“You have to adjust to what your team needs and what you’re able to do.” – Tim Duncan
For this purpose, I envision “team” being your family. When thinking of the words in that way, you gain a great new perspective. As the main caregiver in the home of three kids now and two dogs due to the long hours and the wild schedule my husband works, my capabilities prove limited.
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Though I would love to claim I can do everything every day, that just isn’t reasonable or feasible. And, having just added our last family member nearly a year ago, I also need to remember a tiny one relies on me, too. But the schedule doesn’t stop now that there are two older siblings, so you adapt to make the best of it all.
My Adjustment Suggestions
I found adding a second child was harder to adjust to than introducing a third. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that you’re used to having a bit of chaos happening and running around. On that note, take these tips for expectations and adjustments when going from two to three kids (or any addition) and use them at your discretion:
Sit and relax
Whether you bottle or breastfeed, take that time for the bonding and a moment to breathe. Even if you’re sitting in the car on an errand or at an activity, just enjoy the feeding. It’s a nice break. Beyond that, when my tiny humans ask for a cuddle, I do my best to accommodate. Relaxing for a moment will not hurt anything, help you keep that connection, and usually refreshes your mind and allows you to work more productively following.
Work in bursts
You have to divide your attention. For me, I’ve got one who just likes talking about his day or telling me about his book or video game, then one who wants to play cooking or dolls while needing help, and a baby who needs to eat and get a bum change numerous times a day (plus talked to and given attention as well). I use every 15 to 30-minute window to get work done (client or housework).
Swallow your pride
I had a friend somewhat jokingly say they would come weekly for baby cuddles and I have kept her to it as much as our schedules allow. That little window, be it an hour or most of the day, allows me to tackle a LOT without juggling the two smaller kiddos. And the conversation keeps me sane, too. So, I ask weekly when she can come. Ain’t no shame in needing that support.
These may seem mundane or not super important, but trust me they make a world of difference.
And, remember, a bit of a mess is okay. I go through and clean when we have great days of baby napping and the other two behaving or helping. But, sometimes it piles a bit and I feel like I’m behind. Those days are okay and just mean your kiddos and hustling to and fro take precedence.
Above all, breathe and soak up your littles. Sometimes that’s exactly what you’re able to do with three kids, less, or more.
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And grab your freebie on how to Get Lost in Your Child and really engage with them even on busy days. (I’m off to spend the day with the girls before brother gets out for the long weekend.)