When you are considering adding a third child to your family there’s a lot to think about. Will your car fit three bulky car seats across the back? And if so, can you do up the seatbelts without almost losing a hand?
How is the third child going to affect your family dynamics? Is the age gap too big or too small? Will your now-youngest child become the forgotten middle child? Will the eldest try to hurt the baby?
Can you afford three kids? Three mouths to feed, three lots of school fees, three swimming lessons a week, three lots of sports fees and music lessons? Three times the shoes?!
We probably did think about most of those things. And even when the answer was no, we figured the pros out-weighed the cons. The thing we may not have considered was how a third child was going to influence our babysitting options.
Now, I can’t complain; I have wonderful parents and parents-in-law who both live nearby and have always been happy to babysit when we need them. But the prospect of leaving three crazy boys with generous babysitters as opposed to two quite often fills me with guilt.
It was our ten year wedding anniversary on the weekend, and we got away for just over 24 hours. It wasn’t really enough, especially since it has been a year since we’ve had a night away. But it seemed such a big call to leave the three of them for any longer. In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t; the youngest had a gum infection that made him grumpy, and the middlest ended up with a raging fever and vomitted all day.
It seemed so much easier to leave two. When I leave the three of them with anyone, I kind of feel like I’ve dropped a bomb on them and will be back later to clean up the damage. Three is a lot. Three is crazy. It’s fun and filled with lots of love and cuddles, but it truly is crazy. It’s hard to relinquish the responsibility of that craziness and give it to someone else.
Do you have three? Do you have more? Do you have wonderful babysitters who don’t mind being lumped with all of your kids, or have you come to accept that you will have no social life for the next eighteen years?