Upsizing from two to three children means triple the love, but it can also mean triple the responsibility and stress of running a family. As your tribe grows, there are many things to consider and prepare — starting with sleep arrangements, car upgrades, day care needs, work commitments, and additional everyday living expenses.
Claire Wootton, a mum of three children and founder of Mother Conference, shares her advice and experience of expanding her family — the joys and challenges as well as the practical and emotional parts of a bigger, busier household.
Listen to the full interview:
Take care of your mental health
Adding more children to the family can mean added stress and pressure for parents. Postnatal depression affects one in seven women in Australia each year and up to one in ten new dads. If you experienced postnatal depression with your previous bubs, know what you need to feel supported during the transition period of having your new baby. And, if it’s new to you or you need professional help, please see your GP immediately.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Caring for a newborn can be tough, so just remember that it’s okay to ask for help — friends and loved ones will be more than happy to lend a hand. Tell people in advance that you might say you’re okay in the moment, but deep down you’d really appreciate help with meals, pick-ups and drop-offs.
Adding to your brood can call for some big logistical changes which are best thought about as soon as possible. For example, what will your new sleeping arrangements be? Ideally, you won’t want your newborn in your older kids’ room as they’ll wake each other up. Upsizing your car (to fit three car seats) and your pram / stroller combo are also necessary considerations.
Know that your other children will be okay
A common worry amongst parents is how existing children will feel about adding a new sibling to the mix. Some kids will be excited for a new brother or sister, while others may feel a bit of jealousy. To ensure it’s a smooth transition and avoid kids feeling left out, set aside some quality time to spend with your other children one-on-one.
For more information on family health, visit Better Families.