How do I have three children? It feels like yesterday that I wrote this post about why I was scared to have another baby and then the transition from 1 to 2 kids. Now here we are, three little boys under 5.
I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past 5 years. I’ve learned that motherhood constantly changes and that I get to choose how I deal with those changes. I’ve learned to give myself grace and let go of the things I can’t control. I’ve learned to savor the sleepless nights and one-on-one time with each of my babies. It’s a sweet season that we don’t get back. This time around, I’ve learned to embrace the chaos and remind myself that the days are long but the years are short.
As a parent, I think the biggest advantage to having another child is that you’ve been there before. When we had Jack, I was way more prepared for how a new baby affects me mentally. Charlie was a challenging baby and Jack was kind of a dream. The transition was easier because Dave and I could tag team, Charlie had just turned two and baby Jack didn’t really faze him. This time around, oy! This transition has been harder but I will say 4 weeks in and it feels like we have *kind of* found our groove!
Dave and I sat across the table from each other a few weeks ago and cried to each other. I cried from exhaustion, feeling guilty that I couldn’t be present for the older kids as much as I wanted to be, missing Dave, feeling sweaty and swollen and all the postpartum hormones. Dave cried from exhaustion, feeling guilty for having a short fuse with our older boys, for carrying the load of our house, for missing me and all the postpartum craziness. It was sort of a little therapy session that we both needed to move forward on the same page! Charlie and Jack have adjusted SO well but honestly, they are the exhausting ones! The attitudes that come with a 5 and 3 year old are the real challenge.
I’m telling you this because no matter what, a new baby is a transition. The way you choose to react to the transition is what really matters. When I had Charlie, I wanted to be everything to everyone. A great mom, a good wife, a consistent manager of the house, a good friend, a good business owner — everything! It ended up sucking me dry. As my stages of motherhood continue to transition I’ve learned to ask for help, let go of what I can’t control, let change happen, let myself be uncomfortable, and cry and miss the old days. Allow the transition to be what it is — the process or a period of changing from one state to another. Let yourself change because on the other side is SO MUCH MORE. Having a baby is challenging regardless but the risk is always worth the reward!
For any of you just starting your motherhood journey, I wrote a letter to myself in 2015 about what I wish I had known when I was a new mom. Hopefully this helps you in whatever stage of motherhood you’re in!