Despite the fact that I’ve been told I really only have two children because my first were twins [please tell me this when I am singlehandedly trying to extricate three small, wilful individuals who have suddenly lost the ability to move their own limbs with any degree of coordination, from their car seats, in the rain, whilst a stream of traffic is waiting for me to shut the door and 2 out of 4 of us need to wee and neither of us have the ability to hold it], I do in fact have three children.
And whilst I suppose I could sit here and tell you an angsty handful of reasons having three kids is challenging and draining and detrimental to ones ability to do up their own jeans and/or avoid visible panty line AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T DO IT, I’m not going to.
Google it, there’s plenty of that out there already.
But, in my experience at least, there are also a flobbity jillion [or at the very least, four, maybe five] reasons that having three children is brilliant and actually a little bit like winning x lotto…Except for the minor differences in that you lose tons of money, your house gets worse, and suddenly nobody wants anything to do with you. Those things aside however, lottery… Winner.
Need reasons? Here’s 11! [See? Flobbity jillion. I never exaggerate.]
1. People pity you
When you’re out and about with three children, making it look as easy as I do [!!] people feel a little bit sorry for you.
Let’s just say [hypothetically speaking] you trying to unhook your [hypothetical] baby from an ergo backpack and she’s [hypothetically] dangling by one hyperextended leg as you’re strategically dislocating your own shoulder in order to save her from the pavement whilst simultaneously attempting to stop one of the other [hypothetical] children from running onto the road as the third is having a small to medium scale breakdown because his trouser leg is slightly bunched up at the ankle and he doesn’t like the “feel” of it… Low and behold, benevolent suit wearing cyclist passersby will stop and offer to help. Hypothetically. 😳
In a day and age where people boldly mention you’ve changed your hair and follow it up with “…….” silence [don’t be that person, everybody hates that person] it’s a minor miracle for someone to even say something nice, let alone put themselves out to do something nice for you. Yet it appears as though when you have three kids and are monumentally failing at it with multiple witnesses [as is so often the case with me], people are more inclined to lend a hand rather than avert their gaze and pretend they didn’t notice, or take subtle iPhone photos to post on their Instagram with witty captions later. [I have never once taken sneaky iPhone photos of strangers doing stupid shit in public or who look like Zayn Malik. FYI. 😳]
Let me be clear though, this phenomenon of helping your fellow [wo]man is limited strictly to strangers in public places. When you have three kids basically no one you know will ever help you again because they either think “you’ve got this” [I dont], or adversely because it seems so hard [it is].
In what is a happy coincidence no one gives you parenting advice either. Win!
2. It’s a good excuse
Having three children gives you a wide variety of excuses covering a broad number of areas that you can call upon where necessary.
Can’t go; three kids. Look crap; three kids. Messy house; three kids. Late; three kids. Forgot to show up; three kids. Lipstick mistakenly applied as eyebrow pencil; three kids. Didn’t put on pants; three kids.
This also works in reverse however and often other people don’t want to do anything with you either because; three kids. I’m pretty sure one of my husband’s single friends booked an emergency vasectomy after spending forty minutes in our house when our three kids were home and he discovered actually kids can be giant jerks x3. He might have even performed it himself with three pegs and a pair of pinking shears for all I know.
In a recent and more disturbing trend, most people try to catch up with me when two of my three kids are at kindy and I’m not even sure whether to be grateful or offended.
3. You can moonlight as super mum
When things go right with three kids in tow you look amazing, feel indestructible and the temptation to yell “HEY EVERYBODY, COME SEE HOW GOOD I AM!!!!!” is all but overwhelming.
When things go wrong, well.. Refer to #1.
4. You become part of an elite squad known as the “super human”
As an extension of the [very] occasional side line gig as super mum, having three kids transforms you from your every day cold catching, gastro susceptible mere mortal, to being a fully forced super human immunity demigod.
When you have three kids, any and every snot producing, eye weeping, spot inducing micro bug has been brought home and after an initial incubation period whereby you catch every illness in living history…you are IMMUNE.
Strong. Indomitable. What God hath joined together let not highly contagious viral infection put asunder.
Added to which, there will be occasions where you have no choice but to lift all three children at the one time. Possibly in public. Probably whilst one is thrashing and writhing around in a bout of caramello koala related hysteria. In this moment you will all of a sudden possess the strength of a thousand Vikings.
5. People say nice things like “you look too young to have three children”
Unless you don’t.. Which is usually the case with me .. But even if you don’t, often people still say it because…Refer to #1.
6. If you go deaf it will be really obvious
7. You’re outnumbered
Children have an inherent confidence gained in the knowledge that at any moment they could overthrow you if they wanted to.
I feel equal parts pleased and terrified about instilling this sense of fortitude in my children.
8. Statistical advantage
Based on pure statistics and the law of averages, having three children means you have more chance that one of them might do what you say. Using the same logic, at any given time, one of them might like you.
9. Choosing photos is suddenly easier
With one child, taking a lovely family photo where you are all smiling happily and looking passable with no Lisa Marie Presley eyes or weird sideburn appearing as if out of nowhere on your face, is difficult. With two, it’s almost impossible. But with three, you haven’t a hope in hell. This gives you vetoe to always simply choose the photograph where YOU look the best. Winning. Ch Ching.
10. Majority rules
When you have two children you become a master of negotiation; because, as if only to annoy you, they will almost certainly never agree to watch/read/do the same thing as one another.
When you have a third child however, you are granted the advantage of the majority rules method of only pissing off one child at any given time. It’s like a small reward bequeathed to you by your own overworked reproductive organs.
When you have three kids, you get really good at coffee.
Drinking it. Making it. Buying it. Thinking about it. Looking forward to it. Saying “I can’t do [whatever annoying thing it is your children and/or your husband wants you to do] until I’ve finished my coffee”, as well as other fun coffee related procrastination techniques like mug warming and bean grinding. And no they are not code names for special cuddles with daddy.
Word of warning however, you may start wondering if you can continue being friends with people who don’t like coffee. But don’t be judgy, if those people want to exchange mental alertness, matrix-like sensory perception and pure unadulterated pleasure for sparkly white teeth and relentless fatigue, let them. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink coffee.
People are always asking me if they should have a third, and predictably my answer is always yes.
Not just because I want more victims to share in the solidarity of the curbside caterwaul precipitated by inevitable handholding chain misdemeanours (“is everyone holding hands??” “Are we still holding hands??” “Can you please hold his hand!!!!!!!?????” “DON’T LET GO OF HER HAND!!!”) and potential wayward tiny humans headed towards oncoming vehicles, but because it actually is all kinds of wonderful for all the weird reasons above and so many more.
Not least of all, because when you have three kids, you HAVE.THREE.KIDS. Three teeny tiny, sweet smelling [mostly], hilarious, cooler, cuter versions of yourself that give you the excuse to dance like an idiot, eat fairy bread and believe in magic.
Three, however, is our limit.
Read; my husband’s limit [actually that was two 😳]. Our bank balances limit.
And you know what they say;
The best things in life are three.
That’s how it goes, isn’t it?