Family 4 months ago by Liz Adams

Transitioning from 2 to 3 Kids

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!

xoxo

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  1. Loved reading this as we are weeks away from bringing number three home (with a 4.5 and 2.5 yo). I pray I can accept all the chaos and embrace it like you mentioned. I will try to channel my inner Liz 😂 knowing babies don’t keep and transitions are hard but “worth it”

  2. I have a 5 year old and 2.5 year and the personalities and attitudes….wow. Can’t imagine throwing a 3rd in the mix, major props to you but as we know as mothers, it’s all so worth it. Even if we are bone tired and desperate for just one morning in our 20s when you could wake up and literally lounge in bed ALL DANG DAY.

  3. Your words are so very true (we are 4 months in to baby girl #3), and so encouraging! It is pure joy right alongside pure chaos!

  4. So appreciate your insight and words! We are 5 weeks into life with two boys (oldest is almost 2.5) and I feel like I’ve cried more than I ever have the last 5 weeks. Our second is much more challenging than our first was and I went into this feeling like I knew how to do it all. It’s been humbling and forces me to take it one day at a time and just savor the moments.

  5. I could not agree more with every single word of this! Especially “The attitudes that come with a 5 and 3 year old are the real challenge.” I have learned to embrace the chaos, but whenever anyone asks me how it is going with three I always say that the baby is the easiest- it’s the 5 and 3 y.o. that can be tough some days. Thanks for writing this.

  6. Love your honesty ❤️ I’m 38 weeks pregnant with girl #2 and I’m excited but also anxious for the postpartum chaos to come. Trying to embrace it (as well as the current state of my home 🤦🏻‍♀️) and really looking forward to seeing my 2 year old become a big sister!

  7. Thank you, Liz, for this message! I am 23 weeks with #1 during my medical residency and your attitude and general approach is exactly how I’d like to approach this next phase. Love love love your posts, you and your family <3

  8. Love this! My older two are 5 and 3 also, and my third is now nine months. That first month was so very raw but honestly I just adore 3! The dynamic is so much better than I imagined and baby brother is so sweet and adored! Hang in there it gets really really good quickly!! Especially the way a 5 year old actually help!!