A windy day brought us together in Acapulco Bay, 19 years ago. My husband of 17 years and I joke that having our third child has made us into adults. I think before, we thought that we had time, we could afford mistakes, debt, a few extra pounds, and not worrying about writing a will. Well, since our son’s birth in June, we’ve refinanced our home, my husband is going to the gym (for both of us) 5 times a week, and we are currently writing a will. Not because having a third child will kill you, but because going from two to three kids is serious stuff. There is no more joking around. The kids now outnumber us and we need to have a plan.
I’m 41 and he is almost 50. We’ve been adults for a long time, but it just hasn’t felt like it. We took 11 years to have our daughter, and in that time, we worked, fought, made up, drank margaritas, went to sunny beaches, and built a solid foundation on which we now have created a precious little family. I am thrilled to be a mom of three. But it’s not as easy as people say. “Going from two to three is not a big change.” Those people are liars. Let me tell you why…
There is never enough time to get anything done. We seem to always be running late. There’s a spill, a missing shoe, or a last minute potty emergency. Going to the grocery store is an ordeal. You simply don’t have enough hands. Getting a shower feels like a treat. Eating out has never been this unpleasant. Also, we had to get a new car to fit everyone, and change the rooms around to accommodate the new addition.
Then there’s the guilt, knowing that you can’t make everyone happy. Your older child feels like you’re giving them the responsibility of helping with everything because they’re older. The younger child is no longer the youngest. You can’t help them go to the bathroom, eat, or play with them as much as before because you have a tiny being dependent on your boob for food. You are always feeding the baby, or changing the baby, or rocking the baby to sleep.
At least both of my “older” kids are out of diapers and can express their emotions. My 6-year-old daughter has told me that I love the baby more than I love anyone. And my 3-year-old son has told me that he wants me to hold him like I hold the baby. Everything seems to revolve around this new family member. And it does. But I try to make it seem like it doesn’t.
I make sure I have some sort of quality time with each kid. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. I want them to know that they each have an important part of my heart. That they matter, are wanted, needed and loved as much as the other.
I have been an adult for a long time. But I have never been this happy. If what Elizabeth Gilbert writes is true, that the number 3 “is the number representing supreme balance”, then I have found my equilibrium, my stability, my raison de vivre. I’ll take the messy house, the sleepless nights, the missing shoes, and the certainty that I must be crazy for having another kid. All for the pure smiles, and the 3 hearts which remind me daily that I was born to be their mom.