Why kid #3 brings a lot less stress

Yep, read that right folks.  Minus the health issues we have faced with Beau, I want to say that he has brought less stress to this home.

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NOW, don’t get me wrong…we are WAY WAY busier with each additional child we’ve had {although, I have said before, I think us parents live “at our max” no matter the number of kids, so being busy is relative}.

But let me tell you about the chill-factor that kid #3 has given me.

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Grant.  Kid number 1.  Didn’t walk until 16 months.  Non-verbal, like DID NOT SPEAK {aside from “duck”} at 18 months.  No teeth until almost 11 months.  When we sleep trained, he would CRY {holy crying… judge away on CIO/Babywise method but now have 3 solid sleepers}.  Lived and died by our nap schedules.  Baby-proofed everything.  Read probably 5 parenting books.  Waking in the night, worried he would roll over {heaven forbid he slept on his stomach!}…and worrying pretty much constantly that I was doing things wrong, and that that would pretty much screw up his entire life.

STRESS on STRESS for a new mom.  Watching all my friends kids start to walk, run, socialize, babble…so easy to find yourself comparing your baby to others!  I would spend my days trying to entertain him, help him learn to walk, read to him, talk to him…worried that he was behind and always would be.  Would spend evenings reading online for ideas to help my now frustrated 18 month old.

{{Don’t get me wrong, he brought crazy amounts of joy and happy to our lives as well!  Those early, one-baby days are some of my most favorite!  Our days were FULL and oh so happy…but the worry was often creeping around in the back of my mind}}

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Que Stella.  Kid number 2.  Walked at 12 months.  Speaking in phrases at the same time. Basically went from infant to full grown child.  Plus, can we just recognize what a different breed girls are?!  Stella is a wild one, believe me. But she was never into everything…or everywhere…the way Grant was in his baby/toddling years.

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Two years later {almost to the day} came Beau.  Now, having a 3 1/2 year old, newly 2 year old, and newborn was B.U.S.Y.  but the blessing in that busy, is that there wasn’t a whole lot of time to worry.  I had had so many veteran mama’s tell me with Grant that kids hit milestones in their own time and that by school age everyone would be on an even playing field.  Well, after Grant and Stella, I witnessed firsthand just how different kids can develop…and how you would never know it now.  So instead of stressing with Beau about when he would take his first steps, I have been able to sit back and actually ENJOY them.  I haven’t stressed about his talking {other than his cleft-related issues} and so each word and sound he makes sounds extra sweet.  And when it came time to sleep train, by time I laid him down, dealt with my toddlers and found the monitor {how does it always go missing??} he was usually already asleep.  Totally forgot all the ‘eating rules’ and gave him peanut butter way too early {which come to find out they now recommend}.  In general, he naps when he can get one with our crazy days.  He is laid back…and I think a big part of that is because I am more laid back.

And on top of a much more chill attitude, having two little ones who are eager to play with and entertain Beau has made life a lot less stressful for me on the day to day! I no longer feel the need to fill every minute of their lives with activity for them.  What a gift it is to my sanity to leave them playing together, knowing they are having fun and growing so close.  Constantly learning, and loving, from one another.

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So, don’t get me wrong.  Our house is busy, and chaotic, and still stressful {especially at dinner time!}, but with each baby, a sense of calm has settled in…and a better understanding that kids will be who they are, and in their own time.  So to all the new mamas out there…hold on.  It gets easier {and harder} everyday.  I laugh at myself now for all the silly worrying I did, and on all of the pressure I put on myself as a new mom.  So my advice is simple:

Say your prayers, and enjoy the ride…things ALWAYS have a way of working out.

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