We had a fun day visiting but I didn't want to get home too late so we left at about 8:00. We couldn't have left at a better time. The sky was so beautiful and ever changing the whole drive home. The girls just kept commenting on all the yellows, reds, pinks, purples and patches of clouds. It was awesome to enjoy God's beautiful creation!
Occasionally I will read an blog post or article about a 3 child family. It's funny how the dynamics completely change when going from 2 to 3. It's hard to understand unless you have been there. I love these stories and 9 times out of 10 I can completely relate to what the writer is saying. I wanted to re-post them here so I can always come back to read and enjoy them.
How To Have A Completely Peaceful Car Ride With Three Small Kids
by Tsh on SimpleMom.net
My husband has this little joke whenever the three-foot-and-under crowd in our family gets insanely loud en route somewhere. He pretends to press an invisible button near the A/C of our car, which magically scrolls up a sound-proof window between us in the front seat and those in the back. You know, like in a limo.
Total peace after that.
Obviously there’s still cacophony. The baby is screaming because that burp just won’t get out. Our second is loudly singing to whatever tune is on repeat in his head (he doesn’t talk, but he sure hums in pealing decibels). The five-year-old sits in the back, telling us whatever story from the day she wants to recall, yelling over all the hubbub so that we can hear from the front.
It doesn’t always work this way, but most days, Kyle and I look at each other, and we just smile. Sometimes one of says, “Three? Really?” But at the end of the day, if we don’t laugh at the chaos of it all, we’ll go mad.
See, it’s a matter of perspective.
When the bedlam is good-natured and the clamor is simply because our family’s median age is five, then there’s not much to do except smile and remember that the days are long but the years are short.
How’s your perspective? When your day is nuts and the house is a mess, do you feel like a failure? In taking a quick glance at the living room and recognizing that 95 percent of the mess is because of the kids, do you still somehow feel guilty?
Are you counting your blessings?
I know that life at this stage is insane. I’ll be the first in line to wish it wasn’t so messy, so sticky, so loud. I’ve given up hope that by the end of the day, I’ll never have anything smeared on my shirt that I didn’t directly put there — at least for another decade or so.
I’m not saying I never get frustrated or impatient — far from it. But I’m also learning, day by day, to embrace all the good with the bad that come with this stage, and to smile at all those voices vying for my attention from the back seat.
They’re totally worth it.
Every Christmas my mom and sister make strawberry jam. I had never tried because it always sounded like it would be really hard. Well my mom was down for the weekend and strawberries were on sale (the perfect storm, right?) so I decided to give it a try. I thought it would be nice to make some to put back for Christmas gifts later since that time of year is always so busy. So it turns out it really wasn't so hard after all! If you have never tried homemade strawberry jam you really must. It is SO much better than store bought. Yay for strawberry jam!
~Mackenzie calling Jud "Dud" in her sweet little voice all weekend because she can't say his name very well.
~The girls waking up at 6:00am that first morning because they were so excited to be together and sneaking up the stairs to London's playroom.
~Me and Holly going to the Couch store at the outlet mall (Woot!)
~Jud taught Macy to swim underwater, which makes me SO proud of her!
~The giant fish Jason reeled in on London's light up Disney Princess fishing pole.
So as you can see we had so much fun and can't wait to do it again!
Raising three kids is not simply raising two kids plus one more.
A three-kid family has a different dynamic, and it’s not the default dynamic of most family situations.
Event tickets are sold in packs of four.
If you’ve just had your third kid, you might not be able to fit your kids’ car seats and boosters in your family car.
You’ll go to a restaurant and be asked to wait a minute.
They’ll push a table over for you while a family of four is seated immediately.
You’ve exceeded the norm. Four is a tidy number and five is not, but since when has raising children been a tidy process? As we celebrate with Tsh as she joyously expands her family, I would like to share my observations on caring for a family of five. Our children are four-years-old, two-years-old, and four-months-old, respectively, and here are some lessons I’ve learned by having three children.
Count your blessings.
Yes, you just made life so much more complicated than your friends who have enough hands to hold each of their children’s hands when crossing the street. You have two kids to hold onto as well as a stroller to push; one day you’ll have a kid holding hands with a kid holding hands with you.
For now, you can babywear and free up a hand for each of your elder two, but the math is clear: your youngest isn’t even walking yet, but you can’t keep a hand on each child.
They will need to rely on each other more, and you will need to trust them to do so. But think of that image of them walking together in a line and remember that they are gifts to each other as much as they are to you.
Encourage an alliance.
Your older two deserve to maintain their regular activities, to get outside and play, to read and be read to – without always having to wait for you to feed the baby or shush the baby or put the baby down to sleep. Figure out how many ways you can accommodate their needs while you simultaneously tend to the baby, but also encourage them to work together.
Can your eldest read to your second child? Can they push each other on the swing? Foster their sibling relationship in this unique time, before the baby can join in on all of their activities.
Find time for each child.
Then, when the baby is finally asleep, make sure you take over the reading, and wrap each of your elder two around you. They will need just as much physical affection as ever, and perhaps even more of your attention.
You won’t be able to devote your full attention to them every time they ask for it, but you can reward their patience. Read a third story at bedtime instead of the regular two. Sit out on the porch and share an orange after dinner. Seek out quiet moments so that the space for talking is available.
Watch your language.
Your second child now seems impossibly large. For so long you’ve thought of her as your baby, and now she’s been bumped up the line. As she defines her new role, help her by modeling positive language.
You don’t have to call her your middle child. Labels carry a lot of weight, and the “middle child” label doesn’t carry many positive connotations. Call her your second-born, or use gender to define her via her siblings as your first daughter or your only girl. Honor how special she is by introducing her in a way that everyone else will be able to see it, too.
Make the difficult decisions.
Sometimes the baby will cry just as the older two need you, too. It’s true outside your home and it’s true here, too — you can’t please everybody all of the time.
Make sure the baby is safe, and then take a minute to tend to your elders’ needs. They’ll remember feeling neglected if you always go to the baby first, but the baby won’t remember a thing if he cries for an extra minute. And you’ll make it up to him with extra snuggles at midnight. And 2 a.m. And 4 a.m…
Remember why you’re here.
You’re here, a mama of three, because you can do this. Because you have this much love in your heart. Because you believe in yourself, your partner and this family.
My second daughter’s birthday is December 11th, which means she was nine months old on a September 11th. I spent a lot of time thinking about that milestone; that the day she transitioned to longer “out” than “in” was the day we commemorated such violent tragedy.
My daughter became more a child of the world than of my womb on the anniversary of the day I remember hearing people ask how anyone could bring children into such a world. We asked the opposite question: How could we not?
The gift of your three children to the world tips the scales towards greater compassion, greater ecological care, and greater humanity.
Savor the moment.
Caring for yourself, tending to your marriage, and now being responsible for three little ones — it can be a lot. There will be chaos, and you will be more tired than you believed possible. But enjoy it.
My own mothering mentor, whose children are now in their 20s, tells me to remember that the days are long but the years are short. They won’t always need you as much as they do now, and then you’ll miss their little hands and constant closeness.
It is my hope that when I reach that period I’ll look back on these crazy days of their childhoods and think, We did it. We got through it with love and patience, and we raised them well.