Saturday, April 23, 2011

From Two to Three

Running a moms group, I get to hear lots of birth stories, and meet many many mothers and pregnant moms to be.  Perhaps because I had such a terrible experience last time around, I am very aware of pregnant moms, and not telling them my birth story, or any horror story about being pregnant for that matter.  I don't think that pregnant women need the extra stress of worrying about what happened to anyone else.  Pregnancy is stressful enough.  I think sometimes people forget that, though.

In my case, I can't tell you how many times I have heard how hard it is to go from two to three children in the last few months, even from very good friends.  Apparently, three is that magic number where you are suddenly out numbered as a parent, and the world becomes totally overwhelming.  Three is supposedly more stressful than just about any other number, it is worse than four or five.  This is the make it or break it point, where you go from a normal family, to a big family.

Maybe I am a moron for not being concerned, but I'm not, really.  At least, no more concerned than when I went from one to two.  It may be the fact that The Big One is so much older, she is almost 8 now, that I don't have to worry as much.  She is capable of not only taking care of herself, with in reason, but helping out with her younger sister.  The Big One can make a sandwich, get a bowl of cereal, a granola bar, a cup of milk, or what ever they need.  She and The Little One go out to play in the back yard, and she watches her, at least somewhat.  They sit on the couch together and play on the Wii for as long as I will let them, and the same for the computer.  While it isn't her job to take care of her sister, and I would never totally rely on her, I know she can be a great help to me, and really can do a lot.  For that matter, at 4, The Little One can do a lot for herself, too.  While I do have to remind her to wipe her tush still, I don't have to go to the bathroom with her.  She can dress herself, if she is so inclined on any given day.  She will even play on the computer by herself for a long time, if I log her onto a good website.  If I put juice boxes and things at her disposal, she can get them out of the fridge, too.  There is a lot of self sufficiency, if she will just do it.  So, while I certainly will have three children, I won't have three small children.  I will have two children who don't need constant attention, and only one who does.  I will have an older child who will be able to help out, and will even enjoy some of the things that have to be done while caring for either the baby or The Little One.  Yes, My Husband and I will be outnumbered with there being more children than parents, but I guess, as much as he is gone, I live my life that way, anyway.  My concern isn't that there will be three, but that I will be alone with a new baby very soon.  That scares me far more than how many of them there are.

I kind of feel like we will settle in to three pretty easily.  I know there will be challenges, but that is to be expected with every new child.  Each new life is different, and none of them come with instructions for their particular model.  You always have to figure things out as you go.  This addition will be the same.  WE will figure it out.  We will all adjust.  It may not be easy, and at times I may feel like they are going to get the best of me, but it won't last.  Somehow, three just feels right to me, like this is how life is supposed to be.
I am no fool.  I am ready for the challenges, but I welcome them instead of fearing them.  We will be better than alright.  I think our family of 5 is going to be great.