Thursday, October 02, 2014


When I first found out I was pregnant with Finn... denial and shock were the first two things I felt. There was joy, for sure... but it was definitely masked by denial and shock... and uncertainty. How would I "handle"... "manage"... "raise"... 2 kids that are 1 and under, plus a 6 (whose now 7) year old? A lot of people, in their minds, are set on the spacing of the years between their kids. Some want to wait 2 years until they start trying again, and others 6... for the hubby and I, we didn't really think/plan it all out. Afterall, it took us 6 years to get pregnant with Marley (minus our miscarriages)... who would have thought it would be so easy for us to get pregnant again? My midwife said at my 6 week check with Marley, "Karen, now that the well has been tapped... don't be surprised if more babies follow on out." ... and low and behold..

I was doubtful that I'd actually survive the first week at home, by myself... but I did. I threw away expectations and agendas... and allowed myself grace. I knew it was going to be tough, not only for myself, but for the kids as well... adjusting to a new sibling (who requires a lot of my time/attention). I still remember sitting in my room, feeding Finn... and Marley had just woken up from a nap, and wanted me, so I brought her into the room with me, and sat her right next to us. She watched as I fed Finn... and just cried.. had a complete meltdown. She screamed... and kicked... (it literally sounded like I was murdering her)... she sobbed. It was the worst thing to hear... and it went on for about 20 minutes... maybe a half an hour. I could easily have become frustrated with the situation, but instead, I sang "This Is The Day" over and over again to her... and stroked her back, while I nursed her brother. Poor little guy, he had no idea what was going on. But she for sure, was telling me how angry she was, how jealous she was, how desperate she was for my undivided attention, and continued to weep. As soon as I was finished nursing Finn, I sat him down, and grabbed Marley... who was still screaming. I squeezed her tight, and held her, whispering, "I love you" into her ear over and over, in between singing... and finally after 5 minutes, she began to calm down. We cuddled for a few moments after that... I fed her a snack (because lets face it, food makes everything better), and then she was fine. She needed to get it all out, and I suppose in that moment, she realized, Finn wasn't going anywhere. It was the toughest 30 minutes that I've had to endure since bringing Finn home. It made my Mommy heart ache... ache for the days when it was just Charlotte and her.... days when I could give her all the attention in the world...  She hasn't had a meltdown like that since... She truly adores her brother, and shows him all the time with "love loves" (what she calls kisses). She understands every time I have to step away to help Finn when he cries, and usually comes running over to check on him, to make sure that I've attended all his needs.

Having 3 kids, in 3 years... has been a HUGE change in my life. Never in a million did I ever think our family would add up so quickly the way it has... but it did. It feels so terribly exhausting, but oh so sweet. A lot of people ask me how it all works... what my normal day looks like. And to be honest, each day is different. At times, I think twins would have been easier, then back to back pregnancies... but it is what it is. I think a lot of times, fight or flight kicks in... and you just have to get through it. I give myself little goals. For instance, in the beginning of the day, I tell myself.. "Self, lets get to lunch time without any tears..." I also have this idea in my head that all will be okay when Finn is 6 weeks old... all of his kinks will be worked out, and I'll know my baby well enough to get him into a routine... and then once I hit 6 weeks... I up the amount of time to 3 months... and so on and so forth. I remind myself (since it didn't happen too long ago), that when Marley was a certain age, she let me sleep through the night, or was able to sit up by herself, etc... which gets me through the tough days. 

Most days, I'm still in my pajamas at 11 am... or sometimes later. It's very rare that I'm showered, dressed and ready to go anywhere before then. Things are slowly starting to change now that Finn is taking to his pacifier... but, it's safe to say, that before 11 am, if you walked into my house, the pajamas would still be on, and I'd be sporting bed head (who am I kidding, I sport bed head all the time). Showering... well that's a luxury. I think that happens every other day... My kids on the other hand, are usually dressed right after breakfast, and are ready to head out the door at any moment's notice. I do this, so it's easier to head out the door when we eventually have to.

Getting around is a bit tricky... Shuffling the kids all into places... Target, Charlotte's gymnastics, the post office, etc... I'm sure I get plenty of looks. Typically I have Marley on my one hip, my diaper bag draped across my shoulder, and carrying Finn in his car seat on the other (I'm strangely excited for the day when I can easily carry both on my hips). Charlotte is my big helper, and opens doors, closes doors, pushes carts, etc. I couldn't do life, in this moment, without her. God totally knew what He was doing, when he placed her in our lives 3 years ago... I say it often, and I'll say it again... but she was meant to be a Davis through and through... especially a big sister. The girl is the best big sister, that Marley and Finn could ever ask for. There are times where I "wear" Finn, and have Marley on my hip as well... or I'm chasing after her, because I let her roam the store. I'm fairly certain I'm asked at least once in every outing, "What's the age difference?"... I adore the ones who reply that they had babies back to back, and that their children are the best of friends.... hope people, it gives me hope. 

Here's a look at a typical morning in my house:

Schoolwork, has moved from the office/homeschool area, to my bed... Marley has dropped her morning nap, and I usually have to figure out a way to entertain her, while I'm feeding Finn at the same time... One kid is in his outfit, the other is ready for gymnastics, while the last is still in her pjs ready for me to change her smelly diaper and put on her outfit... and then there's me... teeth brushed but not showered, still in the same nursing tank that I've had on for the past 2 days (and just about ready to put on an outfit because all kids are occupied)... I'm always the last to get ready... whatever time is left, is spent on me. If I have 30 minutes and happy kids, I snag a shower... if I have 2 minutes, I apply an extra coat of deodorant and grab some clean clothes. I think you get the picture... and often, it is the latter... 

The best way to describe how raising 3 is... is juggling. I feel like I'm constantly attending to one of my children. Just when one is fed, the other wants a snack, or needs to be wiped or needs help opening a package of something. Just when one goes down for a nap, the other wakes up... or another wants some attention, or schoolwork needs to get done. One of the hardest juggles is when they all cry at once (or whine in Charlotte's case)... who do I get to first? I'm fairly certain they all team up against me at least at one point in the day... Marley and Finn like to poop at the same time. Which one do I get to first? Some have suggested that whoever is the smelliest, while others have suggested it's the loudest... in both instances, Marley would always win. Throw in a Charlotte who hurt herself or doesn't like hearing both babies cry (her hearing aids, make her hearing super sensitive)... and we have the craziest juggling act ever.

There's a philosophy out there, that once you've had 3... you can handle 4, 5, 6... and I DEFINITELY understand why. I also see why, so many people stop at 2 kids, or prevent 4, 5, and 6 from happening, because 3 is stressful. This I know... like all things, juggling will get easier the more and more I practice. I won't give up... after all, Davis' never give up. But each day, I find myself getting better and better at handling three littles. It isn't easy, AT ALL... but every day is a new adventure, and I like that it holds so many surprises. 

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  1. I've been meaning to comment on this post for a few days now! Just wanted to say that you are doing a great job! I know how hard it can be, with multiple kiddos, especially when some are so close in age! Hang in there, mama! It does get easier to juggle everything - and you really are doing a great job!