Having babies is hard. All the mamas know it’s true. A lot of adjustments and life to get used to. Having the third baby is harder. We all know that a new baby in the house brings so much joy. The third addition to our household really threw us for the a loop. It’s hard but it does eventually get easier.
To grow or not to grow? That is the question. Or rather how to survive the new baby when you decide to grow in number? I’ve got some advice for you on that. But first… Have you seen that parody about We Can’t Stop… Having Babies? No? Well, then here you go:
I think I laughed until I cried.
Why? Because it so seems so much like my life! I can totally relate to it because I have the 3 kids right now. The verdict is still out on whether or not we go from a family of five to a family of six. No offense to the children but this adjustment of being a party of five has been rather rough on us parents. Going from two to three kids has been a major challenge. I’m not kidding. MAJOR challenge.
Sure we heard everyone telling us how different life would be by adding a 3rd child to the mix. We heard it was going to be HARD. Plenty of people had made the leap and there are loads of opinions out there. Loads and loads. So we kind of knew going in that it would be an adjustment. But life altering and earth shattering? Not so much.
How exactly does one more child, a new baby, add so much chaos into the family? He’s just one tiny little baby. Well, take into account that he came into this world really, really fast. 5 minutes after we got to the hospital kind of fast. Since that lightening fast birth there have been so many other first for us. Firsts that many would probably laugh at, but they were and our firsts for us. So embrace it and it could actually help someone else along the way! Our new baby was our first with hemangiomas. First baby without an easy infant temperament. (Our other two were super easy.) First baby with torticollis. (Oh the number of physical therapy appointments were a struggle…) First baby who took forever to crawl. First baby who cried and fussed a lot. I had many a person tell me that they thought he was soooo very easy. Which might be true. In an alternate universe. Clearly these people did not know my other children well. Or… They themselves had birthed a very, very difficult child… So maybe my “difficult” child wasn’t so bad.
Regardless of it all we can’t imagine life without the little guy. In this moment he completes our family. He adds so much laughter and fun. His personality is all his own. I love watching him discover new things and seeing his eyes light up. Wouldn’t change my “difficult” baby for anything. I’m just now starting to feel like we have survived the baby number 3. He’s 14 months and at that really fun age.
Life isn’t about being easy. It’s about being dandy, but not being easy. But I do know that you can turn anything into something dandy. Anything. So here’s my little survival guide to making it through having a 3rd child. Because lots of people told us it was going to be hard and not many actually gave us advice…
How To Survive The New Baby
1.) Welcome to the jungle. Buckle up because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But it’s also going to be the best theme park ride you’ve ever been on. Totally beats Space Mountain 100 fold. There’s nothing wrong with a really great ride or the jungle. You just need to know how to navigate it. No matter what it’s going to be okay and it’s going to be dandy. If you want it to be. So embrace the jungle of adding that 3rd child to the family. There’s going to be lots of fun, lots of love, and you are one step closer to your very own baseball team. I live in a baseball town so I think that’s really dandy.
2.) You aren’t going to be on time anymore. Say goodbye to being on time for the next 18 months or so. You are going to be late. A LOT. And it’s okay. People understand. If they’ve had more than 2 children. *wink* You can avoid being late by getting up early and retiring to bed early. Because if you are ready then you will have the time to get your kids ready. I’m still working on this one myself and need to follow my own advice. If you follow this advice? You won’t end up in the school drop off line in your pajamas without a bra on and then have to do the walk of shame past the principal’s office to take your kid his backpack. Again. Still working on that one but it’s good advice, no? It takes some effort. Just try to be dandy.
3.) Just. Breathe. Here’s another one that I’m still perfecting. I need to listen to my own advice and that’s okay. It’s how we learn. It’s how we grow. Try not to stress. Take it all in stride and just take deep breaths. If you need to slow down. Do it. Take a break. No one is going to judge you. We all have moments where we need to take a break. Even in the working world. They get breaks. So if you are a SAHM then take breaks. You deserve it. Your family deserves it. It’s how you will be even more dandy. So just take the break already! It will make you feel dandy.
4.) Take time for yourself. Now I’m not talking about those occasional breaks throughout the day. I’m talking about taking the time to go and get your hair cut. Take the time for your own self care. You aren’t the first person on their planet to have a 3rd kid. There are a lot of us brave souls in the world. Look around. You don’t see that many unkept people on a day to day basis. Sometimes is okay but when it becomes a habit and you are constantly worried that you will be the next victim on the “People of Walmart” then I think you might have a problem. Stop that problem in its tracks. Take care of yourself.
5.) Go on dates. As parents you are going to need some time away and that’s OKAY. Spend time together. Reconnect. Don’t let the children get in the way of the reason why you had children together in the first place. Show love to each other. Get a babysitter at least (AT LEAST) once a month. For the times that you can’t get a babysitter then put away all the outside distractions (iPhone, computer, Facebook, etc.) and just sit down with your significant other and watch a movie. Without distractions you will actually catch more than just half of the movie and you will enjoy spending quality time with your partner. All while the kids are hopefully sawing logs in their beds. If you have a difficult child sleeper then I’m sorry but I have no help for you. Sure I could tell you what worked for us but then that would open up the wrath on me of those who are against what we did so you won’t see me publicly sharing that information anytime soon. *wink* But I know the help exists out there for you. Probably right here online. Just seek it out and find what works for you. Whatever works for YOU is dandy.
Above all else? Just. Be. Dandy. It’s going to be okay. You probably aren’t going to win any fantastic awards or Nobel Prizes anytime soon and that’s okay. In the eyes of your children you are reward enough. Take the time to look into their eyes next time they are looking at you. There’s so much love there. They idolize you. You are THE hero. You are DANDY.
Us with the new baby at The Muny.
Got any other suggestions for how to survive the new baby? Share with us in the comments!