Another question I’ve been getting from people in my real life + people online is how transitioning to life with three kids is going. Well, it’s actually quite perfect. I’ve got everything so under control. So much so, that as I write this very blog post, I just successfully put down Eloise and Eden for simultaneous naps!
Super mom, right?
I have no clue what I’m doing. Of course, we’re just two weeks in, so it’s not fair for me to call myself a failure yet. I’ll say that Stephen’s two weeks off haven’t been necessarily as dreamy as they sounded on paper. He’s had to continue coaching, including meets, and doing grading and other responsibilities. So, I’ve been sort of trial-by-fire thrown into solo parenting three kids a few times already. And it’s scary, guys. I mean, I feel completely out of my element.
It’s not that I wasn’t expecting a transition. Even a major transition. I expected it. But I suppose I thought maybe I’d magically have a bit more figured out with the newborn stuff fresher in my mind this time around. But that’s the thing. I think what’s more difficult than having three kids is having a newborn and a spirited toddler. Ada’s at school much of the day, so figuring out how to tend to a toddler’s needs (diapers, naps, meltdowns, etc.) and a newborn’s needs (constant nursing, diapers, fussy times, naps, etc.) . . . it’s just —
(((Baby started screaming from her swing nap)))
Ok. Where was I?
Everyone has needs.
And I’m not yet good at meeting them all at once. The best tip you guys shared with me for parenting three kids is to use my baby carrier, like, all the time. I have four baby carriers! A Moby Wrap, Ergo 360, Maya wrap, and Woven wrap. So far, Eden sort of only likes the Ergo with the infant insert if I’m constantly moving (constantly!). But getting her to fall asleep is impossible, so she basically just cries and fusses while I attempt to do things like cook, clean, change diapers, help with homework (not super easy with a carrier IMO).
(((Screaming again — I give up on the nap despite all the frantic yawning I’m seeing)))
Yeah. So, getting used to a toddler and a newborn is kicking my butt. I am hoping time will help. I am hoping I’ll learn some stuff as I go along. I am hoping that she’ll start liking the baby carrier. I’m hoping that we can get this naps-in-the-nursery thing down even if she has to sleep in a swing until she’s six months old (like Eloise did! Thanks to Precious Little Sleep — which is a great resource, btw!).
But right now I’m feeling like a master of nothing, so it’s humbling. (For example, I have absolutely no idea how I’ll return to freelance writing with the current stretching of my energies.) That said, both Eloise and Ada love having a little sister. They both beg to hold and kiss her all the time. In fact, they fight over it, which has been a bit of an issue. I’m just happy that there aren’t sore feelings around bringing home another child. Ada’s been a bit sensitive and possessive (she’s MY baby).
Sorry to not have a more promising outlook to share at this moment.
(((Oh, wait. Maybe Eden is going to nap! How have her screams not woken Eloise?)))
I will say that emotionally I’m feeling good after delivery. I haven’t been weepy or depressed or filled with anxiety, which is similar to what I experienced after Eloise (with Ada I did experience some PPD). I’m not feeling overwhelmed despite how it sounds. I just am hoping to figure out some stuff. To find a groove. Any kind of groove will do. But I’m not being too hard on myself. Dinner has been scrambled eggs and toaster waffles. I had a sincere talk with Ada about not having a birthday party this year because it’s too much to toss into the equation.
In other words: I’m going easy on myself. We’re stepping back from tons of responsibilities as a family and trying to have a quiet holiday + winter season. We’re giving our family some grace. Maybe next time when I write about being a family of five, I’ll have some words of wisdom to share.
Until then — do YOU have any advice for me?