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Old 03-08-2012, 08:12 AM   #21
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Re: Btdt mamas of 3+ i need you!

My situation is a little bit different as the age difference in my kids is much more spread apart. (16, 8, 4 and the new one due in August).

I have found that because my kids are older, I don't really have the same struggles as the mamas with the younger kids closer together- my house stays fairly clean (plus the kids can help), my oldest can help with babysitting, I work outside of the home during the evenings so it is like having two full time jobs- very busy but not all toddlers all the time busy. I am busy in that I have 3 kids in 3 different schools ranging from a preschooler to a sophomore in high school that still needs to practice driving multiple times weekly, etc. It is just different.

I go over to my neighbor's house who has 2 kids under 3 and I kid you not, I am ready for a glass of wine by the time I leave! I don't know how that woman does it! My respects to the mamas that can handle many littles under the age of 5 at once.

I think the adjustments come naturally and I remember this mom of 9 kids that told me, "Honey, give yourself a few months to get into a routine- it will take at least a few months to feel normal again." She was right! With every little one there is adjustment time but then things just seem to flow. I think you are going to be just fine!

Remember to be a Phil 3:14 girl-- you know where your strength will come from!

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Old 03-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #22
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DDC here, sorry... I have 4 now and due in Sept with 5. My children are 6, 3.5, 2.5, 11 months. My oldest has aspergers and is a huge challenge all on his own. For me going from 1-2 was the toughest because C had such a hard time adjusting. 2-3 was easy and 3-4 was like nothing changed.
It will probably take a few weeks. The first 6 weeks are always the hardest I think. You will find your groove and be just fine
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #23
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DDC here, sorry... I have 4 now and due in Sept with 5. My children are 6, 3.5, 2.5, 11 months. My oldest has aspergers and is a huge challenge all on his own. For me going from 1-2 was the toughest because C had such a hard time adjusting. 2-3 was easy and 3-4 was like nothing changed.
It will probably take a few weeks. The first 6 weeks are always the hardest I think. You will find your groove and be just fine
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #24
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DDC here, sorry... I have 4 now and due in Sept with 5. My children are 6, 3.5, 2.5, 11 months. My oldest has aspergers and is a huge challenge all on his own. For me going from 1-2 was the toughest because C had such a hard time adjusting. 2-3 was easy and 3-4 was like nothing changed.
It will probably take a few weeks. The first 6 weeks are always the hardest I think. You will find your groove and be just fine
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #25
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DDC here, sorry... I have 4 now and due in Sept with 5. My children are 6, 3.5, 2.5, 11 months. My oldest has aspergers and is a huge challenge all on his own. For me going from 1-2 was the toughest because C had such a hard time adjusting. 2-3 was easy and 3-4 was like nothing changed.
It will probably take a few weeks. The first 6 weeks are always the hardest I think. You will find your groove and be just fine
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:29 PM   #26
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Re: Btdt mamas of 3+ i need you!

Warning: VENT AHEAD!
Glad to hear it wasn't life changing for everyone! I have a SIL that I could strangle somedays. All I seem to hear from here is she has THREE kids to get read and get out the door, or THREE kids to take somewhere, yada yada. No offense, but she is not the busiest (and I try not to judge) SAHM. The oldest can help out (6yr), and her 2nd (2) is easy going. Personal advice for her...start before 9 AM. I'm not trying to sound mean, but her youngest is about 5 months.
I understand it's a change (and maybe I have a wake-up call coming w/ my #3), but I'm hoping I adjust at least by the time I go back to work at 12 weeks. I don't say anything because I've had my foot in my mouth before, but I try not to complain. Maybe part that irritates me is if I wouldn't have had issues at the beginning of the pregnancy, I think that I would have had twins, and would've went from 2 to 4 kids. Maybe not either, just an underlying thing.
Vent over. Good luck adjusting along with me!
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:47 PM   #27
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Re: Btdt mamas of 3+ i need you!

My tricks:

stock the freezer! I like to have at least 20 dinners in my deep freeze. Before we had one, I put them in my Grandma's freezer and she brought over 4-5 when my freezer ran low. We don't do prepackaged stuff, so having those healthy meals ready to go was life-saving.

paper stuff. I do buy a Sam's pack of paper plates and other paper products which we NEVER use just to keep my sanity and dishes at a minimum the 1st month.

let kids over 3 get their own lunches and snacks and stuff. I make oatmeal in my crockpot overnight and the 8 and 5 yo get it themselves and serve a bowl to the 2yo. My 2yo is learning to make pb&j right now. Keep cut up fruits and veggies on hand at all times, even if you have to buy them already cut for a few weeks after baby. Trader Joe's turkey meatballs rock.

baby gifts. Baby brings a gift to each child. Ods- lego set will keep him occupied for 2-3 days! Dd will get art supplies or a Klutz book of paper dolls. Ds#3 will probably get a new play-dough set. Then I will have, stashed, other art supplies, a new sprinkler, bubbles, Dollar Tree sticker and activity books, etc. I bring those out as needed. Also I keep a nice stack of videos from the library available for emergencies .

DECLUTTER!!! By doing a deep declutter b4 baby arrives, there is less to mess up and pick up.

I don't have a lot of help after the births, and dh will be starting a new job with extensive travel right b4 this birth, so I have to have an organized plan like this for survival. But it does make the first 6 weeks run very smoothly.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:45 PM   #28
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That is REALLY great advice!!
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:03 AM   #29
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Re: Btdt mamas of 3+ i need you!

I found going from #2 to #3 was very easy. It was probably our easiest transition! When #3 was born my oldest was only 3 1/2 and #2 was only 14 months. Adding #4 was the hardest for me. Adding #5 was pretty smooth and I'm wondering how adding #6 will be. My older kids are more of a help now so that makes a bit of a difference. When this baby is born I'll have a 8, 6, 5, 3, 1 and newborn babe so I've had many moments when I've freaked out!! I think it's normal and hormonal!! ha!!
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:59 AM   #30
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Re: Btdt mamas of 3+ i need you!

I found that going from 2 to 3 was the easiest. You already know that your life is no longer your own and are plenty used to it by now . For me going from 0 to 1 was the hardest. My first had severe colic and screamed 24/7 for about the first 6 months. Going from 2-3 just required some thought regarding how we were organized (not my forte, but DH and my dad helped out a lot with this). For example, de-cluttering helps, as a previous poster noted. Less stuff around means less to clean up. Getting all the breakfast stuff ready the night before helps too--labeled and filled sippy cups in the fridge, lunches made. Another thing that has helped with laundry (which increases exponentially with 3) is giving myself a break. The kids drawers are always messy anyway so why bother folding and putting away? I just sort the clean clothes into basket for each one and put it in their rooms. If I have time to fight with them put it away, I do, but if not, at least everyone has their clothes where they can find them.
I'm certain that you fall into a routine quicker than you think--remember, you've done this before. Things will feel weird for a little while but you will soon get used to your "new" normal.
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