How I’m Coping With Three.

It’s been seven weeks since Rubeon was born( where has that gone!!!), two of which were spent in hospital. So in essence I’ve had five weeks of being at home with three kids. It’s only been these past two weeks however that I’ve really started to be a mum-of-three. Now that might sound a bit odd because I’ve just said Rubeon is seven weeks old, but I’ve had the best support and help from my family, and so I feel like I’ve only been a part-time mum of three. Martin has taken on the role of doing the morning school run, and up until recently his mum had been picking Lily up for me after school too! (it’s a bit of a walk, post section & pushing two heavy boys as well!) She even went the extra mile and took Lily to her swimming lessons!

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But now, it’s all changing. I feel like I am officially starting the journey of being mum-to-three. It’s such a help that Martin works in town and can drop Lily off at school along the way, I’ve tried a few times to get everyone up and ready by 8am…it usually ends up with me in a fluster, but we’ve done it (almost…8.10 is the record!) With a breastfeeding baby who decides they’re hungry as we’re putting our coats on (even after just being fed!) and a jealous toddler who won’t do as I ask, it can make for mornings to be fun…So I’ve been playing around with wake-up times and flexing which child is woken up when. So far I’ve found that waking Rubeon up first doesn’t work as he will be on the boob the whole morning. (Cue daddy to help!)

We’ll get there eventually with the mornings, I’m sure I’ll wonder how I ever struggled (I’m being optimistic that it’ll get easier, someone please tell me it gets easier!) until then, the boys and I can get dressed and ready at a more leisurely rate, and hopefully be ready in time for the school pick up! That’s also a work in progress with trying to figure out the optimal time to feed Rubeon before we leave so that he’s content enough for the run and leave enough time to get coats and shoes on, (and get the pushchair set up…more on that later.)

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I’ve had a few ventures to town with the boys whilst Lily’s been at school, and I braved a baby group two weeks running now! For those of you who are thinking, “so?” Let me tell you it’s no easy task to run after a toddler with a baby on the boob – especially in front of strangers who (even if they say they aren’t) are silently judging you and your parenting style. The group is also in the morning, so it’s good practice for me to try and get everyone ready! Thankfully, I’ve learned not to care about what other people think whilst I whip a boob out to feed Rubeon. My argument is, a 2 second nip flash is much preferred than a screaming and hungry baby, no? (Ive also never had anyone make a rude comment or remark about it, which I’m grateful for!)

I won’t lie and say it’s a walk in the park having three, because it’s not. Lily is at an age where she can understand to an extent that the boys need more of my time and help with everything, and she is also an amazing big sister to her brothers and helps out by keeping William entertained and giving lots of kisses to Rubeon.

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William on the other hand, is not so easy. He started out completely ignoring Rubeon, and slowly he started taking notice of him – even giving him goodnight kisses! If Rubeon starts to cry William will come running to find me and point in the direction of where he is! Usually he’s crying for a feed, to which William will also start crying and flop onto the ground in a jealous heap. It’s quite comical to watch, but it doesn’t half kick the mum guilt into action! I just don’t have enough hands and arms to cuddle both whilst he’s feeding, he’s long and heavy. Plus William will ignore my requests for him to sit next to us – that’s not good enough!

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I didn’t think about how breastfeeding Rubeon would affect William, to be honest, I didn’t really think about how William would react at all, I suppose I just assumed he would take to him and that would be it! I can see now though, he’s no longer the centre of my attention 24/7. During the school time before Rubeon he had my undivided attention and now he’s having to share it with his brother (who I suppose in his eyes is getting all the cuddles because he’s constantly feeding!) it doesn’t make the mum guilt any easier, I mean how do you juggle a constantly hungry baby and also ensuring you spend enough time with your older child too?

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When William was a baby Martin used to constantly tell me “put him down!” But they aren’t small for long so I tried to get as many cuddles in as I could with him, and now with Rubeon I feel that I don’t give him the same attention as I did with William. It’s completely a balancing act which I’m terribly hopeless at. I’m sure in due time we’ll find our rhythm properly and I won’t feel like I’m favouring one or the other. (I know Rubeon is still only a baby and clearly needs more of my time, but I still need to make time for William and Lily too!)

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I’m so unbelievable proud of Lily and William for being so accepting and patient. I know I waffled about Williams jealously, but in the grand scheme of things he has been really good (he could’ve been a lot worse!) I watch the kids interact with each other every day, and it just melts my heart to see how much they do all love each other. Lily is at the age where she can help with everything to a degree, and it’s wonderful because she actually asks to do it. From helping with dinner, to bathing the boys, she is my mini shadow and honestly at times she is literally my life saver. If I need to pop out of the room for a moment I know she’ll make sure the boys are okay and William isn’t trying to fill the moses basket up with toys with Rubeon still inside it!

As for me, I’m taking each day as it comes. Tiredness has become a part of me since becoming a parent, but we’re back to square one with working off minimal and broken sleep. “it won’t last forever” – is my current mantra. Rubeon has his days and nights mixed up, and being a very windy baby we’re spending a lot of time trying to feed and having to stop for winding. I’ve given in and bought him gripe water which seems to be working! – I just hope he starts to go through sooner than William did (we cracked it with him at 16 months old…)

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I’d completely forgotten how much of a mission it was to leave the house with a baby, with all the faff you have to take with you, and now I have that times two! (Okay, William isn’t too bad these days, but even so, he still has a bag too!) I also bought a Cosatto To & Fro double, which doesn’t actually fit through my front door…So I have to unload everyone and everything off it and collapse it to get it in the house – it’s a right palava!Plus there’s no storage space to put anything underneath it…All parents rely on that storage space to plonk useless stuff! (or the shopping!) Well, can’t do either.

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Aside from the rubbish nights and jealous toddlers, I feel like I’m doing okay and coping better than I thought I would (although I have had a few struggling days.) I’m surprised I’m doing quite well, I honestly thought I’d be rocking in a corner by now! Give it a few more weeks and we’ll revisit that statement..ha! I think a lot of it is definitely down to the support I’ve had from my family, honestly they have been my rock and I’m so grateful for everything everyone has done for us and me. As tough as having three kids, it’s 100% worth it.

Becky x

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