One of the most common questions I’ve gotten lately is “how is adjusting to life with three kids?”
And honestly, my answer changes every time.
Some days are harder than others depending on how much sleep I got the night before.
I feel guilty when I’m beyond tired and just trying to make it through the day. I know I’m not acting like the fun mom I usually am but I literally can’t keep my eyes open, let alone play house or kickball or whatever it is the kiddos want to play.
I was wishing away my pregnancy because I was too tired (or so I thought) to do anything. And now I’m too tired because I have a newborn!
Luckily my husband was home for 4 weeks after the baby was born so I wasn’t really on my own. And when he went back to work, I only had a week with all three kids before school started.
Confession: they watched a lot of their iPads that week. I was in survival mode and I still am. Trying to work, keep up with housework, give each kid the attention they need and nurse.. oh does breastfeeding take up SO much time. But we’re getting by. I know things will be easier when she’s a little older and not eating so frequently, and to be honest, I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job at still getting out and doing things.
I mean, we really don’t have a choice. The kids are in school and sports so I have to load them all in the car and take them places. And if the baby has to eat in the restaurant or school pick-up line, then she’s going to eat. It can be stressful trying to plan activities and trips around her eating but I’ve just had to learn to do whatever it is I need to do and if she needs to eat, I’ll feed her wherever we are. No big deal.
My hormones are still raging and I’m having a hard time accepting we’re done having kids. I mean, as most of you know, this pregnancy wasn’t planned. And I don’t think I could handle any more kiddos but the reality of being done is super sad. Like, that phase in my life is over? I’ll never get excited to see those two pink lines or hear that heartbeat on the doppler.Is this really the end of that chapter or could I do it one more time? We’ve had discussions about it but it never seems to get anywhere. We just go in circles and my husband tells me I’m crazy about 100 times. Crazy, maybe. But I’ve always wanted a big family and at this point I think “what’s one more?!”
But then I think about how my attention is already spread so thin. Trying to work from home is such a blessing but I also feel like the worst parent in the world when I’m trying to beat the clock for a deadline and my kids just want to show me or tell me something. Balance as a parent is hard, whether you have one kid or ten, work from home or work at an office, etc. At the end of the day I know these years are fleeting and I am just trying to do the best I can.
Do I have any advice for new mamas? Whether adjusting to life with three kids or adjusting to life with more kids in general?
Give yourself some grace. Having a baby is hard but having to take care of other children and yourself in the process is a lot to handle. It’s an adjustment period for everyone but here are a few things I’ve learned:
Try and spend a few minutes alone with each child daily. It will mean more to them than you know.
The laundry and cleaning can wait. Enjoy your snuggles.
Ordering takeout is okay and so is breakfast for dinner… don’t beat yourself up over it.
The first time you take all three kids out in public, don’t worry about how they’re acting. You’re a superhero for even doing that.
If you need to be late because you’re feeding the baby, or the older kids are throwing a tantrum, just roll with it.
Don’t feel bad when you forget to call or text someone back. You’re lucky if you remember to brush your teeth or get time to shower.
Most of all, just enjoy it. Because these years are going to go by super quickly and you will miss the chaos of three young kids.