Thursday, June 20, 2013

From a Mother of Three's Perspective

Is life with three crazy?  Are you getting any sleep?  You really have your hands full!

Over the past three months, most conversations have started with one of the above statements.  And, given that I've had ample opportunities to respond, my answers have evolved.

Is life with three crazy?

Well, it really depends on how you look at it.  When I see my life through the eyes of one of my siblings when they come to visit, then yes, my life is crazy.  Whenever we chat with Edward who is over in Singapore, by the end of the conversation, his eyes have this glazed over look.  Both Joseph and Ellie have been to visit over the past few months and have come to appreciate 7pm with a whole new meaning.  There's nothing like a quiet house and an alcoholic beverage after a day full of very small children.

Things that will surprise no one about this picture...the ridiculous size of the rock that Joseph is throwing into the water and the beer he's subtly holding in his other hand
Lilly and Joef's infamous toothbrush dance 

Trying to get a picture with everyone is never easy!
Third children bonding :)
However, given that I wasn't thrown into this situation and that I didn't go from being single to being married with three children overnight, I would have to say that life with three is not much crazier than life with two.  It's not like I was sitting around reading all day before Hannah came along!  Life has been busy since Lilly's arrival four years ago, and Hannah has slotted right in. Would I pay for an extra pair of hands sometimes?  Absolutely.  Like last week, when Jim turned on the shower and while he was in the kitchen waiting for it to warm up, Jack walked into the shower fully clothed.  Having small children definitely requires a sense of humor.  So we did the only thing we could do in this situation...we laughed and took a picture.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided while Lilly and Jack were in the bath that I was going to check them for ticks more diligently.  We have had a few deer in the yard and they spend most of their afternoons outside.  I don't know much about ticks but I hear horror stories about Lyme disease, and their pediatrician said I should be checking them regularly, so I checked them.  I started with Lilly's hair, and all I had to do was part her hair down the middle before finding a tick sitting smack in the middle of her head.  Having no experience with tick removal, I called my friend Meg to walk me through it.  And of course, this is all taking place at 6pm--the most relaxing time of day in any house with small children.  So, I calmly asked Lilly to sit next to me while I talked to Meg.  I got Jack out of the bath and put him downstairs with Ellie, who was holding Hannah.  And just like that, it was like a bomb went off.  Hannah started screaming and wouldn't stop.  Jack was running circles around the house, and peed on the floor.  Meg was trying to explain how to calmly but firmly remove the tick and Lilly was talking a mile a minute asking if she could move now and why was there a tick in her hair and how were we going to get the tick off and could we call daddy to tell him....AAAAAAAAH!  Jim walked in the door 10 minutes later, and was able to remove the tick with me.  I fed Hannah and she stopped crying.  We put Jack in a diaper.  And life went back to normal.  So, yes, life with three has its crazy moments, but life with one or two has its moments as well.

For the most part, we have our new routines.  Hannah has been an amazing addition, sleeping well and
eating well and has just been the sweetest little baby.  She spends her day in and out of carseats and strollers and bouncy chairs, until the end of the day.  After we put Lilly and Jack to bed, we get our time with Hannah.  So from 7-9, we get our cuddles and smiles and newborn hugs.  As always, it is going by way too fast.

Are you getting any sleep?

Yes!  My children like to sleep--probably because Jim and I like to sleep and truly are miserable when we're sleep deprived.  I remember sitting with Mum at California Pizza Kitchen one day before Lilly was born, chatting about babies and what it's like to be a Mum.  When I asked Mum for advice, she told me that of course your world changes with this new little person, but it's important to set some sort of schedule so you can have your life too.  So, from the beginning, I try to feed my babies every 3-4 hours.  When they're tiny, during the day, I typically don't let them go more than 3 hours, even if it means waking them up.  Sometimes it's 2.5 hours...occasionally even 2, but 3 hours is my general goal.  And then at night, I let them go as long as they want.  At the moment, I'm feeding Hannah for the last time at 8:30/9pm and she's been sleeping until 4:30/5:30am depending on the day.  She's even made it to 6 a few times.  I cannot complain.  She was up in the night a few times the first week we were home from the hospital, but I only woke Jim once to help me, so he really loves Hannah!  Any baby that doesn't interrupt sleep is a good baby in our book.

You really have your hands full!

I still don't know how to respond to this.  I smile.  Say things like, "Yes, don't I know it!"  But I know that when I'm older and out at the grocery store shopping by myself because all my children are at school, I am never, ever going to say this to the mom with a toddler sitting in the shopping cart, pulling the stroller with a baby behind her and another little one pushing a cart beside her.  Like I didn't know I have my hands full.  Granted, it's usually an innocent comment, and more often than not, it's an older person who says it to me, but I have to say that I'm pretty sick of it.  I still don't understand why people feel entitled to comment on my life; there's something about pregnant women and women with babies that draws comments from people passing by.  It's like the "oh, you must be due any day" comment when I still have half my pregnancy to go, or the 7394873939 people who told me that Hannah was going to be a boy (in case I wanted lots of strangers' opinions on the gender of my baby...) or the ridiculous number of people who look at me with three little ones and say, "well, it'll be busy for awhile but at least you're done now."  How do they know Jim and I don't want 18 children? (For the record, we have no intentions of having 18 children, but still, it's nobody's business but ours).  Life is busy, that's for sure.  But it's the good kind of busy.  The kind of busy where we go to bed every night exhausted, but so thankful for our wonderful little family.


  1. So sweet, Amelia! You'll have quite the little rowing or triathlon team one day! And I agree about all of those comments! :)

  2. As an about to retire person myself,there may come a day when you are old and alone as many elderly are,and an unsolicited comment from a stranger,may just MAKE your day (no matter what they say). Odd, how life is,isn't it?

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