Since Zoë was born, the question I've been getting the most is: "So...how's it going with three?"
I know a lot of people with one or two kids...and it seems most are, understandably, curious what it's like when you add a third into the mix.
I really don't feel qualified to answer that question, yet. I feel like I should defer to my friends with three kids whose youngest is at least a toddler. I know, from experience, that in many ways the baby stage is the easiest. So perhaps this is as good as it'll get? Kidding. I hope.
But nevertheless, we're almost three months in, and a few themes have become clear. Here are a few bullet points of how "it's going:"
I am more forgetful. It's been a real challenge to keep track of everything we have going on. Or even just remembering to check my Google calendar. (Side note: trying to keep the radio waves away from Zoë's brain. It's hard, in our phone-addicted culture.) For Christmas, Santa brought us a dry erase calendar for the fridge. Here's to keeping the schedule in check in 2018!
It takes forever to get anywhere. I tend to be a punctual person. I err on the side of early to make sure I'm at least on time. With two kids, I think I was usually still on time. But getting all 4 or 5 of us out the door and to a destination has proven difficult. Someone inevitably has a meltdown (often me) or a blowout (not me)...and then somehow minutes have passed and we're late. Willa's school opens at 8, and you're not officially tardy until 8:15. Before the holiday break, we were creeping up on 8:10. Gotta get back to 7:55...
Nobody gets a break. I remember, when Willa was little, Dan and I would "trade-off" parenting duties, so each of us would regularly get a break. Once Cameron was born, it took a bit longer to get to that point, but we got there. We'd each take the kids at different points so the other could have some down time. So far, with three, no one is getting a break unless you leave the house. It's more of an "all hands on deck" situation. I'm sure, in time, that'll change. But for now, parenting is what we are doing all the time.
We aren't sleeping through the night. Even if Zoë sleeps through the night, Dan and I likely don't. Someone is up for some reason. It's made the whole sleep deprivation stage a bit easier this time around, actually, because even before Z was born, I was used to being up at least once in the middle of the night.
I'm not getting much "done." Our society seems to focus a lot on productivity. It's shown that working towards a goal is a key to happiness. We tend to feel better about ourselves when we are accomplishing something. However, when you have a newborn, it's hard to get much "done" besides caring for said newborn. I have to remind myself that, regularly. If a day goes by and "all" I've done is gotten the kids where they need to be, fed them, kept them warm, and loved them, then I'm pretty much doing what I'm supposed to be doing. That's what needs to "get done" at this point in life.
Someone is pooping. Yep. As far as I can tell, dealing with this is a big part of parenting young children. Good times.
I'm not posting our adventures on Instagram. When we're out of the house, I'm too busy keeping my head on a swivel to document our adventures. But at home I like to get up in everyone's face. So lots of 'gramming from chez nous. We do leave the house...sometimes.
There's a lot of laundry. A lot. We use cloth diapers, so adding a baby to the mix creates a good deal more laundry. We're more exhausted at bedtime too, which means less monitoring of what goes in the laundry bin. Willa really needs to learn that wearing a skirt for 20 minutes does not make it dirty...
There is so much to carry. I've never been one to carry an infant car seat. There are a lot of reasons, but mostly it's just too damn heavy. I've also always been someone who aims for minimalism with baby stuff. Yet, still, I have so much to carry! SO MUCH. I got a fantastic new backpack for Christmas, but I'm not sure it's big enough. Something's gotta go...
I'm learning to cut hair. Between the cost and logistics of getting the kids (not to mention myself) to a hair salon, it's just not happening. I've opted instead to grab a pair of kid scissors (they're sharper than they're supposed to be, I'd say) and take matters into my own hands. I've been trimming my own bangs for awhile now, so I started doing Willa's too. And more recently I tackled Cam's 'do. I didn't do the best job, but it's servicable. I'm sure there will be a day when I'll be spending plenty on hair cuts (Willa totally has that dirty blonde colored hair that will "need" highlights...) so for now I'll keep practicing my skills.
There's a whole lot of love. Everyone wants a hug. Everyone needs a snuggle. Everyone wants to be carried. Cameron is crushing Zoë with his whole body. Willa is dressing Zoë in all pink. Willa is helping Cameron put on his shoes. Everyone is shouting. Everyone is crying. Everyone is laughing. It's a little bit "nutty" (as my friend and fellow mom-of-three Katie would say) but all in all it's pretty darn wonderful.