I thought I was the only one who thought the level of stress with 3 children was way higher than with 2. I had twins the first time around, and I dealt with it pretty well. I had my routines and structure in place. I had regular one on one and special times with each of my daughters. I was calm and collected… Then, after a long wait, our precious third daughter arrived.
Oh, My! I was in for a tough ride. She was way more determined and strong-willed than the other two from day one. But I knew that alone couldn’t be the only contributing factor to the increased stress I was experiencing, and to the whirlwind our lives got into. Everything was turned upside down, and I felt (still do a lot!) that I I have it all together, and that I was far from the mom I used to be to my twins, and that I wanted to be for the three of them. Cue… guilt trip!
Then, I read a TODAYMoms.com survey, and it all made sense. Apparently, when it comes to parenting, three is the magic number… for disaster and stress! Mothers of three children stress more than moms of one or two, while mothers of four or more children actually report lower stress levels. Surprisingly, four kids seems to be the magic number when stress lowers for mothers. Who would’ve thought?
I believe this is in part because with four kids, you definitely has to let some things go, and assume you just can’t do it all. On the other hand, I think with four or more kids, you have to be organized and disciplined, there’s no choice. Being organized, helps reduce the stress and last minute fights and rumbles.
This week, I have two of my friends’ children living with us due to a family emergency, and I’ve been more relaxed than ever before. Even though I’m now in charge of 5 kids instead of 3. I am more organized and things get done in time because I plan ahead, which is giving me time to have smoother mornings, bedtimes, and plenty of time to connect with the kids.
I’ve always wanted a big family, but I don’t think I could get my husband on board to have my children, despite the clear benefits 🙂
What are your thoughts? Did your third one threw you for a loop? What do you think is the perfect number of kids?
Much love, Diana-