A mom friend recently confided in me about her struggles in becoming a new mom. We talked about how the time for herself has diminished and how the constant care for her new baby is exhausting. And then she went on to comment, “I have no idea how you do it with three.”
And right then and there I stopped her from going on any further, and I told her that what she is going through is hard. It’s exhausting. And it can be very emotional.
The number of kids one has doesn’t make their job harder, just… different.
I remember becoming a new mom and feeling completely overwhelmed by my new little baby. Suddenly, I went from taking care of my every need to taking care of this little baby’s every need and putting my own in the backseat.
Or rather, in the trunk.
Going from 8+ hours of uninterrupted sleep a night to waking up every couple of hours was daunting.
Being covered in spit-up was the new norm.
The house, once pretty well kept, was lacking. And quiet. Except for the cries…
“How do people take showers with a baby?!” I remember thinking.
Taking care of a newborn is hard.
Then came taking care of a toddler and a newborn. But, this time around, I had a little better handle on what to expect with the newborn. The toddler, on the other hand, was a whole new ball game.
The tantrums on the floor of Joanne Fabrics.
The overpowering will to decide what to wear.
The getting into every. single. thing.
Taking care of a toddler is hard.
But, that toddler also helped entertain the baby. And created some wonderful conversation. And even helped with the chores.
Then came the kindergartner, the preschooler, and the newborn. And again, this time around, I had a little better handle on what to expect with the newborn and the preschooler. The kindergartner, though; that territory was all new.
The placing blame on siblings for wrongdoings.
The leisurely listening.
Taking care of a kindergartner is hard.
But, that kindergartner also allowed me to shower while playing with the baby, keeping a close watch. And got the preschooler’s breakfast ready so we could sleep for one more minute. Or ten. And made me so damn proud when she boasted about her two amazing little brothers to her class.
From what I hear, the next stage for us is quite a doozy. Pre-teens. And then full-blown teenagers. And then young adults.
With every new stage comes new territory. Territory that leaves us wondering why people ever decided to join this parenting journey, but also territory that leaves us wondering how we could ever live life any other way.
Raising babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kids, pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults… is hard. No matter how many you have.
Yes, multiple kids having simultaneous tantrums/emotional freak-outs is insanity. But, multiple kids sitting around the dinner table sharing stories, laughing, and enjoying one another is priceless.
So, it’s okay, mama. Know that you are doing a great job, and that as you experience each stage you will for sure run into some new trials, but if you choose to expand and come the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. time around, it will become easier and your confidence will rise.
Don’t be scared.
(Okay, maybe a little. )