When you’re a new parent, you get all kinds of advice. A lot of times, unwanted advice, but nevertheless advice. Looking back, we were always quick to have a reason for why we chose formula feed our oldest, not allow her to have juice until after the age of 2 (or longer), limit television, use time-outs as the first line of discipline… I could go on and on. We were always on the defense.
For our second daughter, we received a little less advice and questions about why we decided to parent a certain way or rules we had established. But, we were still on the defense.
Now, when we had our third daughter, it’s like the advice and questioning miraculously stopped. I suppose the third time really is the charm, and people start to realize that maybe you do actually know what you’re doing.
Either that or they know you are now outnumbered and have no time for receiving advice.
Parenting has brought Andrew and I much closer in our marriage. It could be that out of our nearly 10 years of marriage, we have been parents for almost 7 years. And with each addition to our family, we had to band together, even more, to keep each other sane in the craziness of raising small children.
So when we do happen to get the very rare occurrence of advice or questioning certain decisions we have made as parents for our youngest, our standard response is “She’s the third.”
She’s the third. Which doesn’t mean we care less or are more strict because we’ve learned, lazier because we’ve been-there-done-that, or even that she’s our last, so we want to spoil her.
No, it means she’s simply the third baby. There are 2 older siblings to love on her, share goodies with her. We know how quickly the time goes, and if letting my 1-year-old walk around with a chocolate cookie makes all of my girls giggle, I’ll give her another cookie for the other hand. Messy chocolate face and all.
And quite honestly, I think this is that case for most third, fourth, & fifth children.
Tiffany, 1989 // 1 year old, THIRD BABY
Sadie, 2016 // 1 year old, THIRD BABY