“Don’t you think you should just do a test, your’re pretty late”
“No don’t be stupid I’d know if I was pregnant, I don’t feel pregnant, I’m not pregnant”
“Fuck off fuck off fuck off, oh my fucking God how the fucking hell am I going to cope?”
That’s pretty much how I found out I was expecting my 3rd child. I had always wanted 3 but I just hadn’t decided when, so Mother Nature (and a the obvious) decided for me. I spent the whole of the pregnancy somewhere between absolute blind panic and complete denial. At 20 weeks I developed crippling SPD, this also co-insided with the start of the summer holidays, brilliant. It was a tough pregnancy emotionally and physically yet somehow I managed to have the most amazing labour and text book birth. Monty was born at 8.30pm and the moment I held that little slimy boy I was head over heels in love. I don’t think any other feeling ever compares to that moment you first hold your baby in your arms, I can still feel them all.
This aside I am not going to lie it’s so tough, getting 3 anywhere and doing anything requires organisation. My husband used to rip the piss out of me for my love of routine, now he fully appreciates it. I can get 2 toddlers bathed, read to and in bed in 20 mins flat!
I’m often so stressed I burst into tears and I have made many mistakes but I would never change a thing.
The beauty with the 3rd is I knew what to do differently, I spent the precious 2 weeks my husband was off work either in bed or on the sofa cuddling, feeding and sleeping which meant I had breast feeding established and also recovered a bit from birth. I knew the goal was 6 months, that’s was the turning point for my other two with sleep and a napping routine, I knew it got better and had the strength to get through. I also have just enjoyed him being a baby, you spend so much time looking forward to the next mile stone with your children that I think the present gets forgotten. Don’t get me wrong I haven’t cracked it, my middle child can be a nightmare at the best of times but she’s a strong charecter, baby brother or no baby brother she would have been the same. If you are expecting your 3rd or thinking about it here are the top 10 things I have learnt so far:
1. It is all about survival, are they fed, watered and rested? The rest will follow naturally, if you have a day of little laughter then there is always tomorrow.
2. Do what ever makes life easier. When I first had Monty I was trying to do after school clubs with Rory. This quickly stopped, the boy is 5 he doesn’t need to do anything on top of his long day at school, Ophelia doesn’t want to watch her brother having fun without her and Monty wants his feed and to be rolling around at home.
3. Fairness; I have to treat Rory and Ophelia like twins and when Monty is older I will do the same. If Rory has a treat Ophelia does, not always at the same time they have to understand they don’t get things just because but I can always find something to reward them for. If Rory has done well at school we are all part of the celebration to say well done, it unites the family and makes him feel special without alienating Ophelia.
4. Supportive partner is vital. My husband knows I need support, he knows come the weekend it’s not just him that’s had a tough week at work. We are both broken and we have respect for each others roles. We regularly play the game I’m more knackered than you and shout but when it comes to the crunch we get it. He has also learnt if I say I need a lay in Saturday to give me the lay in because when I’m tired I am 1000% a mega bitch!
5. Digital nannies are never to be scoffed at. When Ophelia finally got into Peppa Pig my life changed. Post school/nursery is usually hectic in our house, if I can plonk Rory in front of Ninjago and Ophelia in front of Peppa Pig for an hour while I feed Monty, make dinner and get sorted, my life is easier. Likewise at the weekends, they have an hours down time relaxing and Marcus and I actually get to have a conversation. We like watching crap on TV to relax so why can’t they?
6. Sundays is family only day. When you only get 2 days all together it’s easy to slip into a habit of cramming stuff in, seeing people, going out etc. We stopped this when Monty was born and made our Sundays our day together, if we go out it’s for a walk or to the local pub garden for an ale and an apple juice together. This has now become my sons favourite day as he loves it when we are all together. We also then start the week slightly relaxed.
7. Make time for yourself. This hasn’t been easy, Monty will not take a bottle so “me time” is basically me and Monty time but he’s an easy baby so it’s been no problem. We’ve done days in London, lunch with friends, hairdressers and clothes shopping. More recently I’ve been able to leave him for an afternoon and it’s been bliss to just trot off without all the crap you have to carry around when you have kids. Even a trip to the super market alone can be like a breath of fresh air. I also now regularly go for coffee/breakfast/lunch alone…..sit, read or people watch.
8. Make time for only good friends. I’m time poor so now and only have time to catch up or have play dates with people I genuinely want to spend time with. I don’t have time for polite chit chat!!
9. Stop worrying about what people think. Much easier said than done as I am a little ball of worry and anxiety but I’m learning. When you have 3, at some point at least one of them is going to show you up, my daughter is usually the one to do this but if I worried all the time what people thought I would be in the Priory.
10. Don’t loose yourself. I’m a creative sort of spirit and with no time to paint/sew/draw the only way I can express myself is clothes, so embraced my body and started wearing what I wanted. My husband always knows what kind of mood I’m in from what I’ve got on and if anyone sees me without my eyebrows you know I’m having a really shit day and all I want to do is go back to bed! Find something every day for yourself, 10 min coffee listening to the birds, having a candle lit bubble bath, paint your nails while watching something crap on TV. What ever floats your boat just do something every day for yourself because you have spent the whole day doing things for other people.