I like to think of myself as a pretty confident mom. I’m the oldest of 8 kids so when my first came along I already had a lot of baby experience. For me, becoming a mom wasn’t nearly as difficult as it was for many of my peers. Even adding my second child wasn’t really a problem. It’s the third child that got me. As my husband says, we went from man to man coverage to zone defense. A 5yr old starting kindergarten (we homeschool), a toddler who was just potty trained, and an infant made for a really interesting couple of years.
I wanted to have my 4th another 2.5 years after my 3rd but it just didn’t happen. Now, my 4th has arrived 4 years later and I’ll be honest, he’s not nearly as difficult as my 3rd. So, what’s different?
- I have help – My other kids are older. They’re 9, 6, and 4. All of them old enough to help and old enough to not injure the baby. I can send people for diapers, have them load the dishwasher, get me a glass of water, play with the baby, etc. I didn’t have this many assistants with the first 3.
- Nap schedule? What’s that? – With the older kids having activities and such, our weekly schedule is the same, but our daily schedule is different. So there’s a lot of napping on the go. Luckily, my little guy likes the car. I remember with the others we were actually home most of the day and we had this nice nap schedule. That’s just not happening this time around. Baby sleeps well pretty much wherever so he’s getting his naps. Just not in his bed.
- Baby can sleep through anything…except silence – The first week I tried to tell my older kids to be quiet. Then I gave up. The baby sleeps right through it. But, send everyone away with Daddy for a few hours and the baby doesn’t know what to do with himself.
- Baby is well entertained – And I don’t have to do all the entertaining. Yay! Older siblings are great for playing with baby and as the baby gets older, there’s more they’ll be able to do.
- I follow the advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps” – with the first one you can sleep whenever so I didn’t worry about this. This time around. I have a baby who goes to bed at midnight, who also likes to play between 2 and 4 am and then kid’s schedules which require me to be up before 8. So, guess what, if I have the chance to take a nap while the baby’s sleeping, I take it. And I don’t feel one bit bad about taking a nap instead of cleaning my house. Because I’ve figured out, if I’m too tired, nothing goes well in my house.
- I do actually get to shower alone – My kids are older, old enough to survive without me for 20 minutes. Plus, think of all the snacks you can consume while Mommy’s in the shower. Who wants to pass that up by asking for permission first? I can shower when the baby’s sleeping or playing and the kids will leave me along unless the baby’s crying. I remember with my first it being so hard to shower when she was awake because she didn’t want to be “alone” in her bouncer by the shower door. With 3 entertainers for the baby, this isn’t a problem.
- I don’t need a baby monitor – I have a baby monitor. But with 3 live baby monitors running around, I don’t actually need it. I’m alerted if the baby sneezes in his sleep.
- Zone Defense – and last but not least, I’m already on zone defense so what’s one more? It’s not like I was keeping up with everything anyways.
What’s been different for you as you’ve added multiple kids?