Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's it like to go from 2 kids to 3?

What a whirlwind the last 10 weeks have been!  The first half of March went by so slowly waiting for baby and then suddenly it was May!  Life has certainly changed and I know it will keep on changing.

So, what's it like to go from 2 kids to 3?

My best answer is that I now feel like I'm never done.  With anything.  With laundry, with taking care of children, with any given task.  This is definitely a test for someone who likes to feel productive and to fully accomplish things.  ANY thing.

We got amazing help initially to the point that we only spent five nights alone with all three children in the first month. Right after our last help left, Jacob happened to be leaving as well - for four full days to Portland for the Craft Brewers Conference.  This actually turned out to be a blessing as I was able to prove to myself that I could indeed take care of all three.  After receiving so much help, I needed a confidence boost and to relearn where all three kids were at.  But what I saw in those four days is that this new gig is literally around the clock.

The daytime was full of many feedings, many outfit changes, many questions.  The evening was full of many baths, many books, much cleaning, much laundry.  Then when the big kids were actually asleep the baby's needs picked up. 2-3 night time feeds + the occasional big kid nightmare.  And then the day began again between 5 and 6 a.m.

Luckily by two months post-baby and with Daddy stationed back at home, it's no longer that crazy. (Or else I might have quit.)  Luke now goes to bed too and there are some predictable quiet hours between 8-10pm. He also has started sleeping better this last week...(!)

During the day, as you might guess, when there is a whole other person, it's less likely that all three children will be self-sufficient at the same time.  This makes it hard to get things done.

This month I've been taking advantage of the morning time as Jack and Cora are in school.  This is mostly when I accomplish things.  Some mornings Luke sleeps for a full three hour block; other mornings, his naps are interrupted and the morning passes without much happening.  I look at those mornings as productive too as one main thing I want to do these days is spend time with my sweet baby. And morning walks, baths, feeding, and rocking time mean calm, quiet moments together.

Afternoons sometimes work great. And other times they are not fun at all.

The best afternoons have me + all three kids on Cora's bed reading together after school.  This is followed by obedient big kids who spend 30 minutes in their beds reading or being quiet followed by 30 more minutes in their rooms playing. Baby of course would have nursed during books and gone straight down to nap. This is then followed by a well-rested, productive Mom who has put some thought into what the rest of the afternoon holds.  And in that one hour of quiet time, she would also have prepped dinner and had her needed downtime.

That can obviously fall apart in about one hundred different ways. Like big kids needing to poop about 2 minutes after rest time begins.  Baby being woken by loud children.  Mommy having to negotiate with irrational 2.5 year old about how she must stay in her room even if she doesn't want to. Mommy starting a task and then being interrupted - six times. Lots of trips upstairs. And then a frazzled woman who sees that it's only 2:45 p.m. and "rest" is over.  We're working on those days.

With all that said, I definitely recommend three kids!  :) And I'm being serious!  Everyone loves Luke and we love watching everyone love him.  Sometimes the craziness forces Jack and Cora to get along and come up with great games which results in lots of laughter together. Life is always interesting lately and that is giving us the energy we need.

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