Thursday, 28 May 2020

MOTHERHOOD: My Experience of going from 1-2 Children compared to 2-3 Children

My Experience of going from 1-2 Children compared to 2-3 Children
Finding out the news that you are expecting a baby can create so many different emotions and one I've certainly felt is fear. Not fear of having another baby as such, but instead of how I was going to manage parenting one/two/three children. In 2015 we had our first baby, Isabella, and it was such a magical experience. I was lucky enough to have a smooth breastfeeding journey, the love was like nothing I'd ever felt before and it was just such a precious time. Then in 2017 we had our second baby, Poppy, and the adjustment from one to two children wasn't as easy. 
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I poured everything I had into parenting Isabella prior to Poppy's arrival and really struggled with not being able to do that anymore. It was a huge adjustment constantly having to balance attending to the needs of a baby and toddler; the juggle was real and hard if I'm honest. I know a lot of parents that say going from 0-1 child was the hardest adjustment, but personally I found it much harder going from 1-2. Then in 2019 we welcomed our third baby into the world, Rory and we became a family of five. By this point Poppy was two years old, Isabella was four years old and had just started school. This time the experience was much smoother, happier and easier in many ways. 
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When I went from having one to two children I wasn't used to juggling every aspect of life. It is very possible to cater for the needs of one child by yourself; it's one on one and therefore your sole focus. However, the moment we had two children I had to learn how to balance the needs of two little human beings all day, everyday and often on little sleep. Poppy's pregnancy hadn't been the easiest either, as we were involved in a very serious car accident when I was nine weeks pregnant which left me with awful migraines, anxiety and sickness. I really found this adjustment of juggling everything tricky at first; to be honest I don't think I realised quite how hard I found it until life got easier and I was able to reflect. After about a year of having Poppy I managed to find a routine that worked for us all, I'd got used to looking after multiple children and had learnt parenting hacks along the way. 
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Our recent life change has been going from two to three children and I am so relieved to say that this has been a lot easier. I've found that once you have got used to juggling more than one child's needs then a third baby just sort of slots in. They kind of have to fit in because life is already busy with the two older children. When Rory was born Isabella had just started Primary School (I think she was about six weeks in) and Poppy went to nursery two days a week, so he had no choice but to fit in with our routine. School was the biggest change for us, as it was still very new, but the structure of the school run each day meant we were out of the house at least twice a day. Getting up and getting out is so good for your mind, productivity and kick starting the day. By the time Rory was four weeks old I was back going to toddler classes with Poppy while Isabella was at school; something I simply would have found far too intimidating after having Poppy. 
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Once you've brought two babies into the world I think that by the third you have gained so much confidence in your own ability as a parent. As a first time parent you question everything you do, by the second you're gaining a bit more confidence through experience and by the third you know what happens when, so you can just relax. I remember being so worried if Isabella (and even Poppy) would cry when we were out, but I am confident now that I'll know how to deal with Rory if he does cry. This feeling is extremely liberating, so whether you get to that with your first or your last baby embrace it! 
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When Rory was eight weeks old we took him to the cinema with Isabella and Poppy, something I certainly would never have dreamt doing with Isabella when she was a baby. When we go anywhere as a family of five we are very aware there are quite a lot of us now, so taking the time beforehand to plan our route/routine/plan of action makes life so much easier. I remember turning around one day after Rory was born to see the three children sitting along the back of the car and just thinking...wow there are a lot of you! It can feel like you're coordinating a school trip sometimes, but again the increased confidence gained through experience means that not much seems impossible. 
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We are now seven months into life as a family of five and in many ways it gets easier. I often get asked 'how do you do it with three children?' and in many ways I've found it easier. Obviously there are still hard and challenging times, but there are so man positives...they entertain each other, help each other, teach each other, play with each other, inspire each other, have each other's imagination to thrive off, learn from each other, encourage each other and most of all love each other. 
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If you're currently expecting your third baby then firstly, congratulations and secondly, please don't worry. I spent so many nights laying awake worrying about how I was going to manage now that I'd be outnumbered by children, but your experience and expertise will carry you through the adjusting period. Soon enough you'll be surrounded by more love than you could ever imagine and that is so incredibly precious. 


Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)


Helen x
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7 comments

  1. I can imagine the change from one to two was a bit of a shock - it must be a challenge to juggle but so worth it when they can play together when they are a little older.

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  2. I found the jump from one to two easy, but the jump to three the hardest, probably because I suddenly realised I didn't have enough hands.

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  3. I was talking to my middle son yesterday, he has two children and asked if they were going to have a third the answer was no. We had three not full time as they boys were with their Mum but can relate to this in a way

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