Thursday, February 25, 2016

Three things about having three kids

So yes - I do not actually have THREE kids yet, but I will tell you, there have already been some sleepless nights thinking about the crazy we are about ready to embark upon.  SO excited, don't get me wrong because I really don't think there is anything I love more than meeting one of my children after carrying them for 9-10 months and getting to snuggle them like 24/7.  

But seriously, people have STRONG opinions when you tell them you're having three kids.  Good and bad.  So like most everything that involves being a parent and what I've learned in my 3.5 years as of of them...pretty much smile and nod and if it's not a happy, encouraging comment, just let it go in and out your ears.  Because like T-Swift says, I'm on board with the motto haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.  No use in getting stressed.  (and trust me, we have had plenty of good and bad comments!)

However, I will say, there are lots of helpful people that are super helpful when you find out your life is going to change forever when you see those 2 lines on a stick.  Many of them with three children of their own, giving your words of caution or things to think about with three kids.  The main one I had heard over and over again: the world is not made for families of 5.  And when you think about it, man are they right!!!  From hotel rooms, to tables as restaurants, to even things like how do you even decide who rides by themselves on a roller coaster when your kiddos are a bit older but not enough to ride alone or with each other.  So so true.  I truly do appreciate all the comments and discussions that Jimmy and I have both had with people - they really are all helpful!

Here are 3 things that I feel like I should share that I never really gave a TON of thought too before starting the process for the third kid being a reality:

1.  Will you need another {bigger} vehicle??!   
I drive a minivan, so nope, my van is amazing and I cannot sing enough praises about it.  However, Jimmy drives a mid-size SUV.  We just figured that three car seats could easily fit in his car.  HA.  After hours of researching it, measuring his car, searching the internet for all kinds of skinny car seats and their dimensions to see if it was even an option for his car, he finally found 3 that he thought would fit. So $700 later, he gets them and unpacks them and installs them all in his backseat.

They BARELY fit.  Here is the picture he took of Maddie crawling all around back there when he was installing.

While we thought they looked "fine" we made sure by getting it inspected at the local sheriff's office.  We don't want to take any chances on their safety.  Their initial inspection they thought it would work fine, but they weren't for sure so said they had to make a call to their experts.  So another few days of waiting for the final verdict.  The final {potentially VERY expensive} verdict took about 2 more days, but ultimately, we got to stick with the new car seats and luckily, not a new car.

The funny thing was to me was how mad Jimmy was because he didn't "think about this when he bought the SUV".  Oh wait, let me remind you that he bought this car on Christmas Eve of 2008.  I remember because I was there with him.  My first sit through of a car buying experience.  It's so surprising that prior to when we weren't even ENGAGED that we weren't thinking 7 years into the future when we might potentially need three car seats to fit across the back seat.

Oh my.

But seriously, the last thing we needed was to have to buy a new car.  We totally would have, but Jimmy's taste is mucho expensive, so I'm very glad we didn't have to go down that route.  Now, if kid number 4 comes our way ever in the future...that's another story.

2. The incremental cost of this kiddo!
I work in finance for my job.  So I'm all about incremental costs.  Let's be real though - I mean, in our situation it's our third kid - we have a boy and a girl and they are all going to have the same birthday month 2 years apart.  From an incremental wardrobe perspective, the additional cost is pretty much zero.  However, we both work full that thing called childcare that is SO expensive but even more ridiculous for an infant?  Yeah.  At least for the first year of this sweet baby's life, you will pay an arm and a leg for their care.  With the first, we were shocked and felt a big financial impact - but to be honest, most of those costs were offset by everything anything that we used to do sans baby for entertainment (aka bar and restaurant costs, going to the movies, frequent happy hours and concerts).  With our second, we had just moved in to a new house (i.e. hello bigger mortgage) and while the new daycare Charlie was at wasn't that much more money than his old one the infant care cost literally almost gave me a heart attack.  I spent HOURS setting our budget to prep for when Maddie started daycare and what our new monthly budget looked like.  With the third, we have made adjustments to our other kiddos care to make it a little more reasonable for us and plan on sending this one to an in home for a more intimate experience for a lower cost - because I'm not kidding, 3 kids in daycare is not cheap folks.  And while many people aren't in the 3 kids in day care situation (due to one parent not working or larger spacing between kids ages), any additional family member added will cost you more money.  Whether it's in baby supplies, food, insurance/doctors, clothing, etc., so just make sure you take that into account because once that baby is here (trust me, I ran the daycare numbers first and foremost to make sure we weren't crazy and going to have to move to afford him/her), it's true you'll never remember what your life was like without them, but also just be responsible and make sure you can afford the sweet baby!!  It will make life SO much easier!

3, You're officially outnumbered - 
how do you split yourselves up!?

This was actually one that I had the realization about myself and then literally had a great conversation with an amazing coworker about it.  For some reason, which I'm sure will probably change quickly upon babe #3's arrival, I'm not terrified about being outnumbered at home.  Because we both work, when we are at home with the kids there are usually two of us there and since our only experience of having an infant with more kids is having a 2 year old as well, the fact that we will have a 4 year old (and a 2 year old...haha), who will hopefully be more helpful when asking him to do things and is great at entertaining himself, it isn't that terrifying (come talk to me in 6 months though...).

What really scares me?  When they are older and everyone is doing something and needs to be somewhere at this time for this practice, game, event.  My awesome coworker has three kids and she said they thought about having for but that was really what held them back because she wanted to make sure she was able to be there for them during those things and didn't feel like she was constantly shipping one off with neighbors/friends via car pool because the fact of the matter is - there are only two adults and you cannot be everyone at once.

I feel like I already got a glimpse of this with gymnastics this winter.  When I signed Maddie and Charlie up I had in my mind this perfect little Saturday morning family outing in which everyone goes together.  Charlie will sit with us and entertain himself while Maddie and one parent does gymnastics from 9-9:40 and then Charlie was up from 10-10:50 and Maddie would hang with us which we watched her brother do his thing.  HA.  After week one Jimmy and I quickly realized this was NOT going to work and we needed to just split up and each take a kid.  While that was easier, it made me so sad.  Because yes, I'm crazy mom and like to see my kids doing all these things that they are doing and learning and progressing.  So if I took Maddie and didn't get to see Charlie I would grill Jimmy on "what did he do?  Did he listen better?  Follow directions?  Start to forward roll?" and Jimmy's response?  "Yes".  Yeah, not the mom detailed response I was looking for.  And vice versa when I went with Charlie and Jimmy went with Maddie.  It's crazy that I was already feeling like I was missing out on something with them - even though it really wasn't a big deal.  So yes, when I was talking about this with a coworker, it really hit me that this would likely be a real issue.  And even if we do want four kids (whoa crazy town), it will be even more nuts.

Just some food for thought and some things that we did {and some we didn't} think about when deciding if adding a third kid to our family was the right decision for us.  In the end, we obviously couldn't be more thrilled we are blessed to have another sweet kiddo to call ours - and honestly 'I'm ready to take on this whole mom to three role, but who knew as an adult there were so many things to think about!  Seems like it would be a lot more fun to just go back to being a kid!

But in all honestly - no matter what - I'm sure this is how it will go.  It has so far. :)



  1. Aww love all of this! Yep, you will be outnumbered but really that wasn't a worry of ours either and it hasn't been bad. I know exactly what you mean about having to split up for things and that use to get me sad too! Your lucky you already have a mini van!!

  2. And now you have me second guessing a third child. Haha just kidding. I'm as crazy as you in that sense! You are a fabulous mama and you are going to rock this three kid thing, I just know it! Money and back seats may become tighter and stress levels may rise, but your love will also grow exponentially. And that's what really matters in the end. And just think about how much fun holidays are going to be when your children are older and have spouses/kids of their own. :)