Baby #2 arrived and certainly added some spice to our lives. She was a pretty easy baby – she slept well, ate well, wasn’t fussy and went with the flow pretty well. We could still go shopping and out to dinner but as she got older it got a bit harder. Two toddlers require quite a bit of baggage just to go anywhere: diapers, toys, food, bibs, wipes. But, it was manageable and pretty easy to leave the kids with one of us while the other took that still much needed alone time to do errands or interact with adults. That happened less, of course, but it was still relatively easy. More things would have to wait until after the kids went to bed, like laundry, cleaning, or other chores, but we weren’t too tired so it wasn’t a big deal. That’s about when we decided that we should go for #3 since we weren’t getting any younger. During the 9 months of waiting for #3, the two older ones got pretty independent, potty trained, were sleeping well and required much less intense attention.
And then BOOM! Baby #3 arrived! She knocked us on our butts!!! She wasn’t as good a sleeper as #2, but she was pretty good natured. She liked to stay next to me in the sling all day for several months until she was too big, and that was a bonus. She was happy and I could easily do just about anything while simultaneously feeding her. In fact, one time I gave a bath to both the older ones (including hair washing) AND fed the baby a bottle all at the same time. Thank God for the sling. Seriously.
The biggest change from two to three is that we are outnumbered. Someone always needs something. It never fails that I might sit down for 3 seconds and someone needs help in the potty, a face cleaned, a toy fixed, a bottle, an argument mediated, a diaper changed or help putting their clothes on. And, if it’s not a kid needing something, it’s something for the kids that can’t wait like making bottles, preparing food, or washing clothes/bedding (for them, not us). The kids and their needs take up every second of our time that they are awake. So, once they are in bed we have to do everything else like our laundry, cleaning, making our lunches, bills, phone calls, etc. We also like to squeeze in watching our favorite shows (Yay DVR!), which have significantly lowered in numbers since #3. We are just out of time because we do actually need to sleep at some point.
The transition from two to three was definitely the hardest, especially since we have no relatives here to help us which means we don’t get a break unless they are visiting. We have to pay at least $10/hr for a babysitter, and that gets pricey. It’s hard to leave all three kids with one of us, so we usually do a 2/1split or sometimes leave all 3 with the other. We make it work and do our best, but we are significantly more tired than with just 2. The baby is just 11 months old so it will get better in about 2 years when she can talk and follow directions! I am certainly thankful for take-out and microwaveable food!
I wouldn’t change a thing though. The kids are so much fun (when they aren’t arguing) and so, so cute together. And, we do lots of fun stuff as a family that we never did before like going to pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms and day trips to experience Texas BBQ. I’m really looking forward to the time when they are old enough that we can do more stuff together, but I enjoy watching them take care of each other (again, when not arguing or beating each other up), play together and grow into little people. Someday I will look back on the time when we had three kids under the age of 4 and wish I could go back. I’m sure, though, that I’ll be looking through rose-colored glasses with very well rested eyes.