'Should I have a third child?' is the most popular search term on my blog. Following my somewhat controversial post, Don't have a third child...(unless), now I'm going to tell you why you should.
'Should I have a third child?'
Before we go on, let me just clarify. I'm not going to tell everyone that they should have a third child. If you have two and are perfectly happy, I'd stay right where you are. Obviously.
This is just for those women sitting on the fence. In limbo. And searching the internet.
By the way, if you are looking to Google for the answer, I'd say you already know deep down what you really want to do.
But come on. Let's see if we can help you down off that fence.
Are you ready?
The crazy world of three.
The Boy with No Name turns one next month. It's been a hell of a year. But there hasn't been a moment where I wish I hadn't gone down the crazy world of three.
I have, of course, erased the hideous, sleepless nights from my mind. The feeding challenges. The general anxiety that comes from being a new mum of three and discovering I only have two arms for a reason.
And now that we are almost through the first year (and only have another 17 to go), I can say evangelical (irritating) things like, 'Oh it's so wonderful having three kids,' and tell others that, 'Yes. You should totally have a third child.'
Ugh. Don't you just hate it when people are smug like that?
'It's so wonderful having three kids.'
But actually, jokes aside, it is pretty wonderful having three kids.
I love that there is always someone to hang out with and someone who wants to hang out with me. I love that life is never boring. That I am never at a loose end.
But most of all, I love that my three kids are always so interesting. To me. That because I don't get as much one on one time with each, when I do, I relish it so much it's like discovering them all over again. Continually. When did Godivy get so funny? Did I teach her to do that rather clumsy roly poly? How did Beaver grow an inch without me even noticing? (no jokes please, ha ha).
I am grateful that they have freed me from a life of striving for perfection.
That, thanks to them, I am a little more laissez faire than I would otherwise be.
(And let's not forget the value in always having a reason for being a) late b) dishevelled and c) a bit spaced out.)
'It's an imperfect life.'
I have discovered that when you have three kids, being imperfect is the only way.
Yes, life with three kids is wonderful. But it is also exhausting, chaotic and out of your control. A lot of the time.
The leap from two to three is hard. In my humble opinion. Having that third child takes you into uncomfortable territory that takes some getting used to. At least six months of transition. After which you work out that the secret is never to have three kids together, too often. Ironic, I know. (Why not just stick with two, right?)
You need to make your peace with life being disorganised a lot (most) of the time. Because no matter how organised you try to be, your kids won't be (and neither will you, in reality). You need to be ok with things like your baby licking the sole of a shoe because you are busy doing something more pressing. You need to accept that there will be times when someone is always ill. Someone isn't sleeping. Someone is crying. Argghhhhhh!
And when those times hit, you will want to curl up in a ball, pull the duvet over your head and lament the day you thought it was a good idea to have one child.
Let alone three.
But these times pass.
So blooming quickly. (Did I mention that The Boy with No Name is almost one?)
And here I am clinging onto his babyhood with everything I have. I want it to last forever. Whilst simultaneously selling every cot, babygro and sock as soon as he's outgrown it.
Bonkers. Bonkers. Bonkers.
Because third time around, you have two older siblings to remind you that nothing stays the same. That the next phase isn't necessarily going to be better than the last. There's no point hurrying on. You won't pass 'Go,' you won't collect £200 and you'll never get a house on Park Lane. You can just go with it. Enjoy it, even.
And. Breathe. A. Huge. Sigh. Of. Relief.
So you rejoice the fading sleep deprivation whilst remorsing the new struggle of getting three kids to put their sodding shoes on.
But it's ok. Because third time around. You know.
These times pass.
A house that is never empty.
Of course, there is something that trumps all of the above. When it comes to making that decision. And that is this.
If you have a niggle that there should be three. That there could be three. That what if there were three. I don't think you can ignore that niggle.
Because it won't ignore you. It will keep you sitting on that fence. In limbo. And searching the internet. Until your biological clock has stopped ticking. And kicks you off that fence.
So. If you have a nagging niggle and your partner is willing.
Yes. You should have a third child.
Because, honestly? It's utterly brilliant.
(Apart from the times when it's really, really crap.)