…more like how do YOU doin’ (it)?!

When my 7 week old was screaming the other night – you know, during the “purple cry” hours of 6-8pm – I muttered some, “Oh hush up, you’re fine.” before opening Photo Booth on my computer. Because if you’re going to have an inconsolable child, might as well find a way to entertain yourself to pass the time.

photo booth colic

This is what happens with a third newborn.

Had this been my first newborn, I would have been reciting the 5 Happiest Baby on the Block s’s while silently weeping, wondering where I went wrong and how to get a baby diagnosed with colic (whatever that is).

Since it isn’t my first newborn, I felt great about my decision to try the Bug Out effect on his teensy little {angry} face.

I’ve had several conversations with first time mom friends recently where one of these statements makes an appearance:

I’m tired, but I only have 1. So…

I’m stressed. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have a newborn PLUS other kids.

I can’t even find time to take a shower. How are you already grocery shopping with three?

I don’t know how you do it.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: my brain is only operating at half capacity. That’s how.

Just kidding. Kind of.

Here’s the real secret: in a lot of ways, having 3 kids is nothing compared to having 1.

Being a first time mom was the greatest and hardest event of my life.

It changed my routine.

It changed my home. {hello, baby product explosions}

It changed my marriage.

It changed my body.

It changed my friendships. {what do you mean you don’t want to watch this 30 minute slideshow of his first bath?}

It changed my laundry habits and the cleanliness of my car.

It changed my level of anxiety.

It changed my entire world.

Sometimes change is wonderful. The first smile, the first coo. Watching your husband become a dad. That kind of change is wonderful.

Sometimes change is painful. Like…is it too much to ask for a single 42 minute kid-free stint? The Good Wife is on.

Sometimes change is confusing. Is parenthood really all it’s cracked up to be? Because sometimes I want to just run away and leave this precious bundle in capable hands.

This is being a first time mom.

So how do I do it with 3? More easily than you think, because I’ve already done what you’re smack dab in the middle of.

Maybe the better question is how do YOU do it?!

You are an all-star and you don’t even know it.

The newness you are dealing with is exhausting. Your identity, your marriage, your relationships…all of it is being redefined by a brand-new, fun-sized human.

It’s beautiful and exhausting and scary. All at the same time.

It’s ok if you feel stressed. It’s ok if you’re tired. It’s ok if you feel completely in over your head. It’s ok if you’re binge-eating frozen mini chocolate chips from the freezer. (It’s also ok if you’re feeling awesome because you’re totally nailing this mom thing.)

Whatever you feel, it’s ok.

You’re learning your new normal and that takes an obscene amount of energy and emotion.

Don’t shortchange your feelings by comparing your life to someone else’s. You are a strong, capable woman learning about 15 new job titles at once. That’s got to be like a 587 on the Holmes & Rahe stress scale.

All that second-guessing and guilt can eat a mama up.

I wish I could help you let some of that go. Like…

I promise your baby doesn’t know when you’re secretly wishing life was “normal” again.

I promise life will feel normal again. (A new, wonderful, slightly chaotic normal that you wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.)

I promise your momstinct knows what works for your baby, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Did you know that you really don’t have to pick a camp when it comes to Ferber vs. Babywise? You get to make your own path! whaaa?!

I promise your baby’s development won’t be stunted if you don’t buy a Sophie the Giraffe.

I promise it’s worth it.

I also promise you’ll never really know what you’re doing, you’ll just learn to be ok with it.

So, yes.

Having 3 kids seems insane. It’s kind of a logistical nightmare. My appendage-to-child ratio is quite skewed.

But our circus is not near as daunting as yours because we’ve been in this game a while. We’ve already adjusted our hearts (and relationships and rapidly-diminishing-cool-factors) to parenting.

If I could gift you with something, sweet mama, it would be three things:

unending grace,

a tribe of people to support and encourage you,

and a good night’s sleep.

You’ve got this.

Now follow my lead and Photo Booth that screamy kid. It helps take the edge off.

Photo on 10-8-15 at 8.28 PM

(Or give you nightmares. Totally depends which effect you use.)

One thought on “…more like how do YOU doin’ (it)?!

  1. Sarah E

    I stumbled upon your blog awhile ago and have been loving your perspective on parenting and sooo relate to so many of your stories. I have three little ones also and this post was SO.GOOD. Thank you for sharing the ups and downs of being mom with such grace, and humor, and openness!


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