Coming up for air after my third child – making some time for me helps me feel more joy every day

I must say that all of the good things I wrote about prior to my third baby in February have been challenged. Having a baby is tough, whether its your first baby, second, third or more.

When I had my first, I remember saying that it is the most rewarding but also hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And with my third that remains true. It has gotten harder and that much more rewarding.

Having your first baby is most challenging because everything is so new.

You question everything you do because you don’t yet trust yourself as a parent. You find yourself referencing a book or google for every question or problem. You feel so overwhelmed to make the perfect parenting decision every time.

But after a little while, you also begin to feel the thrill of making some right decisions. Once you start feeling and trusting yourself, parenting just gets better and easier.

By your second, you realize that nothing about parenting is perfect but you start to trust yourself.

Everything used to revolve around this one little person and now there are two and that is a big adjustment. The challenge is figuring out how to divide your attention and time and juggle all the responsibilities. There simply isn’t enough time to fret over every little problem.

So you start to rely on trial trust to your instinct. What you feel is usually right, so you start listening to yourself more and parenting becomes better.

Having your third is just adding one more into the mix.

One more makes it harder and that much more rewarding.

One more makes it harder and that much more rewarding.

You have your routine, you have your strategies, but the challenge with three is prioritizing. You aren’t just juggling any more; you are having to figure out what you can juggle and what can be left alone for a moment. And sometimes it simply comes down to, “who is crying louder.”

While you still experience all the challenges, it isn’t as overwhelming any more. You have a sense of calm and can trust that whatever comes your way is conquerable.

Prioritizing time for things other than the children becomes the challenge.

And now finally at 9 weeks with our third baby Paige, I am finally prioritizing some time for me. I write about the importance of finding time for yourself  and choosing love in those tough moments. I hink around 6 weeks was when I was able to think about doing something for me, other than sleep. I started writing this post around 7 weeks, went for my first jog at 8 weeks, and now I’m getting into a routine of incorporating both into my day.

It does take time to get to a place of calm after having a baby. And that amount of time is different for everyone. And the calm needs to be rejuvenated every day because every day it is challenged.

Now I am trying to go back to all of the strategies before I had Paige, like But I can truly say that carving some time for me, and time for being a wife, has made being a mom that much easier. I feel like I have hard moments—or sometimes hours—but not hard days anymore. Having three children isn’t for everyone, just like staying home with children isn’t for everyone. But it is filling me up and I’m finding joy again.

Just try to enjoy where you are at in parenting, wherever it is. You may find taking a little time for you—even if it’s just a few quiet minutes in the shower—will help you feel better and find more joy in the day.

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