Favourites • May 22, 2016

{The Ordinary Moments 16} #20 ‘Having Three’

For some reason deciding to have a third child was a huge decision for us. Of course deciding to have a baby, however many you have, is a big decision, but for us we always knew if we were lucky enough we would have two children- that just seemed like the norm, that whole stereotypical idea of the 2.4 children family. But having a third seemed that little bit different, I know that lots of people have three, four, five or six children but to us a third seemed like a huge step. I don’t know many people that have three children, no one in our family has three children and I think everyone in our family thought we were ‘done’ at two.

I used to walk around places when I was pregnant and myself and Mr E would try and spot the larger families, whether that was in restaurants, at the shops, in the park or on holiday. And we used to laugh as we would hardly ever seen any families of five or more. Of course we did, I am exaggerating but it definitely seemed, at least around here, that there weren’t all that many. I must admit I was nervous about the logistics of three- would we be living in a permanent sense of stress, would we be outnumbered or would adding another baby change the dynamic of our family, but not in a good way? Still our desire to have a third little member join our family far outweighed the potential slightly negative parts.

The other day I wrote this on instagram…

“I never imagined three children when I imagined our family. I always imagined two little girls. But now I cannot possibly imagine not having a third little person in our photos and in our lives. And the love we all have for our little baby boy is unconditional. In just three short weeks he’s filled a space we didn’t even know was there.

Three is hectic. Three can be overwhelming. Three means there’s always one person in a slightly grumpier mood than the others. Three means we are outnumbered. Three means I can feel claustrophobic sometimes, especially when I’m feeding a baby and have two little girls climbing all over me. Three means theres an incredible amount of emotions in just one simple day of parenting. Three means more expense and having to go without occasionally. Three means there’s rarely time for ‘me time’. But three means triple the love. Three means three times the pride. And three means the big family I can now picture in years to come, all my babies grown up around the table at christmas, with their respective partners. Three means three beautiful but different relationships I get to experience over the years. Three means triple the laughter, fun and adventures.

Our hands may feel full at times even in these early days when we are all just getting to grips with our new sense of normal. But our hearts feel even fuller.”

I’ve been thinking about the dynamics of three a lot recently, especially at night as I am feeding the baby, or when we go out and about as a family of five. Because Mads is at school, during the week we rarely are all out together. Also due to my c-section I have only really just started driving in the last few days, so as such I have only taken all three of them out on my own once, last weekend when we went to soft play with a friend. And of course when you have friends there, they grab a child and take them to the toilet for you if you are feeding, or hold a baby if an older one needs you.

Three actually doesn’t seem like ‘harder work’. Yes sometimes it can feel more hectic, especially if our baby boy is crying and the girls are being hyper. Generally it is that brief period after school between dinner and bedtime that I feel it the most, where the girls are a bit crazy and he is a little unsettled. In those times our already pretty small three bedroom house feels even smaller. When we are out and about, I don’t feel like three seems a big deal, bar negotiating restaurants with the pram and two small children, but then we would have a pram regardless of how many children we had.

I was going to write this post last night, but I went out for dinner with my sister and my babies, to let Mr E watch the football with her boyfriend and on the way home I just felt so ill. I was very unlucky to suffer from mastitis a lot with Mads, and a couple of times with LL, so I knew straight away that I was getting the tell tale signs- I felt shivery, my boob hurt and I got really tired. I ended up lying in a ridiculously hot bath and going to bed early. Luckily I have woken up this morning and it’s disappeared, I think I caught it in time. But it got me thinking that actually I don’t think it matters the amount of children you have, as soon as we become parents we are all on the same path and we all face the same challenges. I don’t think having three children is any ‘harder’ than having one or two- more hectic yes, but not harder. People often say ‘you’ve got your hands full’ or words to that effect, but actually I don’t think three is more work.

Being a mother, or being a parent, is one of the sweetest, most amazing jobs we will ever do. Yet it is also the hardest. At whatever stage in their lives, parenting a child brings challenges. It could be the relentless newborn days, where you are up every hour feeding, where your body doesn’t feel like your own, where you are so tired that you don’t even know how you are functioning, or where your hormones are all over the place and even though it is incredibly hard work, you just want to keep them scrunched up and new forever- the thought of them no longer being a newborn brings you to tears. Or it could be parenting a five year old, a five year old who is learning who she is meant to be, who is learning what the boundaries are, who is experiencing a life away from you for the first time at school and dealing with the challenges that come with that.

I definitely found that becoming a Mum for the first time was the hardest for me so far. It was all new and looking back I found it incredibly overwhelming. With the second and then even more so with the third, you feel a lot more confident and chilled out. You know that the sleepless nights won’t last forever, so you relish them. You know that if your baby screams for an hour non stop, that he isn’t broken and it won’t stay like this. You also know that it all passes by in a blink of an eye, time goes so quick, so you treasure every moment. If I could go back and hold a three week old Mads or LL in my arms I would do it in a second. You know that the passing of time is oh so bittersweet, it brings new stages and adventures, but it also means saying goodbye to the old ones.

I know that each stage will bring new challenges, at the moment I can’t quite imagine when our baby boy is mobile and I have to control three children running about when we are out and about. But at the same time by that point Mads will be a little older and might not need to be watched quite so closely. It’s all relative and things change constantly.

All I know is that three is definitely the magic number for us. Yes it’s exhausting, yes it’s hectic, yes it’s all consuming. But that’s parenting in general, whatever the amount of children in your family. It’s just we also get the added bonus of another little person to love, another set of cheeks to kiss, and another sibling bond to watch grow and develop. We couldn’t feel luckier.

As I said on my instagram- our hands are full, but our hearts are most definitely fuller.


(Some photos to demonstrate how full our hands are! I adore these photos so much.)

yellowflowersapril16byellowflowersapril16cyellowflowersapril16dyellowflowersapril16eyellowflowersapril16f yellowflowersapril16gyellowflowersapril16hyellowflowersapril16iyellowflowersapril16j

Share this post