Why everyone should have three children

Posted Tuesday 25th February 2014   By Ericka Waller

So according to an article in the Express, three is the magic number when it comes to having children. This is despite some parents describing a third child as ‘an indulgence’ and ‘the equivalent of a third wheel: unnecessary, unwieldy, and surplus to requirements’.

Mums of three children tend to be more stressed than mums of two. Well knock me down with a feather! Mums of four however, are less stressed than mums of three as they have gone so far past the point of control, they learn to just roll with the punches. How comforting, yet slightly confusing.

If a third child is an indulgent third wheel, what on earth is a fourth?

I am one of three children. My husband is one of three children. We both knew we wanted to create the same family dynamic we had growing up. I love having two siblings.

There is always someone to call when I want to chat or moan, or cry. When we are together it’s all old stories and jokes and laughing. I take great comfort from my brothers. I feel part of a special group. I wanted the same for my children. Friends for life. Shoulders to turn to. Hands to hold.

I quite like the madness of being outnumbered. Plus, no one expects you to have brushed hair or clean clothes on when you have three kids. There is always a good excuse for getting out of things you don’t want to go to.

People tell you how brave you are all the time (whilst secretly thinking how stupid). The house is full of giggling and feet slapping on  floorboards and high-pitched noises.

Yes getting out the door is a nightmare and dinner times are messy and loud. Bedtimes are long and protracted and one of them always wakes up in the night, then wakes the others too. Car journeys are loud and frequented with toilet stops. The washing pile is bigger than me. I am always packing or unpacking a lunch-box. There is always an un-flushed poo down the loo. I can never find a matching pair of wellies.

But we wedge in the bath together, and I look at all the star-shaped hands I made, and all the little feet. I feel immeasurably proud and excited for them all. Three girls together, all close in age. How wonderful for them. Oh the trials they will go through together. Long after I am gone, they will have a team behind them, holding them up.

Three children is a gift, and if anyone ever calls my baby a third wheel, her older sisters will knock their block off.