All of this.
With three, my house is cleaner than it was with one. I don't worry too much, and the balance for the family works. The sleep deprivation still gets to me at times, but not as badly as it once did. I haven't slept more than 90 minutes at a stretch for about 3 years now... I sort of accept it as the norm.
When we had our 4th, it was just like, "What's one more at this point, seriously?" From 1 to 2 was a pretty big change and from 2 to 3 was crazy, but from 3 to 4 was noooo biggie.
Melissa: wife to, mama to 5 dear children and remembering Matthias (8.9.05 - 8.10.05)
Jill, mama to three fiery girlies and a sweet baby boy: Grace, 11.30.2005, Ayla, 3.22.2008, Norah 9.5.09, Reed 8.19.11 & dfs Gage 2.29.12 x4
I really feel like I'd like to have four and just figuring that all out with my age/DH's vocation/training, etc. Lots to think about!
Mama , DH , DD (05) , DS1 (09) , DS2 (12)
A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.
North Idaho rural living mama to: 23 yo DD, 17 yo DS, 9 yo DS, 7 yo DS, 5 yr old DS, 3 yo DD, 2 yo DS, and our newest family member, a boy born December 2014!
OP: I just had my 3rd and it's been an adjustment for sure... It's been a little harder for me than going from one to two, but that's partially because my 2nd and 3rd are a year closer in age than my 1st and 2nd and my 2nd is still nursing and it's been hard on him at times to share his milk with the baby. Also, I'm trying so hard to make sure my oldest knows how very loved he is... I want to make sure he doesn't feel like he's fading into the back round. I can say, however, without a doubt, that I want more! Heck! After reading zjande's post I want 10!! I've always wanted a big family and for me, the best coping skill I've learned (as PP have stated) is letting go. Being able to laugh instead of stressing.. Sometimes I literally have to think "OK, a year from now will it matter if I ___" (e.g. Am late to this Dr's appt/don't get the dishes done tonight/cancel on my friend/don't watch this TV show)?? Usually the answer is no and I can relax a little bit. I had to learn not to major in the minors.
I think if your heart truly desires another baby, then you'll keep thinking about it and won't feel quite "complete" until you have another. I kind of think of it like finding your soul mate.. You just "know". I think when you're done having kids you just know and if you're still longing for one, you ain't done hon!
Super crunchy Mama to DS1, DS2, DD and wanting a bunch more! We homeschool, bed share, homebirth and baby wear. We're attached, we only cloth diaper and we don't vax. There's a lot more to us than that, but it won't all fit.
Funny, someone just asked me the same question at the park the other day. She had 2 boys & wondered how I "survived" having 5 kids (4 boys, 1 girl). She said she could "barely handle her 2". I was caught off guard & had no idea how to answer! lol!
I rarely feel "stressed out", especially by my kids. I love having a whole pile of kids. I hope to have more. If only I'd met my now-husband sooner than when I was 30, maybe we could have had 10.
These are just a few of my own thoughts. Everyone's ideas & needs are different of course, but this is how it goes in my brain. I've really embraced having kids in such a way that I don't have high expectations to do much else these years than raise them. I'm fine without any "me time", I'm never (ever) alone, I expect to be interrupted constantly no matter how much I enjoy what I'm doing, I am the most sleep deprived person I know (my memory is embarassingly gone from yrs & yrs of little sleep) but I just march through the best I can with as little complaining as I can, & never, ever expect to actually focus & complete a conversation with another adult. My mind is always on "where are the kids, what are ther kids doing, who needs my help". I frequently have to walk away mid-sentence to rescue a kid. And the big thing for me is, I don't let myself feel bothered or annoyed at my kids for any of that. I've truly just gotten to a spot where I have come to terms with this is my life, raising these kids with my husband is all I'm doing right now.
And my biggest "sanity saver" (if I'd call it that), is this: I can do it all when I'm older. Seriously, I have firmly embraced the fact in my mind that this is all temporary, I will miss my babies so much someday, & I will have decades&decades of "me time". Time for sleeping, dates with my wonderful husband, hobbies, sitting down & chatting with folks, focusing on the present happenings instead of what the kids are doing, not being exhausted..... But for these fleeting years, I'm selfless. And I'm really, genuinly happy about it.
Also, here are some other things that happen to work for me. YMMV. I am not Christian but I puffy heart love Christian blogs written by mamas with tons of kids. They view every one of their kids as blessings, gifts sent directly from God, entrusted to these mamas to raise for Him. It's a powerful message, and so, so sweet to be reminded of. I don't know if I'm allowed to link to such places here, but I could PM some of my favorites. Or you could find my blog linked in my profile & scroll way down near the bottom to find some. I even receive Above Rubies magazines (a Christian quiverfull mag). My heart gushes with joy with every one. Their entire message is that we mamas have the most important job on earth, & each mag oozes with love for our babies. And many of those women have LOTS of babies! I also big puffy heart love babies.
Man, I'm one gushy chick.
Besides all that, there's just the practical stuff that makes it all easier. I homeschool so there's no stress of getting to/from schools, no bad attitudes being learned by my kids at school, & my dh & I are the sole "trainers" (ok that's not quite the right word but I'm too tired to think of the perfect word, lol) of our kids. They're not getting influenced by others at at school. Also, major life decluttering. Fewer belongings equals fewer messes, fewer friends & outings equals lesss stress & more regular home rhythm. Routine, so the kids know what to expect & don't freak out. Child locks on everything.
Well, now that I've written a novel (& was interrupted by my 2 yr old who wanted me to "watch mama, watch!!" 452 times), I hope I've been even slightly helpful & I hope I haven't offended.
OMg, I actually just thought of 1 more thing I wanted to share. Another thing that has made a huge difference for me, compared to when I had my 1st two kids, is that I don't allow myself to feel annoyed when I have to get up with them at night. What I mean is, I've managed to switch my my brain from thinking negative things when I'm up alone with a grumpy/sick/awake baby in the night, to positive thoughts. I focus on how sweet it is to be in the cozy dark getting this all alone time with my baby. And I pet him & focus on how sweet, soft & squishy babies are. And smell him, hum sweet songs to him (THIS ONE, "Lullaby" by Dixie Chicks is the KING of the sweetest songs to sing to a baby or hum to yourself. I think I cried the first 15 times I heard this song. My favorite line for middle of the night with baby moments is "tomorrow there'll be so much to do.. tonight I'll drift in a dream with you" whilst rocking the little sleepy head back to sleep), & also think about how much I love my husband & am grateful that he works so hard for us all day & that he's getting good, uninterrupted sleep in preparation for another long day at work for us.
So yeah. That's what works for me.
Thank you so much for this post :) By the way, I am in Oregon, too. You should PM me, maybe we live near one another and can get together. I was homeschooling DS until this week, when he started going to Waldorf. It fits our life right now, but I am going to miss him...
Me, DS, and DD Grateful to the baby I lost for sticking around long enough to teach me what I needed to know so badly We love our forest valley home, our goats and chickens, and wild harvested food-medicine
I have 3 kids. Really, prior to marriage, I thought I wanted 4: the first two about 2 years apart then wait about 5-6 years and have the second two about 2 years apart. DH and I decided we were done at 2 and really, I was ready to put the "baby" stuff behind us. And, as soon as I got rid of the baby stuff we had when DS (our second child) was 5, a week later I find I'm pregnant again. (Hence why I fear getting rid of baby stuff, considering I'm about to have the implanon implant removed--seriously, though, 5 weeks straight of being on my "period"? and irregular on top of that?)
Maybe it is the age difference. But, my son is developmentally delayed and he and the baby are on the same level on a lot of ways--to the point he often gets lumped with his younger sister, despite him being closer in chronological age to his older sister (he's 2 years younger than her). DH is done, and since he's the SAHM/WAHM parent, and it is difficult for him to write with the kids (at least the older 2 are in school from 8-3), I don't want to put him through having to deal with another baby when he has to deal with a toddler. Maybe one day when he sells his books and we make enough money I can get out of the Army and be a SAHM, I can convince him to have another baby (heck, I can use that to get out...), for now, I will stay in--my kids need the insurance.
absolutely. i miss you in my ddc because you are such a beautiful, unique inspiration. thanks for being you
Boys: 12/94, 1/99, 11/03, 6/11. Girls: 11/06, 10/09, 12/12