Thursday, April 22, 2010

Going From 2 to 3

I have been thinking about this post for a while and wanted to share since some of you are about to go from two to three and others maybe thinking about it. Before we had Jack,most people with three or more kids would say that going from one to two was much worse than going from two to three. We couldn't disagree more! The adjustment to a third in the mix was very overwhelming for us. Thankfully six months in we are adjusting but we lived in a state of survival for the first few months. We did the basics and not much else. We got the kids fed, bathed (a least a couple times a week - thank goodness it was winter so they weren't too dirty!) and ready for bed. Cooking was a definite challenge trying to keep Bailey and Jesse from tearing the house down while either feeding Jack or trying to get him to sleep. I use to have dinner on the table about 6 o'clock every night but now it's more like 7 or later some days. And on keeping my house straight - HAHA! That's a good one, it's more like let's just push the toys, jackets, bags, etc to the side so we can walk through. I try to keep most toys upstairs and then have the kids pick up but honestly that doesn't always happen. And I used to pick up when they went to bed but now I'm just too tired (and don't care, so unlike me) that it can wait. Maybe one day my house will be on the tidier side again. There are a few other things I've learned from being a mom of three:

1. An all-in-one diaper bag. When Jack was born Jesse was still in diapers and so I was carrying around my purse, Jesse's backpack and a diaper bag for Jack. And then on Wednesdays for church I had two extra bags one with Bailey's stuff and one with my bible study stuff so that was 5 bags total! So I got a bag that holds almost everything - my purse things, all of Jack's stuff, snack stuff, extra underwear for Bailey and Jesse (Jesse is potty trained now). It is wonderful! It is on the large side but I would rather keep up with that one bag than three or four bags! Diaper Bag Boutique has 10 % off and free shipping and the bag I got (actually mine's a different color) which I linked above is on sale and then the 10 % off so that's a pretty good deal!

2. Not so good naps for the baby. With the first two it was easy to ensure they had good naps but with the third not so easy. And this is due to number one and number two making way too much noise! Afternoon naps aren't so bad since everyone is sleeping but morning naps or early evening naps are much more of a struggle. When the baby is small they of course sleep through almost anything but the older that baby gets not so much. So as I've learned with the third, he gets a nap whenever he can - Babywise is pretty much out the window! I try to keep them quiet but I'm not very successful. Maybe one day when I get things more together I will do craft time or something to help occupy them instead of them running around like wild Indians!

3. A double stroller. I know many buy one when they have a second kid but I didn't find it all that necessary until number three. So yesterday I broke down and bought one! I should have bought it months ago. It will be nice to have all three contained in a seat and I won't have to keep saying over and over, "come here Bailey and Jesse or stay where I can see you!" I'm sure people in the store are thinking "I wish that lady would shut up and keep her kids from running a muck!" Everyone will be much happier! Well maybe not Jesse and Bailey.

4. TV. As part of the survival state my older two probably watched a little too much tv. Again once I get things a little more together maybe we can do something else but for now this is still part of our routine. I have to admit that having cartoons on keeps me sane some days because it's the only time they just sit and are quiet. Although since spring is here they have been playing outside more which is good.

5. Having a sling or Baby Bjorn or something similar. This has been a big help when I've needed it. I don't use it all the time but am glad I had for those days where I didn't have enough hands. I bought a sling basically when I went to the grocery store so that I could hold Jack while Bailey and Jesse sat in the buggey (or shopping cart for you northeners!) so I didn't have to chase them around the store. I'm probably crazy for going shopping with all three but you do what you gotta do. I have also used it when Jack didn't want to be put down and I need to finish cooking or when we went to the circus and didn't want to fool with a stroller. I have also used it outside with the kids so I can hold Jack but still push Jesse in the swing with free hands!

6. This is more of a side note - some of the baby things we had with the first two kids we had to replace such as the swing and the mobile. We had a Graco swing which died about 2 months into the third kid and our mobile for the crib died. So be aware all your stuff may not make it through the third child. Jack is now swinging in a pink swing because it was much cheaper than the gender neutral swing! Poor guy.

Well these are just some thoughts, things I've (we've) learned in this journey with life with three precious little ones! I hope it is helpful for those who are about to add to your family. I know that some of these things are experienced going from one to two but this time it seems much more magnified. Those of you with three or more may want to add to my list of things that have changed or things you've learned. Or maybe give me an idea of when things might get back to semi-normal!!!


Jack and Sheryl said...

Perhaps these are the same people who would say, 'Oh once you have 3 or 4, what's another don't even notice.' I don't believe that either, that's why we're not having another one. :)

Perhaps some of these particularly pertain to families like ours who have kids sooo close together where there are so many needs all the time, and you are the only one to meet them.

I think the biggest SHOCK for me in going from 2 to 3 was that it was so easy to get back in shape after my second baby, so I just assumed that it would be easy after #3. I thought I would be able to establish a regular exercise routine again after she started sleeping through the night and life started normalizing. I thought after a year for sure I would be thinner than when I started. Well, ha! The baby is now 15 months old and I still have a lingering middle from pregnancy. I have exercised maybe twice in the last several months. That part has been rather depressing for me.

I wouldn't trade it not ever, ever. I adore those kiddos and I'm so thankful that God gave them to us as close as He did because He obviously had a good reason, but whew! it's not easy. It's exhausting--emotionally, physically, spiritually. And my kids watch way too much tv, too.

Love you! Hang in there!

Andrea and Jeff said...

are you guys trying to scare me, or what?? haha. jk, i know you are just trying to prepare those of us about to enter the world of 3. i think i'm the most nervous about the nap thing b/c my kids will definitely be trapped inside for the first 4 months and also i have no idea what our sleeping arrangements will be! our rooms are too small for 2 beds (and we aren't investing in bunk beds for obvious reasons), so it should be interesting. oh, and i don't cook now, so that won't change much :) oh, and i STILL can't get lylah to watch TV. what's up with that kid? absolutely nothing keeps her entertained, NOTHING! but besides that, i'm sure it will be a piece of cake ;)

Andrea and Jeff said...

and elizabeth, could you send me the link to the bag you got and/or the website, i couldn't get it to work?? thanks.

Johnson Journal said...

sorry the links didnt' work. I thought I did it right but apparently not. The site is and the bag I got is except mine is a different color that I don't think they have anymore.

Kevin and Keri Sheckler said...

Okay...this is good stuff. Because you are right, I've ONLY heard how easy it will be going from 2 to 3 and this will be happening in the next month!!!

I'm hoping/praying that because mine are a little more spaced out (oldest 5 1/2, 2nd 2/12) that I won't be too stressed?

Here's to 3!

theblans said...

I'm going to save this post for a rainy day in the future, hopefully. Thanks for the honesty!