We talked about having three kids from the beginning of our relationship, and once we had two we talked long and hard about having a third and ultimately decided that even though we knew it would be really, really difficult for the first few years at least, we still wanted to add to our family. So, we went for it without thinking too much, because if you think too much it will completely drive you crazy. We were definitely right about the difficulty of it all, and now that the baby is walking and starting to interact with her siblings we can see how awesome it will be once she's old enough that we can go places and do things as a family without worrying about all the 'baby' stuff.
We are often tired and frustrated and exhausted as most parents are, and the biggest thing for us is that we do not have any family here. Our closest relatives are about an hour away, which is not close enough for emergency babysitting or even to trade babysitting. We have friends, but you can't just ask friends to watch three toddlers on a whim the same way you can Grandma and Grandpa. We've called friends during emergencies, but we definitely don't have anyone knocking down our door wanting to babysit. And, I COMPLETELY understand, and do not expect it in any way. If we lived near grandparents, we would probably have some offers to help out every once and a while.
So, because we are here without family we have to pay $10 - $12/hour for babysitting. So, every time we want to go out with friends or on a date, we have to arrange for a babysitter and pay a hefty fee. Babysitting fees add up quickly making nights on the town expensive. The Grandparents visit a few times a year and they usually offer to watch the kids while we go out, and we definitely take them up on that. If we can't get the babysitter we either don't go out, one of us stays home or we figure out a way to take the kids. We have no choice but to make it work for us.
But, it would be so much better if we had family close! I really hope people who live near family know how lucky they are! It is truly a blessing to be able to live close to relatives who can help when kids are little because it can be trying! Also, my husband goes out of town on occasion, and that's when I really long to live near my parents. We do lots of take-out and there are times when I don't know how I get through the week, but I know I"m not the only one in this situation. I have to remind myself if single Moms and Military families can do it, then so can I.
It is not easy raising kids, and it would definitely be significantly better if we had family close by, but we do the best we can and try to laugh as much as we can. I miss sharing special events with the Grandparents, but social media is so great for being able to share everything.
Too many people sugar coat things these days as well, and I'm just trying to give you a glimpse into the life of a family of five. I hope you continue to enjoy and laugh with (at?) me and share your comments because I enjoy it all!!