Someone asked me today how I find having three children so close in age (3, 1.5 & 7 weeks).
I’m no expert on the subject. It’s still relatively new to me but so far I have mixed feelings about it. Don’t take that as me confessing regret. I would never for a minute regret having any of my children…not really. Maybe for a fleeting moment at 3am when I’ve been awake so long that I wouldn’t even remember where my boobs were to feed the screaming little cherub if it weren’t for the fact that they felt like they’d had sand paper taken to them.
Sometimes I find the small gaps really tough. Like when the 1.5 year old needs his mumma because he’s still little, but I’m feeding the 7 week old. Or when the 3 year old is chucking a mammoth threenager fit and the 1.5 year old doesn’t understand and ends up a casualty. Or when the 7 week old has finally grunted and groaned and let out the poonami he’d been working on for the past couple of days and then the 1.5 year follows suit and the smell seems to be embedded in the walls for hours.
Or basically any time I try to leave the house with all three…food shopping? Yeah right, try Woolies home delivery and make sure it’s coming often, these growing kids eat a lot.
But then there are these moments. These amazing, heartwarming moments that make me realise it was the perfect gap for us.
Like when the two big-little boys hold hands walking through the shops. Or when the biggest gives the middle a cuddle after holding his hand through his injections and says ‘oh, I know it hurts…I know. It’s ok’. Or when I watch them playing together, sharing, and creating these elaborate storylines in their minds. And especially when I lay the baby down on his mat and the other two come running in delight at their baby brother being right there, available for them to talk to and touch and get to know. With the big one holding the middle ones hand and saying ‘pat gentle’ whilst helping him rub his small hand along the even smaller foot of their baby brother.
Having post natal depression each time with very little gap between has been tough. And 3 close, painful pregnancies (I’m sure I’ll say more about those another day) has taken a serious toll on my body.
But as I said to the woman who asked me how I do it – you just do. You don’t have to share the love you already have for one child when another comes along. It’s more like your heart grows and you just make extra room for more. You don’t have to change your life, you just adjust to a new, more amazing, innocent, sometimes stressful but always rewarding, version of it.
And I really do love this version.