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No rest for the weary...

MFE 3 Babies As I sit to write this I have a 2 year old asleep on the sofa, a 1 year old asleep in her crib, and a 6 week old asleep in my arms (yes, she is lying across my arms as I type). And I'm laughing at the difference a first child/pregnancy is to a third child/pregnancy.

With my first I was walking in heels, kicking up my feet at the end of the office day, catching a nap at lunch, never missing a girls trip, a shopping day, or fun date night restaurant with my husband. Being put on bed rest at the end of my pregnancy, no big deal - a pain, but not a problem. And we were so fortunate to have a night nurse help out occasionally once she was born. We went everywhere - every trip, every event, every invitation - baby in tow.

But my third, ummmmm....not so much.

My closet full of shoes is now known as the "Shoe Museum". I'm not sure I know what a nap is let alone SLEEP. I online shop 99% of the time (easier than leaving the house).  Date night!?!?  Huh? And bed rest...Ohhhh how I prayed and prayed for that not to happen. How could I??? Night nurse?  What's the point when your other 2 kids will be waking you up anyway? And we still travel and go out, just strategically (babies 11 months and 13 months apart will do that to you).

As my husband drove me home from the hospital after my C-section with our 5 day old baby, he mentioned that some critical work for our company had come in while I was "away".  Not that he wanted to ask, but how soon could I be back in the field as they needed something ASAP.  I somewhat chuckled to myself (as I quickly calculated timing and assured him we could get the job done the next week) just how different this time home from the hospital would be.

I had been given discharge instructions not to do any heavy lifting, no exercise and to take it easy.  OK that all sounds easy enough but would it be possible?

The morning after I came home I was reminded that our 1 year old had left a "fun present" in the bath tub the night before and we had forgotten to go back and clean it up.  Out came all the toys, and in went the Pine Sol as I leaned over the tub to scrub it all down, cognizant of my C-Section incision and wondering if this would this be something on the "OK list from the Dr?".

Now close to lunch time I lifted my 25 lb and 27 lb babes into their high chairs and made lunch while carrying the third baby in a sling to help her sleep (Was that too much???)

Since our laundry room is conveniently next to the kitchen, a threw in a load and carried a basket out to the kitchen table to fold (How else would the basket get there...).

Kids done with lunch, I quickly cleaned up, put the baby down, lifted the other 2 Littles to change their diapers and into their cribs for naps (Oops, that was not allowed, but how else do they get new diapers and get into their cribs??)

What do they say, "Sleep when the baby sleeps"?

Maybe with #1, but not baby #3.

I run to the computer to submit paperwork for Baby #3 to be added to our medical insurance, answer emails, phone calls and start writing a blog post.

Baby #3 is awake. Writing will have to wait until tonight when the babes are back in bed.

Feed the baby and watch the clock as #1 and #2 will be awake in 20 minutes. Fold the laundry (that I left on the table earlier) and put it away. Check iPhone emails and texts, send messages.

#1 and #2 awake.

Change diapers again and head outside to the swing set to play.....wearing #3 in a sling (I can't leave her inside and I can't put her down as she is waaaay to fascinating for #1 and #2.  Is this too much lifting?)

This could go on forever.....but you know the rest of the day, you've been there. 

So exactly where does the "take is easy and rest" part come in?  When people say, "You've just had a BABY!?!?  What are you doing??" What else are we supposed to do?  HOW are you supposed to follow those discharge orders with young children at home and a family to take care of?

So instead we are super moms.  And we fortunately (or unfortunately) show how capable we are.

And the truth of the matter, we ARE capable. Moms are made that way.  We are made to whether the storm no matter how rough.  We are stronger than we think. We need less sleep than we would like. (OK. not really on that last one - but I thought if I said it, I might believe it. Didn't work...) And now we understand that "knowing" look in our own mom's eyes.

I remember babysitting a family of 3 kids for a weekend in college.  I called my mom on Sunday night, barely capable of staying awake, let alone speaking. 

"HOW did you raise 3 kids Mom???". 

"You ease into it, Hon.  You're not given 3 toddlers overnight.  You start with a baby and add on, by the time you get to 3 you're well seasoned"

"OK, if you say so.  But by "well seasoned" do you mean "stick a fork in me, I'm done!"?

She laughed, and I'm sure on the other end of the phone it was the first of many times she would give me  that "knowing" mom twinkle in her eye....

Original Orange County Moms Blog post.

When failing not trying to follow discharge orders.  Shanna can be found sharing "Simple Tips, Fresh Ideas, and Great Products" For making busy lives brighter at My Favorite Everything (You might also find her hiding in her closet Shoe Museum with a glass of wine on Facebook and Twitter, @MyFavEverything...).


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