Three’s Company: Are You Ready For More Kids?

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There
have been studies that indicate that three children is
the most stressful
number of kiddos to have
.

Three is
no easy feat. As the picture above shows, I had my hands very full back when I had
only half the number of kids that I have now. As you can see, I’m sitting in my
yard, looking happy but a bit tired and maybe like I could use a good meal.
That time was a bit of a blur – new baby, a toddler with a broken arm, and a
bigger toddler smack dab in the middle of getting an autism diagnosis. Those
were trying times.

Despite
those trying times, I went on to have three more kids. I guess it goes to show
that there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to having kids.
So, what makes a parent think they’re ready to go on and have another baby?

There are
so many factors in determining how easy or difficult it will be to add another
to the family.  The three biggest factors for me included:

1. How close in age the kids are. 

Packing them in tight is my preference but it
means several consecutive years of diaper changing and night time feeds.
Although the years seem to zoom by, trying to get through a day with children
after having only a couple hours of sleep can drive a mama towards the edge.

2. Is there a bigger health or developmental issue to be dealt with? 

Raising
babies is tough enough. Imagine having to go to appointment after appointment,
sitting in waiting rooms, having your baby poked and prodded, living in fear of
what is going on – all this while possibly dragging small siblings along to all
of these appointments.

3. What is the child’s personality? 

I’ve often seen first time parents experience
the joy and pleasure of a settled and uncomplicated baby. I’ve seen these
babies develop into sensible and fairly unadventurous toddlers. Parents of
these children take great pride in their parenting savvy, wondering why all
parents don’t have the mad parenting skills they have. 

Then the most amazing
thing happens – they have a second child and are faced with the shocking
reality that not all kids are the same. Not all the same strategies and tactics
work for each of them the same way. I hope it’s not wrong to say that I get a
bit of pleasure watching these parents tumble off their parenting high horses
when they realize that some little personalities are more difficult to manage
than others.
What
helped you decide you were ready for another one? Do you have children with
very different personalities, making you have to parent each one very
differently?

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