Sixty-three days of life with three kids.
I know what I’m supposed to say:
“I’m soaking up every second.”
“It’s been the greatest joy.”
”We are adjusting wonderfully.”
If you judge our life by Instagram posts, it appears we do nothing but smile and love on each other in our catalog clean outfits. Those photos are tiny moments. They are just a reflection of probably 5 minutes (if that) in our day. Truth be told, this has been the most trying time of my life as a mother.
And not just as a mother. As a wife, as a friend, as a daughter…as myself.
Going from 1 to 2 kids was hard. Going from 2 to 3 kids has been an entirely different ball game. But, just like adding our second baby, after about 2 months we fall into a groove. It stops being so new and starts just being what is. This is what life is now. Although I am soaking up every second, it doesn’t mean that every second is “picture perfect” or easy. Now that we are a few months in, I am able to reflect on these first 63 days and I thought I’d share what makes these days with three kids, even the hardest ones, tick for me:
Stuff That Makes Life Easier:
There are a zillion baby products out there. I am amazed at how many more there are just since having our first born who is 5. For me, it becomes a little overwhelming and just like everyone told me, you really don’t need all that much. However, there are things that help us mamas. I think the “stuff” that helps can be different for each and every one of us. Even though I cringe thinking of all the wasted money in years past, there are some extremely helpful things I use day to day:
Brest Friend Nursing Pillow
The name itself cracks me up. This is a first for me as I used the Boppy pillow with my first two. I use this for every feeding in the middle of the night. I love the support it offers my back, that you can fasten it on, and our newest little one seems comfortable and content when on it.
Baby K’tan Carrier
Also another first for me. Previously, I only used the Baby Bjorn. When she is over tired but can’t seem to get to sleep, I put her in this and within 2 minutes she is out. This is also nice when we go anywhere since she hates her car seat. I will use the Bjorn as well as she gets bigger, but so far the K’tan has been a life saver. I’ve even used it a few times when we are closing in on midnight and she has yet to go to sleep.
OH FOR THE LOVE. All three of my children have been swing babies. That glorious contraption that swings to and fro. Last week, I gave it a big ol’ hug. My boys appreciate the swing even now as they tell me to put baby sister in there so I can do things with them.
So many new things with this baby! I know this is so basic, but our first two hated pacifiers. Never took to them and never used them. For some reason I loved that since I didn’t have to break them of it. However, it’s a great soother for babies. I really wanted this baby to take to it to buy me some time if I was tending to either of the other two and couldn’t get to her right away.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, M.D.
I cannot explain how this book has helped me with the boys. I am a firm believer in schedules for babies/kids. It makes my life so much easier when they are wired to sleep at or around certain times. My best friend gave me this book when we had our first. As a new Mom, it’s so hard to know how to get them on a schedule, when they should nap and go to sleep, when they need you versus when they just want you, etc. There are so many different methods and tactics and books out there that work, I’m sure. This just happened to work for us. I don’t start this until after 2 months. So about now is when I reopen this and start easing into this schedule. It’s also about this time that life gets OH so much smoother.
Aside from above, I’m also quite attached to my water bottle, chapstick, and my DVR. The DVR has come in quite handy for the late nights when I’ve thrown in the towel and come to terms that I just won’t be sleeping. Fall TV is glorious.
Non-Stuff That Makes Life Easier:
No mother can do this alone and no mother should. “Stuff” helps us, sure, but our babies could survive without any of that. I have found the non-things are really what get me through.
I am incredibly thankful to the doctors who have delivered our babies safely. However, I have to give a special shout out to the nurses. We had all three of our babies at St. Luke’s, so I can only speak to our experiences there. Every time, I felt cared for like they know me personally. What they do for us and for our babies is incredible. I wish I could find all of them and give them a big hug! In my fog of medication after my C-sections, I’m not sure that I got my appreciation across as much as I wanted. THANK YOU to all of the nurses out there who care for us and our blessings. I appreciate it so much.
Every time my husband and I bring a baby into the world, people show up with food. I think this is one of the greatest and easiest things we can do for families with a new little one. It’s so humbling when people, both friends and people you barely know, show up with a meal for you and your family. Each time people do this, I take note that I will always pay this gesture forward. Not just for new moms, there are several times in life where taking a meal can make a world a difference.
My dear husband
If I’m being honest, these first few months we feel more like my roommates than husband and wife. Somebody always needs us. If only one of them needs us, then the other is picking up a mess, or getting dinner ready, or feeding the dog, or folding laundry. He has been especially amazing with the older two when I’m feeding the baby and can’t help out. He works all day, plays with the boys all night, participates in our monotonous bed time routines with the boys, and gives me a break when we’re having a late night fussy baby situation. I couldn’t do this without him and I don’t take that for granted.
Truth be told, these are lonely days. Maternity leave is always a bit of a struggle for me as I function better when I’m on the go. With one in preschool and two under 18 months who still do a lot of napping, I’m alone a lot thinking about all that I have to do and often feeling like I’ve accomplished very little in a day. My patience has never been tried so much. I desperately miss my friends. I want more than a late night DVR date with my husband (where I’m more than likely standing and bouncing a baby) and I cry myself to sleep sometimes.
Days 7-42 are the hardest for me and, if I remember right, it was like that the first two times, too. But there is nothing in the world I’d rather struggle my way through. I wanted this, and that means the sleepless, crazy, hard beginnings. I have hit the stage where the skies have parted and the sun is peaking through. We’re hitting our stride and just in time for me to go back to work in a few weeks.
Just as soon as they come, gone and forgotten are the tears and frustrations. We’re left with memories of all the good. And then, like crazy people, we miss it.
I am thankful for everything that helped get me through these first few weeks.