Transitioning from Two to Three Kids

All three, fresh home from the hospital.

Where does the time go? Time for each kid (don’t forget the dog), time for your husband, time to clean, time to cook, time to write (this article) and time for yourself. We seem like ships passing in the night most days but in all the chaos, it has been truly amazing watching our girls embrace their new baby brother. 

This was my third pregnancy, my third c-section, as well as, my worst recovery. Needless to say, we got off to a bit of a rocky start. Many people warned us that going from 1 to 2 children is the most difficult. But, I agree to disagree! Two to three has been much harder. We quickly learned that Dad was going to have a lot of time with the older two girls, and Mom was going to be with baby brother. 

I was really feeling the mom guilt build up from missing out on quality time with my girls, but also wanting to spend every moment with my newborn. When the girls started acting out for attention from me, I knew we needed to make some adjustments to our new zone defense.

Being Type A, I tried to think of what I could control in the situation and that was the baby’s feedings as well as planning our evenings. 

I started meal planning and cooking during his afternoon naps. Thank you grocery delivery! Then, I try feeding him prior to dinner so we can all sit down as a family. Depending how baby is doing I either give the girls baths or do books and bedtime swapping with Dad. This was a start to dividing up my time between all three. 

We have really seen a difference in behavior just spending extra time playing, reading and talking before bed. Does it work every night? Absolutely not, but we are all doing our best. 

Once the bigs are finally asleep, I find myself at an exhausted crossroads. All I want to do now is sit on the couch and unplug, but I need to workout, fold laundry, clean, go to sleep, pump, say hello to my husband and cuddle my dog. 

I’ve learned quickly that I have to prioritize your to-do list.


It may not be your season to go to a workout class every day and that is OK. Walking with your little ones satisfies your need for exercise and spending time with your kids. 

Outsource Errands

Outsource using great apps like Shipt and have your groceries and Target necessities dropped at your doorstep. 

Get Time with Your Spouse However You Can

It’s hard to find time to catch up with your spouse when you are in zone defense. After bedtime, we have been doing chores together. Folding laundry and cleaning the kitchen get done twice as fast, and we catch up on life simultaneously. 

And after that, you can both spend some time loving on your fur baby, who may be the neediest of them all.

We are still in survival mode but I wouldn’t trade these sleepless nights and wild days for anything else. I live for the candid moments when the girls hold their brother or sing him a song, and he looks up at them with a gummy smile. 

Transitioning from two to three is hard and exhausting, but also unconditionally rewarding.

You can’t do it all in one day, and if you can, please, tell me your secrets! 

Emily Gafford
I am a mom of two girls, 4 & 6 and a baby boy who arrived in June as well as our fur-baby, Walter. I've been married to my southern raised, patient and silly husband for 8 years. Born and raised in Kansas City, I am naturally an avid Chiefs fan. I am the Director of E-Commerce & Retail at J. Rieger & Co. distillery and thoroughly enjoy being a full time-working mom. I am an open book and hope that my real stories of what works for our family and the raw emotions that come with each of life's curve balls helps guide other families along their journey. Being a Mom of two wildly active girls, one whose spirit needs some extra attention, I am currently navigating child advocacy and support for parents who lean on professional resources for children with behavioral disorders. I love getting lost in the kitchen or a book, going on walks and spending time with friends & family.