Survey Says Having Three Kids is the Hardest

three kidsThis time last year, I was heavily pregnant with my third child. (And I do mean heavily. Ugh.)

Although I was a bit nervous to expand our brood to include three children, especially considering we would be outnumbered, I didn’t think too much about it. Sure, I knew it would be hard, but after two kids, I finally considered myself a bit wizened about the whole parenting experience. 

And in many ways, my predictions were pretty accurate. Yes, it’s been crazy, but there is also a certain peace that comes with having three children. Basically, you learn that there is no perfect way to parent, sometimes kids just cry, and that all of those old people at the grocery store may be slightly annoying, but they are right — this time of little people really does go so quickly.

That being said, however, I will say that the addition of child #3 on the scene has made me feel slightly, well, insane. Some days I really wonder if I’ve lost my mind. 

And as a survey done by of over 7,000 moms discovered, I’m really not alone. Or crazy. 

Having three kids is really just that hard. 

Interestingly enough, the survey also found that although three children seems to be the magic maxed-out stress number, mothers who had more than three children actually reported lower levels of stress.

What's up with that?

One of my favorite authors, Danielle Bean, echoed the sentiment in her book Mom to Mom. Although Bean is a mother of eight – count `em – eight kids, she specifically states in the book that having three young children was harder than having eight. In the book she says that now, as a mother of eight, that she would “never” want to go back to her life as a mother of three young kids. 

Although it’s hard to fathom, I totally get it.

There is just something about having three young children that seems so overwhelming at times. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact with the ages – three kids in a short span of time = three young kids. That means three times of everything; three shoes to get on, three sets of kid junk to lug out of the house, three car seats to help buckle. It’s a lot to juggle.

But having more kids also usually means having older kids. So not only have you evolved as a parent, but your older children have naturally learned to be more helpful, independent, and responsible.

Yes, having three kids might be incredibly stressful and a hard time in your life as a parent. But from the sounds of it, it does get better, guys. 


Or you could just have more kids.

Apparently that seems to help too. 

Photo credit: Chaunie Brusie/J & J Brusie Photography (located in FL)

Read more from Chaunie here or follow her on Facebook!

What do you think?

Survey Says Having Three Kids is the Hardest

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. jessica says:

    I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old.and due with my 3rd in Nov. Both my girls go to school… I’m a full time working mom (Teacher) So for me I don’t really see 3 being such a challenge. I feel like my 4 year old is having 6 kids at once lol and I’m still not feeling any stress with having 3. Maybe because my girls are older? Idk. But I do feel like … no more after 3. My girls are so excited with having a baby and both are already independent and such helpers… If anything my girls will be helpers when I need them too.

  2. christina says:

    3 is tough- I have a 3 year old boy and twins that are 15 months old. 2 that can not walk or load in car byself- have to carry- I can not carry both twins myself at once- unload one at a time and 3 big car seats across whole back seat of truck. It has been tough but getting easier at least the twins can hold own bottle or sippy cup now- the first 6 months with twins is rough and a 2 year old at the time- he was not helpful at all!! more jealous and wanted to be held also- try holding 3 at one time!! I would agree with article but after twins- no more kids!!! I do not know how some do this- We have full time jobs also and hard to find day care for twins or kids under 18 months old.

  3. Lindsey says:

    Huh! Pregnant with my third and planning on having one more after this one, but since one of my kiddos will be in school full time when this one comes and the other will be in preschool 2 days a week I am hoping that it won’t be too much harder.

  4. I disagree. I had 3 and it was not any more stressful as 1 or 2. More, I don’t know.

  5. Heatherly says:

    I love your reply! Way to go!

  6. Heatherly says:

    Nice article in a way, but I don’t like how she makes it sound like you feel crazy that you had 3 children. Overwhelming…at times only. Not every minute or every day for that matter. The good totally outweighs that overwhelming. Three children to hug….three children to smile at….three children to say they love you….sure, maybe not yet, but soon. You sacrifice some things….but again, children are worth more than a career or some other sort of status. I hope she’ll have more. I enjoy each of my 8 plus the one on the way.

  7. Wonderful.

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