7 Things I Wish I’d Known About Having 3 Kids
I've been a mom of three children for almost seven months now. It's the most rewarding, exhausting, and fun job I will ever have. For me, the transition from 2 to 3 kids was not any more difficult than going from 1 to 2. Now I can't even imagine what life was like without an infant on my hip. Even though adding another member into our family was a smooth transition, there are a few things I wish I would have known before it all went down. Here are the things that suprise me most about having three kids under the age of five.
1. I treasure one-on-one time with my kids more than I had imagined I would. Individual time with one child is about as rare as a four-leaf clover, so when it comes along, I find yourself smiling more. Then I wonder why I thought being a parent of just one felt so incredibly impossible. Now when I have just one child with me, I feel like you can conquer any parenting challenge that comes your way.
2. There will always be an endless pile of laundry to wash, fold, or put away. Just when I think the pile has been conquered, the beastly mountain of socks and pants appears out of nowhere. With two kids in cloth diapers, this endless laundry task is multiplied for me.
3. Suddenly, the king-size bed we wisely invested in when we had just one child now seems incredibly small, especially when I'm digging my 2-year-old's foot out of my neck. One morning, I woke up with a very sore and (later) bruised nose and couldn't pinpoint exactly how it happened. Then my husband pointed out that when he went to bed, my second son was sleeping with his feet at my shoulder. It all started to make sense.
4. Quiet means trouble. Every once in a while, the two oldest boys will disappear into the basement or upstairs while I'm tending to the baby or doing chores. Most of the time, I can hear them bickering with one another. It is when they are quiet that I am most concerned. Quiet usually means they are getting into something or making a gigantic mess, as in, “let's pull out every game and puzzle piece and launch it from snow shovels like a slingshot.”
5. It seems that the more children I have, the faster time goes. 2013 was quite possibly the fastest year of my life. The past six months have been a blur, and I'm sure the next six months will go just as quick. Even though sleep-deprived nights seem like they will never end, it won't be long before I'm complaining that my teenage boys sleep all the time and never stop eating.
6. It's OK to ask for help when you need it, no matter how many kids you have. Also, if your oldest is old enough for certain responsibilities, do not feel bad about asking for his or her help from time to time. I often find myself telling my two older boys, “I'm only one mommy with two hands. I need you to work on your patience for one more minute.” In these moments, I have to tell myself to stop and take a breath. It will eventually all get done.
7. Be prepared to adapt for each personality, because no two kids are the same. This can be tough, even during the baby stage. In terms of sleeping and eating, what worked for my first two boys hasn't worked for my third, even when I think it will.
What was the most surprising part of parenting when you made the transition from two to three kids?