Saturday, November 5, 2011


The question I get asked most now that Katherine has arrived is how life has changed now that we have three children.  Now that we are outnumbered.

The truth is that it isn't all that bad.  Of course I need to caveat that by saying that the only factor affecting the success of my days is the expectations I set for it.  And my expectations are pretty low.  My what a low bar you have!  All the better to hurdle you with, my dear!

When Lucy was born I had a tough transition going from one child to two.  Every mother has her own toughest transition in number of children and for me Lucy was it.  I found it difficult to split my time between children equally.  William is not a very independent child so he still needed me for a lot of the day-to-day stuff.  It also didn't help that Lucy was a horrible sleeper at night which meant I was running on fumes during the day.

But the biggest thing I had going against me when Lucy was born was that my expectations were much too high.  I thought I could carry on with life in the same way I did with one child.  I thought two kids would be a piece of cake.  After all, I was a nanny for many years and was able to successfully manage a lot more than two kids.  But being someone's babysitter and being someone's mom are two drastically different responsibilities.

So with that experience under my belt, I reset my expectations in preparation for Katherine's arrival.

Last Thursday Brian went back to work for the second half of the day.  It was nice outside so the older kids were playing in the backyard before lunch.  Their food was ready but I figured I would let them burn off some energy so I could get some good naps out of them.  Katherine started to fuss so I sat down to nurse her.  As she was chugging away I heard a blood-curdling shrill scream come out of Lucy.  I raced to the back door and stepped outside to see what was going on.  Instead of finding a severed limb, as one might have expected with a scream like that, I saw her brother tantalizing her with a rake.  It was then that I realized I had just step outside with half of my chest hanging out for all the neighbors to see while Katherine was still munching.

I walked back inside and laughed at myself.  "So this is how it's going to be," I told myself.  Life, full of hilarious and obscene moments just like this.  All the better to blog with!

I would offer two pieces of advice for moms of new babies in the transitional time period.  The first, as I said, is to reset your expectations.  Think about what you want to happen and then lower the bar at least a couple of notches.  For example, I'll tell myself, "Today I would like to get two loads of laundry done, clean the bathroom and cook dinner.  But if I only cook dinner, I will be satisfied."

The second bit of advice I would offer is to get up every day and try to "look like a person."  I use this phrase a lot and Brian always laughs at me.  Looking like a person means to put forth an appearance that resembles one before you had the baby.  For me that means hair that's combed and somehow "done" (a ponytail totally equals "done" by the way), a couple swipes of a bronzer and a dab of mascara.  On a really good day "looking like a person" means I'll turn on the television and baby swing for a half hour so I can take a shower.  Just this little bit of effort seems to make me feel more capable the whole day through.

If your house has less than three children you might walk into our home and think, "What the heck were Brian and Jenny thinking?!"

It's true.  It's pretty much always a three-ring circus around here.  There's always dishes in the sink and the sofa pillows are always askew.  Someone is always screaming or yelling or needing a new diaper.  I'd still like to think it's organized chaos, but chaos nonetheless.  We didn't sign up for this blindly.  We knew what we were getting into and we like it this way.  To us, a house full of chaos equals a house full of joy, full of life.  It's what we've always wanted since before we got married.  It's not a life all people are called to but it is one we feel called to.

People are also continuing to ask us if we are going to have more children.  And amid all the busy-ness, adding more children to the mix doesn't sound all that bad or impossible.  I look at Katherine and think, "Is this the last newborn I'll have?"  I really hope not.  But thankfully it's not a bridge we have to cross right now.

So when I get that question, I smile and respond with a wink, "Maybe.  But not tomorrow."  One day at a time.


  1. I love this post! So well put! Some of us are just made to have lots of kiddos and appreciate fun chaos! The bigger the family the more life long stories! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Well put Jen. Hope all is well with you and the kiddos. I'm sorry I haven't made more of an effort to stop over. I've had a sinus infection for over 2 wks and it's finally on it's way out. I can't wait to see you all this weekend and meet the adorable Katherine.

    3 is wonderful. 4 might be too :) But for now, 3 is lovely.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © Mama Nash | Custom Blog Design by Lilipop Designs