The Differences in Parenting a First and a Third Child

by Myndee
Originally Published: 
Two blonde boys kissing their baby brother on each cheek while he's crying

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how differently we approach things now that we have three kids versus having one or two. When I say we, I mean ME. Maybe you guys have it more together than I do. If so, I’m happy for you and not at all jealous. These days, I’m just striving for them to be clean(ish) and fed. When we had only one kid though, my parenting was vastly different…

Monthly Photos

First kid: Take a cute picture of your child on their “monthday” holding a sign or wearing month stickers on their onesie. Second kid: Get most of the monthly photos, but skip a couple; may or may not have props or cute clothes. Third kid: Not.A.Chance


First kid: Photo cards for every occasion, including Valentine’s Day and Easter with pictures of our baby, sent out to friends and family. Second kid: Celebrate Valentine’s Day and all the other non-big holidays, but no one gets custom cards. Third kid: SHIT, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow? Run to the store at 11:00pm for box cards, and hope your kids get good stuff at school since only the reject candy was left at the store.

First Birthday Party

First kid: Meticulously planned, Pinterest worthy first birthday celebration, complete with smash cake and photo session. Second kid: First birthday party at home. Third kid: First birthday cake with family (sorry, honey.)


First kid: Diligently teach them everything kids their age should know, and a little more. Second kid: Try to teach them what you can, but don’t sweat it…they’ll learn. Third kid: Wonder “when did he learn THAT?”


First kid: Call the doctor for every sniffle or fever. Second kid: Call the doctor sometimes. Third kid: The doctor is calling you because you missed another well visit.


First kid: Read up on what milestones they should be meeting and worry if they miss something. Second kid: Think, huh…I guess that’s about when the first one started doing x,y,z. Third kid: Meh. He’ll get it eventually.


First kid: Oh, no, she fell! Rush to her side, look for signs of a concussion, give meds, and put a call into the doctor “just in case”. Second kid: He fell! Go to him, look for blood or bumps and determine he’s okay. Third kid: He fell. He’ll get up.

Thank God my husband got a vasectomy after that last one; I don’t think a fourth would make it…at least not without more therapy than we can afford.

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