Going From 2 to 3 Kids

Monday, June 17, 2013
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Stressed Mom with count 'em, three kids.
I'll be honest, it makes me nervous, making the transition from two kids to three. At the park today I overheard a few moms talking about how it was so, so difficult making that leap from two to three (compared with going from one to two kids). They were talking about all the difficulties and how much their older kids acted out and such. (I am such an eavesdropper).

Then I read articles like this and my anxiety starts to rise: "Three is the Most Stressful Number of Kids."

In our little family we're about four months away from making that supposed giant and stressful leap from 2 to 3 children. My oldest will still only be three years old when the baby is born, so that means three kids, three and under. While Hannah is certainly a huge help, there is also a lot that she simply cannot do by herself. So come November, I will have to care for the needs of three separate children and truth be told, that thought is starting to stress me out. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to having a third baby. And I know I'll adjust and I know I'll survive. It's been done before, it will be done again and plenty of women have kids even more closely spaced than mine. I know my grandmother had 6 kids, ages 5 and under and everybody lived to tell about it. So, it can be done.

But I've allowed myself to start thinking about how a baby will be incorporated into our daily routine. When I'm making breakfast, what will the baby be doing? When will the baby nap? Will the baby nap (please God!)? Will I have time to...fill in the blank...do the laundry, make lunch, exercise, blog? 

The answer to those questions of course, is that most likely for a little while at least, I'll be doing a whole lot of nothing. Well, nothing but caring for the children. Laundry won't get done, floors won't be mopped (not that they are now...), healthy and homemade meals won't get made and my oldest two probably will not get enough attention.  

But that's okay. 

Adding a brand new person to a family creates a certain upheaval, a good upheaval, but an upheaval nonetheless. All systems and routines get thrown out the window and life is a bit chaotic. For a little while. Then eventually the dust settles, routines start happening again and life begins to seem a bit back to normal. Of course it never really goes entirely back to normal, but a new normal is created. 

And that's what I have to keep telling myself. Yes, it will be hard and most likely a difficult transition, but I will get used to it. And I'm sure as soon as I'm used to having 3 kids, you know what's going to happen...baby #4.

Actually, the second part of the above article stated that mothers of four or more children actually reported lower levels of stress than those with three. So I emailed the article to Matthew and told him we're just going to have to try for baby #4 right away.

4 comments:

  1. Ohhhh...hang in there! I think that who you talk to makes a BIG difference. I think moms who are planning on "3 and done" probably get more stressed than moms planning on having a larger family. One of my closest friends just had her third and she says she's even more relaxed this time around than she was with her second...the third just gets added right in! (She's still only a few weeks out from giving birth so that REALLY says something, because I would expect that to be the hardest time!) This friend of mine is hoping for a good number of children (her oldest just turned three, and the other one is under 2 and then there's the newborn) so I think that her mentality is just to relax and add the little one into the mix. And it seems to work for her! She's made me a lot more relaxed about having my second soon! So hang in there...it sounds like you're doing great and you have a good mentality about it!

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    1. You are totally right. If one more baby is just an expected part of family life, the little guy (or girl) just gets added to the mix, but if you expect to be "done," the last baby or even one more might push you over the edge. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  2. For me one was totally the hardest. Two was a little easier. And I worried and worried and worried about three because I'd heard the same things you're hearing and so far, even with Patrick's allergies it's been a piece of cake compared to adjusting from 0 to 1 (I should just stop, because as I'm writing this Mae is standing over Patrick in snow boots and a diaper as if she's thinking about attempting to jump over him or something). I think it has to do with being a lot more laid back now than I was then... but there is hope!

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    1. Oh, that is so good to hear! Thanks, Cam!

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