Three

There were lots and lots of comments from all kinds of people about having a third baby. They fell into three camps, for the most part. 

 

Camp 1 – OH MY GOODNESS YOU ARE RUINING YOUR LIFE. 

These were the admonitions about how hard it is to be outnumbered by tiny people in your home.  I put all of the “you’re going from man-to-man to zone!” comments firmly in this space, along with all of the horror stories people gave us about what their THREE children could destroy in seconds versus the time when there were just two. There were stories about not showering and not sleeping and not being able to get anything at all accomplished. Questions about if we’d be done after this one (with a “and you should be” kicker).

 

Camp 2 – HOORAY! HAVE TONS AND TONS AND TONS OF CHILDREN! DUGGAR IT UP!

This package of comments were the congratulations that went along with predicting the future of a gaggle of children in our home. Questions about buying a new house since ours would be busting at the seems were filed here. The stories about how having a third child when your older kids are as old as mine would make the addition completely undetectable. You’re not sleeping anyway, so you might as well just keep adding tiny cries to the middle of your night! 

 

Camp 3 – YOUR COMMENTS

I don’t remember who said what, so don’t take anything I wrote up there personally. I’m not trying to call anyone out. I’m positive I’ve said things to people that have not been helpful. It’s a way we all process through our experiences – by sharing the hard stuff and by encouraging people with the good stuff. Somehow all of the things that we tell expectant moms is really more about our own selves than it is them. Their experience will be uniquely theirs – a fussy baby, a calm one, MSPI or the graduating to solid foods super early. Who can know what kind of personality or body the Lord will choose to give them? So maybe we should just keep our own thoughts to ourselves.

And yet, there is something wonderful about all of the comments I received from other moms. There is community in the shared struggle. There are moments of clarity for my mind in the middle of the night when I’m awake and unable to help a child get back to sleep. There is a sweetness in shared experience that refreshes me and comfort in knowing that difficult times aren’t unique to our family, that there’s grace enough for me when I am loosing my mind and grace enough for the kids as they navigate this new era too.  

A good friend recently wrote this: We are constantly falling short of our obligations to those around us and are occasionally aware of it! (a good starting place as we approach our fellow man and a good reminder of the tremendous grace we continually receive). 

I couldn’t agree more. Thank you all for the grace you have and are still giving to me. 

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    • teresa
    • March 14th, 2012

    I really do love this. I most certainly know that I have not been “helpful” to people but if there’s one good thing I’ve taken away from my rough patches transitioning into motherhood, it’s sensitivity towards others. Very humbling. Cheers to many MANY more humbling times.

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