Saturday, January 09, 2010

Three

I got up early today, which is rare for me lately. I’ve needed all the sleep I can get at this point in pregnancy. Kevin left the house at 6:00 a.m. to go work for the morning. If he has to work on Saturday, he tries to leave early so he can spend as much time with the kids as possible after they wake up. He amazes me. The other day he went into work at 4:30 a.m. He’s been averaging 5-6 hours of sleep at night, plus yesterday he got up early to scrape a bunch of ice off of our long driveway. I can only imagine how exhausting that job is. The man is like the energizer battery. He keeps going.

So here I am. Awake. With more than 10 minutes to myself. The house is quiet. This is a very rare moment in my life right now.

Lately, I’ve been getting all sorts of feedback from people who have recently had a third child. It seems like it’s about 60/40. 60 percent feel it was much more difficult adding a third child than a second and their world spun out of control for many months. 40 percent think the second was a bigger adjustment and adding a third was not as big of a deal. The most encouraging thing I’ve heard is from my obstetrician, “Three is great! The older two play with each other and you have lots of time to enjoy the baby.” My kids do play really well together. But they also fight really well together, too. So … the verdict is still out.

When we added a second child to our family, I thought it was much easier taking care of a newborn and a toddler than being pregnant with a toddler. I love having children but I hate being pregnant with every fiber in my being. I feel very debilitated and unhealthy when I’m pregnant. At this point, I’m hopeful of anything coming my way after pregnancy because it means that, whatever it is, I won’t have to be carrying all this weight around, I’ll be able to breathe again, I won’t have to use 17 pillows to be able to fall asleep, and I won’t be a human punching bag anymore.

It’s easy for me to feel like a total loser because many days/weeks/months in this motherhood adventure, I feel like I accomplish absolutely nothing except the basics of survival. My family is fed and clothed and I do basics of preschool with my kids and that’s about it. I read for 10 minutes in bed before I fall asleep exhausted. It’s easy to get depressed when I feel like I have no time to pursue anything “extra” for my family or myself.

The thing that keeps me going is that I know my kids are my biggest and most worthwhile investments at this point. I look at them and I see that they are healthy and really happy. I feel close to my children and I know that they love me. I know a lot of people would love to have that and don’t. I’m a very lucky woman.

Maybe in a few years (sometimes it feels like maybe ten years) I’ll have time to pursue things like salsa dancing and stamp collecting (just kidding about stamp collecting—that sounds soooo boring, no offense). But right now it’s all about the basics of life. And I’m trying to be content.

9 comments:

Queen of Carrots said...

My mom always said three was the hardest, but I never got the chance to verify that. :-)

It is hard to be happy with just doing the basics (and sometimes not even those!). I don't have any great news beyond that. It's a huge adjustment and it takes a long time for those however-many-years to pass before you feel like you have a life again. (I've heard youngest being four is a big turning point.) However, not being pregnant will be a definite bonus!

Heather L. said...

I feel very sure that the first 5 years of having a family are some of the hardest physically, and thus seem very long. I am finding the second 5 years much easier now that the older kids can actually do so much by themselves. Of course I'm re-entering baby phase and have no idea what wrenches that's going to throw in!!!! I might be back in the first 5 years before I know it!

S. Mehrens said...

Funny how even the people you think "have it all together" often struggle with the same emotions you yourself have. Amy, you are a woman who I often think has it all together. It's nice to know you're human. LOL Seriously. I am praying these last few weeks of pregnancy go well for you and you are able to rest and have peace. While our lives are different in many ways I have many of the same feelings you do. Hang in there. I'm praying for you! :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and making me remember what's important.

Anonymous said...

Amy, it sounds like you're at the end of your pregnancy! Read this blog in about 4 months - you will be feeling different. Being pregnant is using the same energy it takes to climb major mountains. You are doing some very incredible things - you are growing a new daughter within you. You have an eternal being that has been given to you and Kevin - far more precious than any housework or making meals (although that's appreciated too). I too hated being pregnant - but I also envy you in that you will soon be holding a newborn baby in your arms. You're almost there Amy.
(Ginny)

Jeremy and Aimee said...

Hi! How many times I've thought about trying to find your blog, and have finally done it! I can hear your voice saying what you write - it brings back memories of old times, your enthusiasm, your drive to excell... It's great to read how God is using you in this stage in your life. I really appreciat your openness and honesty about motherhood. It is something that I still look at as somewhat fearful and mysterious, so I like hearing about it from you, Amy! Thank you so much! And thank you so much for praising your husband - it's so refreshing. I think you are doing AMAZING things! :)

Di said...

Thanks Amy for being so honest and for making me feel not alone! We are going to add a second to our family in March, with our first being 18months old when he arrives, and some days it all seems too much. But knowing that it is doable, survivable and thrivable is such an encouragement. Thank you!

Rachelle said...

Be easy on yourself. We did "school" while I was pregnant because doing sit-down things was easier for me. I often fell asleep next to Ben while helping him. Now with a newborn, we aren't doing school except for when he does it on his own. You need rest. And you don't have to do it all.
At this point, the transition to three is easier than two. But I have two potty-trained communicating, helpful kids at this point. Ben wasn't talking, potty-trained or at all practical when Kyrie was born. So all of that is a factor.
And with Sarah, I echo that you are often the mom we look to as the one who has it all together while we're falling apart. I'm glad you're human. And I empathize with you in the final weeks of pregnancy. Soon, you'll be awake every two hours to feed a newborn. :)

fiddlrts said...

A friend came up with the best analogy I have heard: Going from two to three is like going from man coverage to zone.

That said, I didn't find 3 to be that much more difficult initially. Number 3 was a pain at age 2, however.

Micah said...

This sounds like a conversation we had in our house last night :). I'm ready to drag out my sewing again (after my Christmas break), and open my shop back up, but I'm not ready to give up my clean, semi-organized house. I love doing the "extra" things, and I always make myself do my work first, and play later, but that usually means, most of the time, no play.

My prediction is that you will find three easier than two. Meredith will be such a big help, and even Clara will find things she can do. For me, the transition from 0-1 was the hardest. 2-3 was hard just because my other two were still practically babies. It confirmed the fact that I would never *choose* multiples :). I feel like I've already had my set of triplets - ha!

Talk to the girls all the time about being helpers. Meredith has such a tender heart, she will be at your every beck and call :). She is going to be just crazy about this little one!

p.s. I hate being pregnant too! I thought I was the only one in the world!!!