Why Everyone Should Have at Least Three Kids If They Can


If the title made you roll your eyes bear with me, I would have done the same a year ago.

I think it was a few minutes after dinner when my older two kids were dancing and chanting, “What Does The Fox Say?” to the baby squealing with laughter in his high chair that fruit of my decision to have third child twinkled like the bright joy issuing from the baby’s eyes.

This was not an isolated moment.  I’ve felt this way frequently over the last few months.

As someone formerly overwhelmed with two kids, it’s a complete shocker that I’m enjoying having three.  There were plenty of times when I was ready to throw in the towel convinced that God had erred when he created Mother (cue me waving my fist at Heaven shrieking, “You are so clearly a man!” to The Man, if you follow me).

Having three kids is completely different.  Here’s why: the older two who previously only had each other to pick on are now channeling their energy into showering their baby brother with love…and lyrics from silly YouTube videos as I mentioned above.  Squabbling does still happen, by the way, and I’m not saying having a baby is the magical cure to sibling rivalry. 

However, an infant in the house does help them fight less over petty stuff like toys since, you know, the baby is basically the ultimate toy now.   Yes, we have to work on “sharing” the baby.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I thought my heart grew with every kid, but my trajectory of growth is not nearly as steep or magnificent as my kids’ maturity into loving little people.

Their capacity to be caring individuals has absolutely exploded.  And it is beautiful.  Suddenly, they are good kids.  Suddenly, I like them and motherhood more.

It might sound counterintuitive but for those couples struggling with two my advice is: have three.  

You will grow but more importantly and astoundingly those same two kids you are currently struggling with will grow.  You might just start enjoying them.

Parents with three or more, what has your experience been?

Copyright 2014 Marissa Nichols


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  1. As a man, I suppose I’m not likely to be taken seriously on this topic, but I’ll humbly offer a thought anyway. I believe it was in something I read by Blessed John Paul II that having at least three children is key, because of the dynamics of community that it creates. No knock on those struggling with fertility, but I think three children or more creates something in life and learning that is difficult to recreate for a single child or only two siblings. Glad you are experiencing your third! :)

    • You are most definitely taken seriously in this topic! I’m sure many completely agree. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. I am a mother of 6. I remember being overwhelmed with 3. Three is a lot! However, God patiently called and called until I trusted Him to have a 4th. (NFP DOES WORK!) Everything changed! I received all the grace needed to be a mother of 4, then 5, then 6! I am so proud to be a Catholic mother of with a mid sized family. I have found that a community of children behave better, entertain one another and truly look out for one another. I wish God would have sent more!

    • NFP does definitely work! I am grateful that we were able to achieve our third with it (and remain open to a fourth to this day)!

    • Thank you to everyone for the wonderful comments about life being outnumbered. It has been a blessing reading them! God strengthen you all and fill your homes with continued abundance!

  3. My husband and I have been blessed by The Lord with six children. It hasn’t always been the easiest ride but to see the love and bond between siblings is the most wonderful thing to witness as they grow.

  4. We have 10 children. I can honestly say that the third one was the toughest for me…after that it was a breeze! And it’s such a blessing to see them all grow together and help one another. And it was an even greater blessing when my first granddaughter arrived…to see my ‘little’ ones being role models to their little niece. God is so good!

  5. I am a mother of 4, they are now 14, 10 and 8. I always wanted a big family and I am so blessed to have 4. Of course they argue sometimes but for the most parts that are good friends. Their age difference are not much so they enjoy each others interest. Community is so important within a family and learning to share and care for one another is priceless! I love being a mom of 4!!!

  6. Three hasn’t exactly felt like the magic number for us. I had one son when we were unexpectedly blessed with twin daughters. Going from one to three has been really challenging. My son is five now and my daughters are two, and we are expecting a fourth child. I’m hoping this will be the piece that helps the others fit together better. Things are already pretty crazy here. I know they will love having each other’s company as they grow up!

  7. I always tell people once you get to 3 it’s all down hill. So I’d say – have more than 3 if you can! You’re already outnumbered and then the helping and playmates just increase. We have 5 on earth and 2 in heaven.

  8. For me having the third child was an easier adjustment than going from one to two children. We are blessed with 5 and they keep asking for more siblings. :-)

  9. We have three boys (19, 17, 14) and then hit with infertility. We would have loved to have more. I am so thankful to be around friends who have large families. They give me the opportunity to get my small kid/baby fix but more importantly they give my boys the opportunity to interact with young kids and babies and see how beautiful (and challenging) having kids is.

  10. As a mom of 7, I say “why stop at 3?” It really does get easier as you have more! Or at least you are so tired you don’t know that you aren’t having fun?!? lol!

    • I couldn’t agree more! I have five ages 2-19, and the fun, mutual empathy, teamwork, and love grow with each additional child.

  11. Thanks for this article. I love having 3! We are older parents so I would be surprised with more and we seem done. The 3rd not only grounds the other two, it was finally what I needed to let go of the unimportant stuff, because you really are out numbered, and enjoy having a little one around again.

  12. Four kids age 6, 4.5, 2.5 and 4 months and have to agree. Four is NOT twice as hard as two and more than doubles the blessings! SO worth it. We’re contemplating a 5th now!

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