The time when: I was outnumbered by small people.

I have 3 kids.  You’ll do one of 2 things now you know that information – take a sharp intake of breath thinking she must be mad, or feel an immediate connection with another exhausted parent who is outnumbered by mini dictators in their house.

As Jess’ birthday approaches, I am reminicing about the journey that lead us to be a family of 5. When we were trying to decide if we should go for number 3, there were lots of things to consider:

  • The world is built for families of 4.  Everything from cars and hotel rooms to packs of yoghurt are made for 4 to share.  
  • How would the boys cope being 1 of 3, especially Charlie who has a such a sensitive soul?
  • Did we really want to go back to the sleepless new born days?
  • And most importantly, what do you do when you’re outnumbered.  How do you do story time when you only have 2 arms?  You are the minority.  What if there mutiny aboard and we lose control completely? 

When we were considering the pros and cons, we quickly came to the conclusion that there is no logical reason to do it.  In fact, it’s a pretty crazy thing to do, but I just knew I wasn’t “done” and that fact wasn’t going to change.  I felt like our family wasn’t complete yet, there was one more piece to fit in.

Lots of people think we did it to try for a little girl, (which made me really very angry and protective about my beautiful boys.  Why weren’t they enough for the world, why did everyone think you needed “one of each” to get the full set?) but we were actually just as excited about the thought of having a gang of boys running about the place. Yes a girl would be lovely, but we just wanted a healthy baby thank you very much.  Having seen my friends go through the heartache and devastation of baby loss, how could you ever want more than that?

Then we got our beautiful baby girl and we both knew that we were complete.  Yes, it’s very corny, but Jess was our final jigsaw piece.  The moment that the boys met Jess was possibly the best moment of my life but does the reality of living with 3 mini people live up to the long-held dream of being a family of 5?

Well…. People take great joy in telling you that 3 is the most stressful number of children to have.  And it’s true, it’s not a walk in the park, especially when your eldest is just 3 and half! When I was flying solo with all 3, I have to say that I kept things simple.  A trip to the park, the occasional music class was more than enough to begin with and even those quite often were too much.  I treasured the quiet days with Jess when the boys were in nursery when we could have snuggly feeds for hours on end, sing silly songs, snooze and watch Grey’s Anatomy. But there is nothing like the chaos of having us all together again. Although each child loves some 1:1 Mummy and Daddy time, they miss each other dreadfully when they are apart.

So yes, 3 is a stressful number, but it is our perfect number and we wouldn’t change it for the world!