The Differences in Parenting a First and a Third Child

three kids

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

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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.

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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.

About the writer

Myndee is an almost 30 (by that she means 33) year old mom who recently left her career to stay home with her three kids, ages 4 and under. She writes over at Random Myn about whatever random thing that crosses her mind- anything from politics to parenting. She’s not a raging alcoholic, though her Instagram kind of makes her look like one.

From Around the Web

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Renee 7 months ago

For injuries in our house:

For the first 5 minutes of an injury:
First child: Swoop in an kiss the boo-boo to make it all better.
Second child: Spend first five minutes putting first child in time-out.
Third child: “You’re hurt? You know where the ice packs are. Shut the freezer when you are done.”

Michelle Oberheim 7 months ago

Do you think some things change if other kids are in school? If we had a third child he/ she would have me to his/her self. I have an almost 10 year old son & 5 year old daughter.

Lisa McHugh 8 months ago

I have 5 kids.
No further comment.

Samantha 8 months ago

I have 6 kids been the same from 1-6! Very strict parent, same rules, same routines I’ve had for all :) never really cared if they fell unless I seen blood lol

Celine 8 months ago

You are a brave soul. I have a 2 1/2 yr old and an 8 month old and my legs will be firmly closed for business for at least another year.

Yaiyo52 8 months ago

Live it! Love it

Deb Jones Melkonian 8 months ago

Four months in and this is so.damn.true.

Kathryn Jane 8 months ago

were we not JUST talking about this haha

Lucia Lakatos 8 months ago

The fourth child is even better!!! Lol

Lori West 8 months ago

So so so true!!!

Dorina C Albion 8 months ago

I just think it’s different now because we have digital photo books, and we print ours now.

Brooke-melinda Parker 8 months ago

My first got baby so much and I didn’t let her do squat by herself, my second one was almost as bad my third I let it happen

Brooke Rushton Haslam 8 months ago


Robin Smith 8 months ago

I just hope someday there is a service that just pulls all my stuff from fb and makes a book! That would be perfect! Lol

Chris Allen Hope 8 months ago

Child falls down and scrapes knee:
1st child: take them to the Dr to make sure they don’t need antibiotics, after all you’ve seen people get blood poisoning over less.
2nd child: administer first aid in the bathroom with neosporin and bandage.
3rd child: “Oh honey, just pat some dirt on that. It will help it clot faster. ” true story.

Jennifer McKinley 8 months ago

Lol. True, true.

Amanda LaBeau Milbert 8 months ago

Glad to know I am not the only one, went from two kids to four with a ten yr age gap. Kids 3&4 have only had professional pics once and don’t even have a baby book. So different from the first!

Nicole Gabriella 8 months ago

My third childs catch phrase is, “Mom, you forgot me…again.” Poor kid, he stopped attempting to talk over his siblings years ago. In this house, the squeaky wheel always seems to get the grease

Karen Langhauser 8 months ago

hell, I haven’t even completed my wedding scrapbook, 30 years on…oh, well…

Jessica Dennis 8 months ago

What if your first child IS your third child?

Lynda Knopf Schulze 8 months ago

Actually my 3rd has the most filled in baby book, because I know she’s my last, so I’m cherishing every single second of it! And to be honest, i don’t like any of my kids eating dirt!

Elizabeth Dale 8 months ago

Oh sweet jesus! Im dying at how accurate these are lol the falling one just happened in fact, #3 just laughed, she knows momma isnt coming for a bump

Susan Marie Bray 8 months ago

So funny, but true….I’m the third “extra” child, but I must say, Paige’s baby book is complete!

Karen Jackson 8 months ago

Exception to this rule when you have a big gap between your second and third kiddo! I have an 11 yr gap and I have more pics and memorabilia for this baby than I did for the first two combined! I’m in a better place financially and have more time to do all the fun stuff!

Deirdrah DeanQuinting Racine 8 months ago

I just handed my third child (13 mo) some toast and a fruit pouch in his highchair then told my 5 yr old “come and get me if your brother starts choking” and walked into the living room (I can still hear them). I was just thinking “wow, the first time mom me from 13yrs ago is judging me so hard right now!” Then I saw this. So funny. Poor third kids

Regina Rogowskyj 8 months ago

I got a baby book for #3 :)

Camille Parker Grow 8 months ago

I’m a third child and I totally know :) never felt anything but loved!

Barbara McLaughlin Barnaby 8 months ago

Thanks 😉

Heidi Perkins 8 months ago

My 3 and 4 keep asking where their books are by time they came along we daycare 8 others. Don’t love them any less just had more to do.

Sarah Walker 8 months ago

None of my kids have a baby book.

Tracey Baker Birch 8 months ago

My first two were twins… 3rd didn’t have a chance.

Melissa Dawn 8 months ago

If I had to document and photograph milestones for each of the three I would be living life behind the lens of a camera or with my head down writing. Unfortunately the day isn’t unlimited and living life in the moment is much more important.

Katie 8 months ago

Haha!! My husband said well…we’re definitely on track with the education then haha

Autumn Countermine Schultz 8 months ago


Paola Esparza 8 months ago

So true

Kristy Campbell 8 months ago

I would never be this kind of mom. I breast fed my kids till they were two. My kids are all well behaved. They always eat all the vegetables on their plate. They never fight. They always listen to me…..

Who am I kidding, lol!!!! We have to pick and choose our battles with our children. All I know is I have a happy home and it sounds a little like the story I just read!!!! Jesus has made me the mother that I am today. I’m very thankful and blessed for all my kids, and all the craziness that goes on inside my messy home, lol

Janet Jacobson Fleming 8 months ago

I’m a third child. All I can say is that it’s a good thing there were school pictures!

Maria Ditore Earp 8 months ago

Very true!

Karen Jones 8 months ago

Yeah but they have way more digital pictures than the first 2

Itzel Alvarado 8 months ago

I have 3, a 10 YO, an 8 YO and a 8 week old, with my baby is as if it was the first one, in fact, I have not done some things for her out of complete guilt… cause I never did them with the older ones. :/

Vicki 8 months ago

My #3 was twins! So I went from 2 to 4! People look at my crew and make comments like “how are you so calm?” “Boy do you have your hands full!” “I bet they keep you busy!”

I am def a more relaxed mom than I was with with my first! If I wasn’t I would be going crazy. You learn to live in the moment and enjoy them messes and all!

Denice Murphy Graves 8 months ago

All you moms with overflowing baby books, I’ve got tons of pictures, keepsakes, etc – all stuffed in boxes for each of my 3. I’ll gladly give it to someone else to make pretty and organized. Any takers?

Melissa Vasquez 8 months ago

So true.

Laura Duffey 8 months ago

That’s why I never did a baby book for my first one. Who actually ever completes one?

Kate Junk 8 months ago

So, what’s it say if I parent my first like this article says a third child is parented?

Mary Pallagi 8 months ago

“The Dr. is calling you, because you forgot to schedule a well visit”. Sooo true!!!

Amanda Beacom 8 months ago

I’m a mother of 3. When my first child ate dirt I rushed her to the ER, thinking how sick she could get. When my second child ate dirt I washed his mouth out. When my third child ate dirt I thought, maybe I don’t have to cook dinner!

Sue King 8 months ago

You all are so blessed to have cell phone cameras and twitter, facebook, etc. you record more info than we ever could have in those baby books..

Susie Chadwick 8 months ago

I didn’t have a smart phone until just before my third child was born. There are way more pictures of her.

Chrissie Quez 8 months ago

I really need to work on my 2nds baby book, he is going to be 3

Melinda Campbell 8 months ago

All 4 of mine have full baby books, keepsake boxes, and photo albums. I want them to have that when they are older!

Sarah Brown 8 months ago


Sarah Brown 8 months ago

I WISH I could be more like this. My two are teens and I still freak at the slightest thing. Maybe if I’d had a third it would be different. Hmmm…

Nicole Lynn 8 months ago

I dunno I spaced mine so much it was almost like starting over (5 years!) so #2 had a baby book and all the same stuff as #1, and now that #2 is 4, if I did have another it would be 5 years spacing again (not planned that way just the way it happened!) I think too many back to back will make it much harder to do all the pictures unless you are a photographer and just love it and get joy out of it

Kay Mahoney 8 months ago

Just the title made me LOL! Mother of 4, with a set of twins as 2 and 3, this really applies to my last baby girl! Poor thing, very few pics of her taken!

Adrienne Armstrong Frossard 8 months ago

All four of our kids have been treated like the third kid in this post… Though to be fair, when your first child has a life threatening illness and disabilities, Pinterest-worthy birthdays and baby books seem unimportant.

Natalie Voytek 8 months ago

I guess im a weirdo lol
All five of mine have baby books….overflowing baby books.

Debby Lewis 8 months ago

My first has a baby book, a school memories book, and a school memories box of all the cute things she made in preschool and kindergarten. The middle has a baby book and a school memories box from kindergarten and preschool. The third has a few pages finished in her baby book and her stuff has been scattered through a few different boxes since she’s only in first grade at this point. Yup, it’s different one you get outnumbered!

Jamie Grimes 8 months ago

I never did one for any of my kids. I was working and was too tired to concentrate at the end of the day. At least it will be fair for both lol

Heather Krys York 8 months ago

My sisters always told me I was adopted. I had little proof to show otherwise… maybe that’s why I stopped at 2 kids!

Victoria Ronald 8 months ago

Haha. I am more laid back now I have number 3.

Natalie Craig 8 months ago

Maybe my Facebook feed will be around in some form and my little dude can just scroll through that.

Michelle Logsdon 8 months ago

My second doesn’t even have a baby book. God help my third child, should I ever have another.

Michelle Logsdon 8 months ago

My second doesn’t even have a baby book. God help my third child, should I ever have another.

Charlene Doherty 8 months ago

Lol too true

Hannah Banana 8 months ago

My moms the 5th child. They’re not any photos of her until 3yr+ she then thought she was adopted an kept on until she was in her 30s with the joke. Lol

Tay Hardy 8 months ago

Totally different when your first kids are twins…. Lol

Katie Duval Haddock 8 months ago

Sad but true…. I let my 3rd child think the baby pictures of his brothers we have hanging in our house are him. :)

Carla Ream 8 months ago

My one and only’s baby book stopped at 4 months. Oops.

Christina Roskamp 8 months ago

I’m still working on #1 first year scrapbook, he’s 5 now. #2 haven’t even started and she’s 4.

Mindy Leach 8 months ago


Jenny Webb 8 months ago

This is so funny and spot on!!

Barbie Goff 8 months ago

I’ve always said the second one bounces!

JamesAnd Beverly Goebel 8 months ago

Yeppp lol

Paula Magão Belchior 8 months ago

I disagree! You still care! Just don’t stress and worry as much because by #3 you know a lot more! I do my best to do it as equal as possible!

Sarah White 8 months ago

Totally true

Marisa Johnson 8 months ago

Eh… they are alive, well and happy part of their days :)

Sarah Sousa Stevens 8 months ago

Good lord can I ever relate! Lol

Emily Synowiec 8 months ago

We started a journal for #1 and #2 and both fizzled. I have my pictures sorta organized on Shutterfly. But most days I can’t remember how much each baby weighed at birth! I’m solid too! #solidmomclub!

Marisa Johnson 8 months ago

Me neither Emily Synowiec! Haha! Who has that kind of time. I have a 1000 disorganized photos, a few videos and a few letters. I’m solid!

Emily Synowiec 8 months ago

I really haven’t done baby books for 1 and 2 …. Thank God for Shutterfly.

Erica Daenzer 8 months ago

So dead on!

carrie 8 months ago

Me too!

Tanya Canadiana 8 months ago

Ya that sounds about right lol

Andrea Dre Miller 8 months ago

Yes!! Im all that way with my 1st how she is with 3rd lol except education I suppose.

Jennie Ryan Faith 8 months ago

Nurse in the hospital came in with my third, I was nursing the baby, giving one of my other two something and talking on the phone to someone. She walked in, looked around and said, oh this is your third, she’ll be eating steak off the bone when she cuts her first few teeth. That Was about right!

Candace Ortiz 8 months ago


Talia Gabay-Mizrachi 8 months ago

So funny! So true!!!

Stephanie M. Moody 8 months ago

Spot on lol

Vicki Croisetiere 8 months ago


Marcielle Oppenheimer 8 months ago

I guess I’m a horrible mom as the way you are with your third I am with my first. My second is coming soon. I wonder if somehow I will be going backwards in treatment. Haha

Dan Clement 8 months ago

1st kid nap schedules, 2nd kid nap goals, 3rd kid you are in your own so sleep when you want

Samantha Guiry 8 months ago

So true!

Charene Chapman-Santiago 8 months ago

A million times true.

Abigail Casie 8 months ago

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Athena Andrzejewski 8 months ago

Being an only child myself I guess I wouldn’t know lol.

Beth Carney Burbank 8 months ago

Baby book. 1st kid- is complete up thru age 3. 2nd kid – maybe first year at best. 3rd kid – book looks brand new

Beth Carney Burbank 8 months ago

This is dead on. I have 3 kids Blood isn’t a big deal I’m just happy they r breathing

Beth Swinning 8 months ago


Susy Siswandini Widodo 8 months ago

Soooo True!

Stella Nova 8 months ago

Some things got better, some got worse. But still the best life I could imagine :) Merry Christmas

Tanya Blankenship 8 months ago

This couldn’t be more true!

Joan Wedege Lundkvist 8 months ago

I can sooo relate

Sarah Morgan 8 months ago

Yup. My first is being raised like #2 or #3 here too

Jenny Fitzmaurice 8 months ago


Green Darner 8 months ago

I tell people that my first child got the fun mama but my third child got the easy mama.

Sally Darrington-Dias 8 months ago

Or the difference between number 1 child and number 7

Misty Chandler 8 months ago

Every single one.

LaTisha Franklin 8 months ago

I can so relate to this! Here’s the kicker, I have 6 so just imagine how things are over here!

Candice Phillips Evans 8 months ago

Lol. We’re on our second. He’s meant to be our last! Hold thumbs.

Amber McCammon 8 months ago

so according to this, where is my first kid?! I have a 2nd kid? lol

Sharie Deal 8 months ago

Sounds about right

Kimberly Mendez 8 months ago

Oh wow … This just reminded me I haven’t taken my youngest to her two year check up…. Shit! Two months past due isn’t to bad

Julie Smith 8 months ago


Claire Jackson 8 months ago

Maybe I should definatly leave it to school

Julie Smith 8 months ago


Claire Jackson 8 months ago

Omg it is but completely backwards lol! Apart from education. Not sure if Ellie can right her name? X

Charlotte Francis 8 months ago

It’s so funny because it’s true.

Dawn McFarlane 8 months ago


Carrie Davis Segura 8 months ago

I have 3 kids each 6 years apart. Ones 22 now, ones 16, ones almost 10. I actually became a much better parent with each child. I’m more protective and baby the 3rd more because she’s the only girl and my last.

Rebecca Sheldon Burtt 8 months ago

This is spot on. My first I took to get professional pictures every month for the first year, and extras for holidays and birthdays. My youngest is four. She’s had pro pics done exactly once.

Margaret Arcara 8 months ago

Wow she had 3 kids 4 yrs old and younger—me too!! Totally know what she is going through!!!!! Hugs

Nicole Lynn 8 months ago

So true. I really enjoyed my second child more because I was so much less WORRIED about every single little thing!!!!! I love my first child to pieces but I’m afraid I turned her into a worry wart because I was totally that mom who was cautious as heck her first few years of life. (she was a nicu baby, so some of that was because having a first baby who is born with issues can exacerbate things 100 times more). Second kid was born w/o any health problems and I was much more chilled. Made it more fun.

mamae90 8 months ago

I have just put you on top of my prayer list and my hero’s list simultaneously.

Sabahat Mazhar 8 months ago

Totally relatable…

Jocelyn Courtney Davis 8 months ago

What does it mean when you parent your first child like it is your third!?

Ebony O’Neill 8 months ago

I get that…except there is magic between siblings. Pure magic I tell ya!

Mandy Treadway Scherer 8 months ago

Oh yes! Exactly

Lianne Penfold 8 months ago

Oh yes to everything especially the education.. I’m at baby number 5 – who can keep up??

Amber R Davis 8 months ago

That’s me 100% lol so the last one is the most well rounded and independent .

Danielle Barbour 8 months ago

By the time I had my first my best friends had 10 between the two of them. Mine is being raised like the third.

Sarah Mattson 8 months ago

According to this I’m parenting my first like it’s my third….

Gretchen Hall 8 months ago

I was the same with my last 2. When my 3rd fell off the bunk bed I just picked her up and calmed her. I went into preterm labor with 4th later that night. Next day mom called, while watching the girls, turns out she broke her collar bone.

Lori Kunak 8 months ago

Lol, so true!

Amy Misplay 8 months ago

i parent my second like this ones third….especially the doctor thing, fever? tylenols the cure, why go to a doctor, lol

Crystal Faulkner 8 months ago

So true!! I have like 4 pictures of my youngest… He’ll be 14 next month!!! Lol

Lacey Murphy 8 months ago

Lol. The well check ups!

Athena Andrzejewski 8 months ago

The more I read stuff like this the more I think one is enough and we can just focus on him and be done.

Allison Marie 8 months ago

I printed a years worth of pics for the family after my sons 1st birthday from newborn to the birthday. Wooops. And I only have 2 children. Lmao

Rebeca Rojo 8 months ago

I can relate to all of these. Especially the pictures lol. The more kids you have the less photos you take

Heather Hanna 8 months ago

Oh so true!!

Jessica Johnson 8 months ago

1st one eats something off the floor you run check panic brush their teeth etc. 2nd child eats off the floor you remove object and carry on. 3rd child, check snack off your list of things to do today :-p

Jeanne Antonelli 8 months ago

Sad but true. My fourth kid is 5 and she survived so far! lol

Paula Munoz Guzman 8 months ago

Love it!! I’ve got 3 boys. I feel so bad because they come to me not feeling well and I’m like,”well take your temp and take a Tylenol if you have a fever. You know where we keep the medicine!” Sigh…

Becky Whitton 8 months ago

This is funny i do things the way u would with kid two for my one & only bubbie

Monique 8 months ago

I’m pretty sure our youngest of 4 is in the 4th grade, but don’t quote me 😉

Gretchen Holderman 8 months ago

So much truth

Corrina Williams 8 months ago

my first i was anal retentive abut everythng. i think i paid for the doctors vacations all by myself. lol

Shawna Couture-Hedenkamp 8 months ago

Spot on! I have 4 though so we’ll see how that changes things. :)

Irene Joy Sapon 8 months ago

Hahahahaha! I so can relate. Mother of 3 here.

Roni Johnson 8 months ago

Am I a bad parent if I only have one but I parent him like he’s a third child? I didn’t have to help raise younger siblings or cousins or anything. What is wrong with me?

Natalie Norton 8 months ago

Right on! I have 4, though!:)

Debi Broniszewski Pucciarelli 8 months ago

Just the first and a little of the milestone one. But I didn’t take monthly pics, I just took way more random pics.

Megan 8 months ago

In somewhere between 2nd & 3rd (lean to the 3rd category) with my twins who were my first. I guess we’ll see how much different it is with my youngest.

Ashley Klaassen 8 months ago

I giggled through this whole article… I am guilty of a few of these.. Especially the well child checkups

Lacey Jones 8 months ago

Lol just had my second one week ago. And I thouroughly believe everything is easier with your second…except your first. I let her fuss a bit more, I have learned so much more and I dont break down if I miss seeing a bath my husband gives or something like that. Way more laid back. But my son is still my crazy first.

Samantha Cofer 8 months ago

Omg yassss!! I feel so much better now… it’s not just me!!

Sarah Hogan 8 months ago

Yeah…pretty much!

Courtney Lachine 8 months ago

This couldn’t possibly be more accurate.

Rose Marie Bogaard 8 months ago

I did make it to 3 months with photos on baby#4, but haven’t printed photos since #2 was 6 months. Baby books? Don’t ask. I can’t even remember where they are.

Gretchen Hall 8 months ago

And by the fifth I was just glad they survived

Beth Rose 8 months ago


Danielle McDonald 8 months ago

Yeap so true

Tracy Smith 8 months ago

this is so me

Metal Industry Blog 10 months ago

Actually no matter if someone doesn’t know after that its up to other people that they will assist, so
here it takes place.

Siouxqietk 11 months ago

I was more like first to 3rd on the second. The first one I fell asleep nursing, dropped him and my mom (who was visiting) had to pick him up. I was convinced he’d broken his neck, and I wanted to call an ambulance. She had to convince me he was fine. Second kid, I also fell asleep nursing and dropped, I just picked him up and was like, “meh, he’s fine.”

Jana 1 year ago

The fun continues as they all enter school:
First Child: Go to the before-the-first-day Open House, tour the whole school, meet the teachers, principal, librarian, nurse, janitor. Buy every single item on the supply list. Sign up for every slave labor (volunteer) opportunity.
Third Child: “No, we’re not going to Open House. Remember your brother’s classroom? The one where we were visiting and you threw up on all the cushions in the reading nook? That’s your room! And the lady that stood in the hall gagging while I cleaned it up? That’s your teacher! Yay! I bet she’s excited that you will be in her class! And when they pass around the sign-up sheets for parties, put me down for napkins.”
First Child: “I have to do a project!” Two weeks before it’s due, go to the craft store and spend $70 on supplies. ‘Help’ him with his project and feel proud when he (you) gets an A.
Third Child: “I have to do a project!” The night before, dump the contents of the junk drawer on the dining room table and tell her to have at it. Try to convince her that it shows more creativity to use what we already have. Feel proud that she got a B. Decide to ignore the teacher’s snarky comments about wine bottle corks being an ‘interesting’ choice of material to use in a grade school project.

Cinthia G 1 year ago

OMG…I have three and you nailed it to the T.

Susan 1 year ago

I love this! My partner and I each have 3 children, 1 biological child of our own and I have 1 that is adopted (before I got with my now partner). My partner is the youngest of his family and I am the oldest. I have been raised around a family of many children in every generation all thrown in together (it take a village to raise a child) and his family went their own way and had kids and he has the youngest of his siblings. We are always going round and round about run to aid, hovering over the children wail they do everything and how “clean” they are. Since his son has finally made it to 8 he is starting to let him go and do and get hurt and live a fun child’s life. I always hoped we’d make it to this stage, but never thought he would.

Marcie 1 year ago

With 17 years between the first and the third, the difference in parenting styles is: First child, OH NO! OMG! YOU SPILLED THE MILK!! Second child, So you spilled the milk, let’s clean it up. Third child, You wanna play in the milk it’s really fun. What used to seem earth shattering, now is no big deal.

BadMom 1 year ago

First child – Made a huge scrapbook highlighting every event and milestone including photos and momentos.
Second child – Have a calendar with stickers to mark millestones.
Third child – Bought the calendar but didn’t put in the stickers until she was 6 years old and found it still in the package.

whitehawk 2 years ago

Oh well, seems that I’m already on the third – while having only one (+ a full-time job).

Rhymes with Grace 2 years ago

I was too much with my first but I think I went straight to 3rd child mentality with my second. And he is so much more easy going than my daughter ever was.

The Pioneer Mom 2 years ago

Same here. Had twins when our oldest was 2 (has autism/adhd, too). Kudos to you for surviving the chaos!

The Pioneer Mom 2 years ago

This is perfect! We had a 2 year old son and were trying for a number 2 child. I NEVER wanted more than two children. Since God has a sense of humor, he thought it would be funny to bless us with TWINS. So, there are some times where they fit into the second child, but I was so exhausted, most of the time, they were both treated as the third. Great Post!!

Gail Eidman 2 years ago

The third child is a charm.

Bernie Eckel 2 years ago

Love it…try being the 11th :)

Beth Gibson 2 years ago

Third kids are adopted. My daughter has a fourth kid. That kid is everyone's baby. She has so many loving (dirty) arms grabbing her that her mum sees her to nurse and that's about. I'm sorry your husband had a nip.

Hallie Delcambre 2 years ago

Omg im literally crying while laughing! Im the mother of 4 sons…this is exactly my life…and all the comments below are literally killing me! Lol! Thank u bc i needed this good laugh

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

This is so true! I am the second child and I always gave my mom a hard time about having so many more pictures of my brother than she did of me. I swore I wouldn’t do that to my kids. I now have three daughters and I totally did that! (And everything else on this list!)

Melanie Mitchell Rollins 2 years ago


Sarah L Frieze-Loughery 2 years ago

I'm 40 now but I'm the youngest child. This article rings soooo true. And Molly, I am definitely more happy and more laid back than my sister, who's 5 years older than I.

Stuart 2 years ago

I was the third child and that’s exactly how is goes! There are maybe handful of baby photos of me and got away with murder!

Debbie 2 years ago

That 3rd kid has a baby book, but all that is in it is how much they weighed and how long they were. Maybe a few picture, but they just laying inside the book.
later you say, “sorry honey i didn’t have time to write in it”.

Lot of truth in this post. After they get to school, (high school) it gets even harder to go to all there sporting events, etc. As for room mother,(in elementary) not again.

Scott 2 years ago

My third is my second wife’s first. Trying to figure out the math here.
Actually helps me rediscover all the joys and terrors of No. 1.

Jessie Chang 2 years ago

I had 3 kids age 4 and under…now I have a 5 year old in kindergarten and a 2 and 1 year old…things really haven't improved much…especially since we're on this thing called a schedule (im a stay at home mom)…but the above article is so true…and another thing is that we actually start slacking on the older kids as more come along too…oh well…we love them, they love us…i hope ;).

Bobbi Bivens 2 years ago


The “How Not To” Guide To Parenting and Marriage 2 years ago

First child: everything they touch taste or smell must be triple sanitized.
Third child: can eat dog poop, and your biggest concern is that they brush their teeth afterwards so they don't have doo-doo breath.

Mebyne Boyd 2 years ago

Had twins when my son was barely 3. Thank heavens for cameras or I wouldn't remember a thing

Rebecca Burton 2 years ago

My daughter was 13 months old when the boys (twins) were born. I don't remember anything about that following year. Like nothing….

Myndee 2 years ago


Justine Burgess 2 years ago

It appears that even though I have only one, I went straight to "third child" parenting. LOL.

Myndee 2 years ago

That’s kind of awesome, lol.

Triplezmom 2 years ago

My first two were 15 months apart, so my slacking started with the second kid and while I thought I’d be better with the third coming a full two and a half years after the second, I was so, so, wrong. But now my kids are 8, 7 and almost 5 and other mothers are always impressed by how calm and together I am. After my first 5 years of parenthood, everything seems like a cake walk now!

Shona Atkinson-Bird 2 years ago

Same here, son was nearly four when twin daugthers arrived. I remember their first birthday as omigod what happened this year it was such a blur.

Annette 2 years ago

I agree. You actually have a legitimate reason to be neurotic. The rest of us just do it for funsies.

Annette 2 years ago

You just described my life (except mine were all under 3, which only proves that I’m just slightly more crazy), including the vasectomy to stop the insanity. My youngest is so self-sufficient that she resorted to gnawing on apple cores from the trash and eating roly-polies from the yard if we didn’t get her a snack quickly enough. At least we know she’ll never starve.

Molly D. Barber 2 years ago

I love this. I have 3. But you neglect to mention that 3rd children are also often the happiest, laid back well adjusted kids you will ever meet.

Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

This had me laughing out loud!

It’s also the reason I stopped at two! 😉

Stephanie Bondurant 2 years ago

LOL. Funny thing is I did much of that with my 2nd kid. Although birthdays were ALWAYS with family.

Jennifer Plotner 2 years ago

Sounds about right.

Lori Smith 2 years ago

I second that. My oldest was 3-1/2 when I had twins. I fondly remember middle of the night feedings with my daughter, leisurely taking walks, etc. I don't remember a single night-time feeding of my boys. I must've done it – they grew. Hell, they're 8 and she's 12 now. They got food from somewhere…

Myndee 2 years ago

No way, girl. Having kids in the NICU (preemies, right?), that will change you to the core. I’m sure you’re doing GREAT for your girls. Though, I won’t say adding another wouldn’t be fun. 😉

Myndee 2 years ago

Oh my. I’m pretty sure I would be committed….or my “happy hour” would begin at noon ever day.

ButteryMuffyn 2 years ago

With our first we were oh so careful with everything, whether it was food or toys or outings, whatever, taking pictures of the tiniest thing. By the time we got to #4 we were all like “Sure, go juggle those knives, just do it quietly” :)

Susan 2 years ago

I love your blog! I’m so glad I found it. Posts like this so make me chuckle even though I’m now living the teen years with my kids. Thanks for your honesty and humor!

Tina Bietler@One Tired Working Mommy 2 years ago

So funny and yet totally true. For my first it was even worse. I had already been teaching first grade for 5 years. I already knew kids fell, got sick and all that stuff. So when he became mobile and would fall down I would literally tell him to “Shake it off, you’ll be fine.”

Cara Eglinton 2 years ago

Spot on!

April Roberts 2 years ago

I still go all out for birthdays for all 3 even though I'm starting to wish I never started in the first place lol. As for everything else, totally my life.

Mama 2 years ago

This post is part of the reason I’d like to have another child – surely I can do this in a way that’s more enjoyable for us all! I’ve made this MUCH more difficult and stressful than it needs to be. Our pediatrician made rounds on the NICU babies before they were discharged so that he would be familiar with their situations and histories prior to the anxious mom arrival at their office. I always called during pumping sessions to get the latest updates and stats. One morning around 6 AM our Ped was rounding on the girls and offered to give me the updates. Within a minute of our conversation he sighed and said, “We’re going to have to desensitize you.” Yeah, I was kind of a nut.

Judy Denzer 2 years ago

Now make that 3rd one twins and all under the age of 5. I can't remember anything about the twins first year or anything that happened that year.

Jessica Smock 2 years ago

Yes, I would have loved to hear more about sleep differences! And obsession with napping. So true!

Maureen Wallace 2 years ago

I think I may have skipped the second-child approach and arrived immediately at the third-child approach, even before he’s here. But, to my credit, by this time I know the difference between an “ouchie-I-want-attention” cry and a “oh-dear-God-mama-my -limbs-are-pinned-inside-furniture” scream. I’m good like that.

Joanne 2 years ago

You forgot sleep training and nap obsession.

1st kid is home for every nap and times and durations are obsessively charted and graphed.

2nd kid is lucky to get cat naps in the car while driving to errands or drop 1st kid off at activities.

3rd kid is familiar with every late night talk show television host and often puts YOU to bed.

AnneB 2 years ago

Oh thank GOD there’s someone else here like me. My first fell off the changing table at Gramma’s onto the concrete floor when he was 8 months old. Gramma freaked out and insisted he be taken to the ER. I was all, “Meh. He’s not crying anymore? Eyes aren’t dilated? Didn’t lose consciousness? Nothing obviously broken? He’s fine.”

Jennifer @ Also Known As…the Wife 2 years ago

Amy, I am the same way with my kids. Thank God we won’t be having any more…I imagine they would be more like outside cats…only coming home for meals.

Wendy 2 years ago

As a ninth child myself, I was kind of raised by my older sisters (the oldest was almost 16 when I was born!), but my mom tried to not put too much responsibility on them. I never cried because my every need was always met almost immediately! My mom always said every third child was the easiest! But new outfits, birthday parties, etc….forget it! I got hand-me-downs (as did most of us), and family-only birthday celebrations.

Maria 2 years ago

I have a 20month old. A 4month old and expecting twins!! Lol deff the more u have the more relaxed you makes parenting easier and the kids aren’t so stressed like the first one.

Marta 2 years ago

HA. I only have two (though I want a third at some point) but this was still sooo spot on. And reminded me that I need to think about my daughter’s upcoming birthday party.

Heather Pollock Hose 2 years ago

That sounds about right! Exactly right! Except the 3rd kid scenerio in this story actually happened with my 2nd kid. So your doing a lot better then me! LOL

Myndee 2 years ago


Debby Lewis 2 years ago

We do the first three in the home surrounded by family and friends. At 4 they all were in preschool and we had classmates to invite so the parties moved out of the home. That way there was less stress on momma!

Debby Lewis 2 years ago

OMG this is my life almost to a T. When I was about to be discharged after the birth of my third girl, yes you read that right THIRD GIRL, the head nurse came in to give me the "Safety Speech" and I looked at her and said, "This is my third child. I have managed to raise the other two to the house broken stage. I think I can manage with this one as well. I do not worry unless I see one of three things, bleeding, bone protrusion, or brain matter. Bleeding you have to stop, bone protrusion you should get set quickly and well, with brain matter, it doesn't matter if you have a medevac in your backyard, it's not going to help!" She looked at me like I had just grown two additional heads. But she got the point and saved her breath. Told me to sign on the line and said enjoy the newest member of the family!

Traci 2 years ago

I am cracking up at the thing about photographs. My first daughter had her portrait taken on EVERY SINGLE POSSIBLE HOLIDAY in an outfit purchased just for the occasion. And sometimes in matching outfits with her cousin, my sisters first daughter. My poor second daughter cries every time we have a project to do where she needs pictures of herself! My son is my third but my husbands first so he gets a little more attention being the only boy and all. But one day he dropped a mozzarella stick at a restaurant and was about to eat it anyway when the next table over freaked out. I took it away from him real quick, but as soon as they left a few minutes later, I let him eat the cheese stick!

Myndee 2 years ago

She will forgive you if you buy me a car. It’s true. She told me.

Myndee 2 years ago

That’s kind of great though. I think I’m a better mom being more relaxed about everything…only I was forced to relax because of all the kids. You are free to have another if you wish. 😉

Myndee 2 years ago

LOL. Mine are still too little to not have eyes on them at the playground, but I can see something similar happening in my future.

Lynn from For Love or Funny 2 years ago

Oops. I’m guilty of many of those parenting observations between first and last child. Maybe my youngest will forgive me if I buy her a car…

Amy – Funny is Family 2 years ago

I treat my first kid more like a second kid, and my second more like a third. Like you, I imagine it would be unwise for me to have another.

Thanks for the laugh!

Frankie Lawson 2 years ago

Don’t forget discipline. First kid: you chastise them immediately (especially in public). Second kid: you yell from across the playground, “Hey, cut it out.” Third kid: you assume he’s probably still in the playground, but you don’t bother to check until it’s time to leave.

I’m only guessing of course. I have two kids.

My 3yo daughter is so “I do it on my own,” she put herself in timeout.