Juggling 3, 3 and under – Pt 1 How it came to be

I never actually wanted to have any kids. My little brother and sister made sure of that… Growing up with young children and experiencing what it was like first hand did not give me any romantic notions of starting a family. Luckily for me and my husband, after a few years of living out of home, and being able to live a “sensible” adult life, it wasn’t long before I was starting to feel clucky.

I had it in my mind that 30 was a respectable age to start a family and so it was, just before my 30th birthday, that my eldest daughter arrived. I couldn’t have expected what was to come in those first couple of weeks following her arrival. The pregnancy, for me at least, was nothing compared to what followed. It was like being abducted by aliens. The whole birthing process – the c section – the breastfeeding… Noone tells you what its going to be like. Maybe they did, but they didn’t explain themselves well enough. It was probably just as well that they didn’t.

I remember one awful night, when my eldest wouldn’t stop crying, and my husband had to drive across to the other side of town just to try and make her stop, that I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life. I had never experienced such lack of sleep, such massive responsibility, and such monotony before (and I was a lawyer in banking!).  What had I gotten myself into? Thankfully, after weeks of no sleep, frantically jumping around the room like a maniac trying to settle her, and cutting up my food with one hand and feeding myself without covering her in it, things started to get better. She started to sleep a little longer and cry a little less. We had also accepted that life wasn’t going to be like it was before. The days of self-serving were at an end. And that was the turning point. Acceptance. Of course, there were also sheer moments of pure delight – her first smile,  how she felt against my chest as she slept, the warmth of her bald little head against my lips when I kissed it… so many things.

So many things that less than 2 years later after my eldest arrived, my second daughter came on the scene. Everyone told me that you forget the pain of your labour and the first couple of weeks with a newborn, and on this count they were right! I had a c-section like I did with my first but I wasn’t abducted by aliens this time. I knew what to expect. I also hadn’t laboured for 21 hours – only 2. By the time my second arrived I was feeling remarkably well. Amazingly, that night my little girl slept through the night. I couldn’t believe it. It must be a one off I convinced myself – surely babies were like my first – feeding every 2 hours, crying when they weren’t feeding. But no, this baby was different. She would feed, have a cuddle, and then sleep for 3 hours. And so on. Like clockwork. I couldn’t believe my luck. I got home and it was more of the same. In fact, it got better – after 8 weeks I went to bed one night and didn’t wake up until 7 that morning. My baby had slept through!!! And so she continued to do so. This wasn’t a baby! At least not a baby like my first. And I was so grateful. I guess this inspired me to just keep going…

3 months ago, my youngest daughter was born. I was convinced that she was going to be like my first. You can’t get lucky twice in a row. But lo and behold I did. At the magic 8 week mark, she was sleeping through until 7. We were so relieved. 2 kids are hard enough to juggle at the best of times… 3 is quite a bit more difficult. Where once we were 1 parent to 1 kid – we were now outnumbered.

Everyone is suggesting that we move on to number 4, just to make it even. I don’t think I’m that inspired…

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