I will start off by saying that not everyone needs many children. There is no one right family size. In this, I am simply going to give my own experience.
I have now had four 3 year olds. While there are times when we definitely bash heads and I genuinely enjoy this 3 year old so much more than I did the first couple of times around. I think for me because everything was brand new the first time and each stage came one after another for a while, I never had time to process well, just react. I have no idea how my kids will turn out with their own free will being very present and I will try to guide them into adulthood, but somehow with each kid past the first while there are things that are way different with each kid, and loops are thrown, there are also moments that are that much sweeter. Those moments that I can actually recognize because I learned to pay attention. Perhaps I should have payed attention sooner, but it didn't happen.
Yesterday we did our half mile walk to our neighbor's coffee shop to get our weekly treat and sit outside in the glorious fall weather. It has been so glorious this week. I am a get outside in all weather type of person, but not having 40's and rain make it much easier to sit outside, and for that I am thankful. So S my current 3year old walked the whole way to and from the shop, I am proud of her because this doesn't happen all the time, many times we take the stroller because she will be tired and say her legs don't work being 3 and all.
When we went to sit down, we pulled off our masks and S noticed my bloody nose, and well, I get a lot of bloody noses right now due to increased blood flow and changing weather. So S being S, she said "Mama, your nose has a little bit of blood on it. But that's okay, its okay to have a little bit of blood." And she will say this in many different ways and gosh do I ever revel in the external assurance that I am doing okay. She can see me break something, and I am usually calm in a crisis, its just me, but she will again say, "It's okay. Sometimes things break. You are still a good Mama." It's amazing how God can use those little voices to keep you keeping on and know you are still that beloved child of God.
She will be very three at times, and one of the older siblings will get upset with her, and she will be so upset with it because in her mind its denying that she is a "Good Stella." And isn't this what we all struggle with at times. Or at least me, I struggle with this internally. I will mess up and think I am terrible and not worthy of love. We have been able to have multiple chats about sometimes we can do mean things or make bad choices and still be good. I am not sure how much a 3 year old really gets it, I think they are very black and white at this stage, but I love who she is. That she sees the goodness in everyone, even in their flaws.
There are definitely those 3 year old moments though, times of misunderstanding. Times where I frustrate her so much because I have "done it wrong" and she will declare that I did it wrong. And honestly I love that too, because she knows what she wants and just isn't able to process it through and declare it perfectly and we have to be patient with each other. She can get ragey a bit in those times and we give a moment and then we can restart and understand a bit better.
So 3 is still 3, but somehow it is so much better this time around.