Hi Shawni! I have been following and loving your blog for about six years now. I need your advice.
I have two kids 20 months apart and I just barely found out I’m pregnant. The gap between my 2nd and 3rd will be 18 months. This wasn’t my plan at all, we were trying to prevent pregnancy and my husband will be starting his Anesthesiology residency training this summer. I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. How did you do it? How did you have Max and Elle so close together? Do you have any tips for me? I need some advice from a seasoned mother! Thank you so much!
Oh I am sooo excited for you!! (And I’m so sorry I just barely got this…maybe you’ve figured it all out by now!). I didn’t have three that close, but I will admit that having three littles was one of the trickiest adjustments for me. But as I look back on it, it was the BEST.
(But then, I keep getting more and more “bests”)
My best advice would just be to remember to breathe.
And while you’re at it, breathe those babies in with all your might.
I know, so difficult to do in the middle of a tantrum and three babies needing different things at the same time and juice sticking to your feet and laundry sprawled all over the place and being bleary-eyed from lack of sleep. It will be tough, there’s no cushioning that little fact.
But it all passes.
It passes so quickly that you will look back and just wish with all your heart that you could snuggle those sweeties just for even a minute.
How I wish I had a “rewind” button!
You will look back and cherish even the toughest parts.
I know, I’ve been there.
And oh how I would love to wrap my arms around those little babies one more time and kiss those chubby baby cheeks off.
But for the real, practical advice, my main tips would be these:
1) brace yourself.
Brace yourself for this:
(you may wonder why I have so many crying pictures of Lucy, and the answer is that that was how she looked 24/7 for what seemed like a long time)
…and remember when you’re in the deepest trenches that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
And with your patience and love you are creating that light, even if you can’t see it.
2) You, as the mother, set the attitude and spirit in your home. That’s kind of a lot of pressure, but it’s true. So pray for patience. God will give it to you. And it will make all the difference.
3) watch those babies sleep at night, particularly after crazy days
5) remember that it’s ok to go slow and say no. (I’m still trying to learn that one)
6) forgive yourself when you mess up. And forgive those babies for messing you up too 🙂
6) use Johnson’s baby lotion. Ha! but seriously, that smell…
Every mom does it so differently, but with prayer and seeking guidance from above (I’m not just saying that, I do believe this is the strongest key…whenever I remember to pray for patience and attitude adjustment it really does come, and makes all the difference in the world), you will do that mothering-of-three-littles the best way YOU possibly can.
And your best will be the best for them.
It won’t be perfect, and in many ways it won’t be pretty. But you can do it!!
Good luck, and give them extra snuggles from me…wish I could be there to hold them for you when it gets hairy!
For one more post to help “cherish the moment” even when the moments don’t seem like they deserve to be cherished:), click HERE
Lots more “concrete mothering” ideas HERE
I’m sure this reader with the question would love to hear other reader’s ideas of how to best handle babies who are close together in age (I know there are lots of mothers out there who have gone through this phase). I would love to hear the ideas too so share if you have particular things that have worked for you!