People often question me about raising 3 kids and think parenting multiple children is one of the hardest obstacles in life. Learn how becoming a mom of three has taught me numerous things about living.
Finding time for myself is a lot easier when the kids entertain each other. This is just one of the positive benefits of having three kids.
My husband and I often joke about how different things were for our first kid. The time we had for each other started to shift after the second and third children.
Raising 3 kids wasn’t easy in the beginning. With time, I developed different methods to help me cope with being a working mom of three kids.
Is Raising A Child Easy?
Thinking back to what life was like with the first baby, I’m constantly reminded of how much easier it was to care for one versus caring for multiple children at the same time.
I was able to add a weekly self-care routine into my schedule because I had fewer hats to juggle. When raising more than one child, you need to be the parent of each one.
Even when raising 3 kids in the same home, you will notice each child requires a different version of you. For instance, my firstborn son had it tough while transitioning from being the only child to having a baby brother.
You could see it in him today. Not being the only boy has caused friction between him and his brother.
Being a boy mom can be stressful at times, but it has its perks.
I’d have to admit one thing. It’s hard doing anything for the first time.
Like most things in life, you learn to adapt and cope with anything that comes with a new title.
This is how you survive parenting.
Why Is Parenting Harder Today
Finding the time between busy schedules can be tough for families to make time for each other. These days, you need two incomes.
At times, it’s not for the financial aspect of things. The second income helps families plan and do more with their time.
Learn: How To Create A Mom Self-Care Routine
Today, it’s harder to find a village to help you raise your child. Most have their grandparents helping out or pay child care to keep the kids out of harm’s way.
I recently asked moms over on Instagram about their views on letting their kids play outside and whether or not they would do this alone as a child.
Many of the parents spent time with their kids outdoors but never let their kids play alone. There was a smaller number of moms who said they allowed their kids to play outside alone (without supervision from an adult).
One thing to take into consideration is the age of their child(ren). The moms who said they allowed their kids to play outdoors unsupervised were kids older than 5.
When asked whether or not they would let their kid(s) walk to a friend’s home, the same moms said they did.
It’s interesting how age plays an important factor in this. Almost to say the ones who can take care of themselves, and make the right judgments are allowed to be outside alone.
My husband and I agreed that in our time we were allowed to hang outside with friends at a young age.
A long-time high school friend Dilahila brought up some interesting points about our youth, and how we were raised. “I feel our parents — although they were strict — let us out faster than I would with my kids today,” she said.
She then added: “I guess we are more aware now and it makes me so much more scared for my children growing up in this world.”
Dilahila is a nurse who recently moved to a different state with her kids and husband.
Although she had family nearby, she mentioned something that I, too, fear.
Letting my kids stay over at a friend or family member’s house is something I worry about as well. You can’t always trust the people you have around you.
She explained: “[The kids] aren’t even allowed to sleep over any family member’s house or visit for a couple of hours without one of us there.”
Not being there with her kids all the time is something my friend says she can’t control. However, the times she can be there for her two kids, she does her best to be present.
Her words hit close to home when she shared her thoughts on not being able to keep an eye on her kids all the time. “…I can’t be with them 24/7, and growing up they will get somewhat influenced by their surroundings.”
Dilahila then added, “It makes me nervous because I want to be really involved. [This] gives me anxiety. [My husband] says I need to calm down because I can also push them away.”
Everything Dilahila expressed is something I struggle with on a daily basis while raising 3 kids.
From the stress of wanting to protect my children to other feelings of wanting them to experience the world around them.
Growing up, I felt sheltered. Although I didn’t get to do much as a child, I feel I was able to interact more with the neighborhood kids.
We knew our neighbors and hung out often. There were certain areas my brothers and I never went to and other people from our neighborhood kept an eye on us as well.
There was a sense that people protected us as kids. A village-like mentality that meant if I did something I would get corrected by a neighbor and my parents would know about it.
Personally, it feels like this mentality isn’t as common anymore. People no longer protect each other because they barely even know their neighbors.
I’m guilty of this, but I do keep an eye on who lives where and who does what because it’s important to be mindful. Not only is this good for your child’s sake, but also for your own.
Are Families With 3 Children Happier?
With more children comes the mentality that it’ll be more to handle. The truth is, if you can handle one, you can handle a second.
If you’ve been able to handle a second, then you can take on any others to come along.
It’s interesting to see those reality shows of multiple children and how difficult it seems. Most of the scenarios you see — although exaggerated — are possible.
Three-child families might not have it easy at first. However, as time goes on raising 3 kids becomes second nature. Becoming a mom of three has taught me the value of caring for multiple children with distinct personalities.
Going from 2 to 3 kids financially put a strain on my family because we had just purchased a home. A 3-bedroom home with enough room for us — including the pups.
Aside from the financial aspect of having a third child, it was mentally challenging for me because I didn’t think I could do it.
With time, I learned to train myself into believing in my capabilities. That’s when I realized: A) I could do it; and B) I just needed to believe I could.
The rest was up to me and my little village at home. Having the help from my husband and the two boys have made it easier on me while caring for three children.
When you think about having multiple kids at home, you have to remember that not everything on your list will get accomplished.
For starters, the laundry load you promised yourself you’d tackle today isn’t happening. You might be underneath a sick child or a sleepy toddler, and right now that’s more important.
It might be months, even years before you get a chance to feel like you again. Although this can take a toll on your mental health, you have to remember the basic needs in life come first.
You need to bathe yourself and the kids and feed them and yourself as well. The children need shelter, too. Maintain your home as much as you can.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who are visiting or your own kids. My rule is, if they can walk, then they can help out.
It’s important to make memories with everyone, but you don’t want to be left with a mess from them for you to clean up alone.
The more hands available, the easier it’ll be to organize your space. Be sure to stop by the kids house chores post to help you get the family to clean up after themselves.
When thinking about how many kids are too many for parents, you’ll need to consider why you’re thinking there’s a number limit for you and your spouse.
Yes, kids allow us to relive our childhood, and in some instances, help us stay young.
They can also create gray hairs and wrinkles on your body.
Your stress levels may rise each you think of adding another child into the equation. However, you’ll know when you’ve reached your limit.
For us, three kids is a great number. We decided long ago that our third kid would be the last. Whether or not you’re happy having three kids is up to you.
The idea of having multiple children can be scary at first, but with the right mindset, you can get through it. Throw in self-care as often as possible. These 5-minute self-care ideas can help.
Having multiple children can lower your expectations as a parent. There are other things that happen when you become a mom of multiples.
- You don’t do it by the book
- You become a better consumer
- You focus on the whole picture
- You let the kids “figure it out”
- You learn to use your resources
- You improve your time management
- You don’t think twice about eating that doughnut
- You place family time before anything else
As a new parent, you might be prone to reading more parenting books. You may find yourself asking random questions in Facebook mom groups.
Once you have more than one child, you practically become an expert in parenting your children. Raising your kids becomes second nature and you don’t do it by the book anymore.
At this point, you’ve created mental notes on what works and what doesn’t. This is how you maintain your sanity.
Shopping at the store is another part of your new lifestyle that will have you rethinking how you ever did it any other way. You become a better consumer and know where you want to put your money.
This time, overspending on items for the house isn’t something you can freely do. Subconsciously, you’ve trained yourself to think about more important items that the money can go to.
When you focus on the big picture, you’re not only thinking about today. Your mind wanders into the future.
You begin to envision what future you’d like for the kids and one that doesn’t have you in it. After all, the goal is for your kids to outlive you.
With more kids, you have the potential of hearing sibling rivalry. Considering the jealousy and competition between brothers and sisters, sibling rivalry can begin before the birth of the second child.
The attention a second child receives in the womb can trigger your firstborn to feel sibling rivalry. This can go on for years and cause you headaches.
Sometimes you let the kids “figure it out”, and in other instances, it’s good to intervene. I’ve seen this in my years of being a boy mom and have asked friends about this. It’s just part of their nature.
As a parent of multiples, you will realize how difficult it can be to try and divide yourself to help each child. Reminding your kids of the importance of being patient is key to surviving a day with multiple children.
Aside from running out of baby names, having multiples will remind you of the value in how you learn to use your resources. Whether it’s relying on a friend’s mom to get the kids to school or simply having the kids walk to school together.
There are various ways you can improve how you manage you divide and conquer your daily tasks.
How you manage your time is essential to daily life as a parent. Even if you have the extra help at your advantage, you’ll notice that once you learn to improve your time management everything falls into place.
Focusing on how to properly manage my time has made it easier for me to focus on the things that mean the most to me. For instance, making time for myself daily and spending time with the kids.
After your first kid, you’re focused on losing the weight and getting back to those pre-baby jeans you loved to wear. You don’t think twice about eating that doughnut after having multiple children.
Counting calories isn’t your concern. You’re more focused on being happy and by now you understand that eating a doughnut isn’t the problem.
The problem is how you view yourself. One thing I like to tell moms who are worried about their weight or looks is to focus on why you want to make the change.
If it has anything to do with “looking good for…” stop right there. The goal is to want to feel good first. When you focus on that want, you’ll remember all the things you need to do to get there.
There are various things you can do with your family when you have multiples. Also, you’ll want to get out of the house more than ever.
With more kids, you place family time before anything else because it’s what requires more of your attention. Although it’s not the same for some families, getting outside with multiple children can be stressful at times.
Planning ahead will come in handy. Bringing snacks can help as well.
Is Raising 3 Kids Difficult?
Taking care of more than one child can often feel like you’re tipping the scale of sanity. With much going on at once, you need to remind yourself that it’s okay to take a break.
Oftentimes, I announce to the kids and my husband when I’m going somewhere or jumping into the shower. This lets everyone know I won’t be available.
Letting your family know the importance of spending alone time is important to your mental health, especially when caring for little ones.
Raising kids can get overwhelming at times, and making time for yourself can help you decompress. Having kids teaches you the value in appreciating the things that make you smile.
Whether the idea of having three at home is difficult or not is up to you. You know what you can handle and learning how to manage whatever life throws your way is part of growing up.
At first, it might not be easy. Lots of tears and stress along the way.
One thing you’ll need to remember is to pencil time for the essentials and be sure to include yourself to that list.
How Do You Raise 3 Kids?
I remember thinking back to my cousin and the stress on his wife after having three 3 babies in 3 years. I was pregnant with my first when her third was 1. She told me it wasn’t easy and I never imagined I’d be with 3 kids years later.
The best parenting advice I received from her was to just love your child no matter what you’re feeling. She was honest about the emotions she felt while caring for them and for that, I’m forever grateful.
Sometimes you have to put your emotions aside for a bit and try to help your child manage their own emotions. It’s not always the easiest task, but at that moment it is what your child might need from you.
A tight hug or simply sitting next to your child can help with their emotions. You want to keep an open mind and heart in the process.
Each child is different and that’s what makes them special to you as their parent. The personalities aren’t always the same, and this can be a benefit to having more than one child.
Raising 3 kids and being a stay-at-home mom might not be fun when they’re all in car seats, but you get to enjoy unique moments together.
Even as a working mom with three kids, getting outside on the weekends can be stressful at times. The mix of personalities can be tough to deal with when there are changing moods, etc.
Below are 5 quick tips on how to raise three kids that can help whether you’re a working parent or stay-at-home:
- Ask each kid what they’d like to do as a family every month
- Ask them about things to do each week
- Think of a daily schedule
- Have snacks ready in the pantry
- Give each child their own area
If you keep these parenting tips in mind, you’ll be able to help your kids live a simple and happy life. Kids love knowing what to expect, so having a schedule when you’re a working mom of 3 kids makes it easy for you to know how to plan family time.
For us, family days are on the weekends. I cut out time from work to focus on being present. Although it wasn’t always the case, I’ve learned the value in doing so.
When you ask each kid what they’d like to do as a family every month, you’re giving them the stage. It’s an opportunity for them to share their thoughts and offer their input on other ideas.
Options that are thrown into the idea pool can be narrowed down by the family. This helps everyone choose something to enjoy together.
The opportunity to ask them about things to do each week gets everyone excited about moments together. This gets them into the planning mode and helps them work through tasks to get the reward — whichever of their ideas you agreed to.
One of the best ways I’m able to make parenting three kids more interesting is by planning ahead. When you think of a daily schedule that embodies all the things your family enjoys, you’re making it easier for everyone to get the most out of the moments you have together.
For instance, the kids love movie nights. After asking them what they’d like to do daily each week, they threw down movie nights each day.
With a quick adjustment, i.e. earlier bedtime on the weekdays, we’ve been able to make the transition.
There’s also one important rule for daily movie nights, and that is to leave new movies for Family Movie Nights on Fridays. This makes it easier for everyone to look forward to Friday nights as a family.
If you want the kids to give you a quiet break, then you need to have snacks ready in the pantry. My sanity depends on quiet time throughout the day — more so when writing pieces for my blog.
Snacks are essential for the kids as well. They appreciate having a balance of healthy snacks and not-so-healthy choices.
Anything from fruits to cookies and granola bites to crackers are always a hit with the kids.
You can try a variety of things to trigger them to take a necessary quiet break.
When you give each child their own area, you’re allowing them the space they need to feel free. Just like you might have a favorite spot on the sofa, kids like to have a place they can claim as their own.
One way my husband and I like to plan ahead for the kids’ personal spaces is to anticipate their needs. They each have their own favorite fleece blanket.
Setting these blankets by their beds before they get ready to sleep is important for them to know we are not only paying attention but that their needs matter as well.
Another way you can give your children their own space is by making their favorite snacks more accessible. For instance, I know the kids each love certain fruits. I add trays to the fridge that have their favorite items in front of their least favorite ones so they can grab it themselves.
Why Is My Third Child So Difficult?
Being a mother of three means I have to juggle the duties of raising kids and being a wife. By placing these first, I make it easy for my family to understand where I have my priorities.
It’s been noted that the three-child family dynamics are not the default dynamic people hope for when starting a family. However, it’s an interesting one to watch.
Over the years, you learn that the third child is often independent and relies on their own instincts to accomplish things.
The reason why the youngest relies on themselves is that “busy parents have little time to teach the youngest how to tie his shoes or dress himself and find it more expedient in the chaos of family life to do things for him,” according to a post on Psychology Today discussing the third child.
At times, the jealousy the other children feel towards the youngest can be the push your third child uses to learn different things that will help them in the future. Competition is one of them.
The competitive side will develop and the youngest begins trying to equal or level up what the older siblings are doing.
Final Thoughts On Raising 3 Kids
Multiple children can be interesting to watch. With different personalities comes the opportunity to better understand what it means to raise children in the same environment.
Each child interprets the world differently. Watching the children interact with one another has been a pleasure, and it inspires me to become a better version of myself for them.
Although our third child wasn’t planned, I’m grateful for the memories we’ve created with her in our lives. The boys are glad to have her — even if they fight her and each other at times.
37 responses to “Raising 3 Kids: Everything You Need To Know About Caring For A Third Child”
Fellow mom of 3 here (including twins) and it’s not easy, that’s for sure. It’s given me a much higher threshold for chaos and background noise, though they still stress me out, as does mess. While it was crazy hard the first couple years (3 under 3, omg) I could not have felt luckier during the pandemic. Having built in playmates for the past 1+ years while they’ve been out of school, we’ve been really really lucky!!
Very interesting post. I think technology has set us back as a society honestly. Back when my kids were younger, you had to get to know the parents and set up playdates. Now it’s just text and social media. We were more engaged as a family, spending time together or outside with our groups of friends on weekends. Now we just send our kids off and let them play games or watch movies at each others’ homes without any supervision or real social contact. As they get older, it has a long term effect and not always for the better.
I do not have kids, but I know I appricicate everything my mom and dad did for me when raising me now that I am older. Stay stronge and keep being amazing. We all can only do the best we physically can.
Children aren’t born with a manual on how to be reared. Each child is different; therefore, there is not a perfect way to rear all children. Thankfully, there are some best practices.
I appreciate your honesty. I raised ‘only’ one daughter, yet I know what a hard job motherhood can be. And don’t make me start on the huge responsibility: You are pre-forming a life….
I’m not a mother yet so I’ve read this post for the future me lol Thanks for sharing this post on motherhood. – Amalia
This is very insightful post about parenting. I think too many is when you can’t handle anymore as well. Sometimes moms has more than 3 kids haha.
This was a very interesting read. I appreciate your honest insights!
Yes, raising children is darn hard work, but worth the journey. Every child is different. They are different than other peoples children, and they are different from their own siblings.
Yes! I couldn’t agree more with this.
Motherhood is a challenge but there is many rewards. Never forgot to seek help, that is super important, as people can help you.