On Father’s Day 2014 when we found out we were pregnant with baby #3 my first thought was, ‘Yay!! But, how are we going to handle having a 7 year old, 16 month old, and a newborn??’. While the plan was always to have #2 and #3 close together, I could not help but be a tiny bit nervous as well as excited for a new addition to our family. I was quick to ask my friends with 3+ children about the challenges of transitioning from two to three littles and the reviews were mixed leaving me wondering how hard it would be for us.
This pregnancy was rough. It was by far the hardest of the three. I was constantly exhausted and felt sick most of the time which made caring for the big kid and toddler quite a challenge. I called it a win if we made it to whichever homeschool activity we had on any particular day even if my house was a disaster. Even if my socks didn’t match. Luckily my husband was able to pick up the slack and help out around the house after working all day or I am pretty sure we would have had cereal every night for dinner. I was really struggling to find the balance between being pregnant and taking care of everything else.
As the pregnancy trudged along and we prepared for our homebirth, I was so miserable and uncomfortable. I kept thinking ‘If I am struggling to care for two kids, HOW am I going to care for all three?’. Before I knew it though, she was born and I was no longer pregnant. My empowering homebirth left me feeling confident that I could handle being a mom to three children.
I was suddenly a mama of three and quickly realized it was going to take me at least twice as long to do anything. We were going to have to do some serious adjusting to get into our groove. I now had two tiny humans that could not do anything for themselves; one of whom is constantly running away from me to get into trouble. The key to going anywhere, I have figured out, is to allot us extra time to get everyone ready and out the door. I also plan to leave 30 minutes before we really need to leave which allows us to leave just when we are supposed to. This plan doesn’t always work but, so far we have had great success, most days. I have moved a big bin of toys to the master bedroom so I can distract the toddler while that baby and I get ready. This only works some of the time, as he is planning a career as a circus performer by practicing his best acrobatics off of all our furniture. .
My 7 year old has taken on some extra responsibilities to help out on days we have to go to homeschool co-op like making lunches and helping herd the toddler to the car. Tandem nursing has aided in getting both the new baby and the toddler down for a nap at the same time. We had to rearrange the car seat set up so everyone would fit- I almost thought we needed to get a minivan but, after consulting with a car seat tech, we were able to get all the seats installed properly. Crisis averted. The cloth diaper laundry has tripled as all newborns do is make messy diapers. And there are now two children under 2 sleeping in our king size bed. It is amazing to me how things that are so tiny can take up so much room.
So far we are adjusting well to having three kids in our home. Some days are harder than others I am utterly exhausted every day but, coffee keeps me going and I have a full heart.