When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


First vs. Third

I love to compare myself as a mother of three to myself as a mother of one.  My, how things change!

First Child: He shall have absolutely no refined sugar until he licks the icing on his first birthday cake.
Third Child:  No hard candy before 6 months.  (Just kidding!  But if the grandparents want him to teethe on a cookie, I'm not going to pitch a fit.  Don't bite the hand that gives you free babysitting!)

First Child:  He shall not watch any television until he is at least two years of age, at which time he will be allowed 30 minutes maximum per day.
Third child:  I'll turn his Bubmo seat away from the television while I hop in the shower and his older brother and sister watch a show, but if he turns around, c'est la vie!

First Child:  He shall consume only organically grown well-balanced meals.  [Note: This lasts for less than one year.]
Third child:  I wonder how old he has to be before he can eat a french fry?? 

First Child:  I will give him whatever sippy cup he wants if he will just stop screaming while I drive.
Third Child:  Cups/drinks of any kind are banned from the van which still emits a funky odor from milk (or who knows what drink) spilled eons ago.  Let the wailing begin!

First Child:  He is toted to the bathroom with me on every trip, often placed in a bouncy seat so I can monitor him at all times.
Third Child:  He is placed in the care of his older siblings [read: baby is in a swing and siblings are told to get me if he stops breathing] while I enjoy a closed-door bathroom break.

First Child:  Older children are directed to be gentle, gentle, GENTLE!  Don't squish [actually, don't even touch] the baby!!!
Third Child:  Kids, please don't press on his skull that hard.

First Child:  He is dressed to the nines to visit the library, grocery, doctor, etc.  Matching socks, shoes, bibs, hats and outerwear.
Third Child:  I know he had on bottoms when we left the house...

First Child: He shall only be left in the care of medically trained (or at least infant CPR certified) adults for very brief periods of time (during which I will call several times to ask how things are going, and by that of course I mean how closely is the caregiver following my three page schedule, notes, and contact information).
Third Child: Anyone over the age of 12 who lacks a criminal record, has a pulse, and can dial a phone is a potential babysitting candidate.

First Child:  His bedtime routine is of the utmost importance and shall not be altered: feeding, leisurely bath, pajamas, books, prayers, and lights out at 7:45.
Third Child:  It's 9:30.  I think he ate about an hour ago.  Diaper change, kiss him on the head, whispered I-love-yous, and chuck him gently lay him in the crib.

The list goes on and on.  I remember when Parker was my only child and I heard mothers of multiple children chuckling about how their own standards and routines had changed.  Where was the structure?  Where was the order?  How were they surviving

I never imagined I'd be one of them.  My plans were ironclad.  Ha! 

What I came to realize is that, for me anyway, multiple children and the demands they impose absolutely necessitated a change in my standards.  I had to re-evaluate.  I had to give myself a little grace.  I held on to what I felt was essential and released my white-knuckled grip on complete control. 

So Maddie refuses to brush her hair and wants to wear her elastic headband Chuck Norris style.  I can live with that.  Parker chooses his own outfits; blue and brown striped sweater with gray and navy striped sweatpants...okay.
Jack sometimes has to wear princess pull-ups that were left over at Grammy's from Maddie's potty-training days because I forgot the diaper bag again.  No worries. 

This is life now, and I'm still loving it! 


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