In four short days, we will have been a family of five for three whole months. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so much better than I could have imagined. Maybe it has something to do with Rynlee sleeping 10-12 hours per night or the fact that we have somehow managed to keep the other two on their schedules, but honestly, it has been mostly smooth sailing. Now that I have been a mom of three for roughly 90 days, I feel it is my job to share some lessons I have learned during this short period.
No. 1: If one kid gets sick, they will all get sick. No ifs, ands or buts about it. No matter how much GermX, Lysol or confinement we practice, there is no way around all three kids getting sick to some degree. Thankfully, we have not experienced any major illness yet, but surviving KJ’s ear infection, Bradley’s cold and Rynlee’s sinuses, I dread the day we encounter a case of flu, strep or COVID. I guess it is time for us to invest in multivitamins that don’t come in gummy form.
No. 2: Three kids are EXPENSIVE. (Disclaimer: this really should be No. 1 on the list). Between daycare expenses, buying formula, having two in diapers, paying doctor bills, etc., it doesn’t take long for your paycheck to disappear even before paying monthly notes and utilities. If you add in the current inflation pricing, we are lucky to escape our grocery trips without having to sell a kid (mostly kidding). Don’t even get me started on Christmas shopping. I will be enjoying only truly shopping for two kids this year since Rynlee’s gifts will mostly consist of diapers, wipes and formula. Next year will be a completely different story for us, though.
No. 3: Creating a routine and schedule for your children is important. Thankfully, I learned that lesson when KJ was a few months old, but it has continued to be a beneficial aspect of our livelihood. By introducing and enforcing routines to our kids, we are able to know what to expect and when to expect it from our kids. So far, we have managed to keep the kids sleeping, feeding, eating and playing from overlapping each other. What this means for us is that when only one of us is keeping the kids alone, we don’t have to worry about Rynlee needing a bottle while trying to get Bradley ready for bed and getting her to sleep. At the end of the day, you have to do what works best for you and your family, but our family would not survive without it.
No. 4: If it is not a super-important event, there is a good chance we won’t be there. I never understood moms who would decline events because it was too much work to take all the kids, but I fully understand it now. Trying to get me, a 3-month-old, a rebellious almost-2-year-old and a very opinionated 3-year-old dressed, diaper bag packed and loaded in the car is not for the weak. It is a struggle making it out of the house every morning for daycare. The few times we have all ventured out to town together has been an adventure to say the least.
In the off chance that we do all manage to look presentable in public, there is a great chance that the outing will interfere with one of their nap times. If there is a shopping cart or stroller involved, Bradley Kate will have a meltdown after five minutes, which will result in carrying a 2-year-old linebacker while trying to navigate a shopping cart with an independent co-pilot named KJ.
No. 5: Being a mom (especially to three), has been the most demanding and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I have been humbled in the last 3 1/2 years more times than the prior 26 years combined. I have changed countless diapers, washed never-ending loads of laundry, fixed and cleaned endless bottles, wiped snotty noses year round, lost several nights of sleep and may have even cried myself to sleep a time or two. But I have also never known a love so strong.
Growing up, you hear your parents say, “You’ll understand when you have your own kids.” And, boy, are they right. From the moment they lay your baby on your chest, nothing else in the world could ever compare. I am still so ashamed at all the tears I wasted after finding out I was pregnant with Rynlee. Thankfully, our God knows the plan He has set out for us better than we do. I will forever be grateful for His timing and that He knew our family needed Rynlee Ann