I’ll be the first to admit I’m not great at calendar math. What is calendar math, you ask? Well, it’s when you do math about months in the year…and for some reason I struggle. For example, when my third baby was born my oldest was technically still 2. I really thought she would be three by the time the new baby was born…she wasn’t. So, from February 10th until April 13th of 2017, I had a newborn, a 1 year old and a 2 year old. I started saying “we’re fine, it’s fine, I’m fine” alot…and we all know what that means.
By “fine,” I mean we are an absolute circus show anytime we go anywhere in public. I used to feel super sensitive to the stares and remarks made by complete strangers, but now I see them for what they are. People just interested in our family. I like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not being judgmental when they make comments about us having our hands full, about my sanity or about the lack of sleep. I mean, they’re pretty much on point. My hands are full, I have very little sanity and even less sleep.
But, despite all of the daily chaos, exhaustion and mayhem, I love our family. I love the way my kids play with each other, I love how my older two are best friends. And now that they are closer in height, coordination and language, they are sometimes mistaken for twins, and they love it when that happens! They always shout, “twinsies!” and burst into giggles. And, oh the giggles. Now that my youngest is almost 2 I live for the moments when all three are laughing that full, toddler belly laugh.
As you can imagine, living with three toddlers is not always a walk in the park, but it certainly isn’t boring! And I’ve got to think that all the physical running around, the mental exercise maintaining my cool, and the laughter that constantly fills our house is a perfect recipe for staying in some kind of shape! I’ve certainly become more easy going, haha!
I used to worry a lot about each child feeling loved and getting enough attention, and I worried that by having them so close together I missed out on special moments. In some ways that is actually true, I can’t tell you a whole lot about Grace at 18 months old because I also had a newborn, or Henry at 18 months old because I was about to have Sophia, but I’ve accepted that sure, my experience with my little ones won’t be the same as if I had had them further apart, but our experiences are still super special. And, I’m not “missing out” on anything other than the experience of having kids further apart, and that’s ok.
People get really hung up on spacing of siblings, but I honestly don’t think there’s a “wrong” spacing. Close together, far apart, 2 years, 18 years, lots of kids, one kid, no kids. Every family is doing what’s best for them, what works for them, or what’s been dealt to them. I’m still figuring out our rhythm, ways to spend the day in a meaningful way and how to balance giving myself to my kids without giving all of myself to my kids.
I write a lot of posts about our chaotic misadventures, but there are so many moments each day when I am reminded of how lucky we all are. Grace and Henry have the funniest conversations about all sorts of wildly imaginative and creative topics. Sophia is becoming her own little person. I joke about Sophia being “psycho” (she is) but I also see a child filled to the brim with determination, a desire to be heard and an adventurous spirit. So, when I’m not trying to prevent her from leaping off the shelves she’s climbed or calming her down during an epic meltdown, I’m wowed by her huge personality.
Yep, Patrick and I are pretty darn lucky!