12 things no one tells you about having a third child

Posted in Family.
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Debating whether to go for a third? Warning: this list may act as a contraceptive. But hang on until the end because the last point could make you change your mind …

1. You can’t jam three car seats into any old car

Measure, measure and measure again. Ask a ton of questions at the car dealership and the car seat shop. A couple of centimetres makes a HUGE difference. And once those seats are all jammed in there, NEVER take them out again. Just stick that vacuum nozzle in the minuscule holes between the seats and hope for the best.

2. Your pram will resemble a caravan

I thought I was the only ding-dong who was forced to push a gargantuan double pram with a scooter attachment on the back to fit all my kids, but then I saw a mum struggling with an equally enormous arrangement that had little heads poking out from every angle. You’ll look like a four-headed beast … and feel like one too.

3. Everyone will communicate by screaming

It’s hard enough to get three grown adults to agree on anything, never mind three young children with underdeveloped prefrontal cortexes. They’ll quickly learn that if they want to get their point across, they must scream VERY LOUDLY. You’ll blame yourself for their unhealthy communication style, but it’s not you – IT’S THEM.

4. There’s no point in buying anything new or nice for at least a decade

Unless you don’t mind having your new couch covered in food stains, permanent marker and unknown fluids within the first five minutes.

5. You might not be able to jump on a trampoline for a while

Apologies for dumping this one on you out of the blue, but after number three you might feel like your uterus is going to fall out onto the trampoline for everyone to see. Get to work on those pelvic floor exercises, mama, and save the birthday party at Trampoline World for primary school.

6. Your stress levels will skyrocket

A survey of 7,000 mums found that three is the most stressful number of kids. Mothers of a trio reported higher stress levels than mamas of two or four. Hey, maybe you’ll just need to go again! Hahahaha.

7. You’ll never be lonely

Not even when you’re trying to poop. Or clean out the kitty litter. Or fold the washing at midnight because you haven’t found another free minute. THEY’RE ALWAYS THERE.

8. You will discover what tired really means

I’m talking next-level exhausted. You’ll guffaw when anyone tells you they’re tired because you’ll know in your heart that there is NO WAY they’re as tired as you are. Lose-the-remote-in-the-fridge, put-breast-milk-in-your-coffee, forget-to-put-on-pants kind of tired.

9. You’ll be broke AF

Fruit alone will cost you $176 for the week. Bread and milk, $94. If you want to take the fam on an overseas trip, plane tickets will be in the realm of five digits. Start saving now and Disneyland will be yours in 2034.

10. Hotels will be dead to you

The headache of trying to find a room that accommodates five (and then settling the fight over who gets the pull-out bed) just isn’t worth it. Also, how can you relax with room service and a movie when the kids are sleeping 12 centimetres away? Airbnb is your only hope.

11. Restaurants are also a slice of hell

Unless you enjoy hissing at your kids to stop putting straws up their noses and snorting like walruses while apologising profusely to the wait staff and trying to shovel your meal down your throat in 45 seconds. And then paying $143 for the privilege. If that sounds cool, enjoy your dinner!

12. Your heart will be full

I feel a bit guilty when I write these lists because they highlight all the bad stuff. But the fact is that having three small humans who look up to you, love you unconditionally and feed your soul with warm cuddles several times a day is priceless.

While it’s true that having three young kids is super-stressful and will put your relationship through the wringer for a while, they’ll teach you so many life lessons and make you a stronger person. You’ll never feel alone – in a good way. Your heart will be full to the brim.

And that makes all the sleepless nights, missed restaurant dinners and ruined furniture worthwhile.

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