Life has been a series of figurative and literal storms for my family.
In the past two months, my mother-in-law lost her battle with cancer and we experienced the deepest grief we’ve ever known,
and Hurricane Harvey derailed the lives of many of our family and friends here in Houston.
Lots of life happening and so little time to process any of it into words, hence the tumbleweeds you may have seen blowing across my blog. Grief, joy, hardship, change, adjustment–I’m just now catching my breath.
So, since I haven’t been writing much, I wanted to check in with you all and give you some first thoughts here in the land of the outnumbered adults.
(This post contains affiliate links that will cost you nothing extra to use, but instead support the family behind this blog.)
All of those reassuring blog posts that called the third baby “easier” than the first? LIES.
I think I get what they mean. The experience of mothering a newborn for the third time does not have such steep learning curves as mothering for the first time. If you were the type that stressed about every little thing and had the pediatrician on the phone regularly, then yeah, maybe you’ve chilled out by the third.
Me? I started this whole gig pretty chill. I trusted my instincts along with God’s plan and that was enough for me to just enjoy those early months of motherhood. (I also slept when the baby slept, and that was the good life–in retrospect.)
But that first baby? He’s still here. He’s a preschooler now, and I’m trying to teach him to read and just be a decent human being in general. And the second baby has hung around too, he’s a toddler now, and whenever he wants something, he asks for it no less than 100 times. And guess what? They both still expect to be fed three times a day. They both still need clean clothes to wear. Together, they can make any room look like a tornado passed through it in under five minutes.
There are a lot of needs, and it’s mostly me here trying to meet them all. Except I’m living on disrupted sleep now and I’m stuck in one place nursing a baby for hours every day.
So I’ve concluded that…
Three kids is whack-a-mole for moms.
Got the baby fed? Great, now the toddler needs his diaper changed. Done with that? Cool, the preschooler just spilled the cup of milk he was trying to pour himself. Cleaned that up? Awesome, now the toddler is piling blankets on the baby and he’s crying. Got the baby settled down? Wonderful, now the big two are fighting over a toy neither of them have been interested in for months. Dealt with that? Baby is hungry again. Resist the urge to turn the TV on for the big kids. They’ve already had too much screen time today. Resist. Resist. Have you taken anything out of the freezer for dinner yet? Who’s crying now??
Three kids is a triage hospital.
Who needs help the most and who will just have to wait? Who’s crying can you handle listening to the longest? These are questions I have to ask myself whenever the needs stack up all at once.
Three kids is me at the end of myself.
I hear the lies whispered into my ear more and more these days: “You can’t handle this.”
“You are not a good mom.”
“You shouldn’t have had this many kids so close together.”
Some days the lies defeat me, but I’m doing my best to cling to Christ in the midst of the chaos and remember these truths:
“You can’t handle this.”
I can’t handle this, but He can. His strength is found in my weakness, if only I’ll admit it and lean on Him. And in that case, we can handle this.
“You are not a good mom.”
-I am a mom who is limited, impatient, tired, and still in my sin, yes. But He chose me to love and raise these little souls and there is goodness in that. There is grace for my failure. And there is love He put in my heart for my babies, even on our hardest days together.
“You shouldn’t have had this many so close together.”
-The Lord opens and closes the womb, He is the Giver of life and He delights in each of His children. I must be pretty full of myself to think that I personally brought these children into existence and that was somehow a mistake. I am not God. These lives are ordained for His perfect plan. These souls will live into eternity. God is bigger than anybody’s “family planning.”
There is sweetness in clinging closer than I ever have to Jesus. There is beauty in the encouragement my sisters in the trenches have given me through the struggles. And there is so much joy and reward in watching these three [messy, needy] boys grow and love one another and learn about the God who made them.
I’d love to hear your stories, thoughts, or encouragement about life after the third, whether you’re not there yet, you’re right in it with me, or you’re far beyond it! Write to me in the comments. <3
Now onto my review of the Omni 360 Carrier by Ergobaby!
I would never be able to accomplish another task or run another errand if it wasn’t for my Ergobaby carrier. I’ve told you before that it is the essential thing to have with a second baby (I’ll echo that for the third!)
Ergobaby has come out with a new carrier called the Omni 360 and I was sent one at no charge in exchange for my honest review of it. I already loved my original Ergo that was not provided for me for free, so this was just a fun privilege.
This carrier is adjustable from the inside for three classes of weight and height. I appreciate this feature because sometimes I need to wear the fussy baby, and other time it’s easier to put him in the stroller and wear the wild toddler instead (remember, triage hospital.) I need to be able to make those adjustments quickly on the go, and with this feature I certainly can.
I especially like the Omni 360 because it requires no newborn insert like the old Ergo carrier. (One more piece to tote around in the car and/or lose when stored between babies!) This one is also designed to wear kiddos front or rear facing, on the back or the front.
Finally, it has this nice fanny pack-style pocket in the front. I will say, that I preferred the pocket on my old Ergo that was at about chest level, located adjacent to baby’s back. It was a little easier to reach. But, some baby carriers have no pockets AT ALL, so I definitely appreciate this one. It would fit a phone, wallet, diaper and thin pack of wipes, perfect for a walk to the park!
I highly recommend the Omni 360 Carrier by Ergobaby. There aren’t too many things I’ll say you NEED for a baby–but THIS is one. Definitely a necessity for the second and third babies (and I’m sure we’ll be using it for all the babies to come!) Check it out here.