Thursday, September 19, 2013

So, how is it with three?


I get this question daily.  I think there's a line divide between the expected two child family and the leap to three.  A family with three children is like saying, "I don't want a small family, but I don't want people to question my sanity or offer me free birth control." 



Three is good.  Three is our number.  I am so totally d o n e having kids.  Of this I am sure.  We have chaos and some days when it seems like they've all agreed to thwart my attempts to accomplish anything.  Other days, I feel like I've totally managed to meet each child's needs and everyone goes to bed at night with a full belly, clean and nails clipped.  Then I'm high-fiving myself and my inner mantra is chanting, "hell yeah, Mama, you totally got this!"  Those days don't happen often, but that's ok.  We're really in the thick of it with three kids under the age of five.

Earlier this summer, just before Maisy was born, we took a family vacation to Virgina Beach.  One day at the pool, I met another mother who had seen me with both Dominic and Isla and obviously could see that I was extremely pregnant.  She was so sweet.  She told me I looked great and asked how old my kids were.  She told me that she knew exactly how my life was right now, as she had three kids close together too.  Her youngest was now four, she told me.  She then said (paraphrasing here), "It will be tough for a while.  You guys are really in the parenting trenches.  When they are so little, it can be difficult to even get out of the house.  Just hang in there because it gets so much easier."  What an encouragement.  What she said has totally stuck with me.  She wasn't being preachy or feeding me some idealistic line about it going by way too fast.  I already know all that.  If you follow me on IG you can clearly see I document nearly everything because I don't want to forget a second of their childhood.  She was just a totally down to Earth mom who was saying something real to me.  Real life.  She was probably telling me what she wished someone told her.  I can't even remember if I thanked her.  I hope I did.

To answer the question, three kids is a challenge, but I'm so glad we're right where we are.  I think part of me would have always wondered what could have been, had we stopped at two.  I won't go as far as to say that I would have felt our family "incomplete", but I will say that I feel our family is complete now.  I'm at peace with sending all of my maternity things packing.  Glad to see some things go, even.  Elastic waistbands aren't cute on anyone over the age of two.  So I'm soaking up this newborn phase with my last tiny baby.  I want to remember all of the good things about this life we're living now.  The difficult things make the good seem better, so I'll take the hard days too.  Leaving the house with three kids will get easier.  One day each person will only be responsible for their own bodily functions. 

So on my good days I have a clean house and freshly painted nails.  On rough days I have dishes in the sink, baby puke on my pants, and my reheated coffee is sitting on the counter, cold again.  Here I am, in the trenches.  Someone hand me a cigarette and a clean pair of socks. 


2 comments:

  1. That woman gave you some wise words! It is hard transitioning to another baby. I am still trying to figure out how to manage FOUR of them!

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  2. I couldn't agree more with this post. Some days I feel like I have this "three kids thing" down and other days I'm barely managing to keep my sanity. Trying to soak up the baby stage as much as I can though. It goes by so quick, yet on the sleepless nights it feels so, so long.

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