Saturday, July 12, 2014

I didn't expect it to be this hard

Finding out I was pregnant for the third time threw me a curveball. Sure we had lightly discussed having another baby, but I never decided how I felt about it and the responsibility and work that would go into having 3 small children.

I was a really good mom of one. I had it down. I could juggle it all: playing, working, cleaning, teaching, disciplining. It had its hard days, but they were rare and short-lived. I had time to do things that interested me while she was napping or in bed for the night. Grocery carts are made for one kid with ease. And it wasn't difficult to find someone willing to watch one kid for a few hours during a date night.

I was starting to get it as a mom of two. Monkey was full of difficulties we weren't prepared for when we decided to give Fitz a sibling. The hard days were constant and seemed to drag on for weeks at a time. It became rare to have a "good" day for months. Even with becoming a stay-at-home-mom with the birth of our second, the balls I was juggling, for two polar opposite children, seemed heavier than before: playing, cleaning, teaching, disciplining, balancing attention, chauffeuring, feeding. Shopping became a struggle to keep both kids under control long enough to do what needed done and I felt guilt for asking people to watch them at the same time when I knew how hard it was with just the younger one. But it was beginning to get easier.

I talked to many moms who had 3+ kids while I was pregnant. It felt like the most common advice was "three is a piece of cake, you'll hardly notice an extra one". If that is true for most moms who have three or more kids, I'm so happy for you (mostly happy anyway... ok, jealous is probably the right word).

My reality is: I can't remember what it's like to have time to do anything I enjoy without someone pulling on me, asking a million questions, or crying to do something else. Getting out of the house with everyone without a fight is an impossible task at this point and doesn't seem worth even trying. All of the cleaning and cooking from a typical day drains everything out of me, let alone playing or teaching. "The third kid is the anchor." is something I was told by a stranger before M was born and I despised his attempt at humor. I understand his meaning now, it's not easy to ask anyone to watch 3 kids at once. I find myself tripping over responsibilities as a mom, wife, and friend daily and only have faint glimmers of light that it will become easier as time goes on.

Even if I do manage some time to myself, without anyone crying or needing help or fed, I'm too exhausted to do anything but melt onto the couch and stare blankly and what is sure to be a kid show on the TV.

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