Thursday, June 20, 2013

From 2 to 3 {The Transition to 3 Kids}.

I'm slightly scared to even write about transition, as if somehow my written words will jinx the good thing we have going so far. And by good thing I mean the fact that I don't feel like I'm going to lose my ever loving mind by the time 5pm rolls around (most days).

But I'm not about to hold my breath and wait 3 years to type this post. Because Lord knows if there is one thing I've learned in parenting, is that nothing stays consistently consistent. As a mom I live in a world of near daily change. So for now, this is what I know.

Going from 2 kids to 3 kids has been (so far, knock on wood) easier for me than the transition from 1 to 2. Way, way easier (please know that while I say easier, I say it with a grain of salt. This aint no walk in the park, otherwise I wouldn't be living off of massive amounts of caffeine and chocolate). I'm not really sure why I feel like things are easier this go 'round. But there are certainly a few variables that I've been able to nail down so far. Here are my thoughts on why number 3 hasn't been quite the push into the deep end like I was anticipating it to be......

- A surprise baby made for a rocky transition to two. If you've read my blog for very long, you'll know that Connor was a big, BIG surprise. Hindsight is always 20/20, and Connor was and is the perfect addition to our family at the perfect time. But to my mortal mind, I was not ready for another child. I think that since I was not prepared mentally, the entire transition took longer for me to warm up to, even after the second baby had arrived.
- the age gap of 19 months compared to 2.5 years is STAGGERING. Dear Lady at the supermarket during the winter of 2010, you were right. 19 months is a GREAT age difference and my boys are best of friends now. Thanks for that tidbit of encouragement as they were both screaming in the buggy during checkout. I double heart love you. But let's be honest... when Connor was born, I had two babies on my hands. It's not like I could request a 19 month old toddler to run to another room to grab an extra blanket or a paci. I had to do EVERYTHING myself. And trying to nurse while entertaining a toddler is like trying to walk a cat on a rainy day... it just aint happening. So the age difference of my first and second children, while fabulous now that they are a bit older, was quite the juggling act at first. Of course, we still have episodes with entertaining two preschoolers that end in grill tipping disasters, but thankfully that's not every day. At least for now, anways ;)
- More stability in the husband's career. God certainly had a sense of humor when he sent us our second born deep in the throws of a new career path and the middle of an MBA program. Even if we had only one child on our hands during that time, I'm sure we would have been strained. Two children under the age of two? God bless us, I'm not even sure how we survived. That entire season was such a blur.I sometimes feel bad that I don't remember more of Connor's infancy than normal. Thank goodness for blogging, otherwise I'm sure I'd never be able to retell stories of what he did during that first year of life.
- I'm more laid back this go 'round. I remember when Brayden was a newborn and my best friend telling me that when your kids are newborns it's SO easy. And I laughed at her and thought she had fallen off her high seated rocker and bonked her head.  When you're a first time parent, the newborn stage is the hardest stage and you think you're going to die and never do anything else outside of your home again... at least that's how I felt. And then you have a second child, and things loosen up a little. You realize that you can venture out of the house without showering. Sure, people may look at you funny, but it's either their crazy stares or you and your children all going crazy yourselves. And then you have a third child and you just realize that for the next 5-10 years showering may be a distant memory, but that sweet little newborn will only be this little one time and the smell of brand new newborn diapers and cute little teeny tiny onesies are worth more than personal hygiene. There were points during Brayden's infancy that I found myself weepy in despair that my child might never ever nap, and now at those same points I find myself weepy in grief that my little bitty baby won't be little forever and he most surely won't want to hug me and snuggle under my chin (or fit under my chin for that matter!). [double sidenote: I had one of those "let's cry all day unless my mom holds me" type of days today. It's still not fun. But it doesn't fluster me NEAR as much as it did before, so I like to think that I've made progress in this department.] If you're a mom of a newborn and it's your first child, RELISH THE LITTLE MOMENTS. Because sooner than you'll like, they'll be sitting in the back seat asking 1039128 "why" questions and wanting to know if they can purchase every single item at the checkout counter and all you'll want to do is just get the heck out of the supermarket without spending $250 on cheap crap made in foreign country. And GOD BLESS NEWBORN BABIES.
- I now know that if my baby cries, he doesn't die, and that I can attend to more than 1 crying child at a time. Sometimes I laugh at my past self. Because my past self would have freaked if the baby cried while I was trying to do something. So I sat paralyzed on the couch a lot of days. Then the transition to two kids stressed me out even more. The first time both kids are crying I swear is the most horrifying experience of parenting. Which one do I attend to first? Will the first born come to regret the second born if the second born gets first preference during simultaneous crying matches? These thoughts ran through my mind. Seriously. Somehow we all survived. I'll leave it to Brayden's counseling sessions when he's an adult to decide if he harbors bitterness for preferential treatment during simultaneous crying.

And finally...

-I can firmly believe that THIS TOO SHALL PASS. As a first time parent, it's easy to doubt the veterans that tell you that it will be over soon. Because the thoughts run through your mind that maybe your child is just different and they'll always wake up 3 times to nurse in the middle of the night and blow explosive poop all over you right before you leave for church. Sometimes when you're in the middle of the foggy season (that's what I call these little years, because I do indeed feel as though sometimes I'm walking this parenting path in dense, dense fog), it's easy to forget that millions of other people have birthed, parented and lived to tell the tales of their own foggy seasons, and they (well, most of them) still function like normal human beings. Clinging to the fact that this too shall pass gives perspective during those times when you're just not sure you can handle one more incident of 45 minute intruders or explosive poopy diapers or spit up down your back or 3 days in a row of not showering. Perspective is like a parents best friend. I like perspective. And if you need me, you'll find me clinging to her as I stomp my way through these foggy days of motherhood.

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