3 children, 4 months in

3 children, 4 months in

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write since last month, but, you know, TIME! Mainly lack of it right now and the juggle that I’m finding having three children is. 

First thing’s first. Having 3 is BRILLIANT 95% of the time so far, and we are so lucky. Arlo really has just slotted in and it now feels like he’s always been here. He’s mostly such a happy and laid back little guy (apart from the days lately where teething is the enemy), and he really has completed our family. The older two are brilliant with him and love him to bits, and he brings us all so much joy. We are so pleased we had him. Whilst I love the idea of 4, I can safely say that 3 is the magic number for us and one that I think realistically will be manageable and enjoyable for our family. 

Because you know what? 

3 is still bloody hard work. I guess I was warned by family (Adam and I are both the youngest of 3), and prepared ourselves for the worst, so by preparing for the worst it hasn’t actually been that bad. But we’re now at the stage where I’m feeling torn in different directions and right now I don’t feel I’m doing a particularly great job in any one area, whether that’s work or parenting. And this is still with plenty of extended family support- huge props to those going it alone. 

Arlo is now awake more during the day, which is ace as I love hanging out with him, but means there is less opportunity to get stuff (i.e. work) done. The older two have clubs after school on 3 days, and having to drag a baby along to all of these now, when you don’t want them to fall asleep at crucial times is infinitely trickier than when he was a newborn, although I know it’s just a phase, and in a year it will be much easier. Take Monday when F and S have tennis. It’s 90 minutes and the ballache of loading and unloading the car with so much crap either end of this, and the last two weeks Arlo has got thoroughly fed up and gone bonkers on the way back in the car. Meaning that the big two have had tea pretty much thrown in front of them whilst I sort baby ready for bath, feed and bed. And I feel #mumguilt for not spending much ‘quality time’ (I hate that phrase) with them, before I’m knackered and trying to get them sorted and ready for bed too. 

I’m also not a natural night owl these days, so by the time everyone is in bed and asleep and we’ve eaten it’s usually 8.30, and I’m often too tired to start any meaningful work.

It really is a juggle, even though Adam is really hands on and to be honest probably does dinner and sorts bottles etc most evenings. 

When I had two tiny ones a few years ago I never really felt torn in different directions, as at 15 months apart they were so close in age that they wanted to do all the same things. This time, obviously the older two have different needs to number 3. I’m probably being hard on myself, but it is harder to keep everyone happy. Again, I’m sure this will change in a couple of years when Arlo is easier and we’re not sleep-deprived (PLEASE GOD).

I’m definitely repeating the mantra “This too shall pass”! 

However, having said all this, I also want to really enjoy this stage too, as they’re all only young once and I don’t want to be remembered as ‘stressed’ haggered mum.

So it’s definitely a case of deep breaths, and cracking on as calmly and as un-frazzled as possible. It’s funny, as whilst it’s been a shock to the system not having as much free time to work or do what I want, I’m definitely more patient with more parenting experience, and trying to go with the flow more. 

If you have 3 (or more!), do you have any tips for me to keep everyone and myself happy? Okay I really AM happy, but just feel that I’m dropping a lot of balls right now.

Any advice would be great!

2 Comments

  1. Sarah
    November 9, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    I hear you!! #3 is nearly four now but I remember those days well. Our gaps are slightly different in that #2 was 3 when #3 came along so different guilt challenges with her home… I think my main advice would be don’t punish yourself for not being the same with each of them – of course be fair, but you do parent #3 differently and that’s ok. #1, for example, was never on a school run in November at 2 days old. You do give in to #3 more easily sometimes because good grief the noise!!! And needing to do spellings while he wails for breadsticks…. So I’m sure you do this instinctively but figure out what each child really needs of you and give it when you can and enjoy a guilt-free moment of 1:1. For example my #1 despite being a 9 year old boy still likes to snuggle up and read together at bedtime so we make sure to do that even if it is once a week in the chaos of clubs, while #2 needs me to listen to post-school analysis on the way home… I found that there were things my big kids started missing because I couldn’t manage them with all three and just me but to be honest I was more upset about this “lack” than they were. I would say keep cutting yourself slack because toddlerdom is exhausting with tired school kids on top but most of all remember you have given them each other and good sibling relationships are just as character forming as all the extra-curricular in the world. When I am having a bad 3-kids day I think of family friends who have 4 kids in their late teens and 20s and the easy banter and genuine love between them and use that as my happy place! Three is a real shift in awesomely amazing ways but also really sanity-challenging ones and I don’t regret it at all but do always resonate with people who are honest about it!

  2. November 23, 2017 / 11:28 am

    Love this post – I am 3 children 11 months in and it can sure be intense at times. I still feel like I am finding my feet juggling 3, with work and school runs and the constant sickness that starting school and nursery brings. However it is bloody amazing. I love that there are so many of us and I feel so lucky that they are all mine.

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