Image Credit: Three shots
With the announcement that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her third child, the fact is that those of us with only two kids are hopelessly unfashionable; having three kids is set to be the biggest trend of 2018!
So what does having baby number three really mean to a family? Well, I have to admit I am hopelessly unqualified to answer that question, as I only have two kids. However fortunately for me, my sister Alex does have three children, so I was able to pick her brains about just what Prince William and Kate Middleton can expect from March 2018.
If you only have two children you may not have realised how much of the world is set up for the classic, nuclear, two-adults-two-kids family. Prepare for a whole new world.
Well, actually Wills and Kate won’t as they apparently already have a Range Rover, but anyone who currently drives a normal family car will pretty soon find that they will need something bigger to accommodate a third child.
Particularly if one of your other two kids is still in a car seat or booster, you will need a big back seat to accommodate them as well as a baby car seat. Mum of three Alex bought a Renault Scenic to fit her brood in once baby number three came along. But new wheels is not the only expense that you will encounter.
Again, not really an issue for Wills and Kate as they live in Kensington Palace which has 265 rooms, but for those of us who live in a more normal sized home find that three kids causes all sorts of problems.
When Alex’s third child was born she, like Kate, already had a boy and a girl.
Says Alex “A boy and girl can share a room when they are young, but as the kids grew up my daughter needed a room to herself and so the two boys had to share a room, and there was a five year age gap between them too. The shared room caused so many arguments that eventually we had to have the largest bedroom partitioned into two individual rooms for the boys.”
Want to take your three children out for the day to your favourite attraction? That will get pricy too. Once Number 3 is past the “baby goes free” stage you will discover that a family ticket often means just two adults and two children. So you will have to pay for another child ticket as well with no discount.
Next time you are at your local supermarket, notice how many things come in packs of five. Not very many I think you will find! So this is another cost issue for parents of three children.
If there are five of you in the family you will either have to buy packs of six which, says Alex “means that everyone argues over who gets the last one.” or you have to buy two packs of four and have three leftovers.
So apart from the financial aspects that having three children, what else will change?
With two children you can sit one child on each knee. When you go out, you can keep hold of both your children, one per hand.
With three children you suddenly realise that you don’t have enough hands and knees to go around. You have to have a rota for the chance to sit on your knee or get a cuddle.
Image Credit: Dariusz Sankowski
Unless you have exceptionally long arms, you can’t just gather your kids up for one big hug like you can with two kids. And you will miss it.
So you’ve finally managed to get the baby in the stroller and both children into coats and shoes. Time to go out!
Alex Freeman told us “With two children this was comparatively easy – the baby went in the buggy and I had a buggy board for the older one to ride on when he got tired. But with three children, they both wanted to ride on the buggy board and they both wanted an equal go at riding on the buggy board! Tantrums could follow if someone did not get their fair share!”
Assuming that you are not a royal and have an army of nannies and security people every time you go out, you have the task of watching three children, who will all, inevitably want to go off in different directions.
Basically, you can’t watch all three of them at the same time. Stress overload.
Image Credit: Gerhard Gellinger
Being a mum takes a huge amount of mental energy. And yes, the more kids you have the more of your mental energy is taken up, especially if, like The Cambridges, your children are all close in age.
Three lots of school events to go to. Three lots of homework to check up on. Three parents evenings. More noise. More people arguing with each other. More people who need driving places. More laundry. More mess.
But as any parent of three kids will tell you, there is always more than enough love for all your children. Having three kids just means you suddenly get a whole new lot of love.
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.