3 kids, ages 5 and under

In some ways, having a newborn again is super easy - all I have to do is feed her and hold her. In other ways, having a newborn is the hardest of all - all I do is feed her and hold her. (Or that's what it seems like anyway).

3 kids, ages 5 and under 1 3 kids, ages 5 and under 2

Then, there's the 3-year-old. So independent, but still in need of snuggles. She wants so desperately for me to SEE her - how tall she's grown, how pretty her skirt is, how high she can jump. Almost every night, with her wispy blonde hair falling in her eyes, she whispers, "Was I a nice girl today?" After she prays, she peers over at me, "Did you like my prayer?"

3 kids, ages 5 and under 3 3 kids, ages 5 and under 4

Don't forget the 5-year-old. She reaches almost to my chest now, so tall. Ever the firstborn, she bosses us all around. But I know she needs me more than ever. She wants me to do crafts and play pretend and paint her nails and HEAR her. So many questions from her intelligent and inquisitive mind. So many ideas for making the world a better place.

3 kids, ages 5 and under 5

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So, If you ask me, what life is like now that we have three kids? I'll say that I haven't quite figured out how to give them each the attention they crave. I'll say that sometimes I am too tired to be the fun mom that I want to be. I'll say that I'm learning...that we're learning together.

I will ALSO say that it's wonderful - and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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18 comments on “3 kids, ages 5 and under”

  1. Every night, when the day has come to an end and my three kids are all sleeping, I have to forgive myself of the guilt for not being able to be there for each one of them all the time and at the exact moment they needed me. For not reading one more book. For not getting the baby the second she started crying. For not running out the back door the minute a little knee was scraped. I'm only one mom for three kids doing the best I can. I know they'll see that eventually. In the end, however, I do think a sibling is the very best gift you can give your children even if it means your time is divided more thinly.

    1. You said exactly how I feel. Every night, I promise myself I'll do more, be better...tomorrow. But I know I'm only person.

      I *also* know that this year will probably be the hardest of all. Babies require an enormous amount of physical and emotional energy.

  2. I'm extremely nervous and excited about this transition! While the newborn will be here in 6-8 short weeks, my energy level with the pregnancy is so little that I'm already having a hard time balancing! While the 5 year old is independent and strong willed and most of the time helpful, she too is bossy and craves my attention all the time! And just before the baby is born she will be starting school full day. The 2 year old is happy and content with mostly anything and can play by himself a lot more than Audrey ever did. However he is a boy and he's still in diapers, super messy, and no fear of anything. He is into everything and has to be watched like a hawk! It's going to be interesting that's for sure and I'm sure I will feel like a failure at times but I know that God is there to help me through and I will continue to lean on him!

    1. I love your positive outlook. I'm doing the same thing - leaning right in to Christ, resting in His strength.

      Can't wait to meet your new little one (you're waiting to find out the baby's gender, right?).

  3. My kids were four and 23 months when my baby was born. We all worked together to be a happy family. In fact, my youngest didn't walk until he was 16 months old. He had no reason to. He lived on my hip and if I was toting him about his brother and sister were. LOL
    Your family is gorgeous Stephanie!!

  4. Yun has come up the the idea of mommy cloning...although I am sure she i s not the first to wish it.... Motherhood for sure ...is the hardest job in the world. You are a great intuitive mother Stephanie sensing what each child needs!

  5. I found the transition to three to be the hardest but I am confident you will master that "constant dance" in no time. The biggest thing I've learned is to stop myself from constantly feeling like I must hurry. I like how you put focus on what each one is wanting from you right now :-)

  6. All your girls are so beautiful! My son is just getting to that age where he insists I be RIGHT next to him for everything "Mama play with me"! :) I love it... but as I get ready to have this 2nd baby, I do worry about, as you mentioned, not being able to give him as much time, and being too tired to have fun. Did you feel the time strain more THIS time than when you had your 2nd?

    1. Definitely more this time! The transition from 1 to 2 was super smooth for us. That said, I'm sure it is different for every family depending on the age + personality of the firstborn, family support, spouse's work schedule, etc.

      You'll find your groove (as will I). :)

  7. You look great Stephanie! Life with three is so fascinating. I feel completely overwhelmed at least half the time and completely fulfilled and content the other half. But I must say, it's that first year that really pushes the limits. So many needs for the youngest and still so many needs for the others that you just can't ignore. Hugs to you and your family. And may the rhythmic dance of it all settle in.

  8. This is one thing that concerns me when my husband and I discuss having a second child. My son is 22 months (and still does not sleep through the night) and is a very energetic always into something little boy. We also do not have family close to help at all. We've decided that we are happy just the three of us (for now at least.)

  9. I'm in awe of moms now...I spent last week with 2 moms who had 3 children similar in ages to yours and I watched thinking, "how do moms do this?" Day by day apparently. :)

  10. Oh, Stephanie, you have no idea how I needed to read this post today. I have a 3.5 year old boy and a 2 week old. I am so blessed to have wonderful children but I am also finding it difficult to meet the needs of both of them. My 3.5 year old boy is very energetic and is always up for playing. However, I am trying to savor the babyhood of my infant because I know how fast it goes. Some days, all I want to do is sit, cuddle, and nurse her. It's almost nice that she doesn't sleep through the night because I'm guaranteed alone time with her!

    I'm sure we will all settle into a "new normal" that will be fantastic.

  11. Oh I feel the same way. THREE is so much more than TWO. So many people had told me that the third child just falls into place and yet, this has been our hardest transition as parents, going from 2 kids to 3 kids. The baby is now 5 months and we are still struggling, although it has gotten somewhat easier, there is still always that pull that someone needs something. When people ask how 3 kids is? I tend to say someone is always unhappy. Whether that is the baby who doesn't want to be put down, but I need to wipe her sister's bottom, or cut up an apple, or the almost 4 year old (next week!) who just wants me to sit and read a book or for her 2 year old sister to leave her alone, or the 2 year old, who is unhappy about everything, from wanting me to 'wear' her like I wear the baby, or because I gave her the wrong kind of yogurt. Life is hard with three kids. I know it will get easier at some point, I just hope that some point is pretty soon!

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