The Joys (And Challenges) Of Being A Mother Of Three

Want to change your life forever? Try being a mom to three kids

I used to think people with more than two kids were crazy. How did they handle being outnumbered? When I had to take a pregnancy test as a mom of two, I knew my world was about to change drastically.

As I waited for the results of the pregnancy test, I was filled with a whirlwind of emotions. Was I ready for a third baby? How would I handle the extra work? I already had two, how hard could another one be? I had heard the cliché, “If you can do three, you can do anything,” but I had never fully understood it.

Everything about baby number three was different, starting with the pregnancy. Since we already had a boy and a girl, we decided not to find out the sex of this baby. It drove people crazy when they would ask what we were having and I would tell them it was a surprise. (Secretly, I found that part to actually be a lot of fun.)

I had a bad experience with an epidural during my second delivery, and this time decided to deliver completely natural. I started the pregnancy with a new doctor who was closer to my home, but when his response to my no-drugs decision was “If you don’t get the epidural, you’re stupid,” I quickly drove the hour to my old doctor who supported me and my birth plan.

I was sick a lot during this pregnancy. Entertaining my 4-year-old and 2-year-old proved to be a challenge since all I really wanted to do was lay on the couch. We spent a lot of time snuggling and reading books, playing games where I didn’t have to move and watching movies. We would talk about having another baby and how things were going to change at our house. They didn’t understand fully what was happening, and neither did I.

Finally, one week past my due date, after a non-stress test and two false alarms (another first for me), the time came. Labor pains started on a Friday night, and even though the hospital was over an hour away, I was determined to stay home as long as possible to make sure we would get admitted this time. I put my kids to bed like usual, and went to lie down myself. At 2 am the contractions were coming regularly and we were off to the hospital.

My in-laws met us there to take our kids home with them. The sound of my two-year-old screaming for mom haunted me as I walked into the hospital to check-in. The details of the delivery are a blur and before I knew it I was holding a beautiful baby girl. We had a sweet connection from the moment she was placed in my arms and I knew our lives had forever changed.

The first week home with her was exciting to say the least. She had bad colic and when she was awake, she spent most of her time crying. She was not a good sleeper from the start, but luckily breastfeeding her was easy. Though I was enveloped in the euphoria and exhaustion that comes with new motherhood, I struggled to find balance between this sweet little newborn, and my two other children who were totally dependent on me as well. That week brought on lots of tears and meltdowns from both me and the kids.

I would like to look back and say that the adjustment period was easy, but for me, this time around was harder than going from one to two. It took a good six months to adjust to the new baby, find balance with the other two and get some sleep. Having a third baby made me question my ability as a mother on a daily basis. How could three babies from the same parents be so completely different? I had heard people say that baby number three rocks your world, and now I totally get it.

Being a mother to three little ones is hard work. Someone constantly needs something whether it be a drink of water or a diaper change. I spend most days cleaning, playing, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, running them to their various activities and cleaning some more. I watch as they are developing personalities and relationships with each other and with me. Even though there is less one-on-one time, the fact that they can entertain each other and play together helps alleviate the mom guilt.

I’ve noticed that with three kids, the parenting advice has slowed down. People must think I know what I am doing since I have three! I’ve also found myself more able to ask for help when I need it, or accept it when people offer. You want to bring me dinner? Please do! Can you take my older two on a playdate so I can rest? Yes, please!

I love when we are getting ready for bed at night and one (or all) of them wrap their arms around my neck and tell me they love me and that they had a good day. And then I remember why having three kids is so amazing. Yes, my life changed forever and yes most days are crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know now that if I can manage raising three kids, I can do anything. Until we decide to have a fourth… then I may question everything again! 

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