I remember my transition from having just one child to having two as a glorious phase. Really, I felt like I was a parenting expert! My first two are around 18 months apart and the transition was pretty easy. My eldest is quite independent so I didn’t have a problem with clinginess when her brother came along. She just did her own thing. My second was such an easy baby–no problems with breastfeeding, no problems with sleeping. He was a generally happy baby. But, becoming a mom of 3 was an entirely new ballgame. Our third definitely kept my ego in check. Parenting expert? Think again, lady.
Becoming a mom of 3 brought on parenting challenges I never imagined I’d ever face. With the arrival of our third child came the reality that we are officially outnumbered. And with my husband working, the ratio goes down to 1 adult to 3 kids.
It’s hard, folks, but I love every bit of it. Everything is multiplied by three now. Stress level? Times three. But the love, laughs, kisses, and cuddles? All times three too!
There are many lessons to be learned as well. Lessons I might not have learned if I didn’t have my three precious minis…
Lesson #1: Parenthood shouldn’t stop you from achieving your dreams.
We had our first born during my last semester in college. That in itself was already a challenge. Everybody started making assumptions that since I got pregnant, I won’t be able to finish school anymore. Sayang, they said.
But my husband and I aren’t the types who’d give up easily. I went on to graduate the same year as my batchmates. While studying, I continued my work as a virtual assistant, which I started three years prior. We also made sacrifices so we can pay for our first born’s birth and post-natal needs. We gave up our luxuries. My husband even stopped using our car to save on gas so he biked to-and-from our home in Cainta and his work in Makati every day.
Did becoming parents stop us from our goals? Nope. Parenthood shouldn’t be the reason for quitting on your dreams. In fact, it should fuel you. You now have a little human who’s relying on you so better get your stuff together!
Lesson #2: Each child is unique.
If our first born is an independent child, our second is clingy like linta. We call him our forever baby because he is–even with the arrival of our third child. And our third? Well, he’s a handful. He’s the most active among all three kids: always running around, always exploring, always trying out the craziest stunts.
In fact, we are always called out because Charlie always has a boo-boo. On his face. On his knees. On his arms. We try our best to keep him boo-boo free, but this kid has his ways. As long as his life isn’t in danger, we’ll let him be the little explorer that he is.
Lesson #3: There is always something new to learn—about your kids, about yourself, about parenting in general.
By the time you’re a parent of 3, you’d think that you already have everything figured out. But you don’t. I don’t think you ever will figure it out because every child is a new experience and every phase of their growth and development requires you to adjust again. What used to work now, won’t work later on. Be gentle on yourself. It’s okay to feel frustrated; it’s okay to cry like a little baby (LOL).
Case in point: We’ve had our fair share of emergency room trips with our first two so I thought we’ll handle anything with grace with our third. No sir! Just a few days ago, I accidentally made a cut on my third’s finger while trimming his fingernails. It was a tiny cut, but it won’t stop bleeding even after putting pressure on it for almost 20 minutes. It was almost 12 midnight when it happened so I had no choice but to bring him to the E.R. With my eyes filling with tears (because who the hell would make such a mistake), I told the doctor what happened. The doctor was kind enough to reassure me that it happens and that I shouldn’t feel bad. He then checked our son’s wound, cleaned it up, covered it, and sent us home.
So, whenever someone asks us if it’s hard having kids (three at that!), we tell them as it is. It’s challenging, but we won’t have it any other way. Each child is a blessing to us and we’re honored to be given the chance to raise them.
How many kids do you have?
What lessons have you learned so far?