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5 Lessons I've Learned From My Third Kid
By Lindsay Pinchuk
Posted on March 8, 2016
By Missy Borman, BCBlogger
Today my baby – the third and final baby for me – is turning 6 months old. My mixed emotions are endless, and in an attempt to calm my own nerves and to make some sense of things, I’m taking the time to reflect on what these crazy, happy, sad, overwhelming, and empowering days have taught me and brought me.
Everything is a phase. This is the mantra I repeat to myself at least 1,000 times a day. It reminds me that the good – the hugs, the snuggles, the I love you, Mamas – are just a phase, and I should be as present as possible to enjoy them. It also reminds me that the difficult – the poops up the back, the 3AM feedings, the non-stop bickering between the boys – are also a phase that will not last forever.
Day by day is the only way. I try to plan, to envision what my life will look like a few weeks or even months from now. But I’ve found that this mainly causes me unnecessary stress. I’ve accepted that getting through today – getting everyone where they need to be on time (and back again!), fed, clothed, and bathed is not just the basics – it’s everything right now, and that’s okay.
Something has to give: The stress level in our house reaches nearly unbearable heights around 5pm, when dinner, homework, and the bedtime routine are looming. On one particularly crazy night, I stared down an endless amount of dirty dishes, a crying baby, 3rd-grade math homework, a 5-year-old who drew all over his own face, and thought something has to give. For me, it was cooking dinner. Turkey sandwiches, waffles, fruit, cut up veggies, etc. became staples, and the additional stress of planning, cooking, and cleaning up was lifted. I’ve slowly gotten back to cooking more, but when things get hectic, it’s the first thing to go.
Multi-task is an understatement. As a kid, I remember being at Chuckee Cheese with my mom. I waited my turn at the game where the plastic moles’ heads pop up, and you smack them back down with a mallet. The kid’s mom in front of us was helping him by using the mallet with her left hand and her right hand simultaneously, allowing herself to hit double the amount of moles in the same amount of time. My mom laughed and said, “That’s a real mom for you!” I had no clue what she meant at the time. Now I know EXACTLY what she meant. I’m that mom hitting the metaphoric moles with both hands all day every day now!
Laugh. A lot. When the baby was a few weeks old she had her first gigantic projectile spit up. It was a massive, impressive amount of liquid to come out of such a tiny thing. I gasped, looked at her sweet face, and started laughing. Hysterically laughing – like the emotional, hormonal, sleep-deprived person I was! I consider this laugh one of wisdom, one I earned through three pregnancies and three childbirths, through bringing a newborn home, through being brave enough to be here once again. The laugh felt good, like it pushed away the scary, overwhelming, and frankly gross things that were going on.
Now I keep little tokens around to remind myself to laugh because sometimes things seem overwhelmingly hard and heavy. So the picture of the boys making silly faces, the schedule from my son’s championship baseball season, and, yes, even the ceramic bird my 8-year-old made that looks like a penis, aren’t displayed in my house by accident. They remind me of the lighter side of things – that these last 6 months are both the end and the beginning of more fun, sad, hard, and beautiful times to come. Missy Borman is a Pittsburgh native who lives in suburban Detroit with her husband and three young kids, Oscar, Lucas, and Eve. She has spent over a decade teaching a variety of grades from preschool to high school. In her free time (as if!) she enjoys cooking, reading, and watching sports with her kids.