Reflections of a third time mom…..

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Reflections of a third time mom…..

As a new mother to baby number three, I have noticed that this last baby has been by far the “easiest” baby. She is good natured, sleeps well, plays independently, rarely cries and is just overall a pleasure to be around. This was not the case with my first child, Hailey or even my second child, Mary Kathryn. Hailey was clingy, fussy and often times hard to console. Mary Kathryn was a little easier but still was not what you would call an “easy“ baby. I remember when I was pregnant with Hailey, I was under the mistaken idea that parenthood is something that comes naturally. After all, look at all the mothers who do it everyday. I also naively thought that having a sibling and babysitting had prepared me for having my own baby. The first night my husband and I brought her home, I realized how very wrong I was.

Once reality set in, I found myself thinking, “Why is this so much harder than it looks?”. I was breastfeeding around the clock and could hardly sleep for checking to make sure she was breathing. Getting a shower without a crying baby was impossible and the days of hopping in the car to run to the grocery store were long gone. As a first time mom, the first few months of my baby’s life had me feeling as if I were barely keeping my head above water. Life with a baby is something no one can really prepare you for. Though it is one of the greatest of life’s experiences, it is also, by far, one of the most challenging. Now, looking back, I can see that once little Hailey came home with us, our lives immediately began revolving around her. Instead of integrating her into our lives; we allowed our lives to be controlled by baby. After many comments on how well adjusted this third baby is, I have to wonder. How much of this is her natural disposition and how much has having a more experienced mother contributed? If only I had known then what I know as a new mom now.

At my third child, Bella’s, two month checkup my pediatrician was amazed at what a good baby she was. She smiled happily at him, did not fuss throughout the checkup, and was easily consoled after getting her shots. After I thanked him for his compliment, he went on to say that as a third time mom I had “figured it out”. On my way home I thought about this and decided that ,yes, I have finally started to figure this mom thing out.

For starters, with my third child Bella, I knew to expect a complete change in lifestyle once we brought her home from the hospital. I knew that I would no longer be able to come and go as I had once again become accustomed to. Knowing this took away some of the shock we had after our firstborn and then again when adding another baby to the mix. As a third time mom, I have learned through experience that by doing a few important things, I can set my baby up to be a “good natured” baby.

Here are some of the most helpful things I have learned from my journey through motherhood:

Start as you mean to go on….

It was so tempting to hold my firstborn constantly. After nine months of carrying her inside me, I was hesitant to let go of her for long. By baby number three, I realized that if I didn’t allow my baby to become accustomed to sleeping without being held, I would have a very clingy older baby on my hands. So while I hold, play and cuddle with Bella, I also allow her times during the day where she plays independently in a bouncy, saucer or play mat. Naptimes are spent in a bassinet or crib so that she does not always associate sleep with being held. Naptime is also a time when I know I will be able to do chores, rest, or spend time with my older children. I have found that by starting these practices from the beginning, Bella has become a less clingy baby than my first two babies were.

Put baby on a schedule…..

This has been the biggest factor in integrating baby number three into our family. My first child ate, slept and played with little routine or schedule. This left my husband and I often trying to figure out why our baby was crying. Was she tired? Hungry? Sick?. During my third pregnancy, I worried about how I could best integrate the new baby into our already busy life. With two school aged children I would need to know when I could do homework, give baths and cook dinner without a crying baby. Eventually I found that the feed, wake, sleep schedule would work best for our family. For example, by following a schedule, I know that if baby is fussing, and she has already eaten and played, then she is probably ready for her nap. Of course, I always take into account any cues she may be giving me. A change in her normal cry always warrants further investigation. Having a schedule has allowed me to plan my errands, lunch dates or doctors appointments during a time I know she will be at her best. By being able to better anticipate my babies’ needs, I am often able to avoid a fussy, inconsolable baby. Hence, the many compliments on a good natured baby.

Don’t expect too much…..

One thing that was especially difficult for me after the birth of my first baby was keeping a clean, organized house, cooking dinner and getting the laundry done. Maintaining the standard I had set for myself prebaby became almost impossible. Accomplishing the smallest of household chores is so much harder with a baby to care for. This time around, I am no longer sweating the small stuff. My priority is being the best mom I can be. And if some days I am able to get the house spotless and all the laundry done, well, that’s just icing on the cake.~

 

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8 thoughts on “Reflections of a third time mom…..

  1. This was very encouraging to me! I’m expecting our 2nd child this summer & currently chasing around our 20 month-old. I’m a combination of nerves and excitement when I imagine what it might be like to have more than 1 kids!
    It sounds like you’re doing a Babywise routine with your 3rd. I’ve been very happy with the results in our family. It was hard in some ways at first, but I definitely plan to do it again in the future.

    • I am so glad that it was of some help! And yes I am following the Babywise schedule. I am a big believer in scheduling, it’s the only way I make it throught the day!:) I am always excited when I find other mommies to share this motherhood thing with! I look forward to following your blog and sharing our mommy advice!:)

  2. I wish I had read this before having my kiddo ten months ago! I did the holding all the time thing, and sleep-training him later turned out to be SO much harder because of it {but it is so hard not to hold them when they’re brand new!}. It also took me a while to realize the importance of a schedule and get him on one.

    Retrospect is 20/20! But he’s definitely prepared me for the next one. 🙂

    • It is definitely hard not to hold those sweet newborns every minute of the day and I struggled with the same thing with my first! But once you add #2 it is harder to give #1 attention while holding baby and these things really helped. I’m sure you will do wonderful when you add your next baby to your family and you will have learned so much from your first. Thanks for taking the time to comment! Have a good weekend!:)

  3. I love it!! So now I need you advice on how to teach independent play! We go into meltdown city when its time for Mommy to do something that isn’t completely interactive with the older one. I’m trying to follow your advice on number 2, How do you handle Bellas naps with all the older two have going on? I’m finding its much harder to follow Babywise nap schedule-ish with what we have going on with Ruthie. How did you handle this? Are you liking wordpress? And are you liking my novel 🙂 Thanks for the awesome post!

    • Grace,
      Yes I love the book you just wrote!LOL:) And I really am liking wordpress but I have also kept my blogger blog and will be posting there as well. I couldn’t figure out how to link them.
      I have so much to tell you on those subjects! It has definitely been more of a challenge with the older ones and wanting to spend time with them. Bella does not take too kindly to having the attention diverted but I have several things that work for us. I am going to try and do a post on this over the weekend so that I have plenty of room to explain it all. You are definitely not alone, I am right there with you!! Having a toddler is a whole new world and it sounds like Bella & RUthie are going through the same things! IT is an adorable stage, but boy is it hard work!:) Hope you have a great weekend. I will talk to you soon:)

  4. First of all, what a gorgeous photo! I dream of looking that good after delivery!
    The birth of my second (an angel baby) after a very colicky, very difficult firstborn (though we love him very much 🙂 ) also makes me wonder how much of their disposition has to do with their little God-given souls and how much it has to do with how I’m mothering. I’m not a scheduler (we did try babywise with my oldest and it just did not work for him) and this time around I’m practicing ecological breastfeeding (kind of like on-demand breasfeeding on steroids) yet our new baby girl is so easy that I have to be careful not to forget about her! I wonder how much of her easygoing, contented nature have to do with me being more comfortable as a mama and less anxious, stressed out, etc. I was also working full-time when our son was born and now I work only part-time and take baby girl with me so I’m sure that helps with attachment, stress, etc. Regardless, I’m grateful for such a dream baby!
    Thanks for the follow. What a beautiful family you have!

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