son,17, a daughter,13 and went in pursuit of custody of a three year old! The week before we got custody-my son graduated from hs. Everyone thought I was insane trying to get custody of a three year old when my “old” kids were nearly grown. So many things about the three year old were hard. She had extreme speech difficulties, and had been abused. To make it even more interesting-my (now ex) husband had decided he did not want more kids so he had had a vasectomy! lol. And voila` about 6 years later we had another. I think this just shows that we are not really in charge of our lives. My third child is almost the best thing I have ever done. She changed so much about my life for the better. My older children became more responsible, because they knew how bad her life had been before she became their little sister. My son took her nearly everywhere with him and his buddy. All the girls loved her-so he had an ulterior motive! Now I have a 45, 40 and 30 year old. and grandchildren ranging from 25 down to 5! And the divorce-well, I decided the little one would not be raised as my older ones had. My ex had a temper and never learned to control it. So I told him either, fix it or I’ll leave. And I left with a 6 year old in tow. And nearly everything since then has been good.

    Reply

  217. mkk2006:

    I have three as well. 7, 5 and 8 months. All three boys. I think it’s even worse with the comments about how much people pity me or how I have my hands full when you have three of the same gender! I had 2 nephews and a niece spend the night two nights ago and someone asked me if there was a girl present and when I told her yes she said “Wow, thankfully!” I think that’s pretty hilarious. She was helpful with her 3 yr old brother but very time consuming herself because she wants lots of attention and talks almost nonstop- only to me! The 4 boys- the ones that can walk and talk kept each other pretty entertained! One thing that makes our lives more logistically manageable is the fact that I stay home and homeschool them so I don’t have to drive all over town and interrupt naps. We live in the country and my husband has always helped out by doing the grocery shopping for us. I totally understand about not having anyone who will babysit your THREE children. I used to have much more help when I had two, but I’ve only had 2 evenings in the last 8 months where my mother in law watched all three for us so we could have a date night. I know as he gets older it will be easier for me to find someone willing and capable of watching them all at the same time. It’s a juggling act, but you have seasons where you just adjust to what the needs of your family are at that time the best way you can! I know several families with 8-9 children and they have infants to highschoolers and they homeschool. It can be done, but with each extra person there do come all new considerations- some which you anticipate and others that sneak up and slap you accross the face! Lol. Motherhood: Hardest job in the world!

    Reply

  218. Jamie:

    The absolute most important thing in our house with 3 children is our COFFEE POT. Without this little gem I would not survive this amazing, difficult, rewarding, frustrating rollercoaster that we are on. My kids are just turned 9, almost 7 and almost 5. They are wonderful individuals and really love each other but man, can they fight over everything. I too vent to my friends and sometimes to the people who have the benefit of being my Facebook friends. My complaints/rants/vents are just that. It is me blowing off steam so that my frustrated, emotionally tapped out self can get it out and return to my stable emotional state (everything is relative). I applaud you for having the courage to vent about your life. You are most likely a happier person because of your blog. Those people who say that raising 3 children wasn’t “hard” or that it was all sunshine and rainbows are kidding themselves and the rest of us. The old adage of it takes a village to raise a child, there is a reason for that. Without the rest of the village to talk to, laugh with and cry to we would all be in a padded room somewhere muttering something about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a soccer ball. Thank you for your blog please keep those posts coming many of us rely on the stories of others to make us realize that we are not crazy and we are not on this roller coaster alone.

    Reply

  219. Robin:

    I have 5 boys born in 80 82 86 88, and
    89. Too much complaining on here. I
    Loved it!

    Reply

  220. Caitlin Bailey:

    I am so glad to no be in this alone! I am a 31 year old stay at home mother of three! 2 girls 8 & 5 and a 14 month old boy! Times have been amazing, wonderful, interesting, and draining all in the same minute! But I wouldn’t change anything! I never set out to be a stay at home mom but the cost of daycare for three out ways the amount of income I would be bringing in plus there would not be enough sick days to cover the ones I would need!

    I thought that one in school and two at home last year was hard and this year with two in school “all day” (haha) would be so much easier, yeah right! This little busy body has two modes, sleep and destructive! Which sleep really is more like refresh on a computer where in no time he is like ta-da what is left to mess up or get into!

    And then there are the embarrassing days of being out numbered where nothing is going right but you have to drag all three through the grocery store or no one is eating dinner to night or breakfasting the morning! And the free cookie that Publix has just provided them with just another reason to fight in public! She has more chocolate chops/sprinkles, she copied which one I wanted, or why does she get the paper to hold it?!!! Yep all fights had and sometimes all in the same trip!

    Oh and not living near family for babysitting is more than just complicated! We have to pay the going rate for 3 and that is more than we can afford to do very often! So date nights are very rare!

    I know I am blessed to have these three amazing children but I am glad to read I am not in the same boat of overwhelmed!

    Reply

  221. Connir:

    Your post made me laugh as I was reading it!! Mostly because I’m a mother of 9 kids!! Yes,I had them & Yes they all have the same Dad!!! I have a 13 year old (Boy); 12 year old (Boy); 10 year old (Boy); 8 year old (Boy); 6 year old (Girl); 4 year old (Boy); 3 year old (girl); 18 month old (Girl); 6 month old Girl)!! And my 3rd child was my hardest to get the hang of!! But after I hit my 4th child it wasn’t to hard for me to get use to!! My life is very busy but I wouldn’t change for anything !!

    Reply

  222. Kyle White:

    It’s so cool to read other people’s parenting experiences! What’s funny is, my husband and I think the third kid was the easiest! Our first had colic/reflux issues until he was six months old and sensory issues he still has to this day. Now, at 8, he is diagnosed with Aspergers, which makes so much sense. But after the roller coaster ride we had with him, the following two were like a walk in the park.

    Reply

  223. Mike:

    And yet you found enough time to write this…think you should go for a fourth haha. Great insight

    Reply

  224. sara:

    Be thankful to God and stop complaining some people can not have ANY children at all and would LOVE to just have one much less three!!

    Reply

  225. Erika:

    I thought three was way easier than just one or two. They are differing ages and usually the older ones can help out or at least be a playmate/distraction for younger ones. One was definitely more difficult than two, by the time i had three under 5 yrs old I was much more laid back and they were all best of friends. Don’t get me wrong they fought like mad, but hey it beats having triplets . I have 6 kids altogether now and multiples is definitely much more challenging than any 3 singletons I can tell you. What is awesome is that i had my 3 singletons closeley spaced, divorced/remarried and had triplets 13 years after my third kid and now I have built in babysitters. You’d think 3 same aged siblings would be easier, but it most definitely is not. Anyhow, I love my brood and yes, they get called about 4 other names (along with my 5 other siblings I practically raised whose names get thrown into the mix as well) before my brain finds the right name to call them LOL THAT for me is highly annoying when trying to get one child’s attention!”Hey!! Gabe! Johnny!! Gilbert…no, I mean Matt,no not you Matt!!!! I meant Joe, damn it!!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      “When I call someone’s name, I expect ALL OF YOU to answer!”

      Reply

  226. Tricia Taylor-Lyphout:

    This is brilliant.
    Love,
    Mother of three kids and youngest of 5 sisters

    Reply

  227. Emily:

    Wow, yes! And wow to the knocking the kid over with the car seat – I admit, when my three toddlers were all running different directions on the parking lot, I knocked over 2 of them in order to catch the 3rd! They all ended up safely in the car, and then I cried thinking that surely someone was reporting me to CPS and going to take away my children! Three children – this is not a walk in the park!

    Reply

  228. A:

    This is great! My mother had 11.She doesn’t remember a thing about us growing up. And she always says one mother can take care of 11 children but 11 children cannot take care of one mother.

    Reply

  229. beth:

    You forgot the part where people say, “oh, but you already have a boy and a girl…” or “you must have been surprised when you found out you were pregnant again.” And “how many do you HAVE?” “How many do you WANT?” as though I am a Douggard…

    Or the fact that we take up the better part of two rows on an airplane. We need to rent a minivan when we go anywhere, and many rental places keep those in stock. Hotels are set up for families of 4. They suggest we get two rooms… our kids are 2.5, 5, and 7.5… how is this going to work? I sleep with the girls and my husband with the boy? Great, we go to bed at 8 with the kids… Most suites are also set up for 4. Sometimes we get a free roll away, sometimes we pay $15-20 a night for this. Usually we can’t reserve this roll away…

    Reply

  230. Savannah:

    I have a 12 year old girl, an 8 year old boy, and a 6 year old girl, the last two are 22 months apart. My husband deployed when our third child was just a month old ( I found out he was leaving the day I brought her home from the hospital) just so you know it does get easier. :) my lowest point was when my daughter was 2 months old, I got pneumonia (not sure if that is spelled right lol) the medication they gave me was something I could not nurse while taking, so I was holding a 2 month old trying to bottle feed her with my chin while trying to pump with the hand not holding the baby, because I was in so much pain. All the while I was still swollen and sore from my c-section. My two year old climber was running around getting into things while my 6 year old was begging for something. I just remember sitting there sobbing wondering how I was going to survive for the next 11 months till my husband made it home. I do have to say it’s just a distant memory now, and I’m sure I’m a stronger person now because of it, but that didn’t make the situation any easier. I had to chuckle reading this article because it brings back so many memories. My sister-in-law posted this to my Facebook page, all three of her kids are about the same age difference as my kids, but hers are all about 6 years younger so 5, almost 2, and 3 months. Watching her has reminded me of what it was like. Mammas of 3 kids with toddlers and infants…. it does get easier…. but then you get to deal with teen drama… and that is a whole new ball game ;)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Reading about you pumping made me go, “Awwwwww…” because it’s just so hard when they are newborns and things aren’t going well! I am certain you are a stronger person now.

      Reply

  231. Maribeth Enos:

    Very funny. Brought back memories as we had 3 children in 3 years. The third child definitely quadrupled the workload, laundry, etc. But they are 30 & 27 and very close. Wouldn’t change anything….

    Reply

  232. tangerine:

    I so get it!!! I had to come to terms with I will never be enough for my three kids. But I am trying! Mine are bigger now and this does help me. I don’t drive and I am mostly on my own and having the ability to drive my own family around would have changed a lot for me but it still would have been hard! Plus keeping your relationship with your partner is harder, you can become closer but only if your on the same page and that is not always possible. It is a rough ride! <3 love to all parents who are trying <3

    Reply

  233. Nancy Elizabeth Fletcher:

    Try going from 1 to 3. We got kid #2 and kid #3 in one package! It’s all hard. Thanks for the laughs and the, “oh yea, me too!” I get the “you’ve got your hands full” all the time. And with the twins, the worlds is fascinated by multiples, so just getting our grocery shopping done before a melt down occurs is a good day! :)

    Reply

  234. Renee:

    Thanks for this! I needed this laugh as we can relate having 3 boys of our own. It is nice to know we are not alone. I forgot to go to my son’s 2nd grade award ceremony thinking it was the following week. Felt absolutely terrible. but it happens and was certainly not intentional!

    I also laughed of how you handle noise, b/c this has been the hardest adjustment to 3 by far. as my husband says, “someone is always yelling or crying.” we thought about closing off our house, forget about an open room plan, noise carries. this is also when i bought my first iPod and starting listening to piano music.

    Reply

  235. Anonymous:

    I have three kids and a stay at home wife and we manage nicely. And really the majority of your points sound like you need some better parenting. There is no reason for kids to misbehave if they were brought up right. Teach them to respect authority and to listen the first time. You probably also are not the kind of parent who spanks for any number of reasons but nevertheless i assure you time outs are ineffective. He who spares the rod spoils the child, and everyone who knows a a spoiled child does not listen or respect authority. So I don’t know how you parent and I don’t doubt you love your children dearly but i think it is a cop out and a rant. Teach your children how to respect and obey and i assure you it wont be as “hard”. Now to comment about you comment about getting snippy, patience is a must and not attained freely you have to train yourself to be patient, each day try a little harder to not get as worked up as the last time and one day down the road it will be worth it. And God will always provide if you just ask, even if it is for non tangible things, in fact he tends to bestow them intangible things quicker than material things. And you said historically you are so organized and put together than be it again. take a stay at home job or tell you man if you have one to get a better job, having kids is a constant sacrifice and sometimes you have to do whats best for them and whats best for them is to have at least one of their OWN parents with them as much as possible. Cut costs and budget wisely it is very possible. I can guarantee you guys either one for you makes more money than I do but yet we make it work our kids love us and are well behaved. Now i am not saying your a bad parent or i am a better parent i am simply saying it is very possible if we actively work on things that need worked on, live within our means, and sacrifice daily. There can be no self in parenting. Sure I need to work on things daily and we could use and extra 400 or so dollars a week but at the end of the day living within our means, sacrificing ourselves, and being with our kids as much as possible is more important than having more money and more problems.

    With love and god bless,
    Anonymous

    Reply

  236. GiGi:

    Laura, you are a talented writer. Perhaps you will write some anecdotal humor about getting rid of all the baby equipment and things when you finally decided to call it quits in the reproductive field? I find myself having a very hard time parting with things without crying.

    I hope all of the seemingly unhappy parents on this blog would hug those little burdens extra tight tonight. I was scared to death to go for #3 over this sort of post/advice (hilarious and relatable–but still scary for those on the fence). We waited too long and I lost our 3rd–doc said most likely due to my age. I just had to get to the point where I felt I could handle the extra laundry, dishes, carpool, etc. and now I can’t believe how selfish I was and the jealousy I feel when I see those with 3 kids. A friend sent me this blog thinking it would help me over the longings for having that 3rd child–it helped and it was definitely funny.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I’m so, so sorry for your loss. That is devastating. And yes, I cry every single time I get rid of anything or get out the new clothes. I don’t know why I feel torn between hoping they’ll get self-sufficient and terrible grief that they are getting older.

      Reply

  237. Juanita Cerullo:

    Laura, I’m a mom of three boys, very close in age. Currently, they are 18, 16 3/4 and 14. I thought I would hate this post after seeing the title but I loved I!. I can’t ever remember laughing out loud at a blog post before this one, because I can so relate. I loved the part about you thinking about swinging the car seat, baby in it and all, at the toddler to knock him over to save him from being run over, because I actually have done that! As crazy, noisy and smelly as my life has been, I, like you, wouldn’t trade it for anything. God bless you and please know it does get easier in a lot of ways.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thank you. I love them like crazy (and yes, my life is crazy, noisy, and smelly)!

      Reply

  238. Becka:

    This is amazing! Keep up your great outlook on life. And just to give you hope… both of my parents had two siblings and both turned out to be well-adjusted, valuable, contributing members of society (and wonderful parents). Although I should mention that they only had two children. :)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Ha! You know, I was accidental #3 myself! But I only had the baby’s perspective.

      Reply

  239. Jen:

    I absolutely love my 3 that were “3 under 3″ and now number 4 is almost 1 year. They are 7,6, and 4 and the best of friends!

    Reply

  240. Sarah:

    What I’m getting from this post is that you are complaining about parenthood and you should be ashamed.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh, I didn’t know we weren’t supposed to complain about it.

      Reply

  241. Julie:

    I am a mom of 3 boys….I just got back from treating myself to a 60 min Hot Stone massage..It was heaven! My boys are 17,18, and 22…Dont laugh…it really will take this long to treat yourself and then you will have to borrow a vehicle to get there because the kids will have yours! :) lol

    Reply

  242. Heather:

    I could have written this…no wait, I couldn’t have written it because I am a terrible writer, but I understand it!! I have an almost five year old, a two year old (the climber) and a one year old. EVERY point you wrote I relate to. I thought going from zero to one was hard but it was going from two to three that put me on medication :)

    Reply

  243. jessica:

    Great HONEST article! I wish I knew how hard ONE would be let alone more. I had 2 miscarriages within 6 months, then a surgery to make it possible to have kids, pregnant with twins and lost my sons twin….it has been hard! I love my son with all my heart but MAN was it harder than I thought I twould be! He is 20 months. I am currently pregnant and when this Lil one is born my son will be 26 months old. I know already that 2 is plenty!! I greatly appreciate your honesty, humor, and love for your kids through all the insanity ;-) God Bless you! My cousin says when they are older its easier…

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I’m so sorry for all you have been through. It’s difficult even when it’s “easy,” and loss and complications…I am very glad for you, however, that you were able to have another child. Blessings to you, too.

      Reply

  244. jason:

    This is clever and powerful writing. You start out by saying you’re just going to be objective in describing what it’s like to have 3 kids. Then… you go on to detail chaos in its component parts… and by the end of the piece, you can tell we’re always at the end of her rope… and the first part was just a ruse. Literary genius.

    A relative (in-law) have 2 already and wanted a third recently. They are now pregnant. With twins. They are both highly educated working parents, but as you describe, the workload doesn’t scale linearly. And all the people who encouragingly say, “well, at some point they start taking care of each other” have no f’ing clue how parenting works. Besides, maybe that phenomenon starts around 6 or 7 kids once basic survival needs are not met.

    So… I guess the upshot is, it could be “worse” than 3.

    happy new year.

    Reply

  245. Andrea:

    Then they grow up and love and adore each other, and they move out and you miss them!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yeah, I already miss them when they’re not around. (Though when they come back, sometimes I wish they’d go to bed. Being a parent is a roller coaster.)

      Reply

  246. Kat mother of 5 and accidental Mimi of 4:

    sorry in advance, I laughed and snickered and grinned.

    a long time ago I had three and I was done. they were a handful.

    then I remarried and had two more, after all, could not get any worse.

    then my first two had four total, and left them on my door step. now I have two of my own that are teens, and three under three. the din is obsene. the mess is a WHO problem. and the destruction in my house is an FEMA situation.

    eventually they grow up, move on. everything is temporary. I take pictures because I have been assured that some day I will miss it. the youngest is 6 months, I do not see that happening any time soon.

    I hate my minivan.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh my goodness: “You have your hands full!” Haha!

      Reply

  247. Emile:

    Yes children are hard. But they are a blessing, I’m on number 7 and have never regretted a minute of it. But to try and say that there are ever to many children is like saying there are to many flowers. It is hard and it will wear you out but it will ALWAYS be worth it.

    Reply

  248. Mark Holeman:

    My herd of kittens will be 7, 4 and 2 in the Spring. Boy, girl, boy. Folks are not accustomed seeing a lone male caring for three small ones. It is comical sometimes how helpful people can be. I swear that a person on fire would probably hold a door open for me! I once had a member of the wait staff walk my oldest through the line at a local cafeteria for me and carry his tray.

    I am 46 and getting grayer by the day. I’ve also had the Grand Pa assumption a couple of times. The look on their face is hilarious when I inform them that they are mine. Just a simple “Oh” :-)

    If my baby boy were a super hero his name would be “The Disorganizer”. I still end up carrying both little ones at one time. I too warn everyone I see about the third child! They are a blast but, DAYAM!!

    Mark

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Everything is so much fun–and so much more crazy! :)

      Reply

  249. Patti M:

    Thanks for th chuckle! When I was pregnant with my 3rd I got funny stares and oh mys as I pushed around a 2 1/2 & 10 month. Then when I wanted shopping with a 3 yr old, 15 month old nd newborn , I got plenty of – you’ve got you’re hands full, or wow 3 so quickly. I might not remember much from that year……I wouldn’t change a thing and I count my blessings every day as I cover my grays, put milk in the pantry avid forget to put the new diaper on the baby as we go out for a few hours!

    Reply

  250. Terry:

    Thanks for the blog. I completely agree. I have four (three girls and a boy). The largest gap between any of my children is 19 months. Going from two to three was very hard. Add to that the fact that I was ( and still am) teaching full time throughout my kids growing up. My children are now 18, 17,16, and 14 (my baby will be 15 next month). I will tell you the younger years were so much easier than the teen years. Everyone has their own schedule and everyone needs so many things for school fund raisers, band, and sports. Only one is driving right now- we are going slow with that phase and two have jobs (together). As much as I love my kids I am going to be exotic when I am able to slow down some. Just a forewarning……

    Reply

  251. Jane:

    So many points are true. I have 5 and LOVE it! 4 boys, one girl :) It is tiring at times, chaotic and a joy in one heaping bundle. Switched to organics, healthier diet, good supplements…huge difference! BTW-I am over 41 (Kids 12yrs-9 months).

    I’ve found that the difficulty is mostly when worried about outside perceptions of “how it should be.” Ridiculously clean house and outside expectations.. When we relax, enjoy, try to savor and do our own thing…it flows. True friends are there no matter what.

    Our culture perpetuates business as importance and pushes kids from a young age. We parents shouldn’t buy into that and let them be little….take long family walks and bike rides instead of over scheduling sports & activities…. There’s time to do our other things later.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You are right–I am also probably my worst as a parent when I’m angry that my kids are embarrassing me! It doesn’t really matter if people think badly of me/us in the moment, but man, I get mad during the public meltdowns/attempts at refusing to leave, etc. I need to wear a bracelet that says “Doesn’t matter what they think.”

      Reply

  252. clbf:

    Thank YOU!!! My husband described parenting 3 children as going from one-on-one to zone defense. Our first two were 368 days apart…. then we waited 4 years to have the unexpected blessing child. My wonderful MIL informed me that “once you have three there is no difference” as an inducement to have more [she had NINE] – so we stopped immediately! We love our family – now teens – and have had a blast with them. Once they get a bit older, the drudgery clears up – I promise! Mostly because THEY can do those chores. And ours have been the best of friends. My brilliant husband started them all running XC and track year round, which they love, so they are too tired to be any trouble! I pray you will enjoy them! And if I see you in the grocery store, I will be the one smiling at you with tears in my eyes because mine are almost grown.

    Reply

  253. Kara Gleghorn:

    We have 4 kiddos, and I actually thought that going from 1 to 2 was the hardest. Mostly because of the jealousy issues from #1. It was so hard that I think it actually sent me into some postpartum depression (which I didn’t have after any of the other 3 kids) and in my worst moments I wished that we hadn’t made the decision to have a second child. But by the time #3 came along,1 and 2 were used to sharing the attention and no one was jealous of the new baby. That helped a lot, because a jealous 2 year-old is a hellish 2 year-old, as you may know. When #3 was born we had 3 kids ages 4 1/2 and younger. For physical needs that was hard, (Although we totally lucked out with #3 being an incredibly awesome sleeper- like religiously 9-10 hours straight by 3 months.) But now that they are 9, 7 and 4 1/2, they are buddies who can do a lot of the same things and help to watch out for and take care of each other. We left a bit of a bigger gap between #3 and #4 (who is now 16 months), which I highly recommend if you ever think about a fourth. He is the quintessential doted-on baby- cared for and entertained by all members of the family without a bit of jealousy. I am very happy with four kids (and was so lucky to end up with 2 of each gender), and I would highly recommend it to those who currently have 3!

    Reply

  254. melissa:

    Loved this. I have a 5 year old, 3.5 year old, and 1 year old all boys. I have learned that I will not have anything nice or breakable until they move out of the house. Thank you so much for writing the truth about having 3 children, sometimes 4 when dad acts like he is 5 :)

    Reply

  255. Don:

    I have 4 kids all are grown and all I will say is: YOU WERE NOT SHORT-WINDED.

    Reply

  256. Shesourceful:

    I love this! =) I was just saying to my husband yesterday how I wish that someone had been more specific about the gruesome details of parenting so I could have adjusted my expectations to be more realistic! At the same time, I wonder if it would have discouraged me from having the 4 that I have now. I am so grateful for my “big” family (having grown up with one sibling) and the noise, chaos, mess, etc. is (ultimately) a small price to pay. But I have definitely had moments of intense frustration and despair, so I can relate. God always does something to lift me up, but it ain’t an easy road.

    I will say that adding the fourth was so easy, so don’t count it out! =) I get sad when I hear people limiting the number of children they have based on these hard, but fleeting moments. Children really are a blessing (there is nothing and no one that I am more thankful for) and God uses them to teach us so many good things.

    One small change that I’ve started making that has helped my perspective is not to label them negatively. Instead of having a “complainer,” I actually speak the truth of who God is making them (a la Romans 4:17), even referring to my son as “Johnny Grateful.” And seeing those character flaws as things that can actually be prayed out with God’s word and removed by His healing power, rather than just resigning that that is who they are. My friends and I have seen neat changes in our children as they mature and God does his work in them. Anyway, bless you and yours and thank you for being honest and truthful (and funny!). This too shall pass!!!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Good point about thinking positively.

      Reply

  257. Erika:

    As a fellow Mom-of-3, I so enjoyed reading this! We also have a cat, dog, and fish. Between school, preschool, Dr’s, vet’s, sports, and then all that pesky housework – I am pretty sure I lost my mind somewhere in the last 5 years! It gets better and better, and busier and busier. Thanks for putting into words what so many of us deal with – and making me laugh too! :)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thanks! Yes, I suppose it doesn’t help that I have a dog and two cats, plus a parent-participation school, plus…

      Reply

  258. Melissa:

    Soooo true, every word. Just last night I had my middle son bring me a turd & eat dog food as I bathed the baby. His big brother told on him for eating our dogs food….

    Reply

  259. Maddie:

    Great piece. It’s hard work, parenting, and not everyone, especially non-parents, understand that. I think that a key factor is the personality of the child. Three very boisterous boys would be very tough. In my friend’s case, it meant lots of hospital visits. I have a boy who is not so wild and plays quite nicely with his sister, (who’s now 3), so it’s not so bad. I also think that in the past, women just gave and gave a lot more. As my Mom did. She had six kids. And some of us, like me, were a real handful. But the thing is, us elder 3 kids looked after the younger ones. (We still do in a way!) So in a way, six was easier than three. You just had to put more food on the table.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, it’s true that my oldest has been more and more helpful with time. If I had another baby, she would probably have to help me by taking over! :)

      Reply

  260. Laura Loeffel:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! The words I lack at the end of my work day + dealing w/NOISE upon return home + laundry + phone that fell in the toilet & no longer works + being sick were perfectly expressed in your blog!! I am so grateful to know that I am not the only one who lives this insanity!! My kids are 6, 3.5, & 1…& my school drop-off schedule is not the only thing identical to yours! I am sorry that anyone would give you trouble about your post…because I KNOW it’s how things really are & my heart is just like yours!!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      That is so nice! Thanks for your encouragement. And that kind of sounds like my average day, too. :)

      Reply

      • Kenra:

        This is my life! I loved this post! I have a six year old girl (very dramatic), two year old boy (extremely mischievous) and a one year old girl (the quiet trouble maker). My husband and I both work full time so we are exhausted! I’m so glad you wrote this! I don’t feel like the worst parent feeling the same way about three! Everyone tells us to add four because it gets easier – we’re not taking that gamble! Thank you so much for the laugh and honesty!

  261. Daphne:

    I had a 4 year old and a 1 year old when I got pregnant with twins. They were 5 and 2 when the twins were born and my life epiphany that I would never be in control again. The twins are both bolters, the middle one lazy and the eldest a drama queen. I love my kids too, but I would trade you my twins for your third…

    Reply

  262. Roger:

    I think if u had 2 or 3 or more kids u should be happy, plus there healthy quit crying enjoy ur kids.

    Reply

  263. Kimberly:

    I want everyone to know. I am a mother of three grown children, (who are still not completely out of my checkbook). I did raise two other teenage boys. I was a single mom for most of my childrens lives. I worked, went to school, and transported everyone to their preferred activities. I am not sure exactly how it all happened. Everyone turned out fine and is living the lives that they have chosen. We all survived, by Gods Grace, LOL. I just want everyone to know, YOU WILL SURVIVE, EVERYONE WILL SURVIVE. It was not a uniformed or planned life. We ate pizza a lot on Fridays. LOL. This life we are living with children is a complete blessing to us all. You have to give up some of your own life and SANITY, but it is well worth it. Does not matter how many children you have, you will still be tired and worn out at the end. LOL. I can not to this day handle three things at once. I used to handle everything at once. NOT anymore, LOL. But I have realized that it was the life that I chose. I did not do everything right. Yes, each child worked in different ways and that was a shame because I had some good ideas that worked on one and not the other, I guess I should of patented some of my ideas, LOL. You are going to be left at the end with thoughts about OMG, I should of done things different. Just forget that. Do the best that you can, don’t strive to be the best parent, don’t let others tell you what is best. Listen to your parental instincts, they will not let you down. Listen to your children, learn from your past from your parents, change things that happened to you, just enjoy the time that you have with them. I have to tell you, I thought my life would be my own at this time. Well, I have moved in with my elderly mother and younger mentally and physically disabled brother. BOY, WHAT WAS I THINKING. LOL. I am raising children all over again. LOL. These children don’t listen either. LOL. God Bless each and everyone of us. After your children, comes grandchildren. The circle of life goes on. Remember, the pharmacist is your best friend at this stage in life. LOL.

    Reply

  264. Tippy:

    Who is the liar who told you that parenting was going to be easy? Please stop complaining about motherhood on the interwebs. Anything you put out here is here in perpetuity. If I found a letter my mother wrote to the entire world that said I made her so stressed out, I would feel really bad about that. Vent to a friend or friends, not to the entire world where your children can see it.

    Reply

  265. Jordan Mosby:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you SO MUCH for being so real about having 3 kids! Almost all of my friends and family have 2 children and assume that 3 is like 2, just having some extra stuff… Oh, holy sh*t are they wrong… And I love that you are writing from the experience of not only having 3 children, but having them CLOSE TOGETHER, which makes it a whole ‘nother ball game. My children are 8, 6 (he’ll be 7 in 2 months), and 5. There’s 22 months between my first 2 and 15.5 months between my 2nd and 3rd.Thank god now they’re older, as am I (I’m 27), and we’ve managed to make it past the everyone-in-diapers/pull-ups stage, the bottles-and-huge-carseats phase and all of the other non-sensical phases that I feel like we went thru. Now they’re all in school and I’m in my 3rd semester of college (for my RN) and things have gotten slightly easier, if only a little. But now the difficulties of 3 small school-aged children who all have homework, family projects, book fairs, field trips, plays, sport practices, etc. And it seems that the older my middle son gets, the more hospital visits we have each year. He’s had 2 rounds of stitches in his eyebrow so far this year and a broken arm. He’s VERY active. But I just wanted to thank you for telling it how it is (We’ve ALL had that I-can’t-do-this or maybe-I-should-just-knock-him-over-before-he-hurts-himself moments, so feel no shame!). You should seriously seminar to people who want to make the stupendous jump from 2 to 3.

    Signed,
    A VERY Sympathetic Mom

    Reply

  266. Edee Rockwell:

    I knew someone who said that “After the third child. You don’t even notice!” (She ended up with Five!!!) I had three. I’m not sane anymore and they’re grown up and moved out!!!

    Reply

  267. Christy M:

    I have to say… your article made me laugh out loud! You PERFECTLY describe our lives (and house)… we have a 3 year old, an 18 month old, and a 6 month old. When I go anywhere I get the “you’ve got your hands full” comment… even if the children aren’t around. Keep on keeping on!

    Reply

  268. Jason Carroll:

    Lots of very realistic and sound points… As a dad of 4 I will say that 2 kids is great! good balance, they get along… its quiet sometimes… you can afford a baby sitter… good stuff! 3 kids starts feeling like you might have bit off more than you can chew…you start having trouble keeping it together at times… simply because you don’t remember what you were planning to do when you woke up 6 hours ago. having more than three kids is about crowd control… no more “man on man” its full zone defense. I strongly advise pepper spray, riot shields and bean bag guns. 3 kids is the brink of insanity.. and 4 is full commitment… past 4 kids… well insanity is insanity… you can’t get “more insane” you can just act more insane :) Great article!

    Reply

  269. houseofmk@yahoo.com:

    I have 3 children. I am now 57 years old. My children are 3plus years apart. My husband’s child required us to move several times. Each and every time, my children had each other to play with, to talk to, to be with, until they found friends in their new neighbordhoods. They are all now between 26 to 32 years old, and they are still very close. Many “blemded” families have 3 or more children, and as tough as it may be, they make it happen. When you make the decision to have children, no matter how many you choose to have, you are also accepting that life is no longer about you. Life is now all about them and the values and morals you teach them. I have a friend who has one child. This child was born with a birth defect. My friend would rather have the work of raising 3 or more normal children than havcing to deal with the daily tasks and emotions of raising 1 handicapped child. If you’re going to complain about having 3 or more children, there are so many couples out there who can’t have children and would give their right arms to have one of yours.

    Reply

  270. Jenny Yantes:

    I couldn’t have written this better, myself. I also have 3. But mine are 4.5, 2.5 & 8mo. (My 2nd was only 21mo when her brother arrived). I am a stay at home mom….and am so exhausted by the evenings some days. I truly appreciate this article. Thank you!

    Reply

  271. Jess:

    Jealous of your situation, no matter how crazy it seems. I have three kids too, 6, (would be 3), and 8 months, but my middle little guy is in heaven. He was 9 mo. 26 days when SIDS reared it’s ugly face. No reason for it, we did everything by the book. But still mourning and longing for the insane moments that three children can bring :) I’m so glad you can have fun with your craziness and also realize how extremely blessed you are. Blessings to you and your family in the new year!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I am so sorry for your loss. What a terrible thing.

      Reply

  272. Sharon:

    Hey why stop at three.children are a gift from The Lord. Not all gifts are easy to have but none bring more challenge or joy than people.

    Reply

  273. Rachel:

    I love this! I was literally laughing out loud about the idea of knocking your 2yo over with the car seat. I have a 4 yo, 2 yo, and a 10 month old. I’m lucky enough to stay home with them, but I feel your pain. :)

    Reply

  274. Kelli:

    Thanks for the laugh! I can totally relate to yelling (screaming) over the baby while nursing. I just had my third boy (boy #1 5 years, boy #2 3 years and boy #3 6 weeks). I also run my own freelance graphic design business from home which is like having a 4th child! I curse the modern cell phone which requires me to answer emails 24-7. How badly I want to smash it on some days. Although it makes life easier when I have to communicate with clients and cannot do so via the old fashioned way (aka verbal communication) as the minute I get on the phone with a client a signal goes off to my kids to start screaming. My older two boys start fighting and beating on my office door (which is glass so I have to see their agonizing faces) and the baby somehow needs to start screaming for my boob. At least I can shove something in one of their mouths to quite him ;) Everyone needing attention from me and me just wanting a half hour to shower ALONE and maybe brush my teeth now and then. How is it that I end up with baby in the bouncy chair screaming at me and two kids throwing hot wheels at me every time I shower? Some day I know we will look back and miss these days, yet being older parents (I’ll be 61 when baby graduates high school and hubby will be 65) we probably will be so grateful to be entering the retirement home somewhere warm and having the grandchildren visit now and then. For now, we will enjoy these three little balls of energy who keep us young while putting grey hair on our heads :)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh my gosh, what is it about work calls that sends them over the edge?? I am always trying to sound cool and professional, and when they are home sick or when I was working while the baby napped and he wouldn’t nap, it would sound something like, “Sure, I would love to edit your book. I SAID PUT THE POOP BACK IN THE LITTERBOX!”

      Reply

  275. Gee wile:

    I didn’t decide to have 3, I had a singleton and then got stuck with twins! O-O Great article! When people decide to have 3, I give them a major side-eye. :)

    Reply

  276. Kris Wendorff:

    I have 9 and 11 yr old girls and a 13 yr old boy so this really hit home, but you forgot to mention a biggy! I just love it when my in laws compare my 3 (who are not even 2 yrs apart from each other) to my sister in laws 2 children who just so happen to be 5 1/2 yrs apart. Is totally the same, not!
    And you are right, all my friends that have 4, seem to have that group going on for them. Also, having your husband work out of town Monday they Friday was very hard. I did survive, but at the cost of losing my funny edge. I am such a serious person now and I hate that :-/. Life is still hectic even with them being older, but at least I can just go somewhere without having to pack for it :-). This is my vent!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I hope you can find a little time to laugh. It does stink when you feel like you’re turning into grumpus. I get it.

      Reply

  277. Jennifer:

    As a mom of 8 kids… I do get where you are coming from, but wanted to encourage you… my first three kids were born while I was a working mom, and that IS harder…. it was much easier to have #4-8 while I was a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. Life IS much easier when mom is home and able to focus on home… not perfect, but easier. Also, the bigger issue is the spacing… as it turned out, my first two were two years apart… that was actually the hardest transition for me… my next came three years later, and number three was so easy, I couldn’t wait to have number 4, but he also didn’t come until 3yrs. later. What makes it easier to have more kids is that they are not all the same age (unless they are, LOL, I do not have any multiples.) Having a child who is 8 and another who is 6yo when you have a 3yo and a new baby is not nearly as difficult as 4 in four years. I admit, I marvel at those moms who have their babies so close, as I truly was not able to. The rest of mine are all 3yrs. apart, except 6 &7 who were two years apart, and yes, that was more difficult, but by then, I had teenagers to help me out. I had miscarriages in between, which caused the natural spacing, so it isn’t that I made it this way. But, realize that a life with only little ones is very shortlasting… you will blink and they will be grown. I love having 8 kids and if I could do it over again, I’d honestly have them closer together and have a couple more. Once you learn the trick of it all, your childbearing years are over. :-) Hang in there, you are doing a great job.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thanks for your insights and support–and I’m sorry you’ve lost some pregnancies along the way.

      Reply

  278. bethlynne:

    I can soooo relate. I have 7 children. My fantasy of having the “older” ones help never quite panned out.

    Reply

  279. Corissa Peachey Mayer:

    Single mom, not by choice, of 3, and this article makes my day! I’d have 3 again in a heartbeat but oh so on the head this was!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I’m a single mom now too, and it hasn’t exactly made things simpler!

      Reply

  280. Jessie:

    I have 4 kids and I can completely relate. This was a very good read.

    Reply

  281. blessedmombygrace:

    It does get a bit easier. And then it gets harder too. They do grow up too fast, way too fast. I have 7 kids aged 16, 14, 12, 9, 7, 5 and 3. Four boys, three girls. The last 2 are 19 months apart. My house is a mess, I’m overwhelmed most of the time, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m exhausted, but I don’t want to miss this wonderful time. However, I do look forward to the day I can finally use the bathroom alone without interruptions!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      And even take showers without figuring someone is dying outside the door!

      Reply

      • Gabby:

        My third child died. That isn’t very funny. What I wouldn’t give to be ferrying my three children to three different places. Instead the ashes of my youngest sit in an urn upon the bookshelf, and his older siblings miss him every day.

      • LisaKami:

        I am so terribly, terribly sorry for your loss. My grandmother also lost her third child. It still haunts our family to this day, even though we lost her a year ago. That said, I hope that you will forgive the author her innocent comment. I know my grandmother would have.

  282. Kena:

    I loved this blog!! I have three kids – all boys ages 9, 6, and 4. I can relate to everything you said. Thank you for the laugh!!

    Reply

  283. KG:

    I really enjoyed the humor…so many that were offended by this do not understand what humor is. Feel free to ignore those who are anti-fragile and get offended by everything. It was hilarious and according to my own mother (had 3 under 3 at one point), completely accurate.

    I am not married and would love to have children someday (though not sure I’ll have the privilege), but I am a teacher of young children. I wish more parents could translate this feeling that you guys have and see that teachers feel JUST LIKE THIS! Just because we have 22 kids doesn’t mean it becomes easier in a pack (if you are indeed a good teacher). I don’t even get to finish whole sentences most days (and yes, I have structure and good discipline). People don’t get that structure and discipline make things easier, but they don’t erase the fact that children are still children and need lots of care and attention. They have the patience of gnats and it takes so much training to get them to understand this. I adore my job or else I wouldn’t do it, but teachers get reamed when we rant as well. It’s not that we are saying we hate kids or something, we just want people (especially parents) to understand why we are so tired and can’t respond to their every demand and whim in 24 hours or else. Or why I can’t have a parent conference in the middle of a class party. Or why I can’t answer your ‘silly’ questions in the middle of a field trip so I may sound a bit bitchy or distracted.

    I totally get why 3 kids is hard. I wish more people *got* why classes of 22 or more are hard as well. And my school has them from 7:40-3:00, starting at Kinder. And this is just when the kids are there…our job starts before this time & continues past this time to plan/prepare. Then, many teachers then go home to their own kids! Craziness and much grace needed for ANYONE who pours their heart into kids. Sorry this is long, but I guess I needed a rant of my own. haha!

    Reply

    • KG:

      Edit: *fragile* not anti-fragile. Anti-fragile would be the goal!! :)

      Reply

    • Laura:

      And you deserve one! My daughter’s kindergarten class had THIRTY-ONE, the new class size in California! She had a marvelous veteran teacher (of 30 plus years), and she still had a hard time with them often, especially around Christmas and at the end of the year. Children are so challenging, because they are as difficult as all of us are, but they don’t have filters yet. :) And any group of people is hard to manage, even when you have good management.

      Reply

  284. Ida:

    Love this! I am one of those crazies with 3 kids lol My youngest is 4 mths, my middle 6 and oldest 8. In a way, Gosh I am tired! lol And these 2 weeks of school holidays.. not quite peaceful.. :P My husband and I welcomed 2014 by taking turns on the cranky Lil Miss.. finally down at 2.30am only to wake up before 4am and start her lil whiny shrieks all over again. I was so afraid our no-young-kids-in-the-house neighbor would call the cops on us for disturbance of peace or something like that :P
    Don’t you just love it though, when we are referred to as “just a stay-at-home Mom”. :P

    Reply

  285. Hallie Gibson:

    Hahaha! This year we has baby number 2 accompanied by surprise baby number 3. I’m feeding the boys after a crazy trip to the store and I feel like supermom for just surviving a simple outing. FYI they don’t have double infant seat carts and at around 17 pounds a piece they get harder and harder to carry. Thankfully my 3 year old is pretty helpful even though she insists on having a seat so she doesn’t have to walk. Thanks for not making me feel bad mom for throwing myself down on the floor with an exhausted sigh when we returned home!

    Reply

  286. stacey:

    Yeah, have 6 and be pregnant with #7. I have a blended family, 4 with my ex, 1 stepson, 1 with my husband and 1 on the way. Youngest is 2 and I’m due in 4 wks. We own a farm, and my husbands a k9 trainer and we raise mastiffs. I have horses and all kinds of livestock I still take care of daily even at 8 mos pregnant, not to mention all the responsibilities of a stay at home mom with a husband who works 5pm To 5am……..need I say more?

    Reply

  287. Tim:

    Great post- its making its way across FB. We’ve got five- and at one time they were all under five (that’s either me bragging or crying huddled in a corner, gently rocking back and forth). I totally agree, the jump from two to three was the hardest for all the reasons delineated here; by the time 4 came it was pretty much “well, just throw another one onto the pile”. For us, a key to sanity was not feeling guilty when we felt insane from time to time. I would also encourage my fellow dads that we MUST take on more of this burden. Yes, I realize you had a tough day at work- my job is very physical and labor intensive- but your “job” should never end when you get home, it should change. Hers doesn’t end at 5pm after all. She’s been serving multiple “bosses” with contradictory and high maintenance needs, whereas we men often have more singular tasks with clear goals- goals that seldom include “keep this person from killing themselves as they crawl towards an outlet with a butter knife, when you finally thought you had 30 seconds to drink the coffee that you salvaged from last night.”
    But realize too, that when we work with our companions, our spouses, the chaos, the stress, all becomes secondary; the big picture comes into focus- your happiness as a family, and it IS attainable. Children are a blessing and they must be viewed as such- yet allow yourself times of throwing up your hands; guilt has NO place in your life.
    Lastly, and in good humor but also with a little insight, I’d add we hate minivans too, and unless you have the $ to afford high-end models, most aren’t that much more fuel efficient than a Suburban- and as a mechanic of sorts I will tell you that the number of minivan repairs ration to Suburban/Expedition repairs quickly evaporate much of the fuel savings- and the cargo space (a verrrry important factor for us) is pretty much incomparable.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I could see that. I must grudgingly admit that my
      minivan’s been good to me. It’s a 2002 Honda Odyssey with a lotta miles! But the mechanic raved about what good shape it’s in and promised me 250K miles. Hope so! Haha!

      Reply

  288. Allison B:

    Spot on! The look of horror for me is so relatable. I have 4 year old twins and a 5 year old. (Your jaw dropped, it’s ok) The looks I got when I was pregnant with my twins were great. And they still come whenever someone asks me how old my kids are.

    Reply

  289. Laura:

    Thank you! I went from one to three suddenly since we were blessed with twins. Wow! The three kid thing is rough! It has good times but you forgot a crazy part: when everyone gets the stomach bug at once–including mommy & daddy!

    Oh, and my house is a disaster but I figure it’ll get better one of these days! The twins go to kindergarten in August!

    Reply

  290. Melissa:

    Love this. I am the mother of three rambunctious boys, 4, 5 and 7. I am very honest when people with two talk to me about having a third. From one to two was hard, but having the third was insanely difficult. I sure have a lot of stories and have come to say a lot of the time, I might as well laugh now because in a month I will look back and laugh.

    Reply

  291. Sterling:

    On behalf of my wife, I can so relate to this. The third is definitely the challenge. It got easier with the fourth :)

    Reply

  292. Kari:

    This. Is. My. Life. I feel we are kindred spirits, baby faced and all. THANK YOU for writing this!!!

    Reply

  293. melanie:

    We are infertile, so we adopted two babies, then we got pregnant (while celebrating the finishing of the paperwork.). Then we got my sister’s two kids for a year. FIVE kids under the age of three. I firmly believe God should give you an extra arm for each extra child. They are teenagers now. We survived and so did they…somehow. It was the hardest, most wonderful time of my life. Thank God it’s behind me. Now all I am waiting for is my Grandchildren to start coming!

    Reply

  294. Maria:

    I have three. Twin four year olds and a one year old. You thinking about knocking one down with the baby carrier so he wouldn’t get run over made me laugh out loud uncontrollably and the vision of you at the party made me want to go back in time, find you and give you a hug. Because yes. Been there. Three is so hard but I’m so happy to have them and wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks for the honesty and the laugh.

    Reply

  295. Shannon:

    Try ALL that …. as a SINGLE parent. If I can do it…you could too. I felt and continue to feel your pain. Mine are 16, 11 & 9 ( 2 yrs 5 days between last two) woohoo! So I have 3 kids, 1 first born with first born traits and tendencies, the second with first born traits and tendancies AND middle child syndrome…and the “baby”. Can’t get any better than that! Love them all DEARLY! !

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You know, I actually am a single parent now! Comes with its own ups and downs.

      Reply

  296. Missy:

    I don’t know why people with three kids always assume that having 4 is easier. How does that even make sense? Maybe because you only have 3… isn’t your entire article about why people shouldn’t have 3 and they just don’t know how hard it will be? Well, you don’t know what it is like to have 4. Also, while it is hard, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love the busy, noisy life I have with my kids and have all the same issues with ages and school timing, dinners and expenses. Having 4 is not easier. Remember I had 3 first.

    Reply

    • Missy:

      If 4 is so much easier, have another one! They can help you! ;)

      Reply

  297. Lisa Ritter:

    Thanks for the post I can totally relate. I have 3 kids; a 6 year old and 4 year old twins. they are 22 months apart and well let’s say my life is chaotic on all levels. I work full time and so does my husband but our lives are crazy and we try to do the best we can as parents but we definitely have our moments with them. I wouldn’t trade it for the world but sometimes I think we had moments of insanity when we had them so close together thinking it was a good idea so they would have someone to “play with and be close too”. Many people don’t understand how it’s so hard since there are two of us but as you explained the ratios just don’t work out that way.

    Reply

  298. TorontoDeejays.com:

    Was a great read!! Mine are 1, 2 and 4, it’s a total zoo 24/7

    Reply

  299. AnotherMomOf3:

    I guess I don’t understand the shock of three kids being more of a challenge than one or two. My oldest had turned 3 one April, my second turned 2 that May, and my third was born that June. (My youngest is now 3, and we’re expecting our 4th…) Three kids ages three and under was a challenge from the beginning, but it wasn’t anything so unexpected that I couldn’t fathom why we had made that choice. Did you expect to have three kids who acted like two, got along all the time, and didn’t need a bigger vehicle or more baby gear, and always helped you keep the house clean? (And really, most vehicles CAN fit three car seats across. We had our three in the back of a Camry for several years- with two of them rear-facing. It’s not hard, it’s just a matter of getting the right seats if you don’ want a minivan… That seems like a dumb complaint to me.)

    I just can’t see the humor in this post that everyone else is talking about. It reads like strait-up complaining about the choices you’ve made, and your inability to handle them as gracefully as you thought you would. We all have days, no matter how many kids we have, where each kid is showing their own kind of horrible behavior for the entire day, and it can be stressful. But the job of being a parent is to work through it as best as we can, without regret. Every parent screws up. Every parent has bad days. Every parent has different strengths. Every parent should know their limit, and not have more kids than they can happily provide for. Just this morning, I woke up to one child with an infected ear, one throwing up, and one who had decided to cut off half of the eyelashes on his left eye. I’m not going to use today’s experience to silently (or loudly; even on the internet) laugh at the people who say they want to have three kids.

    I honestly think this entire post would have read differently if you had just explained the hectic side of your life with three kids. Anyone can relate to that. The preface of other people saying they want three, and your judgement of them, completely changes the tone.

    Reply

  300. Adrienne:

    Hang in there! People always ask me how life is with four kids (7, 5, 2, 7 months). I reply with,…..”I am a glutton for punishment”,…or “I just LOVE chaos!” And when we are out, people stare so I whisper “Here comes the circus!” I work weekend nights so my poor husband has to keep these animals alive while trying to keep them quiet for mommy to sleep. I am in a panic for what will happen when they are all school-age since they have to be car-riders! Thank you for this blog, it is nice to know that I am not alone!

    Reply

  301. Tracey Vink-Fox:

    Laura, I love your article, I too have 3 and agree from 2 to 3 children leads to craziness in house. Mine are 8 (girl), 7(boy), and 3.5(boy) and share the same problems with noise and also space in house. I must say I count the minutes until all three are in bed and am at present direly waiting for my youngest to start school come on March, hurry up!!!

    Reply

  302. Lauren:

    I am guilty of swinging the diaper bag at the darting 2 year old while lugging the car seat witha newborn while my 8 year old ran ahead.

    Reply

  303. Katie Sears:

    I have read so many articles like this one. I guess from now on, I won’t give out any kind of advice about having kids, raising kids, etc. because obviously, I am one of a kind and so were my girls. I raised four and and cannot relate to the opinions of any of these authors. I LOVED having my kids home from school. Hated seeing them go back in the fall. Got super excited on snow days when they could stay home with me. If we had ups and downs I must have handled it so well I didn’t notice the downs. At least not to the point that I’d write an article telling everyone about “how hard” it was. I’d hit that rewind button so fast and do it all again if I could. It was the best time of my life.

    Reply

    • LisaKami:

      I have a boy and a girl, and I have to tell you – that’s because you had girls. My MIL had 3 girls and then 3 boys, and it’s night and day especially the younger years. Ask any preschool teacher – a class of girls would be a dream. I’m sure you’re an awesome mom too, and like you I often don’t feel I relate to people who think parenting is “the hardest job in the world.” I LOVE it. But during my son’s challenging phase I definitely had HARD, hard days. Things are easy now but I only have 2 and I can see where having 3 kids would be very challenging at times, unless they were all parent-pleasing females.

      Reply

  304. Mary Clare:

    I’m new to your blog. So, hi! Thanks for the piece. I love reading blogs written by parents for the hefty dose of realism, the opportunity to laugh and cry at the stories, and the community of support that they create. I’ll add that blogs, like yours, have helped me survive the last 5.5 years with my two kids.

    Reply

  305. Molly:

    I am laughing because if I don’t I’ll cry, lol! My third baby is due this month and you have me simultaneously excited and scared shitless :)

    Reply

  306. Prairie Wife (@PrairieHeels):

    This is great! I have four kids, and there is a reason that the first three are 2 years and 1 month apart and then almost 3 years before number 4 came! It took a little while longer to get my feet under me. And amen about school, I have thought about homeschooling more in the last 2 years than ever, we spend 2hr a day driving on preschool days! Keep on telling the truth, moms need to know lol!

    prairiewifeinheels.com

    Reply

  307. Kim:

    Oh, goodness…I remember when my youngest was an infant, sitting down to nurse her, with my twin 2.5 year olds hanging from and climbing over my legs like monkeys. Finally got to where my youngest would be so distracted she wouldn’t eat, so I kicked the other two out of the room whenever I was feeding the youngest. I had the monitor in the nursery with me, and one of the monitors where you hear what’s going on in the nursery in the room the twins would play in. Can’t tell you how many times a fight broke out and I had to say (loud enough so they would hear the monitor over their noise), “Isaac, sit in the blue chair, Ruby, in the pink chair!” and there they would have to remain until nursing was over. Insanity. Sometimes now (the twins just turned 7 and the youngest is 4.5), we have moments where they get along lovely. Like now. My husband says he must always be at work when they get along. Ha ha. ;) I totally get you on the noise thing – drives me CRAZY!!! Crazy, crazy kids. Gotta love ‘em. Especially when you watch ‘em sleep – it’s a survival technique they have – looking so sweet while they sleep! =D

    Reply

  308. C3:

    There is a lot of truth to your post. But I felt going from three to four was the hardest. Let me add a caveat.

    My oldest was only 3 1/2 when my 4th was born. There are 11 months from 1 to 2. 16 months from 2 to 3 and 13 months from 3 to 4. We were doing pretty good with the three. It was hectic and chaotic, sure…but we had already conquered having a brand new toddler with a newborn so we were good.

    But dang, when we added baby 4, oh my gosh…it was just too much.

    Everybody needs something, all the time. Everybody is clamoring for my attention. The very patient person I once was is gone, replaced with a maniac that has to constantly yell just to be heard! It’s crazy!

    And the noise. Oh my word, the noise. I have two that are “musical” and are constantly humming, whistling, clicking, tapping, drumming, etc. My ADD mind cannot tolerate the constant din of noise. I hope I’m not being insensitive to anybody when I say this but…I really feel like I now have a good idea what is feels like to have auditory sensitivity issues.

    But…it is getting better, especially as of late! My oldest turns 8 tomorrow. My second just turned 7 a few weeks ago. The youngest two will be 6 and 5 in a couple of months. We are starting to hit our stride as a family, where they cooperate more, and realize that the world does not revolve around them. Its getting better!

    But then…I realize that the teen years are coming, lol. OY!!!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh my goodness, yes! I feel the same way about the din. Sometimes someone is singing very sweetly or having fun chanting something, etc., and they are actually being so well-behaved, but it happens to coincide with another person asking me questions and a third person crying, and I want to bark at the cute little singer and bark at everybody else!

      Reply

  309. Lula:

    I could have written this almost word-for-word. Mine are 9, 4 and 2 and also mixed gender (girl, girl, boy). I think perhaps it is the age differences that are a big factor, particularly as you said the younger two thing. You think preschool is going to help with your middle but then you realize all it does is screw up the youngest’s nap! Everything you said rang very true for me as well. I feel like I am just treading water all the time.

    Reply

  310. cassie:

    Love this! I am a mother of 3, a son who is 8 and 6 month old twins…huge difference. Two kids is doable..three kids is a whole new world, your right! The saying I tell myself everyday when I am exhausted is “it won’t be like this for long” I have had to trade in my heels for sneakers! :) thank you for a good read while I rock one of my twin girls :)

    Reply

  311. Child Life Mommy:

    Hysterical and so HONEST! I loved it! I have two little ones and my husband is constantly telling me we should try for a girl. Ha! Umm, doubt that would even happen, probably get another boy. Plus, I already feel like I am a mom of 6 kids. My oldest (5yrs) is like having four children in one and my youngest (20months) just found his spark and is like having two kids in one. I lose it everyday!
    Thank you for the laughter! I personally know where I stand on this topic…two healthy kids are more than enough for me! :)
    Look forward to reading your posts

    Reply

  312. Anita:

    I HAVE 3!! I can soooo relate! :) Thank u for ir humor!! God bless u and your 3 beautiful children!!

    Reply

  313. C:

    Well said! As a mother of three now grown children, I send my best wishes for a moment of peace. In fact, after the 3rd child, my favorite children’s book was “Five Minutes Peace”. My husband always explained the parenting of three this way, “With one child, you double-team; with two children, it’s man-to-man defense; with three children, you’ve got to perfect your zone!” Enjoy the ride, it is worth it, and before you know it, they’re gone.

    Reply

  314. Lisa:

    All true!

    Reply

  315. Jenny Chmara:

    I have three a 1, 2, and 3 year old.. I totally agree with everything you said. The babysitting part the most!! At 2 it was no big deal to find a sitter or friend to help; but with three no way! I’m a stay at home mom and everyday I hear “I don’t know how you do it” I don’t either lol! I always tell them you just do it and don’t think :D I wouldn’t change having my babies for anything but sometimes I wish they were a little farther apart in age!

    Reply

  316. Heather:

    A friend sent this to me, as my husband and i just had our 3rd… with a 4 year old and an 18 month old…………..lol. I couldn’t agree, and laugh along with you more! We still haven’t gotten the minivan, not by choice but money just isn’t there so we haul everyone around in a 1990 Bronco, with a lift so I have to hold onto something to pull myself in (hilarious to onlookers I’m sure). Great writing I needed the laugh and self pity party today! :-D

    Reply

  317. Tammy:

    I am laughing so hard and can relate. My three blessings are 13, 9, and 8. Having had a hard time conceiving # 2, we started pretty early trying to conceive # 3 and said, “The worst that can happen is that # 2 and #3 end up 17 months apart”– well, our youngest two are 17 months apart. Hahahaha, how naïve we were about how flippantly we said that. We got through babyhood, toddlerhood, the preschool years… and then we hit the years of reprieve for a time. But now we are entering the teen years and again wondering… WHY DID WE DO THIS!?- we are going to have 3 teenagers at once!

    I know you said you were glad to be free of the unwanted advice, but I have some anyway. Don’t end up in a situation where you have a French horn player, new violin student, and new recorder player- who all have to practice at the same time. Just don’t. You’ve been warned. :-)

    Reply

  318. Amanda L:

    I enjoyed this. I didn’t really get a choice on having 3… we had our first (a “surprise” baby, at that) and were planning on trying for a second child when I went into the first ultrasound for pregnancy #2 and it was twins. So we went from 1 to 3 (after I had sworn up and down I never wanted 3 kids and did not want parents outnumbered by children) but I wouldnt trade the experience for anything! I agree with everything you wrote!

    Reply

  319. J.R.:

    I am the youngest of three. This really made me think of my childhood, and laugh. And, feel bad for my parents. But I still laughed. 3 man brawl!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I was also a surprise number three! I have apologized to my parents and told them I appreciate them.

      Reply

  320. aoife:

    oh get over yourself and write about real issues. And I take you are a woman, so have some sensitivity for childless women who would love nothing else but to have 1, 3 or any number of children..

    Reply

  321. Ashley:

    I have three as well…boys to boot. Ages 9, almost 6 and 4. I was so happy to read what you said about the noise. I have SERIOUS issues with the noise and feel like it makes me so on edge. I’m constantly hollering at them to PLEASE turn their volume down (if only!). I feel ya, Momma…I truly do.
    ~Ashley @ Momma on a Mission

    Reply

    • Laura:

      My friend swears by earplugs. But then I can’t hear what they are saying! :)

      Reply

  322. catherine hallis:

    This is so true I feel u in everything u said because I’m a mommy of a 6years old girl 3uears old boy and a 4months old baby girl and this exactly what I go through although I don’t and I won’t drive a minivan I manage to put all three in my Cadillac which I’m thankful for..thank you for being so bluntly truthful with us readers

    Reply

  323. w:

    Great blog. I have this debate with myself all the time – 2 vs 3. Should we go for one more? Finding this blog must be (another) sign. Think we are done. Thanks!

    Reply

  324. vanessa:

    Loved this….Not to mention you pray for the day they are older thinking surely it gets better when you have teenagers. But no then you have variety of monsters children and teenagers. No one has any of the same interests you can’t even watch the same movies. They create more mess than you can ever keep up with.My friends without children always state I am the only friend they have that doesn’t hound them about having kids. My theory is you better really want them or it is not worth it. It would have been best to stick with 2 or 4 :)

    Reply

  325. Matthew:

    This is great. I’m happy my boys are 23 & 19 now and we can drink together.

    Reply

  326. Crystal:

    Thanks so much for your article. I knew I wasn’t the only one that felt this way!! One day, we’ll look back and laugh at all the wonderful memories having 3 kids…until then…. mine are quiet better go check on them ; )

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, two different commenters posted that their kids got hurt or in trouble while they were reading this post!

      Reply

  327. Cristyl:

    omg it’s like you have my life…lol I have three as well and I do not recommend it. I feel as if they all get ditched on one on one and then lets throw in one with special needs that didn’t arise until the 3rd child was 10mos old…..uuuggghhh
    we have so many similarities. Getting the school routine done is a joke as you stated! I enjoyed reading this:)
    ~Cristyl

    Reply

  328. Andrew:

    As I was reading this, my three year old middle son fell off the counter trying to get snacks out of the kitchen cupboard

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I think this is my favorite comment.

      Reply

  329. LisaKami:

    Thank you for writing this! Such a great post. I have been gathering all the information I can to make our 2 vs 3 decision and this was incredibly helpful.

    This was my blog post about it, purely speculative, if you’re interested. I realize you probably don’t have ANY time to read it!

    http://bostonwed-murakami.blogspot.com/2013/08/family-money-or-youth-2-vs-3-kids.html

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I did read it–thanks! Good thoughts, all. And at the same time, my mom always said there is no “good” time to have a child. It will always be less convenient (of course). I am inclined to agree with the things you said about logistics, and it’s hard to find time to spend with each person as individuals, sadly. I do love the dynamics, and while it’s true that often two are fighting, it’s also true that often two are very sweetly getting along (and it’s even kind of sweet when they defend each other). Good luck! :)

      Reply

      • LisaKami:

        Thanks! Such a tough decision!!

  330. Kelly Hennessy:

    You had me in stitches. I am also a working mom, mother of 3 BOYS (7, 5, and 2), and finishing up my doctorate. I can not wait to read more of your stories. I can relate this to!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I gave birth to my first while in grad school and then completed my master’s with a one year old or so. What a challenge even with just one! But good for you–and in some ways, grad school and kids can be easier to combine than work and kids. Or maybe my brain has just suffered enough from exhaustion that I just think that is true. :)

      Reply

  331. Diane:

    I totally agree that 2 to 3 kids was the hardest transition. I’m now at 4, and this seemed like nothing. I get a lot of “bless your heart”, which I’ve been informed is actually more pitiful, or insulting (not really sure how to take that line). NO one will attempt to babysit, even the inlaws get nervous.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, having your heart blessed sounds like it should be a good thing! And yeah, I tend to have to accept that if I leave them with a sitter, I will come home to an overwhelmed sitter.

      Reply

  332. Jill Hoven:

    Hahaha! As a mother of three (11, 7 and 3 – so a slightly more drawn out age range, which means I’ve been supporting the diaper industry longer than I ever thought possible), I think your essay is hilarious (because it’s so accurate)! I remember absolutely panicking when I came home with the third baby and was faced with the logistical nightmare of figuring out how to actually wash up and put all three kids to bed all on my own (the hubby was working late then) without anyone drowning or otherwise killing each other – ack! Thanks for making me feel not-quite-so-alone in my mama-craziness. ;)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Oh my goodness, the first time I had to put them to bed alone, I was TERRIFIED. It’s hard enough to put a baby down without two other people going totally bonkers!

      Reply

  333. the3hams@gmail.com:

    “I actually considered swinging the baby seat at him to knock him down until I could get to him.” OMG….I just died! Sooo funny….because it actually makes sense! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Summer Jessee:

      Yeah that was a hilarious thought!!! Totally makes sense. Why didn’t I ever think of that!?

      Reply

  334. Vanessa Black:

    I loved how honest this article reads! I wish someone (you?) would write something similar about the transition from 1 to 2 kids. I’m thinking about adding a second one (my first is now 13 months) and I’m kinda scared about how much harder will it be.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      You know, that might be worth a post at some point. But the short answer is that I was terrified beforehand, but I actually had the easiest transition from 1 to 2. Having the first is hard because it’s all so new and nothing can really prepare you. I had a bit of a gap between 1 and 2, also, and I believe that can really help. My oldest was 3.5 when my middle child was born.

      Reply

  335. Brandi:

    Loved this!! My third pregnancy ended up being twins!! I know all about it!!

    Reply

  336. Lance:

    Love the Tim O’Brian reference.

    Reply

  337. Summer Jessee:

    Laura – I think LOVE you. I am also 33 and have three babes (8.5 girl, 5.5 boy and 2.5 girl). You story is hilarious and sooooooooo true of daily life with three kids. You obviously love your children, but it is HARD work, and you’re not afraid to admit it and be REAL. Anyone who doesn’t understand your perspective either lacks the experience or is lying to themselves or needs to hire a life coach and wake the eff up and stop living in freaking lala land!!!!!! Life is not perfect and you are simply making light of the chaos cause it’s freaking FUNNY. And you’re probably offering a sense of relief to so many other mothers by being so transparent. So many people try to make their lives look perfect from the outside, but that is just not reality. Life is not about putting on some kind of front. It’s about sharing with others – all of it – the good and the bad! Don’t let the haters get to you. They still have a lot to learn in life. You’re awesome mama!!!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Bless you. :) And yes, I love them like crazy. And we even laugh about the craziness together!

      Reply

    • Laura:

      Aw, thank you! I have appreciated all of the “me toos” and supportive comments!

      Reply

  338. Vicki Powell:

    I have 3 children. The 2nd one was 20 months younger than the first and the 3rd was 2 1/2 years younger than the 2nd. Everything in this article was the norm for me….and some very valid points were made…however….not one word about what I used to refer to as “the one that got loose”. Meaning: when I had 2 children and went anywhere…it was fine. One was in the stroller….one was holding my hand…..but when #3 came along….the 2 oldest were old enough to walk and hold my hands…BUT….the baby was in the stroller. Yes, you can push a stroller with one hand AND hold the hand of one small child…..that didn’t work for 3. Someone told me once to had the children each “hold onto the stroller on either side..okay…wanna know the FASTEST way to disassemble a stroller?? lol A mother has 2 hands….she can stroll along and hold the hands of each of her children….meaning “2” of her children……there is always one loose…lol

    Reply

  339. clare:

    3 is nothing…try having 4, two of which happen to be twins, a girl & a boy. That’s just the start of it all…3 girls, one boy. My children are 15, 10 & 5. I thought I was smart to space them 5 years apart. Doesn’t make a difference. U have nothing on me…and still I completely agree with ur blog.

    Reply

  340. Melissa Helt:

    Oh my gosh…lol. We have 3 kids 2 boys.1 girl and drive the same mini van…how did you get in my head?! I have to say while yes some days are rough I (just like you) won’t change it for the world. And we are thinking about a 4th :).

    Reply

  341. Christie:

    Thanks for this! I have 4, ages 8,6,4, and 2. And, my youngest is Selah! I so needed this today as this break from school has had me irritable on a whole new level from things I know you understand. I, too, feel like a total failure of a Mommy sometimes. I just can’t do it all. Thanks for a laugh this morning- I get told I have my hands full every time I leave the house. As if I don’t know this…..

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I think that’s one thing I’ve gotten out of my writing–is realizing that lots of us do not have it all together with our “full hands.” Blessings to you, your Selah, and your other three. :)

      Reply

  342. Jessica:

    Thank you so much for the laugh. I am constantly in the snappish phase as I have 3 myself. they are 19 months and then 23 months apart. Having my hands full doesn’t even begin to describe having 3 kids.

    Reply

  343. Jill:

    I’m 28 years old with a child whom I love unconditionally. Yes, I only have one – call me inexperienced or I don’t know what I’m talking about it. But, if my mother wrote this about me and my 2 brothers, it would sincerely hurt my feelings. I didn’t find the humor in this whatsoever.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      If it helps, my kids and I laugh together about all the mayhem.

      Reply

  344. Lisa:

    HI Laura – awesome post, beautiful writing, and you summed it all up well! I think you sound perfectly suited to KEEP GOING! As mom of six, all the above apply, but you get more relaxed, more older kids can help you, and nobody can say NOTHING to you! Besides, it’s fun to be officially in the BIG FAMILY club of four or more…I know you can do it….who else is waiting to join your family?????

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha! You know, I would actually consider fostering or adopting someone in the future. I’m pretty sure the world is already full enough of my snarky genes (my oldest two are as sarcastic as I am!), and I’m not sure I can be pregnant again.

      Reply

  345. Cassie:

    I am a mom of three boys, ages 5, 4, & 2…and this post had me cracking up and shaking my head in agreement the entire time! :)
    I wouldn’t trade one of these little guys for anything in the world but it does make life quite the adventure!!!

    Reply

  346. Stacie:

    Laura,
    I also have three children. There is never a dull moment for sure. Now that my baby is also in school and I actually have more than a 1 or 2 hour window to get things done. It feels like a new world!

    Reply

  347. Heidi:

    I have three boys (9,7,4) and this is SPOT-ON. Life is crazy but fun. And so so so loud. And laundry is my bane. Thanks for the great read!

    Reply

  348. Peggy N.:

    Love this. I have three (8, 5, and 5 (boy, boy, and girl) and it’s just madness. I would’ve loved to have just had that second as planned and left it at that, but nope. I jumped, so I didn’t have that two kid phase. Being the youngest of three myself, I know how much three sucks and I’ve always wanted to have an even number of kids. However, there’s no way in Hades that I will be purposely going for four.

    Reply

  349. dawn:

    My third child has been the easiest, despite the fact she is the craziest and most energetic of my three children, but like you non-rebuttal counter part My first two were trained in house work and chores before the third one arrived. They each have their house chores and then randomly I’ll say stop drop and clean… Stands for Stop what you are doing, Drop the remotes and clean for one hour. My oldest house chore is to fold the laundry, he picked it… my middle cleans the bathroom and my youngest is everyone’s helper (she is only 1) The rules for stop drop and clean is you clean for one hour…if you stall your time stops and you will be cleaning while everyone is done and enjoying a fun activity, about 2 times a week. We always do stop, drop and clean before something fun like the park or building a fort. So they know in the end we will be doing something fun together. They aren’t allowed to do their house chore or their bedroom during Stop Drop and Clean those have to be done before t.v. is watched or video games are played. Overall once my kids realized we work as a family then we can play as a family these procedures were pretty easy to implement. As far as appointments I keep a written calender as well as my i cal. the written one EVERYONE writes on and my i cal is for me to remember what is on the written calendar. My two oldest are in sports and scouts, and Tae Kwon Do so a Calender is crucial. Maybe because mine are older and more spread out, we just don’t have the Ciaos. Maybe instead of warning against three kids your advice should be to space them out a little bit farther, Because 3 was the perfect number for my family. I don’t know how many people I have seen who have taken your “advice” I know I saw 3 or four on facebook who have said it is official, 2 is what they are having. This seems sad to me, and I am glad someone didn’t write this article and scare me before I had my third child because she is the exclamation mark that completed our family. I hope if you are reading this article you take it as just someone writing an article to be funny and NOT as good advice. I did laugh and the article was funny But Truly I thought the hardest jump was from single child to 2 after that the third was just the loss of a guest room. P.s. I drive a Hundai Elantra 4 door sadan, no mini vans. We just make it work. They have car seats for compact cars they will say it on the box. Granted I never had 3 car seats at once… but I do have 2 car seats, and a 6 foot 1, 14 year old, and we have driven from Florida to Philadelphia like that.

    Reply

  350. Shawna:

    Great article! I can completely relate! I have a 5,4, and 3 year old!

    Reply

  351. Christina Black:

    Great blog! You nailed what it is like to be a mom of 3! I have had the same struggles, and happy times. <3

    Reply

  352. archaeologycat:

    I have three kids (so far) ages 6, 3.5, and 14 months. The youngest was born with gallstones and so has been in and out of doctors. Even so, three has been easier than 2. M elder two help me and play together a lot. I love listening to them. I homeschool, and yes it can be hectic at times, but we have fun. I love it, and can’t wait to have more (God willing)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Sorry about your youngest’s struggles. I hope that’s something that has been or can be resolved.

      Reply

      • archaeologycat:

        Thanks. As long as I’m scrupulous about diet, he doesn’t seem too bothered by the gallstones, thankfully. Someday he’ll likely need the gallbladder removed, but at least we’ve avoided it this far.

  353. sarah henning:

    Hilarious. I can commiserate. I’m a mom to three girls aged 6, 3 and 3 months!

    Reply

  354. LAHV:

    I had three, but it was a “lucky” three. See, I married my second husband and inherited a two year old stepson. My daughters were 9 & 10 at the time. He is a dream, always has been, except when it came to food. I have never, ever in my life seen a kid so picky and so stubborn AND be quiet/sweet about it. Talk about guilt when I would make him eat healthier food (because he was sick a lot) and he would sit there quietly and stare at it. I would then lose it because I was worried about his health and hunger.
    Thankfully, that passed but then there were high school, middle school, and elementary school schedules plus my work schedule. Stress only begins to describe the panic of racing home (as much as possible) in rush hour traffic, knowing he will have to walk through the park alone if I don’t get home in time.
    It does get better. Good on you for doing it with a sense of humor. It makes it bearable.

    Reply

  355. Jesse:

    Hear hear!
    Laura, You have nearly told all exact events and feelings in our own household. It’s nice not to be alone! Oh the mess and the decibel! Some days it’s almost defeating! But despite feeling torn down sometimes I still miss them so the minute I leave for work! Thank you for sharing and affirming it all! Can’t wait for the next ” you really have your hands full” comment now!

    Reply

  356. H Keianne McCready:

    This was totally fantastic. I have three boys, 8, 6, and 2. Case in point, while I took the time to read this entry out loud to my husband, and we had a good laugh together, a rare thing, my two year old took advantage of being unsupervised and plugged the bathroom sink with toilet paper and flooded the bathroom. I have friends with two kids, who think I just need to discipline more. They JUST DON’T GET IT. Your entry was so comforting. I have no idea how you find the time to write, but please blog on. I have to stop now, as I have become a jungle gym for the 6 year old and the 2 year old.

    Reply

  357. blogheavenstobetsy:

    Spot on description/warning! I related to this at EVERY point. I also love my kids to pieces as wouldn’t have it any other way, but the chaos is INCREDIBLE. My three are now 7,6, and 3 1/2. It REALLY does get easier. Thanks for sharing and reminding us we are not alone.

    Reply

  358. Maddy:

    I am mother to one (she’s 3), and would not even consider having more because I know how difficult having only one is. Your article is funny – but didn’t you know it would be this way? It seems that everything you describe was, at least, predictable.

    Reply

  359. jonjacobtracy:

    Its really hard to read your blog with this background.

    Reply

    • jonjacobtracy:

      Oddly after I posted a comment the background with the flowers and stuff is behind your blog post – which is now a white background and now I can see it.

      Reply

  360. Paul:

    Sounds like a lot of whining to me. I have 4! It is extremely rewarding. Your scaring potential families away

    Reply

    • LisaKami:

      I disagree. Honesty is never a bad thing. If there are people who find 3 easy, they can post their own blog entries! I am trying to make this decision for myself and I appreciate hearing people’s honest perspectives on it. I’ve also heard that it doesn’t get harder after 3, so I’m not sure people with more than 3 can assume they have it harder. It depends on the individual personalities. My MIL had 6 kids but the first 3 were easy helpful girls. There’s no way she’d have had 6 if the boys came first.

      Reply

      • Laura:

        Thank you. :)

    • wizardlymandia:

      I don’t think so at all. Any reasonable person knows that this is just HER perspective of her life and what she’s able to handle. I babysit 7 kids all day long (3 of them are my own) and I LOVE it. I ADORE children and everything children. I know some people who have a hard time with one. It’s the person, not someone else’s story.

      Reply

  361. Dlm3886:

    I think the number of children you have, and how you feel about it or handle it, is a completely individual matter. For one person three children may seem like stress and chaos, but for another, it may seem like a piece of cake. This seems like a very negative portrayal of a situation that is dependent on each individual family in this situation.

    Reply

  362. Mom of nine:

    Looking at your tiny minivan with envy (my 15 seater gets 10 mpg) and having a good giggle at this article. Four was my tipping point. After that, what’s one more drop in a bucket of busy?

    Reply

  363. Simone:

    Great story! I enjoyed reading of your adventures and comparing them to my oh-so-similar ones. I’m a mom of three too: 9, 6 and 3. Sometimes I wish we could have more, but…already the boys share a room and I’m 36. I sooooo don’t want to be 40 with a toddler. I swear, gray hair has been popping up like daisies and I’ve probably already added my fair share to world overpopulation. I’m looking forward to reading more of your life adventures. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      My own grays have been multiplying! :)

      Reply

  364. Lisa:

    Ahhh yes! I went from 1 to 3 :) I have a 4 year old and almost 1 year old twins that are in to everything and anything at the same time at opposite ends of the house while my 4 year old is crying because nobody is paying attention to her…..I know there will come a day when the twins will play with each other so that I don’t have to use my vacation days to spend some time with my 4 year old! They say that moms of 3 are the most stressed!

    Reply

    • Lisa:

      I did forget to mention that I am loving my crazy life however and would not change it for the world!

      Reply

  365. Tracy:

    Mine are 4,2, and 6 months. Thank you, makes me feel normal and not like a bad mother! The yelling over poor baby’s head as he nurses made me feel awful for him but when the other 2 are trying to kill each other what to do?! People stare at me too, and say things (not mean ones) but every trip out is first a challenge then usually total embarrassment:) Usually after a few hours I laugh my head off about it.

    Reply

  366. monica wallis:

    I absolutely love this. I totally agree.

    Reply

  367. leti:

    ha ha this is so true and really gives me comfort in knowing i am not the only one that feels like she is loosing it sometimes !! thanks

    Reply

  368. Sharlanda Smith:

    Wow…..I have 10 (4 boys before my husband, &1 daughter with my husband, & my husband has 3 boys and 2 girs from a previous marriage) & yes we all live together. If I only had 3 it would be a total breeze. I work full time 12 hourshifts & go to school and my hustand travels with his full time job frequently. I am really in need of a nanny but there hasn’t been much hope with that. Did I mention 4 of the kids are under 4 years old. You are blessed….

    Reply

  369. ericvg16:

    I don’t know if it’s because I’m coming from a male perspective, or if I’ve learned impatient from working in the service industry, but I couldn’t do it. I know I could provide the love and good advice, but that would be all I would be good for. Plus, my finances aren’t really that great anyway, so that would be a problem. Lastly, and pardon me for being frank, but what woman would WANT to have children with a guy like me, an HFA who can barely take care of himself?

    Basically, I commend any parent who can do it. I’m sure you do a great job. But reading this has made me realize that I probably couldn’t.

    Reply

  370. Linda B:

    As a mother of three myself ( 5 1/2, almost 3, and 18 months, the first two are boys the third is a lil girl) I can whole heartedly say you nailed it!!!!

    Reply

  371. Ali Dalrymple (UK):

    Well, what a pessimistic, depressing view of having 3 children!?! Don’t get me wrong, I understand and agree with some of the things you say but I simply feel that there are a LOT more wonderful things to express about being a parent to 3! I am a father of 3 boys and yes it’s challenging and at times very stressful. However, it’s first and foremostly wonderful and exciting!! I would recommend going from 2 to 3 kids for anyone who’s thinking of doing so as we have found it to have simply enriched our lives further than we could ever have imagined!!

    Reply

    • Anon:

      Yes I thought this was written in an ungrateful tone….many including myself would love to have the chance at a family

      Reply

  372. wizardlymandia:

    When I was pregnant with my 3rd, the only advice anyone ever gave me was ” Now you’re going to find out what a family really is. One on one is nothing.” 3 kids isn’t 3 times as hard, it’s a MILLION times as hard!

    Reply

  373. Jamiedenton14@aol.com:

    Couldn’t be more truthful :)
    Mother of three boys ages 5,7, and 11

    Reply

  374. golgiigirl@yahoo.com:

    I have three as well. 4, 2 and 1. Their father grew increasingly frustrated with how to handle them, that his emotions went to the point of no return. Literally. He gave up and walked out. Like he does with everything else. So now im running these three babies solo while working full time (my oldest is mildly autistic as well). I hear ya sister, no picinic!

    I wont even go to the grocery store with them because its just a fight over who sits in the cart, to peeling things off the shelves, to tantrums over candy, cereal and chocolate milk. I go on my lunch breaks from work to shop instead. I dont care how bad i need it. If i can survive till the next day of work to get it on lunch, so be it. Dont even get me started on appts, preschool drop off/pick up, daycare, diapers, social outings, etc… ugh.

    And all my friends with one to no kids wonder why i like to be home. This is my haven. This is where I’M in control. This is where i can relax and feel at peace with them tornadoing my house apart. Ill clean when they sleep. Its tough taking it all on your own, but now that ive got a routine going its not so bad. Still exhausting though. Hang in there moms to more! ;)

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Absolutely, in terms of it being easier at home! I have to get out for my mental health (extrovert who works alone at home), but it’s just so hard! I too am a single mom now, though I’m lucky enough that my ex helps a ton. I am sure sorry to hear about what happened to you. That sucks.

      Reply

  375. Rick Koth:

    Laura, great blog! We have 5 kids and an exchange student, the youngest is now 9, the oldest 24. My wife and I can relate to your experiences and smiled at the recollection of the difficult adjustment with the 3rd.We can smile now :) But like others have said, once you master that, the others are incremental efforts. I wanted to stop at 2, my wife relentlessly argued for a 3rd, and she finally wore me down. Are we both so very glad.she did. I actually had to do the imploring for our 5th child.

    The dynamics of a larger family while challenging,, is such a blessing. The noise and mess is unbearable at times, but once you come to terms with a new “normal” and can ignore the sometimes disapproving looks from others and focus only on your kid’s development, happiness and your spouse’s, you will find contentment and joy you will never forget and some day long for. Our kids are each other best friends and it is such a joyous time when they are all together again and reminiscence the younger years….and antagonize or smother with attention and affection the youngest.

    I have to be honest though, 3 teenagers in the house at one time can be more exhausting and emotionally draining than 5 toddlers at once. Good luck!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Ha! Thanks for your thoughts–they are indeed a blessing. I am a bit afraid of the teen years, though I do really love teenagers in general.

      Reply

  376. Kristal:

    Everything you said was right on!!! I have 3 kids and thought it would be a breeze since 2 wasn’t so bad. Boy was I wrong!!! Mine are 7, 3, and 8 months (boy/girl/boy). I must say that I like the bigger age gap. Our third one did us in and the desire to have a fourth is now gone. Good luck with your 3 beautiful children and thanks for the laughs!

    Reply

  377. ktssw:

    I found myself laughing out loud and holding back tears (perhaps it’s the hormones because of my pregnancy with 3rd child). In three days we are moving to Naples, Italy (husband is military) and I’m doing my best to stay positive. Optimism becomes difficult after a day like today when the little angels (3 yrs and 19 months) both were wanting to run away in store. I really don’t want to become that parent who leashes their child–perhaps a shock collar would be more fitting (j/k).

    Reply

    • Laura:

      When I was pregnant with my third, someone told me to get the leash. The strange looks are better than a missing kid! Haha! Of course, my middle child has some sensory issues, so the leash resulted in terrible tantrums and became a moot point.

      Reply

  378. Regina Jasinski:

    This was awesome! I have three boys (24,22 and 20) I so understand what you are saying!

    Reply

  379. Kellie:

    I couldn’t help but laugh thru your whole blog and it was an OMG I’ve been there and done that laugh! I have 3 boys currently ages , 5 and 2.5 … and they’re a handful or maybe several handfuls most of the time. They are currently getting their pre-bedtime snacks which means I’ve got an hour of cleaning after they go to bed but the laugh was worth every second of it … thank you! And for any parent thinking about 3 kids it’s way more challenging than 2 … you have 2 hands not 3 … and the one thing I’ve learned is that discipline is the key. My boys know better than to act up in public cause they will get their butts smacked no matter who is looking. I’d rather be sitting in jail knowing my kids are being good than in a store with 3 kids running amuck. Just my opinion.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, I have to run a pretty tight ship!

      Reply

  380. Ashlee Royster:

    I feel your pain lol. We have 5 kids all under the age of six and that includes three toddlers. Honestly tho we want one more we only have one girl. Good luck and God bless

    Reply

  381. Russ:

    Haha, great read, sounds so familiar, except we decided to make our situation a little harder-twins. I’m a stay at home dad raising a 4 year old daughter and twin 11 month old daughters-yeah, three girls, please send help in 13 years, oh yeah, and our dogs a female…I’m so outnumbered. What got us with three was having to buy a bigger car-minivan, bigger house and all the large items purchases again i.e. crib & mattress, carseat, stroller, bouncy, swing, pack n play because with twins, you need two of everything and double the diapers and formula. For reference, the big Costco cans of formula….one every four days! I still love to take all three to the park, library, grocery store, sometimes my contract job, it’s a lot of work and sometimes I don’t know how I do it. We wouldn’t change anything, thought we would only have one child, would have been done with two but oh hey, your having twins, umm okay. They’re all off to bed right now at 7:30pm, think I’d have a couple hours to have a drink, relax on the couch….NO! I’m 41 years old and now pass out at 8:30pm. Ahh, my precious little girls.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      That all sounds about right! I always thought I wanted twins until my brother had them when I was about 20, and man! At that point I didn’t even realize how hard just one newborn was, so it was a wake-up call. :) Every day I think I will accomplish all this stuff at night, and then I am basically comatose by the time they go to bed!

      Reply

  382. Memaw:

    My three wonderful kids are now 31, 32, and 33…and you got it all right!!! The middle daughter sent your article to me and asked – “Sound familiar?”

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Haha! Yes, I was a third child too, and I have found myself really appreciating my parents!

      Reply

  383. Carrie:

    You are a good writer. As a mother of 3 boys, I do find your article accurate. My “first” was twins and then came our miracle 21 months later. Today, 2 of my boys went to a school like program. I pay the extra for this because I need to work and they need the experience. We are not well off, but are making it work for our own sanity. I get my 3 year old on Thursday and a twin every other Friday. The school didn’t have room for both twice. So we alternate and it has worked out well. Each child gets one on one time. Thank you and it is nice to know that we are not alone. Ps. My boys share one small room.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I have two in one room, and I think it’s good for them in lots of ways. My daughter has her own, and I feel lucky that there is that option, since it seems like at least two people are always fighting. But sometimes I think I would have been better off having to share a room as a kid–transitioning to college was rough. And thank you for the writing compliment. :)

      Reply

  384. Vanessa:

    Great entry! I have three boys (3,6,and 8) and I will gladly second your words! Thanks for a good laugh and relating with my crazy world.

    Reply

  385. Steph:

    SO went through the same thing! All of it! Ha!

    Reply

  386. photosbyandy:

    these made me chuckle…our third one is due in May…we will have a 6 and 4 year old as well…all girls!!!

    Reply

  387. Jee Sun Muger:

    Thank you for this post. I’ve wanted three kids for as long as I can remember (I grew up with one sibling and thought one more would have been so fun). We now have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old and I haven’t quit hoping for #3 even though I’ve become a screamy parent nowadays… And reading this amused and terrified me at the same time!

    Reply

  388. Melissa:

    I’m a loving mother of 3 kids aged 13 11 & 9.. Yes I had 3 kids within 4 yrs and 1 month with a husband who works away on a 2week on 1 week off roster which luckily is now 1wk on 1wk off for the past 6 years..
    I must admit the transition from 2 kids to 3 was massive, grand parents working full time and no invites for bbq’s or party’s was hard to bare at times.. But I felt completely content with my 3 kids until it come time for food shopping grrr and the chasing the clock for school drop off, I can look back and laugh and smile and be proud I chose to have 3 kids as 2 was never enough for me, but in all honesty I should of had a fourth cos the even numbers makes life easier, my eldest best friend stays often and it tends to settle the kids as the 2 little ones hang out and get along. While my eldest and his bestie hang out.. When there’s three it can get chaotic lol but I love it!!

    Reply

  389. Stacey:

    I have 4 children, 3 are very close in age. I found my hardest was 3 to 4. All of my children are dearly loved and I would not change them for all the money in the world, but with that said, my house never seems clean, the laundry is endless and as a mum that also works 5 days it can be very tiring.

    Reply

  390. Sarah:

    I can relate to all of this, I’m a single mum to a one two and three year old! It’s no walk in the park and between them have speech therapy eczema eating disorder and asthma! I don’t know what sleep is anymore but wouldn’t change them for the world x

    Reply

  391. sarah:

    load of bull!!!!

    Reply

  392. Michelle:

    Excellent blog, very funny and I couldn’t agree more. I’m a mother to three boys who are now 14,15 and 19. I find myself unable to recall a lot of the early years as it was all a bit of a crisis management blur but we have had a lot of fun and they are very loving young men. I found people didn’t quite understand the logistics of having 3 children, to me it was like herding cats at times. Oh and I am still constantly get their names muddled up tho !!!! Hahahaha :)

    Reply

  393. Carol Coker:

    My oldest son waited till age 30 to get married and start a family. Now 3 children in 7 years, he said ” what were we thinking? They now outnumber us!” God bless our families! God knew we need families to appreciate LIFE!
    I grew up in a family of 7 children. The older ones watched out for the younger ones. It was called the buddy system.

    I loved your honest thoughts on being a mom. It would be nice for moms to be able to stay at home with their young children. Women can’t have it all. We were told a lie. We always feel guilty no matter what road we take.

    Your children will need you more when they are teenagers. You will be their security. You have a good start with your insights and feelings!!! God bless your family.

    Reply

  394. Carol Cross:

    I have 5 kids! Let me assure you having five is NOT easier than having three! That was a clueless remark!

    Reply

  395. stacey:

    Funny. We have 3 (6, 4 and 2) and I have found it to be busier and less time for me. Our 3rd was pretty easy in the sleep department as we adopted him at 11 months and he had better bedtime skills than our older two. In our house, I find it’s pretty good because they all play really well together or they divide up and play in twos. I don’t know if it’s personalities or the fact that they are all pretty much 2 years apart (magic number?) versus 3 which some of my friends have and their kids fight all the time.

    The Diono can fit 3 seats in a car. We don’t have them as we purchased our seats before they came out so we mostly take our van.

    Babysitting is hard. I feel like no one wants to watch the 3 kids as a favour unless it’s my family.

    I find having 3 kids at Christmas and then 3 birthday parties so close together to be so expensive!!! That’s probably one of the hardest parts.

    Daycare is insane. We spent about $2000/month for 2 kids in full day daycare and one in after school care. It’s better now that two are in school and we hired a neighbour to do after school care. There are ways to be working parents with 3 kids and not spend insane amounts. We still spend about $260/week but that’s better than over $450/week so it feels like we’re saving!

    When we had 3, I found it hard to adjust to only having 2 hands and taking 3 kids out at once. It is easier when you have at least one who is old enough to understand and obey instructions.

    Reply

  396. Karen:

    I love this! We have 5 children and number 3 turned out to be twins meaning we went from 2 to 4!! I honestly don’t know how we coped at first

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Yes, multiples are a whole new game altogether!

      Reply

  397. Amanda:

    Wow! I have 3 kids 4,3 and 1 and every word you wrote is true. I laughed and cried and fell great that my feelings and adventures as a mom of 3 are normal! Thank you!

    Reply

  398. Michelle:

    I have magically inherited 3 more through my remarriage…in addition to my two.

    You, ma’am…are right.

    And anyone with more than 2 deserves a medal.

    Reply

  399. Kris:

    Yes! It’s so freaking hard! My 3rd was born a few months before my 1st turned 3… At one point I was seeing a therapist so my head wouldn’t explode, and I remember her looking at me in alarm when I said that sometimes I just want to drive away and never come back. BUT my youngest turns 6 in a few days and all three are in school ALL DAY and it turns out I actually like them. I figure we’ll be in the sweet spot for a good seven years, and man, do we deserve it!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      I feel like a good therapist should basically expect to hear that feeling. Doesn’t mean you’d actually DO it! :)

      Reply

      • Kris:

        Right?! Apparently that’s a euphemism for something else… (Note to self: do not say this to a therapist again.)

      • Laura:

        Ha!

  400. Anjali:

    This was wonderful! You’ve expressed exactly how it was for me when my three were younger! Thank you!

    Reply

  401. Jen A:

    Love this blog post. I can kinda relate, though I kept finding myself laughing out loud, thinking, “If you think THIS is bad, you could be me. You could (unexpectedly) find out you’re expecting your third child, and then a week later, head back for a follow-up ultrasound that shows two beating hearts. Precious and all, but I started crying that day and don’t think the tears have technically stopped flowing. It’s kinda like having three, only worse. Can you imagine what it’s like to breastfeed two newborns at once while your 5yo and 2yo are running around naked? With swords… err… plastic baseball bats. Yeah, they were protecting the universe. And in the middle of the battle, the doorbell rings. It’s just the AT&T guy showing up to fix our phones. And, yes, my super-involved hubby and I still manage full-time corporate jobs. Without a nanny. That sweet sedan we bought a few months before the fateful ulrasound? Gone. Hello minivan (that I never wanted). Is it bad to take comfort in other peoples’ misery? Yep. It is now. But, all that said, I can’t imagine life any other way. All four are kinda cute (when they’re sleeping). Plus, I DID get a daughter out of the deal. Which is kinda worth it. What keeps me going? Knowing that one day, when they’re all gone and living their own successful lives (cause with all the hell we’re going through, they HAVE to be successful, right?), and the house is actually quiet and mess free… I’m going to miss all the loads of laundry. Cursing under my breath at all the socks thrown about the house. And cheerios stuck to my hiney. And taking showers with (plastic) dinosaurs. And stepping on ($%&#!) Legos. One day, we’re going to be BORED. Hope it doesn’t come too soon. XXOO

    Reply

  402. Ashley Gill:

    Oh my goodness! I currently have 2 children and hope to have 4. This post had me laughing so hard! Maybe we should wait a little longer before having the 3rd…. I can’t wait to read the rest of your thoughts!

    Reply

  403. Emily:

    Oh, honey. I’ve often thought the “It gets better” campaign should be about parenting 3 kids. Because it really does get better, and in a few short years. 9, 7, and 5 leaves me with long periods of, “What should I do now?” because I’m already so efficient to get everything done, but they’re all off doing their own thing. Also? I stopped caring about my house and birthday cards with the third, so that helped. We just need to dig our way out of the amassed recycling…

    Reply

  404. kim:

    i was once told that when people laugh at you in public regarding your children’s behavior it’s often because they are remembering the gong show from when their kids were little and or they have small kids that they have managed to leave at home and are thinking “thank God it’s not me this time” So don’t despair if you are laughed at in public.

    Reply

  405. Laici:

    I find this blog completely repulsive and not humorous in the least. Being a parent to ANY amount of kids is about is about constancy, patience and love. Teaching your “older” kids sometimes they have to wait because the baby needs to be fed or changed or how about getting them involved and being the BIG helper. This lady shouldn’t have had kids, yes kids are messy, kids are loud, kids are demanding, but hey THEY ARE KIDS! that’s what they do. And I have never once had a child “explore” away from me, ever, even in an airport by myself with a 4 y/o 2 y/o and a new born. Why or how? because I taught my children that was not acceptable. Teach your kids patience, kindness, caring and that some actions are not acceptable, ever, under any circumstances. Too many parents think they need to give their kids options with everything. Yes some things they should, but some things they should not, you are their parent you know what is best, period.
    Mother of 4

    Reply

    • Lula:

      Yep. You said it. She is the parent and she knows best. So why are you trying to put your hang-ups and personal preferences on her?

      Reply

  406. Spencer ford:

    I have 3. Daughter is 11, 2 boys 9 and 6. A Toyota 4 runner will fit 3 car seats. Life is insane but enriching. Some summers we take 5,000 mile road trips. 3 kids in the back seat.

    Reply

  407. biff:

    As A mum of 6, ages 25 to 7 whom i have brought up as a single parent for the last 12 years i would say there is no point where the critical mass makes any difference. Perhaps financially, perhaps practically when they have to share bedrooms etc. The only difference i would see is how you can give each very different individual in your family the attention they deserve. But like anything in life you make judgments and prioritize and do your best.I am very lucky all my children have good relationships with one another and i hope i will continue to be there or them as they will be there for each other. Almost a life time of parenting for me and perhaps they will be have learned some skills as they have grown, which they can put into practice
    in their lives.

    Reply

  408. Lula:

    Wow. Some commenters on here are taking this article waaay too seriously. Also the word blessing? Way overused. You don’t have to think something is a “blessing” for it to be a good thing or enjoyable. Not even everyone assigns meaning to that word or even uses it at all, and when they do it is a *subjective* term. Ergo, you cannot define it *FOR* someone else! Keep your self-righteous attitudes in check please.

    Reply

  409. bryon:

    I am 31 and have three children 9 year old girl, 5 year old boy, and a 10 month baby boy. My wife 28 is a stay at home mom she is all ways ready to get the kids in line or in check and is with them most of the time. I work from 6am to 2 pm Monday through Friday. My wife works just as hard if not harder as I do keeping the house going as I do at work to provide for them.She is supper woman, not all people are cut out for 1,2 or 3 kids.we seem to have it down and it is ,always a working progress.With sports at different places at the same time to some one not liking what’s for dinner and noises ,screaming, biting, vomiting, coloring on anything they want etc. Everyone sees that it is a lot and is hard at times for us but if you play you have to pay your way and step up and do it for you kids.Teach them what’s right and wrong and support them in anyway you can to better them in life.We planned the last kid and split the first two kids up by four years and the last one by five to better handle the attention a toddler needs. It is the best thing that we have done for our sanitiy being so young.it has helped us because the first kid we had no clue ,2nd we were on a roll and the third we now have it down. It will be something to look back on in the future but it isn’t so bad after all. Thinking about having kids is about planning and being able to put your self second to 1 or 10 kids and that is all, their lives our what you live for that is that.I love my family and that’s that wouldn’t want my life with out them it would be boring.

    Reply

  410. Caroline:

    Im not a mom, but I’m the crazy college student who can handle a sibling group of 3. I have to say, I applaud any mother with three kids. You all are heroes. I’m with a sibling group of three for 3 hours a week: and I’ve decided I hate carseats because I can’t handle the older two and lug the babyseat around. I’ll admit, im victim of losing one of the older two in th house! Seriously applaud mothers. You all are great.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Thanks! And you are awesome for helping parents! It’s both easier and harder when the kids aren’t yours.

      Reply

  411. Kate:

    I am a mom of 3 (3,2,1…you should hear the comments we get!) and I work rotating days/nights. This morning when I got home the first thing my husband said was you have to read this, it’s great, she nailed it, and on and on! It was pretty funny, thank you for a good chuckle it was the perfect way to end my day!

    Reply

  412. Jenny:

    As a mom of 4, I laughed my butt off at your post! Thanks for putting the chaos into words! I also find it pretty funny that the negative comments are from men… that could be a post on its own!

    Reply

  413. jrenee13:

    I loved this! I’m glad I’m not the only exhausted mom of three! I especially loved the part about strangers asking “is this your first?”. I had that happen with my third(I’m a baby face too) I loved the look of astonishment and shocked silence when is say “nope, it’s my third!”

    Reply

  414. Jackie Stafford:

    Beautifully and perfectly written :)

    Reply

  415. Alison Beavers:

    Thank you so much for this!!!!! I have three.. 7, 4, and 14 months. I can relate with this on so many levels its not even funny. I wouldn’t want anyone feeling as crazy as I do sometimes but it really is comforting to know I’m not the only one that goes through the same insanity! Some times i really do feel like a failure with all the chaos that is around…but there is always a new day to try again! :) Will definitely be following now!

    Reply

  416. Darla:

    Thoroughly enjoyed your article! I laughed all the way through because #1, I am one of three children and always said “I will never have three children!” Well, God sought to prove me wrong and I am the proud mother of three and can’t imagine my life any other way! Blessed beyond measure!

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Me too! I was the accidental third! :)

      Reply

  417. Lisa:

    I can relate. I enjoyed your post. My three are 10,11 and 12. It does get easier.

    Reply

  418. Scott Willett:

    We have 3 also. You are so right about so much of this. Ours are 14m 7m and 4f. Yes our 14yr old acts like the 7 to get attention. I say “Have three kids, I dare you”

    Reply

  419. Kellye:

    SPOT ON! If I had known then what I know now, I probably would have waited on that tubal ligation which happened simultaneously with the c-section for number 3. I was 36 and had planned to stop at 2 children, but God had other plans. Now that my three are 15, 17 and 19 (all girls), I can say that much of what you write about does pass; however, it is supplanted by other stages that are also challenging. The hardest for me sometimes though is the “odd man out” problem you allude to. No one understands unless they too have three!

    Reply

  420. Trudy:

    Ugh. First world problems.

    Reply

  421. Jessica:

    It’s true. Being a mother is the hardest and most unappreciated job there is. I agree with every thing you say. I have five wonderful children who are ages 14-20.

    Reply

  422. Melanie:

    I had to stop reading this. We just RECENTLY found out we are pregnant with our 3rd. Our first just turned two in November, the second is 10.5 months and this one will be on it’s way sometime near the end of August early September. Making that 3 children in LESS than 3 years. This third blessing, and that’s exactly what it is, was NOT planned and was FAR from expected. But guess what, we did the deed and now we have to live with it, for better or for worse and we might as well put a smile on our faces since punishing them or ourselves will only make the issue that much worse.

    If you remember back, when you first became pregnant with your first child, everything you went through from that point on was the “hardest thing you’ve ever had to do.” The second, same thing. So guess what, when you add another child, YES! It’s the HARDEST THING YOU’VE EVER HAD TO DO BECAUSE YOU’VE NEVER DONE IT BEFORE!!!

    So really, you should STOP complaining and start smiling more. Yeah, you’re exhausted, but who isn’t? There are MILLIONS of people out there that struggle with infertility and will NEVER have the opportunity to create life and know the feeling of having a child of their own. They will NEVER know what it feels like when those little feet kick you for the first time, or the instant love you feel after they’re born. And I guarantee they would trade their mornings of sleeping in and only worrying for themselves instantly, to have what you have just once.

    So definitely not for me (or for any of your other readers,) but for your children, you need to stop finding every difficulty in your life and start counting your blessings. You chose this path for yourself (and I guarantee that you did….unless you were raped, but I’m positive that you wouldn’t be bitching about having to drive a minivan if that were the case.) So you need to suck it up ‘buttercup’ and be thankful and GREATFUL for the wonderful joys you have in your life.

    Reply

    • Lula:

      Melanie, is this your first time on the internet? People here often like to write about their feelings in blogs. And you are aware that human brains contain both positive and negative feelings? If you are taking one blog this seriously, maybe the internet is not the place for you. Or maybe you should try dealing with your own obvious insecurities about having a third child instead of projecting them onto someone else.

      Reply

    • AP:

      It would appear that as you read the article, you missed, well, everything. This writer clearly adores her family. How can you not see that? How can you not have the insight to see the brilliance of this article? A chance to talk about what other parents of three children go through, with some added humor to lighten the topic. It really sounds like you are the one who needs to open your eyes. You sound much more hateful that helpful and grateful.

      Reply

  423. Eric Sun:

    Moving from man-to-man to zone defense is always tough. With four, there’s pairing off to play that helps. Still, when our oldest two were younger, it was much harder to get them to cooperate to help with the younger ones. Most of our fights occur between #2 & #3, who are 8 and 5, surprisingly. When one of them is absent, it’s surprisingly peaceful in the house…!

    Reply

  424. lollylincoln:

    It Gets Better!! my three kids are now 18,15, and 9. They outnumber us, and they have their own culture in the family that doesn’t include mum and dad. They are a tight unit of sibling friends with secrets and laughter only they share. This never would have happened if we’d only had two children who each get their own rooms. My dream is that they will stay this close long after our generation is gone.

    Reply

  425. Tom Cedergren:

    As a Father of three boys age 8, 5 & 4 I really appreciate your very clear and cogent understanding of the situation. you nailed it. It helps to know I’m not alone. I often jokingly tell people, I advise you to stop at two. And with four, they say, although the oldest can help, it seems one is always missing. Anyway, parenthood; It’s a ponderous scepter.

    Reply

  426. Isadora:

    I needed this after being out all day yesterday day with my Three kids. Hearing a number of time your brave or oh it will get better. I wouldn’t give any of them back but some days my husband and I look at each other and say what were we thinking this world was made for a family of four. Resturants someone is always suck at the end, regular car, hotel room all made for four. Going on a amusement ride one adult to one child oh what happens to the third child. I could go on. Thanks for the laugh and making me not feel alone.

    Reply

  427. Andrea:

    I had three in four years (1/2003, 10/2004, 3/2006). I can completely relate to this article. I absolutely agree that three is the hardest. I had children later in life, otherwise I would havewent for it and went for the fourth.

    Reply

  428. Tracy wheeler:

    I have three boys almost 5 3 and 1 you nearly described my everyday life to a t! Thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one!

    Reply

  429. Nicole:

    I love this article and I can relate to it more now that I have 4 kids than 3! When I had 3 I felt more in control and felt like I had it together. Now with 4 everything is totally chaotic and I truly wonder how I make it through some days! Luckily mine are all spaced 4 years apart but that also makes it difficult for activities and interests. It’s getting easier and we are getting into a nice routine but the most mommy guilt I have is whether I give each child enough individualized attention. I try hard to make them each feel special but the whole no babysitter thing comes into play!! Oh well we always make do and we are surviving!!

    Reply

  430. Jenelle Ingle:

    I don’t quite understand…I think partly bc I went from 1 to 3 in a time span of 51 minutes. (For those that don’t get that, my second pregnancy was twins.) A year and 17 days later I had my forth and I was left divorced. I had 4 kids under 4 and did it ALONE. I survived. Did I mention I breastfed my twins for the first four months of their lives and also my forth. I never had those experiences. I went to Wal-mart pushing two carts, one for kids and one for groceries. I had random strangers hand me cash bc I deserved a medal for doing what I did, but I loved every crazy moment. Even when all four had the flu and I laid towels on every part of the floor bc they were easier to wash, I loved my kids. I now have 5 kids and I am still doing it alone. I think it’s easier to do it alone than to allow someone else to argue with the choices I am making for them. My kids are now 10, twin 7s, 6 and 3. Each day is interesting, but I guess I just never felt the change. I even had an infant, twins in preschool, a 3 year old at home and a first grader and while I did struggle with sleep and a schedule, I guess I still don’t get it. Maybe it’s bc I was too tired to realize how stressed I was, or maybe I really wasn’t stressed.

    Reply

  431. Bridget:

    I know that having three children in close ages in very difficult! I am a survivor (as I was a middle child) and I chose to have one child myself. I watch neighbors, family and friends embark on 3, 4, or 5 children and I think to myself, Wow! I couldn’t do it. Although I know that I would survive. My husband and I are older and the decision to have a child was huge. And I would never, ever go back. I love being a mother, even though I sometimes think during the frequent comments; “Your child is so well behaved…Your daughter is so beautiful and cute…” While she is pirouetting all over a public place. I think; “you want her? “.
    Children can be amazing. And no matter what a super parent you are, children will turn out different than you ever though possible. I have one child and people love to tell me …I’m not a real parent because I only have one child…lalala….expletives. Sometimes one child is harder than 3, etc. Depending on the child. Yes, those who choose to have a large family are indeed out numbered and will have a difficult time finding a babysitter who will come back for more.
    I could tell you lots of stories and they will all be similar to all other parents and eventually funny. I have a great kid and sometimes I have to remind myself that she is. (and that she is only 5). Little kids, little problems…big kids, big problems.

    My new Year’s resolution – Don’t yell as much as last year! Good Luck with that!
    PS I love Laura’s post and can relate. Don’t be too hard on her for stating the truth.

    Reply

  432. Judith Pyrah Arnold:

    I have six kids. And four step-kids. Of the four step kids, the oldest had to move in with us after high school graduation because she drove her mother insane. Shortly after this, the pregnant sixteen year old stepkid moved in with us, because SHE was driving her mother insane. The fourteen year old stepson begged to move in with us because his mom was making him nuts by refusing to allow him to do things like drive the car. We told him no, and he found a friend who had a mom who clearly was really crazy, because she let him move in. The twelve year old stepson moved in with us right before his sister’s baby was born, because his mother had given up at that point and moved to Florida with a guy she met on the internet.
    The reason I had six kids in the first place is because of the dining room table theory of family planning. How many chairs do you have at your dining room table? Exactly. Six. Or eight. An even number, and few dining room sets have only four chairs. Really, you could research this. I couldn’t help but think it would be much better to fill up the chairs than sit there teary eyed a decade later and wonder what those missing children would have been like. You already discussed some of the ways that having a family made up of an even number works out so much better than having a family made up of an odd number, so I’m thinking you can appreciate the idea. I just wanted to share it with you, so I can nudge you along to considering pregnancy number four. :)

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  433. Stacy:

    Can’t imagine wanting a second after having 1 already. Listening to people complain about how hard 2 or 3 or 10 kids is a joke. Did you not learn anything after your first kid? It’s hard and kind of sucks. Why have more if you are going to complain about it? I think overall parents (moms) are selfish and can’t control their baby lust. Deep issues that having kids only mask. Plus, you are a drain on society; this planet has about 4 billion too many people on it. Your little Conner or Ashley aren’t going to solve world hunger or cure cancer. Glad I have my kid and she is easy on the spectrum, but no way I want any more. And I thank god for legal and safe abortion.

    Reply

    • Elsa:

      I couldn’t agree more! We have only one, and he’s a handful. On the other hand we have time and money to spend on his piano and sports activities. He’s not spoiled with stuff, but he is spoiled with our time and our attention. Having 3 kids in 2014, what are you thinking? Will you be able to send them all off to college? Are you educated enough to teach them things? Sorry, it just appears very selfish to me.

      Reply

  434. Amy:

    The baby and preschool years are hard, but just wait until you get to the preteen and teenager years! It is still acircus, but with bigger clowns! Still- motherhood is the best job ever! God bless you and your family as you enjoy the adventure!

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  435. Patricia:

    lol..i hv 4…aged 9, 5, 3 n 7mths old. I’m full time mum, train kids 2b independent. Mayb coz mine r all gals except youngest, which make thgs great. I can leave my 2nd n 3rd w my eldest while i gv most attn 2 bb. i do not hv many issue apart from getting the eldest to do her studies…now i found a way, put her to aft school vare whr they offered lunch, tuition and monitor their school homework.

    Reply

  436. Rebecca Pollard:

    Such a great post – so honest. I love it. I only have one (with a desire for three), but I can totally see where you’re coming from. I’m already losing my mind between working, being a wife, being a mom and trying to finish school. Thanks for sharing about the realities.

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  437. Summer Jo Brooks:

    Yes! Yes!… and YES! I have been saying for a while that 3 kids have KICKED MY BUTT!!!… and that is hard for me to admit. I currently have 5, 3, 1 year olds ;)

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  438. Cindy Kisamore:

    This is hilarious! The transition from 2 to 3 kids is huge! I might also add, when my third was born, my daughter was just barely 3 and my son was only 13 mos! Now I am pregnant with my 4th and feeling pretty calm about it…..my 3rd will be about 15 mos! That sounds pretty grown up! LOL! Keep writing – it is comforting to know there are a lot of us in the same boat!

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  439. Patty Dow:

    I raised three and I didn’t have time to think of all this! I’m happy to say I don’t feel this way at all. Mine were 20-21 months apart and I was 26 almost 27 when I had my third. They were the best days of my life and if I could do it over again I would. Sure they fought but when we spoke, they listened. I watch my grandchildren being raised and they don’t seem to be “afraid” and I use that word lightly, of their parents. Be consistent parents, as hard as it is, kids need it. Also kids don’t know how to use their imaginations anymore….too much electronics! Well I did something right raising my 3, because they are all wonderful adults!

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  440. Ko2:

    I will NOT be letting my SO see this or he will never go for a third! lol ..although I am having second thoughts now!!

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  441. Yoanella:

    Nice post!I truly enjoyed reading it. I am a mother of 2, a girl 11 years and a boy 2 years. Because of the gap age between them for me the second has been absolutely easy, like a walking in the park. My daughter was almost nine and never jelous. She is been very helpful all the time. The only challenge is the different schedule because he goes to nursery and she goes to school. I would love to have a third child. The only reason I have decided to stop with 2 is because I think of the money especially how expensive college education is. But I come from a large family (I have four siblings) and I think large families are amazing. When you are an adult you really enjoy them. What I believe is the main challenge for most of you is that the gap age is maybe too short in most of the cases. We never planned such a big gap but the second was difficult (I had 3 losses). If I win the lottery I would wait for my second to be a little older and have a 4 year gap.

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  442. Amber @ Au Coeur:

    Maybe it’s time for number four? :-) I grew up in a large family (only girl with 6 brothers). I can only imagine the craziness my parents experienced, but as the child in that family, it was pretty awesome.

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  443. Jennifer Babine:

    I have two boys 18months apart. Everyone keeps begging me to “try for a girl” When I comment with, I have one all ready, she comes out twice a month during Manstration.. I get some weird Looks.. Then there is the usual “But all those pretty girl things!” I think of Death by barbie shoe, and the tale of the play makeup. I am all ready in Lego Hell. Army Men, and slippery matchbox cars trying to kill me in the middle of the night from the SCREAMING banshee in either booby trapped room! I have Lots of Nieces and a new Goddaughter. Life is good.

    Reply

    • Laura:

      Legos could be used as torture devices.

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  444. Jenny D:

    I guess I must be lucky that my 10 yr old, 8 and 4 yr old are all girls. They must make things pretty easy on me although I can relate to some of your moments. My husband works 12 hr 3rd shift so he is rarely around so it’s just us 4. The oldest two are best friends which can leave the baby out except she loves to spend her days suction cupped to me!
    I would love to have more but I believe we are done (or so my husband tells me) Besides, I have always loved things in “threes”. Although maybe coming from me this all doesn’t count because I run a full-time daycare with many kids of all ages around all of the time which A. can make things so much easier on me and B. I may be slightly insane.

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  445. melanieharvey:

    LOVED this. I stayed home with three for years, because frankly, at my education level, I couldn’t earn more than the daycare would cost. My oldest son started kindergarten ten days after my daughter was born, and my second son wasn’t even two and a half by then.

    Every single bit of what you said is true–and every single bit of what the sweet non-rebuttal is also true.

    Let me add: my first was born in 1992. He’s a Petty Officer in the Navy, stationed on the other side of the country. Second son started college this year and lives in a house full of college guys from our church about two miles away. Now at home, it’s just my youngest, my thank-god-it’s-a-girl, and me… but she’s driving her own car, and we have to schedule time to see each other each week. I just heard her come in, safe again and sweet as she ever has been–and she just went back out to put my car heater on high so the remote start will melt the ice in the morning for me. Last week the 18 year old came over twice to shovel and salt my driveway. The 21 year old bought the Christmas presents the 18 year old thought I needed, but didn’t have the money for…

    Yes, that’s right… it’s not just me taking care of them any more.

    And any more, it’s sometimes so quiet here, I can’t imagine how it never seemed like it would end once, and fast it’s all over. My kids are one another’s best friends, and as adults and near-adults, they are the most incredible people I have ever known.

    It is so worth it.

    Reply

  446. Christen:

    oh i loved reading this, and Am glad to know I’m not the only parent to have had the same experiences..I I have four children and can definitely relate. God bless you and your beautiful family!!!

    Reply

  447. mandy:

    I have a 3 year old, a 2 year old and a 10 month old. I dont know how I do it sometimes but I do it. Its loud, crazy, & amazing! I’d like to market a tshirt that