Life with Three Kids: Relishing Sweetness, Coping with Stress

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this three kids thing

Can we talk about life with three kids for a second? Because it’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

For one thing, the cuteness is off the radar. It’s like all the love and delight a child brings TIMES THREE. It’s a lot to handle –a heart-bursting, overwhelming sort of joy that almost hurts.

It’s so good!

But life with three kids is also a new kind of hard.

Now I have more kids than hands, so if someone decides not to cooperate when we’re out and about, I feel overwhelmed.

Like when we’re playing at a park and it’s time to go, and I say, “Come here. We’re leaving!” and they giggle and run back up the playground structure… If you’re thinking of bringing your kids to a playground, make sure it has Playground Resurfacing. It helps prevent boo-boos and makes playtime more fun!

Because wrangling and disciplining two kids *running* away from me, in a public place, all while toting a baby who is in a questionable state by the end of park play is tough.

Giving up is not an option, so I draw another deep breath and push forward. I’m glad my big kids are being pushed to obey with new immediacy and learning increased personal responsibility.

And since Emily’s been born, the mental breaks just. aren’t. there.

Like when I say, “I need some space,” grab the crying baby and bolt from the room where the other two littles are jumping on the bed and gleefully throwing the laundry I just sorted, inadvertently landing a pair of shorts across my face.

And the 4-year-old emphatically parrots, “I need some space too!” only to follow me from the room, trailed by her little brother, to continue talking at and climbing on me while I attempt to nurse the baby.

So, yeah, that’s how it’s going.

Being a mom to three kids is more heart-filling than I expected. I feel rich! But being a mom to three kids is also harder than I expected.

It’s better and harder all at the same time.

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I am so thankful for each of my children. They are precious and I wouldn’t trade them for anything! However, there is an underlying stress there, and I’m feeling its effects.

Thankfully, I’m also finding some good ways to cope with that stress as I continue acclimating to this new life.

How I’m Coping with the Stress of Mothering Three Kids

  • Establishing a weekly Sabaath. I wrote about this recently. This is giving me some sense of rest. It’s hard to be consistent, because I’m reliant on others’ schedules, but I’m fighting for it.
  • Getting up before my kids. Through waking up before my kids I’m gaining a sense of control. I’m able to spend time with God in the mornings. I crave it, and it steadies me.
  • Tidying and de-cluttering my main living areas every night. This gives me a sense of order. Although I’m more worn out than ever, it’s been worth it to push through and make myself do this. I’ve completed 45 days in a row without missing a single day (I use an app called Commit to track this goal).
  • Going for walks alone or with baby Emily only. It’s a major production to take my whole crew out for a walk around the neighborhood, but by using the early morning, I’m able to leave my sleeping kids with my husband and still get out. Stretching my legs feels good. It greatly relieves my stress. I walk hard, and it helps me start out the day more relaxed and with a smile.
  • Giving myself a bit of grace with TV watching. Many of us strictly limit our kids’ screen time for many good reasons. However, God is humbling me of whatever pride I may have taken in this area. For this season of a new baby, I’m allowing more TV into our day, specifically as I feel myself reaching breaking points of overwhelm. And you know what? As hard as it is to admit, it’s not going to harm them.

I’m going to make it. There are many absolutely delightful moments. I don’t want to miss those moments.

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It’s an adjustment, and I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but I know I’ll get there.

What’s your advice or encouragement for us moms of three kids trying to get a handle on life?


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  1. Alana Lumsden says:

    I am going through this as well and it’s good to be able to relate to someone. My youngest is only three months and I think I might start looking more into faith as it’s something I haven’t had in my life, I am needing something to relieve my stress as a single mum of 4 under 5. Will agree that it’s definitely worth everything I do 🙂

  2. Ashley says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I just had my third child a week ago. I too have a 4 and 2 year old and I’m a bit nervous as to how it will all go when Daddy goes back to work and the two big kids come home from Grandma’s 🙂 I think you’ve got great ideas in place and I will definitely try them!
    I would piggy back and say to lower my expectations (perfectionism) a bit and rest and know that this is only a season. I’m going to focus on my growing kiddos and not so much the dishes or matching socks. Oh, and I’m going to cut back on out-of-the-house activities. Which is going to be hard for me, but it’s only a season 😉

  3. Vivian says:

    I am about to join the 3 children group! My third being due in Dec. My 4yr and 2yr olds are a joy but they do thrive with structure. Being pregnant and all that comes with that and moving house, has certainly upset our usual structure. I’ve been reading a few of your blogs this morning, and I’m inspired to develop a new routine in this house before bub comes and i have to start again!

    Thank you for sharing your journey and allowing God to use you in ways you will possibly never realize!

    • Awesome Vivian!! Thank you so much for the encouragement! I know you will benefit from pushing through and finding structure in this season. I still maintain that it was more difficult to be pregnant with two kids than to feel back-to-normal and have three! Many, many blessings with your growing family!

  4. Grace says:

    I am not there yet, but I am about to embrace the life with 2 kids soon. From your posts, it seems like motherhood/homemaking thing is under control in your household and I would love to get more tips from you in the long run!

    And I totally agree that sometimes we need a little Sabbath — be it a me time of TV, little nap, quiet time with God, or even just a nice 15 minute spa-bath at home!!

  5. Pcart says:

    Life with 3 kids is chaos! But a blessing in itself, I adore simple quiet moments with my kids. Our bedtime routine is the best time of the day reading a book talking about there day and a big kiss and cuddle. I do have days where I think it’s all a bit much but am quickly reminded how truly blessed I am to have 3 very special Angels

    • Great perspective! I know what you mean about bedtime. Sometimes I feel especially stressed at that time (my husband isn’t always home to help), but when I don’t let myself go there, it is definitely my favorite time of day too. It’s so nice to have the quite, snuggly, one-on-one time with each of them.

  6. Rachel says:

    I am so happy for you and the hardships you are struggling with! That may sound silly but my husband and I have been trying to have a 3rd beautiful baby for 4 years and it is a unique struggle to itself.

    Although I only have two sweet boys, I would remind you (as I’m sure you know) that God truly knows your heart and what you can handle. He will guide your steps and help you through any hardship. This season will pass in no time! And I promise you that when it does, you will likely miss some of it.

    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
    Phil 4:13

    • Thanks Rachel. That’s a good reminder for me. I want to be 100% grateful for this season. Not 99% grateful or anything less. God is good. May He greatly bless you and your family through this struggle.

    • Lori says:


      May god bless you with a third child. I know how hard it is just to get one, let alone three when fertility issues arise. When I finally finished my family of three after many miscarriages and stillbirth, I was happy to be so blessed. I never once have felt overwhelmed or complained about having three and my hands were too full because they did not come easy! Nor am I any more special with three kids than a mom with (only) one or (just) two.

      I wish you well.

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