Six months in as a mom of 3
One thing I thought a lot about before having Valentina was how the transition from 2 to 3 would go. My friends who have 3 children all told me that 2 to 3 is the hardest. Maybe I’m naive because Valentina still isn’t mobile, but this has been the easiest transition yet.
When I first became a mom, 4 years ago, I was just so clueless! I didn’t even realize that babies napped a lot all day and couldn’t really stay awake more than an hour at a time as a newborn. I had no clue I would have to nurse my child 8-10 times a day… etc etc etc. The learning curve was so steep for me – I was even afraid to put Raffi in clothes that had to go over his head for months for fear of hurting him.
The transition from 1 to 2 was challenging too. I finally got the hang of being a mom and then had to figure out how to meet the needs of two different aged children with different needs at the same time. My husband was also working a lot at bedtime, and I cried many nights trying to put both to bed at the same time. It wasn’t until a friend from high school gave me a system (probably without even realizing it) that then worked. For the record I would nurse Ali while bathing Raffi and then would run and throw Ali in her crib, run back to Raffi and take him out of the tub. I never had the opportunity to rock her, but she is also a great sleeper so maybe I did it right.
Transitioning from 2 to 3 has been so much easier for various reasons. For one my husband opened his own law firm. It means he works a LOT and works super hard – but he can be there for bedtime and for the morning routine. This is the biggest change that I appreciate so much. Bedtime is so much smoother and enjoyable when we do it together. I also feel like I’m a pro at the mom thing now. I understand Valentina’s needs and can anticipate her needs too. I wasn’t that way the first time around. The second time around I was just learning how to balance both kids at once. This time the older kids play together and can meet some of their own needs while I take care of V.
Other thoughts on being a mom to 3….
Everything is way easier with another mom around. I find it’s a lot easier to be two adults with 6 kids than to be one adult with 3 kids.
It takes a lot longer to transition. So I know to build in a solid 20 minutes just to get shoes/coats on, use the bathroom, and get into the car.
School is a serious blessing. Raffi has made great friends and is learning so much and having fun. He’s also home by lunchtime which I love. Ali just started 2 mornings a week and she is enjoying it too. It’s amazing how easy having only 2 or 1 of the kids at once is when you’re used to all 3 at once.
Babywearing is also a serious blessing. I’m most in love with my Sakura Bloom sling and keep it in my diaper bag at all times.
Milestones don’t matter to me. With baby 1 and baby 2 I was so concerned about making sure they met their milestones on time and such. This time it is all happening more naturally. It’s a combination of not having the time to focus on her (poor third child) and on feeling confident she will meet them naturally.
Planning is my thing. I plan things almost to a fault, but it allows me to keep a very active life with all 3. We spent 6 weeks this summer traveling, and without my obsessive planning I don’t think it would have been fun. But it was! I have a schedule I follow basically every day. It allows the kids to know what is expected of them when, and what they can expect from me too. It also allows me to feel relaxed because I know everything is taken care of.
Every weekday basically looks like this: wake up, shower, fold a load of laundry if I need to, kids get dressed before they go downstairs except Saturday mornings, breakfast, unload dishwasher, finish packing work bag, play time, shoes and coats on, pack lunches, school/work ,unpack bags, make and eat dinner, clean up from dinner, start dishwasher, bedtime routine, chat for a bit with kids, have time with my hubs/more work
Every day has a general flow and it works really well for us.
We’ve also been using these Easy Lunchboxes (affiliate link) which I absolutely adore. It makes lunchtime so easy because I pack each of their lunches in one container and then just pop them in the fridge until lunchtime.
Now that Valentina is eating solids I need to tweak our schedule a bit. I’m still protective of the 1 PM nap but I’m flexible with the morning nap. I forgot how time consuming it is to sit there with a baby to feed her. Usually I eat along with the kids but it is relaxed and I get up to do dishes etc. Not any more!
I’ve been terrible about taking monthly photos of Valentina or logging the things she’s doing at every age. It’s so true that they say by the 3rd child you’re lucky if you remember to even take a photo. I’m trying hard though to be better about it.
Being a mom to 3 has been a pleasure. I’ve also loved seeing the relationship grow between the two older kids and each of them with the baby. And seeing my husband with all 3 is such a pleasure too. It’s a hard feeling to explain but we feel like a whole family now and I love it.
So that’s what it’s been like so far. I don’t stop moving from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. I haven’t found time for formal exercise really and I’m still working on finding time for my self and my marriage, but we’re getting there! I’m loving the kids ages right now and and I’m loving this stage of life. It is such a pleasure to be all together, the 5 of us, creating memories together. It’s the life I always wanted and I feel blessed that I’m living it.
One month in as a mom of 2 under 2
On being a seasoned mom