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Three kids. Easier than two. I know. Mind blown, right? But I totally believe it. At least for the world I live in.

 People are always asking me, What was the toughest transition? One to two or two to three?

First and foremost, let me just get this out of the way from the get-go. We took stair steps in our journey from 0 to 1 to 2 to 3. I have no experience with multiples. Though having watched friends who have been blessed with two and three babes at a time, I can say… that’s harder. Period. End of sentence.

Now that that’s off the table, I’d like to share with you why believe that having three kiddos is easier than having two. I always lead by explaining that to me, going from zero to one, that was nuts. Nutty McNuttertons. Unbeknownst to me, a person who had never cared for an infant for an entire 24 hour period, babies do not come ready to party. They want to eat all the time {gasp!}. They always like to be held {wha?!}. They don’t just go to sleep on their own when they’re tired {You don’t say!}. And the one that we brought home first, well he was not a fan of being outside of the womb for the first five months. And he let us know, for 5 hours at a time, on a daily basis by screaming at the top of his little lungs. So yeah. I’d say that 0 to 1 transition, was quite the doozy. I loved the babe. But that babe did rock my world.

And then we found our groove. In the space between. You know that space I’m talking about? The space where you forget what an incredible labor of love an infant is. Where the sleepless nights and the spit-up and the crying and the nursing and the spit-up and the holding and the spit-up are all a foggy memory. And the smell of a babe sends you right down the path of wanting to hold a fresh one on your chest. That space between. We found our groove there as parents to one. One who was nap-trained. Scheduled. Polite. And pretty much owned our entire universe. 

And then came two. Oh, two. You were hard. Not just the babe. But the number. Our oldest was 2.5, what I’d previously read to be the ideal age difference between siblings. Well. Those people are wrong. Because our two and a half year old was not potty-trained, could not put himself down to nap, did not drive himself to pre-school, and could not make his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. What our 2.5 year old did do well was watch TV. And when we went from one child to a babe and a child, welp… that oldest watched a lot of TV. A lot more than I had ever imagined I would let my previously-only-child-who-watched- one-half-hour-program-a-day, watch. With a momma who was breastfeeding, pumping, and supplementing pumped milk at every feeding for the first two months, that oldest basically thought Minnie Mouse was his mother and that the Dinosaur Train was the only way to travel. Add to the feeding schedule the fact that there was no one else to play with our toddler at the time and that made for one sad tot and one guilt-ridden momma. And then number 2 was unhappy, too. For about 18 months. And this made mama tired. And feeling like two children felt more like seven. It was the first time I had to actually divide my attention. Take it from the first. And give it to the second. Not my love. But all of my physical energy.

And then eventually we fell into that space between again. The sweet spot. Where you think that love is all you need and children are the cat’s pajamas. And so even after a miscarriage we forged ahead. Because we were already knee-deep in ankle-biters. And we so longed for a bigger family. But I braced myself. For the world as I knew it to be rocked. 

And it was rocked. I can’t lie. It’s still an adjustment. Especially with the third arriving early and having a NICU stay. But overall, it’s easier. We are already living the life of people with children. We are already inthat world where we have given much of ourselves to care for them. And with each child, we’ve become more laid-back. This doesn’t mean I’m actually laid-back, it just means I’m less of a freak than I was with the first. So when the babe cries, I’m less consumed by it {for the most part. ahem.}. And I’m less concerned with doing things that we will have to undo later, because we know the babe will not graduate high school sleeping in a swing with a pacifier while swaddled. Eventually, we’ll make those transitions we need to make. When the time is right. And we have slept. This time, I know that this will be one of the last times I will have to take on things like breastfeeding and the MSPI diet. Which makes it easier to press on down those roads. But the very best part is the fact that our middlest and oldest can play. Together. Though not always {or ever} without drama. Not always playing the things I would like to direct them towards {there’s a whole lotta superhero role play up in here}. And not always quietly. They still play. So I don’t feel quite so bad about abandoning them to feed, or nap the wee one. I don’t feel exhausted on a day-to-day basis. Because I’ve been at this motherhood thing for a few years now. And sleep is no longer something with which I can’t live without. I feel like we are actually managing to not completely screw up the children we already have while giving the gift of knowing what it is to have siblings.

I don’t intend to be Mrs. Duggar. God bless the woman for having a gaggle of kiddos. But that is not currently in the cards for us. So three may be our limit. But I can say that having three actually made me want four. And with each child, I’ve appreciated the miracle of it all even more. So don’t be scared away. Don’t let anyone tell you going from man-to-man to zone is ludicrous. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever done but it certainly is easier than two. 

How many children do you have and what did you find to be the hardest transition for your family? Do you hope to have a house full or is an only child more your style? 

 

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Ashli Brehm

Ashli Brehm = Thirtysomething. Nebraska gal. Life blogger. Husker fan. Creative writer. Phi Mu sister. Breast cancer survivor. Boymom. Premie carrier. Happy wife. Gilmore Girls fanatic. Amos Lee listener. Coffee & La Croix drinker. Sarcasm user. Jesus follower. Slipper wearer. Funlover. Candle smeller. Yoga doer. Pinterest failer. Anne Lamott reader. Tribe member. Goodness believer. Life enthusiast. Follow me at http://babyonthebrehm.com/

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