Three. Three Boys. My Three Boys. #mythreesons I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that we’ve been blessed with not one, not two, but three boys. People often ask me how the transition has been and I thought I’d share a bit about it today.
For me, three hasn’t been bad, but it’s been different than what I imagined. While I was pregnant, I was slightly nervous about the whole infant thing. Kevin and I met and started dating when the boys were two and three, so I feel confident in my parenting abilities for two and up. But a baby? That’s different. A baby needs you constantly and really, can’t do anything on his own. That scared me. Three? That didn’t.
When I think back to nearly seven years ago, I went from single, carefree, and not worrying about anyone (in the way you think about your spouse and kids) to really, an insta-mom of two, three and under. (I should write about that one day!) While Kevin and I didn’t get married for another year, I was there for everything and did everything as a mother would even though I didn’t have that “title” for a while.
Fast-forward five years and we found out we were expecting a baby, something that thrilled me. I imagined blissful days of our family of five (!) getting to know our newest little person, big brothers who doted on their baby brother, and date nights out with my husband. A year in, I can honestly say that we’ve had many blissful days, but things are way more chaotic than those slow days I imagined as we were waiting on our son.
Having a new baby in our family has been so exciting! This year has been a year of learning for me, for sure. More than anything, it’s been a year of learning to balance. You’d think going from no kids to two kids would be more of a transition, but I think going from two kids to three kids has been a greater transition.
I feel like I’m at my best when everything is smooth sailing, but as we all know, with any kids, that’s not going to be the case. Some days, I feel like I have it all under control, and others I don’t. Some days, I think I really do a great job as a mom and wife, other days, I feel like I’m lacking in one, if not both, of those roles.
This year, I’m learning to give myself grace. Time is the only resource we can’t ever get more of, and so I’m trying not to stress on those “less than” feeling days.
At the end of the day, I wouldn’t change my life for anything. I’m so thankful to have a loving and supporting husband and three boys who are my heart. Yes, the days sometimes seem long, but oh my, how short the years are!
Here are a few practical tips that have helped me in my transition to life with three kids. I should note that I need to follow these same pieces of advice daily! Life with three is constantly changing and I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t have it all figured out.
- Give yourself grace. This is the most important thing to remember when transitioning from two kids to three. This is also the hardest I think. I want to be present for every single thing all of my kids do and I want to provide them with every single opportunity to make awesome memories. Remember that your life doesn’t have to look like a pin on Pinterest or a beautiful feed in Instagram mine certainly isn’t) to be beautiful. Give yourself grace to soak up fun with your family and don’t get bogged down trying to have a Pinterest or Instagram worthy life because your life – my beautiful, messy life as I like to call it – is awesome.
- Get organized. Let’s face it, it’s easy to not be organized when you’re by yourself, much less when you have three kids and a husband to keep up with. Keeping your life organized is vital when you have multiple kids. Get a calendar (I still use a paper planner), put reminders on your phone (I have a reminder set to water my plants!), put sticky notes around your house with to do’s, and have a central command station in your home.
- Plan ahead. By nature I am a planner. With kids, I am more of a planner than ever. I make a meal plan and grocery shop during the weekend so when Monday comes, I’m ready to take on the week. At night, get clothes out for yourself and your kids. My week goes smoother when I’m prepared. Imagine that!
- Delegate responsibilities when able and share household responsibilities with your spouse. While I certainly don’t delegate things to my husband because we approach our marriage as equal partners, I do have to give him tons of praise for the work he does around the house. He does 90% of our laundry, starts dinner most week nights, handles the yard work, and is more willing to clean toilets than me! I dust, vacuum, iron, and take care of getting things ready for the kids. We usually split dish duties. When you can delegate things to your kids, do it. It teaches them responsibility and helps you in the meantime. This year, our older boys started making their own lunches. This really helps out at night and also gives them the chance to take what they want with them for lunch. I still stick a note in their lunchboxes and fix their bottles of water each morning. Give your kids the responsibility of picking up after themselves, too. Our big boys love to have Nerf Wars and they know as soon as they’re done, they have to pick up. We’re even working with Caleb on picking up his toys and books after playing. Keeping a tidy house makes everything run smoother.
- Make time for yourself and your spouse. This last piece of advice is definitely something that I continuously need to work on. Prior to having Caleb, we had easy nights for dates (and keeping our house in order) when the boys weren’t home. With Caleb, we don’t have built in date nights. It requires more planning and a babysitter (thankfully, our parents are all nearby and love any chance to get baby snuggles). It’s important to work in date nights with your spouse where you can unwind and talk about things other than your kids and responsibilities. It’s also important to take time for yourself. For so long (almost a year), my me time consisted of running and working out. While these are both things I love, they’re not exactly what most people would classify as “me time.” A few months ago, I started trying to make some more time for myself. I started working out at lunch a few days a week, reading some each night, and making time for myself to relax. It’s made a big difference!
So, about transitioning to life with three? It’s been busy. Really busy. But fun, oh so fun.
What are you tips for transitioning as you grow your family?