It’s the week after the school summer holiday and I can categorically say following my experience in the last 6 weeks, that (in my opinion, obviously) having three kids is a bad number of children to have.
Now before you all get up in arms about how lucky I am to have three kids blah blah blah, take this with the pinch of salt it is intended to be served with, and remember my tongue is firmly positioned in my cheek as I write.
Honest. (Well, kind of).
I’m just putting it out there that the phrase ‘three’s a crowd’ was not created for nothing. It is TOTALLY true. Whether that’s in friendship groups at school where someone always gets left out. Or at home with kids.
Particularly in MY home with MY kids.
Clearly this is my own opinion and other parents of three kids might think it’s the perfect number.
I. Absolutely. Do. Not.
The fact I only ever wanted two kids might *possibly have something to do with this view. If you know me or have read my early blogs, you’ll know I’ve always been very honest about being filled with dread at the prospect of having twins. I am not a #blessed type of person around this subject. More a #WTF.
I would even put myself out there (and no doubt be shot down for it) and say that on some occasions I genuinely believe having four kids would actually be easier than three. There I said it. At least that way they can divide into two teams of two and nobody is left out.
But then to balance it out, on other days I also genuinely believe that having three kids might possibly be easier than having one. (Like when you want them all to go away and play together leaving you in peace with your cup of coffee, and absolutely NOT want you to play dolls/lego/nerf battles with them). Then it can be quite handy.
But on the whole, I stand by my view that three kids is a bad number of children to have.
Why I think three kids is a bad number
1. There is ALWAYS someone who is left out.
This is a pure fact of life and something I witness on a daily (hell no, HOURLY basis). When it comes to my boys, it could be any one of them being left out, and this changes by the minute. More often than not it is poor Twin Two being shoved out in the cold, whilst the 7 year old and Twin One are as thick as thieves together. It is very, very rare for the twins to gang up on their older brother as you might expect. And they never ever play nicely as a threesome. Ever.
And this actually makes me feel quite sad. It’s lovely to see two of them getting on – exactly as they did in my imaginary family life before I ACTUALLY had kids. You know, that rosy 2.4 children dream we have, of everything being perfect and them getting on like a scene from Topsy and Tim or something equally as hideous and realistic. Obviously this happens for about one per cent of the time in real life though. If that.
In the real world, one child (as I say, usually Twin Two), is left out, with the other two being nasty to him, taking away what he wants to play with just for the sake of it, shutting the door in his face, chasing him around to the point he’s hysterical and generally being horrible brothers. Meanwhile he’s upset, just wants to join in with them, takes out his anger by trying to sabotage what they’re doing, and generally becomes a pain in the backside. Or worse – expects me to play!
2. The fighting is INSANE
Following on from someone always being left out. The fighting between the three kids is just off the scale. And this holiday has been the worst yet. It’s funny how the six weeks holiday is a different experience each time, depending on their age. I was thinking this one would have been WAY easier than when they were little and so needy. But oh my god, the fighting! I have literally spent the entire time being a referee. And they fight over SO many things. Or maybe that should read they fight over EVERYTHING.
Which chair they’re sitting on at the dinner table. Which colour bowl they’re eating their cereal out of. Who has got the most bouncy balls. Why one of them is better at drawing than the other. How one of them dared to actually touch another one. Toys. Books. iPads. TV choices. Breathing. Who had the last caramel wafer in the tin. Which one of them can climb higher in a tree. Who gets to open the front door first. Which DairyLea dunker variety they’re going to choose.
And one of the biggest this summer has been who gets to sit in the middle seat in the van. I mean, seriously! There have been full on epic fisty-cuffs and massive meltdowns because Twin Two wants to sit in the middle seat (traditionally belonging to the 7 year old) and older bro won’t let him. Even though I tried to instil an actual rota for them to take their turn, it still erupted into a boxing match on every single journey – even a five minute one.
Admittedly a lot of these things would still happen if you only had 2 children, or if you had 10 children. The only guarantee of not having sibling fights is to, er, not have any siblings, I guess. So maybe just having an only child really IS the way to go?
3. You never have enough ‘stuff’ for three kids
Okay, so you might say, if you don’t have enough stuff (or can’t afford to have enough stuff), then don’t have too many children. I hear ya, I really do. And I also agree with you. But what happens when your second (and supposedly last) child ends up being twins and that ‘second’ turns into ‘second and third’. I didn’t plan to have three kids! The same as I didn’t plan to need 3 lots of ‘stuff’.
And I’m not just talking about the toys that they can share. I’m talking about the stuff they can’t share like clothes, shoes, coats, car seats, beds, (hell, even bedrooms at some point!). Now we’re back at school and they’ve all gone up a year we’re being told to download yet more apps for homework. And I don’t have enough devices to do that!
How am I supposed to get them to do all their times tables, reading and spellings during their ‘homework’ time, if I don’t have enough devices to go round? I even asked the husband last night if it’s possible to record audio from a computer so that I could possibly duplicate it onto my phone to make life easier. Clearly I’m not technical enough to even know how to do this though, but he is – all those hours of reading techradar and Creative Bloq have clearly not been wasted! But honestly, how do people with like 5 kids manage to do homework – they must be either loaded or take FOREVER to get it all done sharing devices.
4. The cost of everything
This leads me nicely to how everything is set up for families of four. Two adults and two children? You’re sorted. Two adults and one child? Even better. I’m talking about when you want to go out for the day, mainly. EVERYTHING is geared towards you having two kids. And I’m not just meaning the good old ‘family’ ticket situation at a theme park. Because more and more are now adding that third child into a family ticket. I mean it’s not like it’s UNUSUAL to have three kids. Seriously, I get it if I were to rock up with 8 of them and expect a standardised ticket to be available, but SO many people have three, it’s so normal now.
I’m talking about when you want to go on a ride and there are too many kids. Got two? You can have one adult and one child go on together? Got four? Two can go on together. When you have three there is always someone left out (see, I told you!). And you don’t have enough adults to go on with all your children at the same time. Someone has to wait on their own and mine are too young to do that. I envy my friends with two kids going to theme parks and getting on rides easily without having to figure out which one is going to be left behind. Or where the hell you’re going to leave them! And don’t even get me started on the COST of a day out.
5. Cars are not designed for three kids
But do you know one of the MOST annoying reasons three is a bad number of children to have – it’s flipping cars! Those of you who have been around since the beginning (of my blog, I mean, not Earth’s existence), will know this has been my pet hate since finding out we were having twins. 5 years on and I’m still bitter about it, if I’m honest.
The majority of cars are not designed to accommodate three young children. The back seats are only capable of having two baby car seats and boosters in, and the middle seat isn’t wide enough. Those families of one or two kids might not have even registered this. And why would they? They don’t need to worry about squeezing a third child into the middle safely. But this became glaringly obvious to us – and was even the first thing my husband said when the sonographer at the 12 week scan told us it was twins. “We’re going to need a bigger car” were his exact words.
It just so happened that we’d bought a brand new fancy BMW only a few months before – and had to trade it in for a boring VW Touran that was one of only a handful of cars that could fit the three seats in. Gutted was an understatement. I’m more or less over that now, and we’ve now gone bigger again with a VW Transporter. But until they are older and don’t need boosters, a family of more than three children will always be limited to what kind of car they drive. And it’s really damn frustrating.
Obviously I’m only joking – I think!
Okay, so after all that, clearly you now all think I don’t love my children and would happily bin one of them off. (But which one would I choose?!)
You all know me well enough by now to realise I like to have a rant now and again, and obviously I love my boys dearly and wouldn’t change anything for the world. (Still not writing #blessed though).
BUT if anyone just so happens to have any tips on stopping the constant fighting, believe me, I’m ALL ears…
This is a collaborative post
How did I do?
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