Opinion: Should You Go For The Third Babe?


When it comes to children, is three really the magic number? Mandy Dos Santos from Little People Nutrition spills the beans...

“What is it really like to have three kids?” This exact phrase is what I googled for about two years straight when I was trying to figure out whether I truly wanted a third baby. The responses were not that dire so I made up my mind that “not enough hands” wasn’t really a good enough reason to stick with two.

The other most googled phrase in our household around this time was: “How to convince your husband to have a third baby?”. After all, it takes two to tango and I wanted my husband to be on board. So how did I convince him to “go a third” too?

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Well I casually explained, in my well-rehearsed spiel, that I just couldn’t stop thinking about the idea. I had given away all the baby things. The pram, the cot, the bassinet, the high chair - everything was gone. I had tried to convince myself that I didn't want a third baby. I didn’t want a bigger house. I didn’t want a bigger car and I still wanted to work. But the third baby itch wouldn't leave me alone. I loved the idea of a chaotic, crazy, full life, crammed with love and laughter. We knew the mental period didn’t last forever and soon our tiny tots wouldn’t want a piece of us. And I craved the days when we would sit back and watch our children with their lovers and partners and eventually their own children too. I just wanted to grow the dos Santos clan. Oh, the romance! The sheer romance of the idea!

And the reality? Well yes, we have a bigger family and unsurprisingly we did need a bigger car. Although so far not a bigger house, strangely we downsized to an apartment. I know, it sounds crazy, but there is always a method to my madness. And yes there is sibling love. Timmy, the third, the first boy, adores his two big sisters. He flirts with them at every available opportunity. In the car, the toilet, the supermarket, the dining table. He lights up when they beg him good morning, but starts to squawk as they smother and near suffocate him competing for his adoration.

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I can’t quite say that we are sitting back, romantically surveying the situation as yet. Timmy is just five months, not yet moving and with a six and three year old as well, my husband and I pass in the night unsuccessfully co-sleeping and bed hopping multiple times. Thankfully we are waiting for renovations to commence, so all the mattresses are on the ground and we can just roll around.

And work? I do very much want to work although my kafoozled mushy brain has taken another hammering. Truthfully, it never has been quite the same since we had our first. The second pushed it to the limits, but now having a third and coinciding with commencing primary school, my head really can’t split much more at the moment. I don’t know where to fit in more stuff. Educated, interesting, “smart” stuff.

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I guess the difference is this time, like with our second, we do comprehend that we are in the thick of it and come weaning time and with a bit more sleep (cough, I haven’t slept a whole night in six years, but who’s counting), the light will break and coherent sentences will be spoken. Thank goodness for coffee, which gives me unrealistic super powers for a few hours a day.

So three? It really is a jumbled mess of delicious loving chaos. It feels full, more so than before. It feels exciting. Although I don’t know anymore if my girls cleaned their teeth or whether I changed the sheets this week and I have lost a set of new keys in the car under a lot of ‘stuff’. But it is more than what I imagined it to be like. And now it truly feels like our family is complete. Because honestly, I would be scared helpless to have a fourth.

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