I haven’t blogged much and normally, I’m okay with that. But, man, I got thoughts that I want to get onto paper! (Even if it’s an electronic form of paper). This is a really cool and unique time in our family’s life and I know I’ll forget things if I don’t record them somewhat. I like being able to physically soak in memories and store them in my little head, but I also know that 5, 10 or even 20 years down the line, they are likely to escape. Recording them, even briefly, can help them come back to life.
I’ve heard it said that the transition from 2 to 3 kids is the toughest. You know, you’re no longer on man-to-man defense. So to speak. That has not been the case for us. So far anyway.
Maybe it has more to do with the ages of your kiddos when you add the 3rd. Most people don’t have 18 months between each kid, making their oldest older than ours (just turned 3) when they add the 3rd. In some ways, that would help (older children are more likely to help). In other ways, that wouldn’t help (they still need attention and might more easily resent a new sibling.)
Maybe it has more to do with the personalities of the children when you add the 3rd. We’re not quite 3 weeks into this yet, but so far, Sammy is the “easiest” baby that I’ve had. No jaundice. He eats well and sleeps well. (Especially in the middle of the night — he’s a fast eater and fast return-to-sleeper!) He’s content to be held. He’s content to lay on his mat.
Maybe it has more to do with the “life” stuff going on when you add the 3rd. With our 1st, we were fairly newly married (not quite 2 years) and still adjusting to that, in little ways. With our 2nd, we had just moved into a house 2 weeks before he was born and was definitely adjusting to that and getting settled in. With this one, we haven’t just moved. We’ve been married for almost 5 years now. We’ve generally figured out our roles in life.
I’m not sure there’s a definitive list of reasons why this has been so easy (so far). But…
I thought I’d have to play more defense. For us, I thought Stephen (18 months) would be indifferent to the new baby like Finn mostly was when Stephen was born. Not the case. Stephen is enamored with him! If he hears the baby cry in the monitor, he perks up, says “Baby!” and starts heading for his room. He runs to “hold” Sammy after we get him up, before I feed him. Finn (3 years) is interested, but not too much or for too long. He’s got other things to do. The other day, Stephen got a hold of one of Sammy’s sleepers from the laundry and carried it around for 30 minutes just saying “Baby, Baby”. We’ve set up a “safe place” for Sammy on the main stairs and (mostly) the boys respect that and don’t bother him.
I’m comfortable with this role. When the role of Mom is new to you, you question everything! At least, I did. And when your first is born at under 6 pounds, fights jaundice, you’re trying really unsuccessfully to breastfeed and you’re adjusting to lack of sleep, everything looks worse than it is. And its easy to dwell on that and think that things will never change. But now? I know it that any hard times are just really short phases.
We’re home-centered already. It might be weird to say that because I do work outside of the home part-time, but in general, we aren’t out and about kind of people. Partly because that’s our personalities. Partly because we’re used to structuring our lives around nap times anyway. The last few months, our babysitter (my sister) has been coming to our house to watch the boys anyway, so we aren’t even used to packing them up to take them to a sitter’s house. We just stay home. Adding another baby usually means that people stay home more. For us, we’re already used to that. No major lifestyle changes there.
Our oldest 2 “play” really well together. When I had Stephen, Finn was an only child and used to mom’s attention 100% of the time. He didn’t really play independently and always wanted to be near (or on top of) me. Now? Finn and Stephen actually “play” together! Play together = being in the same room, playing with similar objects. If I go to get Sammy up from a nap, Finn doesn’t rush to join me and he certainly doesn’t want to sit on my lap at the same time. He’s content to know where I’m at because he doesn’t feel alone – Stephen is there with him. They’re both content to be playing in the toy room as I sit on the toy room couch feeding Sammy. I didn’t think they’d be playmates this young in life.
I have more thoughts I’m sure, but I wanted to get these out of my head!