By far the best month, I might survive as the mother of three. I’m even beginning to think adding another to the chaos wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Hah. I’m kidding.
Some moments, I feel as though I will lose my mind. This is usually when my little ones have lost theirs (no more so than when they lost it in month three). But for whatever reason, this month feels more peaceful than month four. I even feel more productive at work – it helps that we sometimes leave the house on time now. Baby steps, people. I don’t believe a “secret sauce” exists, but I do believe in little “nuggets” that occasionally help more than just one family. Here’s what I think helped me make strides towards a better life rhythm as the mother of three.
Let it go
Sometimes, when we utter the words, “Pick your battles,” we still tend to visualize the fighting point as something big. Motherhood is made up of the tiny battles, the ones that only make it into the footnotes of history books. Furthermore, you don’t get to prep for most of them. This is true for any size family but becomes particularly tricky when you move from man-to-man defense (two kids or less), to zone defense (three or more). Hair done or simply brushed? Matching socks or fully-dressed child? The clock is ticking! We moms have to pick our battles moment-by-moment, not month-by-month. I’ve decided to let a lot of things go, and in exchange, I’ve kept most of my sanity.
Make the plans; hold them loosely
This pesky theme keeps popping up in my posts, but as the mother of three, the odds seem increasingly against me. Crap happens. Sometimes literally. Go into all things with the mindset that your plans may change in a moment because of a child – and oftentimes not the baby! If the plans are that important to you, start early and give yourself buffer time for the occasional meltdown.
Cherish it all
As we drove home one day, I heard this from the backseat: “Adelaide, did you know you are beautiful?
Yes, you are! Did you know you are strong? You are!” On it went as my oldest encouraged my youngest, only 5 months old, in the same way we often do to her at bedtime. I could have cried right there. Instead, I offered up a fervent prayer that this would indeed be the beginning of a wonderful relationship for the rest of their lives. Oh, that it would be so.
If parenthood was school, I’m not yet out of preschool. I’ve got so much to learn. If I can keep that perspective on this journey, I may just keep my sanity and enjoy the ride.