Family

If There’s a Magic Number of Kids to Have, It’s Definitely *Not* This

Survey says it's the recipe for stress.

What do Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Garner, Kate Middleton, The Real Housewives of Orange County’s Meghan King Edmonds, and The Real Housewives of DallasBrandi Redmond all have in common?

Answer: They all have three kids. 

As it turns out, having three kids makes moms the most stressed of any combination of kids, according to a TODAY Parents survey. Mothers of three (naturally) reported more stress than parents of one or two kids ... but moms with four or more little ones actually reported lower stress levels. 

Children’s life coach and author of The Parent's Toolkit, Naomi Richards, tells Personal Space why moms of three report higher stress levels, and explains how the family dynamic changes with three kids.

She says that in 2018, most people having view three children as brave, because you only have so much energy to spend throughout the day, and having three to look after is incredibly hard.

“I think some people think that you are brave to have three children rather than just have two,” Richards says. “Having children in this decade is a challenge as there are so many external influences and distractions and you need to keep check of where they are, what they are doing yet you only have one set of eyes. You also have less time for three children than you would one or two. Some people think it is easier as three children can amuse each other and the oldest can help take care of the other two. It can be more fun yet it can also be more challenging. Three different personalities and competitiveness.”

Which is exactly what Kim went through on a recent Keeping Up With the Kardashians episode, when she found her husband, Kanye West, along with their kids North and Saint, were all competing for her attention after the family welcomed baby Chicago into the mix.

Three kids changes the family dynamic, because parents can only split their time so many ways.

“They get less time with mom and dad, that's probably the main [way it changes the family]. One can feel left out if two get on well. Different interests of each time and therefore different activities to take them to and each child wants a piece of you. The third child often has to get slotted in the older children's routine and therefore is said to be the 'easy' child. They sleep anywhere and go along with what the rest of the family are doing when they are young. The eldest child may step up and enjoy being the big sibling and want to help mom and dad. They could also resent the youngest as they get to spend lots of time with mom or dad when they are young.”

Why is this combination of kids considered to be so hard? Well, Richards says, you’re splitting your time and attention three ways, and that can feel impossible.

“I think it depends on the type of person you are. If you are laid back then no. But some things are easier like mom can spend time with one child and the other can spend time with dad. You can’t do that with three kids. Your children all need you and they all have different needs and that means spreading yourself thinly,” she says.

And remember, celebs with three kids make it look easier than it is, with the help of around the clock nannies and a staff for the house.

“They all have some kind of help — either cooks, nannies or au pairs. They are so focused on their main job that we don't see them that much with their children although that seems to be changing with the royals, Kate especially.”

One survey on moms of three asked 50 moms what it was like. Interestingly enough, most said the third was an “oops” child, many others said they "felt their family wasn't complete" until number three. The biggest worries when number three came along were having enough time for each child and having enough money. Things “eased up considerably after the first six months to a year, though no-one said that these issues ever completely go away.”

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All Posts About:
Brandi Redmond Meghan King Edmonds Jennifer Garner Kate Middleton Kim Kardashian Family Parenting

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