By far, the question I get most these days is, “How are you adjusting?”
Combine that with looks I get at the grocery store and the daily exclamations from strangers that, “Oh, you must be busy!” and I gather it looks like I have a lot on my plate.
Correction, it looks like I have a lot of children on my plate. And yeah, I guess I do.
For awhile there was one, and then there were two and then BAM, before any of us expected, there were three.
To the question, “How are you adjusting?,” I can answer this: better than I ever expected.
To be honest, I think I was fully adjusted by the time Stryder was 2 months old. He is now 3.5mo and while, yeah, sometimes I look back at raising two kids and think that was nothing, having three isn’t really all that different.
But there have still been adjustments. For example:
- I breastfeed a baby five times during waking hours. Obviously, this has changed our daily routine. Sometimes it involves the other kids shoving up next to me–under elbows, on shoulders, you name it–while I’m feeding the baby. Does it make me uncomfortable that my 4.5 year old sometimes catches a glimpse, and talks about it? Yes, but only a little. I got over it pretty quickly.
- There are parts of our home I can never get clean. I can never quite keep up with the clutter, the mess, that five bodies create living in a two bedroom apartment. Will I ever be the housekeeper I once was? Maybe. Ten years from now? 😉
- I don’t have much alone time. In fact, the only truly alone time I can grab is by staying up way too late at night sewing or writing here. This is a bit of a problem for me. I need my sleep to be a good mommy, but I need creative time to stay sane. I’m still figuring out what to do about this.
- I’ve had to give up some things I really enjoy. Like quiet afternoons drinking tea and reading books. We ran out of rooms for kids to nap in, so Hudson (4.5) doesn’t nap any more. I’m learning to embrace these special times with him. I only have him with me for so long before he’s grown and gone.
- Brian and I have to be purposeful about time together. It doesn’t just happen any more; we have to make it happen by going on dates or designating evenings that we have a date-in and do something together at home.
- I am often tired. But I am learning to cope, even thrive, in spite of being tired.
- It’s a lot of work to get all three kids out the door, in the van, and to a location. I’ve started to think of the whole thing as an event. We’re not just going to the grocery store–the packing up, walking, loading, driving, unloading, shopping, paying, loading, driving, unloading, walking with heavily laden stroller and three kids back to the apartment, whew–it is all part of the event. I embrace it all. It’s the only way to keep things enjoyable.
- They grow so fast. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all heard it a million times. But having this new baby and comparing him with Hudson who is 4.5…wow. It really brings the lesson home. These stages go so fast. I will not miss this.
- Lower your expectations. There’s no sense in expecting life to be exactly the way it was. I just can’t get both bathrooms cleaned in one morning these days, it’s just not possible. Everyone’s a lot happier when I just accept the new stage we are in and lower my expectations of myself and our children. We are only human after all. It’s best to enjoy things the way they are and receive the next stage when it comes.
- Perspective. I am not the most important person in the world. There are now three living, eternal souls looking up to me. Brian and I together are their source of food, shelter, clothing, love, inspiration, camaraderie, friendship, entertainment, education, humor, etc. There just isn’t as much room for me in my world any more. And I’m okay with that. Like I’ve said before, I’ll be with myself forever, but these kiddos will move up and on.
- A positive attitude makes all the difference. If I’m annoyed because it takes so much effort to get the four of us out the door, then guaranteed, the trip to the grocery store will be miserable. But if I remind myself not to rush and to enjoy the time I’m spending with the kids, then no single moment is wasted. And I’m a lot happier at the end of it.