I wanted to get these thoughts and feelings down in a post as soon as possible. It was just yesterday, I returned from hospital with our perfect baby boy, Ezra. His sisters (Hannah – 4.5 years and Eden – 18 months) are at school, so this gives me a chance to get settled, showered, fed and comfortable. Leaving the hospital, I had this sense of “I’ve got this!”
Hannah’s been through this before and being a bit older, she’d already built up the excitement to meet her little brother – she has a maternal, caring instinct as I’ve never seen in a 4-year-old. It’s adorable.
Eden, on the other hand, was my biggest concern this whole pregnancy – how would she react? How would she adjust? Eventually, I decided to give too much attention to these “what ifs” and unknowns wasn’t worth my energy – I’d find out once baby boy arrived. Instead, I handed these worries over to God, giving them to Him and asking Him to give us as family patience and wisdom in every situation that may come up.
Monday, 3.30 pm. Arriving Home…
The girls arrived home, Hannah was instantly drawn to the rocker where her brother lay, sleeping. Oohing & aahing.
Eden, firstly, was not interested in me at all, probably since I’d been gone the whole weekend and decided to return with an intruder in tow… when she did pay attention to the baby, she was filled with some confusion and wasn’t too sure how to approach him. Her version of touching gently is like something out of a kung fu movie.
Roll all of this into the general chaos that I had been thrown back into, after a peaceful 3 days in the hospital and I thought, “I definitely don’t have this”. It was loud and chaotic and I felt useless and unable to help in my post-c-section state. Eden was jealous and uncertain, which I totally understand.
Fast forward 10 days.
This is roughly when things started to ease up… David returned to work, my mom left us to go back home, we were so grateful for her help, but things needed to return to our “normal” routine. Honestly, once they did, we noticed such a change in Eden. It was as if all the changes were just too much for her. She became a lot more calm and back to her normal, fun self.
From there, each week, as I recovered and got stronger things definitely improved – I was able to give her more attention and eventually help more, cuddle more & be more present. This recovery was by far the most difficult. 3 c-sections and a sterilisation and my body seriously took it’s time to feel able to cope with the day-to-day helping around the house etc.
Fast forward 2 months and we’re surviving…
I use the word surviving mostly because it’s an accurate description of our daily life as a family of 5. I am sure it’s just this initial phase with an almost 5-year-old, busy 18-month-old and a needy newborn. Going to the shops, evening routines and solo parenting moments have kicked into a new gear that we’re often not prepared for: practically or emotionally.
Mostly, it’s amazing and the girls are sweet with their brother and often I sit and think, “wow, this is going surprisingly well” but it’s all just honestly one big juggle. A good juggle.
There were a few questions that I was asked when I put out an Instagram sticker for this post and to be honest I LOST THEM… but… I did try to remember some of them to the best of my memory.
- How do I find time for quiet time/devotion with God… This has been something I’ve struggled with after each baby was born – it completely disrupts your schedule, your routine, everything. I found myself still struggling this time, even though I’d make the decision that this time would be different. I think it’s mostly about managing your expectations, a 30-minute quality devotion with worship and note-taking just may not be possible. I’ve been relying on the bible app to get me through. There are amazing reading plans (some aimed at moms, families & kids) and I discovered that for some of them you can listen to the devotion audio, which has been a game-changer. During the busyness of the day, while I’m feeding Ezra, I try and do it early in the day – I pop one on and I listen, then I try and pray and meditate on that word for a few minutes. It may not be the quantity, but it is quality time. I think that concept can apply to everything in life, whether you’re a mom or not. We often place unrealistic expectations on ourselves.
- How do I find time for my husband… We try and connect a bit every night, once the kids go to sleep, but often I have to catch up on work, or there are other commitments. It’s definitely tough and I know it’s just a season, so we try to be intentional about having a date night, when we can and also, to just chill together. We are both tired and have full days, which end in busy evenings, where we collapse on the couch once the kids have gone to bed and just regroup. I hope in a month and each month that passes we’ll be having more quality time together, more date nights, more connecting, but for now, we do what we can.
I wrote this post last year straight after coming home from the hospital and with a 2-month-in update, but I never posted it, so I thought I would share it now. These were my initial thoughts and feelings. It was a super tough transition, but we all survived 😀
I am going to follow this up with a post about “what life is really like with 3 kids” if you’re considering it or you’re curious, stay tuned!