Why 1 Kid is Harder Than 3, and reasons why you should have another baby!
Confession time: I was getting cocky. I listened to some new moms talk about how difficult their lives were with one child, and I scoffed.
In my head I thought (imagine my little thought bubble popping up)…”I have 3 kids, and you have no idea.” Although I was sensitive to their transition to this new adventure, and supportive of all of the changes their bodies were going through, I was less than sensitive to their complaints about bedtimes, clothing, and playing…for ONE baby.
Well…just like you would expect, I got a dose of humble pie only a few days later.
Somehow, I ended up at home with only 1 child while I was trying to get ready one morning. I slept in an extra few minutes knowing that I only needed to dress, feed, and shoe ONE child rather than THREE. I relaxed my vigilance knowing that there wouldn’t be 3 kids fighting, ignoring me, or leaving a trail of toys through every room.
Within just a few minutes, I realized that I had forgotten how difficult one child can be and calculated all the reasons why you, mother of one, should have another baby!
ONE CHILD MIGHT BE HARDER THAN THREE
Within just a few minutes, he had climbed into the shower with me, gotten all of the cotton swabs out of the drawer, climbed up the bunk bed ladders, played in the toilet, and knocked down the freshly folded clothes.
I had gotten too cocky, and I learned my lesson. Now running behind, frustrated with myself and my child, I left the house late wishing that my other children were home because it would be easier to have all 3! What a realization!
This led me to think about all the reasons why multiple children can be easier than a single child. If you are concerned about having more children because you are overwhelmed by 1, take heart. Multiple children does not necessarily multiply the work. In fact, it might even make your life a little easier.
WHY MULTIPLE CHILDREN MIGHT BE EASIER THAN ONE
Here are my top reasons why multiple children are easier than 1 child.
1. They entertain each other.
First, and probably foremost, when you have multiple children, at some point, they are old enough to play together. This might even happen far earlier than you expect. Even my 5/6 month old baby would play with his/her older siblings.
The big kids love to play peekaboo, teach letters, and even “read” books to the littler one.
While I am getting ready in the morning, I often find them creating some new game, putting blocks together as a group, or even playing hide and seek. This keeps them entertained but out of my cotton balls, my makeup, and the shower.
My three kids can be a hassle to get ready and out the door, but one kid might actually be more difficult if you are trying to get ready yourself. Now, they are each other’s best friends, enemies, and allies. I love how close in age they are and how they share in so many important and mundane moments.
When they are all waiting for me in the morning, they can all play together instead of asking you to be their entertainment.
2. Big kids are a major help.
My older kids aren’t quite old enough to babysit the younger kids, but ever since I had my second child, the older kids have always been willing to help.
This could mean replenishing diapers when the diaper station runs out. Or, it could mean making sure that a child is entertained long enough for me to run to the restroom. Help could even come in the form of just putting more Goldfish on the tray when the younger child runs out so I can finish dinner.
At any rate, my older children have always willingly taken on small tasks that make parenting a second and a third child just a little bit easier. These little helps can be just the little break or assistance I need to make my day a little more manageable.
And, one day, you might find that those big kids are old enough to babysit!
Recently, one of my friends with older children was able to start leaving her youngest at home with an older teenage sibling. It was the first time in over a decade that the couple didn’t have to hire a babysitter just to go to dinner.
Having more children can actually provide more helping hands even if it means a little more work in other areas.
3. They encourage each other.
Yes, they encourage each other in a warm and gentle way sometimes, but they also provide a level of peer pressure that I can’t provide. Siblings challenge and encourage each other to new activities or even eating new and different foods.
For example, just a few weeks ago, one of my children was going for her first dentist appointment. Terrified of what the dentist might do or say, she begged me not to take her.
Enter the big brother.
He came right up to her and explained that the dentist was nice, that she must keep her teeth clean and healthy, and that she would get a prize if she was good. He even explained to her that they have cartoons at the dentist.
After the pep talk from her big brother, nevermind the encouragement from her mother, she walked confidently into the dentist’s office. Knowing that her big brother had already safely been through the dentist without any scars and with a new toothbrush to boot, she decided she was up for the challenge.
Having an older sibling might encourage your younger kids in new, different, and even scary new adventures.
4. They tattle on each other.
Sometimes your multiple children are a great help in encouraging each other. However, at other times, they are your best watch dogs. A blessing and a curse sometimes.
“Sissy is jumping on the bed.” “Little brother is sneaking treats.” “Big brother hit me.”
I don’t see every little thing that my children do wrong, but you better believe that their siblings do. And, when the infraction is serious enough for intervention, I can rely on my covert operatives to let me know.
Having multiple children can be a big help in the discipline arena.
5. Doing something for one child might be just as much work as doing it for 3.
When I first started making baby food and toddler meals, all the effort that I was putting into it frustrated me. Now, making 3-6 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is just as easy as making 1 or 2.
In reality dragging out the ingredients and the utensils takes just as much time for 1 as 3. Preheating the oven takes as much time regardless of how many meals you are making, and grocery shopping for 5 takes as much time as grocery shopping for 3.
Extend this same principle to so many other areas as well. Bathtime: put more than one child in the tub at a time. Bedtime: read one book to multiple children. Playing outside: take all to the park.
Just because you have multiple children does not necessarily mean that all of the task times multiply. If you are already doing one thing, you might not find it harder to take 10 kids instead of just 3. (Well…maybe I shouldn’t go that far!)
6. They use each other hand me downs and share toys.
Beyond the time and effort, having 3 kids is not necessarily triple the cost either.
Did you register for some must-have baby item just to have your child outgrow it mere weeks later? Did one of your family members buy you that oh-so-adorable outfit that never got worn?
Having a second, third, or fourth child gives you a second, third, or fourth opportunity to use that item or outfit.
Furthermore, the investment you made into furniture, toys, or equipment doesn’t have to double or triple with the second and third child. Instead, they use the same furniture, toys, and equipment that the older sibling broke in.
Maybe that toy your firstborn never played with will become your secondborn’s most beloved treasure.
So, having multiple children doesn’t have to multiply the expense or even the stuff, but instead, gives you the chance to use the prior items for the younger kids.
Use the same Ergo for all your children. Pass down those shoes that were barely worn, and let all the kids rotate through the little silverware.
Unfortunately, this same principle doesn’t necessarily apply to things like college savings, groceries, or school fees. However, there are plenty of things that you buy for child 1 that you never have to purchase for children 2, 3, 4, etc. Thus, 3 children might not always be more expensive than 1.
CONSIDERING MORE CHILDREN?
Are you a momma overwhelmed by one child? Wondering about whether multiple children are for you? Well, I can honestly say from experience that one child is overwhelming, and that I never have any idea what I am doing even with 3.
However, I can honestly also admit that having 3 children is not always more difficult than 1. And, I can also admit that sometimes 1 child is far more difficult than 3.
Sure, there are some things that are more difficult, like the amount of fighting or lost shoes. But, there are a whole lot of other things that are actually easier with 3.
Sending a big brother out to check on what the little brother is doing rather than me having to get up again. Asking a child to grab a few extra diapers from another room so I don’t have to carry a bare-bum baby there. And, recycling all of those baby products are some of the bonuses of having multiple children.
I don’t believe that you will ever regret having more children. However, you might regret not having more. If you are a mommy on the fence about more children, consider that multiple children might actually be easier in some ways than one.
But, that’s just my opinion!
Do you feel like you have no idea what you are doing as a parent? Well, here is some proof that I have NO IDEA what I am doing!!