Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adding a Third Child - Is It Smart to Outnumber Yourself?

Real quick, I just want to update from my last post that was written at 3am. My little angels slept in slightly past 10:30am for their momma on her birthday. Baby Boo needed a bottle at 7:00am which my lovely husband took care of and then she went right back down. I got to almost fully catch up on sleep. I love them all!

- Back to your regularly scheduled program blog -

As I have mentioned a few times now, the hubs and I eventually want a third child - Not as close in age as the 2 we have right now (ship's sailed on that one anyway - no sleep is being lost over that), but relatively close together still. Whenever I think of this, my mind starts to wonder what it will be like to have 3 kids. I often hear, usually from people with 2 children, that it isn't smart to have more children than you have parents. That made sense in mind and I have been a little apprehensive over the whole third child thing despite being very sure that our family isn't complete with 2. For me at least, going from 1 child to 2, was a bigger transition in terms of stress levels than going from none to 1. I kept imagining that going from 2 to 3 would be an even bigger jump.
Lately I have been thinking about it a little harder and am finding myself less worried. Outnumbered? I am home (or out and about) alone with my children most days of the week while hubby works; I am already outnumbered! Plus, I have come to find that with Little Dude well into his not-so-terrible-twos, that he needs a lot less immediate attention. He still needs attention of course, just not as on demand as a baby. With a third, Baby Boo will be hopefully around the age that my son is now when the new baby arrives. This will hopefully mean that she should be a little more independent by then too. When picturing a future family, it is easy to picture a newborn being added to the current lineup. That simply isn't reality though. 9 months is the minimum amount of time in which I *could* have another and that is a world of difference in terms of needs for both my kids.

Little Dude at birth, 9 months, and 18 months old:
Baby Boo at birth and 9 months old:

There are a couple of bigger scenarios that I imagine will test my patience and ability as a new mom of three. The first is the rare though ever-stressful times when crap hits the fan (hopefully not literally) and all kids melt down. These moments have been rare in my own household, but the few examples I can think of make me break out in a sweat and have my ovaries cowering in the corner. Add some fresh post-partum hormones and you have a recipe for some serious potential melt downs on momma's part.

I found this phase short-lived with two kids. Sure they do both melt down on occasion now, but with toddlers and older babies, you can simply take them out of the situation with a time-out. Then, you deal with the issues in order of severity - in terms of severity, poop related incidents usually trump everything else. It is when you have a newborn attached to your hip (or boob) where this can be more difficult. I remember feeding Baby Boo or rocking her to sleep as an itty-bitty when Little Dude would have a meltdown. I would then have to get up and disturb her while I dealt with him, and that automatically resulted in 2 screaming kids . . . and one very frustrated momma. Once they are a little older, it isn't (to me) such a big deal to allow one child to cry if you have a pressing issue to take care of with another. In fact, it is downright necessary sometimes since we are only human and can't be in 2 places at one time.
Having big brother "help" was a great way to take care of both kids' needs.

Breastfeeding in particular is a vulnerable time since it is harder to just get up and take care of a situation if need be; especially if you are still establishing breastfeeding with a newborn. Having double trouble on the loose while feeding a newborn third child will surely test my nerves and parenting abilities. In those moments of frustration and despair, I will have to remember that this stage is short-lived. Easy advice to dish out now; harder advice to remember and take later.

The second situation which I'm sure I will have some struggles with is going out. I'm not talking about actually being out somewhere (though I'm sure that'll be no picnic either); I'm talking about getting everyone ready, making sure we have all necessities, getting everyone out of the door, getting everyone safely to the car, buckling everyone into their car seats, and getting everyone safely out of the car once we arrive. This process takes me FOREVER with 2, so I imagine I may never be on time again once a third is added to the mix. It also takes a lot of mental and physical energy to go anywhere. I simply didn't have it when Baby Boo was itty-bitty, therefore, we stayed home almost every day. The fact that it was winter in Minnesota didn't help either.

I didn't really hit my stride until 6 months after having my daughter. Now our days of doing nothing all day are very rare and I feel that I've figured it out. I don't know how easy that stride will be to find in the first year of having 3, but I guess we'll see. I know I can do it, I just don't know how long it will take. It still takes forever to go anywhere though. I always relish the times that I am able to go out without the kids for the fact that I can just grab my purse and go. No cleaning dirty faces, changing clothes, wrestling on shoes and socks, making sure we have an extra bottle on hand, etc.
It was not love at first sight for big brother,
 but he slowly warmed up to his sister.

I'm not sure when I will actually jump on the baby train again. I am sure that when I do, I will coddle my newborn to death since I will be sad (and hormonal) that he/she will likely be my last baby. Call me crazy (I'll agree with you sometimes), but I can't wait to do it again!


  1. I can barely go to a store by myself with the two. It is very challenging for me for some reason. I can't imaging 3 or 4 children, which i do want eventually, but more and more I think about it the more i want to wait till P is 5 and in school. But we will see what the man upstairs has in mind for us.

  2. The grocery store I can do because Kaelan likes riding in the carts and several of the local stores have the kid carts with cars on the front. Other shopping I very rarely go with both kids because Kaelan likes to go all over. It is exhausting because I have to pay all my attention to him. Hailey is easier since she just sits in the stroller but that will change soon enough.


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