I’m told this a lot. Usually when I’m being pulled by each arm in opposite directions while the third quietly wees down my leg. Always by someone with two children. But is it true? Are three kids really easier than two?
I can see why people say it. It’s usually people who’ve just had a second child, and can’t believe how hard it is. They look at you, who are not actively crying at that precise moment, with a kind of wide-eyed optimism. They want you to concede that three is, indeed, easier than two: otherwise, how are you still alive?
And they want some light at the end of the tunnel. If coping with three is OK, then two must, surely, eventually, be OK too. Right? I get it – I was that person, one child ago.
Let me say right now: having kids is hard, however many you have. The golden rule of parenting is: Don’t Compare.
But for the sake of argument, here are some reasons why I think having three kids is easier than two.
- You are 50% more likely to wee when you sneeze. This makes you incredibly sneeze-averse. You can dodge pollen like a ninja. You would make a superb Wimbledon line judge.
- You are legitimately allowed to exclaim in defence, “I only have two hands!”.
- Your liver will be well clean. You have had three nine-month abstinences, plus more if you breastfed. *Therefore* you can drink more. This makes everything easier.
- The bikini debate will be moot. You will wear a tankini. End of.
- People won’t invite you anywhere any more. Therefore you don’t have to invite them back. Therefore you experience 98% less “leaving-the-house” hassle and “tidying-the-house” stress.
- Three is a powerful number. The Holy Trinity, the Three Wise Men, Tweet, RuffRuff and Dave: you have all the luck of history, holiness and CBeebies behind your family size.
- You can’t afford holidays any more so you never have to pack a suitcase or endure coach transfers.
- You can’t give any of them enough attention, so you become slightly resigned to guilt.
- You get to wake up 50% more often. You are squeezing the very juice out of life in all its fullness!
- One child will always feel left out. This means you get some love from them while they are telling tales.
- Your laundry mountain is so high, you can use it as a storage solution. You can hide confiscated toys in its folds and pop a vase of faux flowers on top.
- The receptionist at the doctor’s will know your voice on the phone so well you feel like mates.
- The older two look after the youngest one. They never pretend he is a dragon and run away from him until he cries.
- There is always a scapegoat.
- The middle one is totally sure of his place in the world. He’s not the baby and he’s not the big boy.
- The oldest never feels sidelined by the baby, cast as the “big boy” when he still feels little and uncertain inside. Still needs his mummy’s cuddles.
- If your older children are bickering, you barely care. Your toddler has just pooed in his pants.
Of course, I am utterly blessed and ecstatic to have three children. Is it easier than having two? No. But I didn’t find having two easy either. Nothing is easy in parenting: except loving them.
What do you think? Is “three are easier than two” an urban myth or grounded in truth?
PS If you have four or more children, YOU ARE AMAZING! And if you have two or fewer, YOU ARE AMAZING TOO!
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