I was conflicted about having a third child—here’s what I’ve learned during my daughter’s first year


We found out we were pregnant with our third child in 2022. Even though it was planned, I had very conflicting feelings. Of course I was thankful for this new little life, but I was also full of anxiety. I was worried about losing my freedom, the lack of sleep, juggling more responsibilities and how we would give all three children the love and attention they deserved.

Our boys were four and six—finally independent—could we really handle diving back into the baby stage?

Now, my daughter’s first birthday is just around the corner and I’ve found myself reflecting on the past year.

I’d be lying if I said my worries were unwarranted and my concerns disappeared once our precious girl was born. Growing our family did indeed bring a lot less sleep and a lot more stress. As parents, we were now outnumbered. And there were days I actually asked myself, what have we done?

But that’s not where our story ends.

Our life is busier and louder, but it is also so much brighter now that she’s here.

The past year went by so quickly. Sure, we still aren’t getting a full night’s sleep, but the days of waking up every hour seem like ages ago. We’re washing less bottles and we’re soothing less screaming. We have much more patience and a lot more joy.

And when I think about the first year of her life, it’s not the difficult moments that come to mind, but the beautiful ones: Her first smile. Her first belly laugh. Her first steps! The way she lights up when she sees her brothers. How the boys are completely smitten by her. Have I mentioned how ridiculously cute she is?

She has filled our home with more love and sweetness than I could ever imagine.

As we get ready to enter her second year, I am filled with so much excitement. I still worry, of course. But I can look back and know that the hardest days were fleeting.

Our daughter is now walking and I am overcome with gratitude because I get to once again experience these milestones. She just started saying her first words and I know the best is yet to come. Witnessing a child discover language is truly one of my favorite parts of being a parent.

As for losing my freedom? Yes, there’s been less time for me and more sacrifices made. For those first few months of her life my identity was defined by motherhood.

But I’m already doing things just for me again! I’m reading, writing, exercising, and even socializing once in a while. And I’m doing these things (mostly) guilt-free because I know prioritizing myself regularly means I can be a better mom for all three kids.

I’ve also learned that part of taking care of myself means accepting that I will have tough days and allowing myself to have them. Acknowledging that having three kids is tough doesn’t make me a bad mom.

I wish I could say that adding a third child was easier than I thought it would be—it wasn’t. It was and is really hard. But every single day my sweet girl reminds me that it’s absolutely worth it.