Today marks one year of Diego. With my oldest starting kindergarten and my daughter starting preschool last week, combined with my baby boy’s birthday TODAY, I am an emotional wreck. So many milestones all at once. I have been expressing some of those emotions on my Instagram lately, but it really is just so hard to put into words.
It’s funny how little old ladies in grocery stores tell you how fast it goes. They tell you how they grow up and you miss them being little. They tell you how many they’ve had and how old they are now and what they are doing with their lives. This has happened to me countless times. It’s funny how in that moment, when your kids are hanging off the cart, or screaming, or crying for something you won’t let them have, or all of the above, you think, “Lay off me lady. Today, I am just surviving.” And then you look up one day and you realize that it’s true. Life is passing you by. Maybe you are living it and being intentional and soaking it all up, or maybe you’re rushing through it and missing it. But either way, time is passing. It’s heart wrenching and beautiful all at once.
Today’s milestone means my baby boy enters the world of toddlerhood and will begin losing all of that delicious baby-ness, bit by bit. As usual, I have melancholy emotions about this. Guys, the first year was rough. [read: his breastfeeding story] Lots of people ask me if three kids is harder than two. Lots of people who have three kids [or more] told me it wasn’t really all that different. To me the answer is complicated, but in short, it is harder and it is easier too.
It’s harder because you already have these two other little people who need you to take care of them. Like really need you. To take them to the bathroom, to help them tie their shoes, to feed them meals and drive them places and to just be there to play with them and keep them safe. But here you are with this completely helpless newborn baby and you are utterly exhausted and emotionally drained and hungry yourself but you don’t even have time to think about yourself and that is depressing and guilt inducing and overwhelming too. Sometimes I tell people that I still think the transition from zero to one kid was the hardest for me, because it was just earth-shatteringly different than anything I had ever done before and I felt wholly unprepared for it all. But now that I have done that first year three times over, I would actually say that they were all equally hard. Each came with different challenges, each time there were new hurdles to overcome. I guess one upside is that I think I have come out of the other side a much stronger person, having taken on and survived more than I ever thought I could have. But can I just say that three kids is still way harder than two? I just don’t want to give you any false pretenses, friends.
The easier part is, you know how to take care of a newborn. Even though each baby has their own little personality differences, you’ve got the diaper changing and the stroller carting, and the basics of feeding down. You know what equipment you really need and what you don’t. And you keep refining your processes until it all just works better. I remember being so excited for my second to be born so I could use all of my newfound knowledge from my first. This time I was going to do it “right.” Of course it still wasn’t perfect and as I said, she had her own unique challenges [read: her breastfeeding story]. But there was so much more I knew and I was a much confident in my parenting convictions the second and third time around.
I was talking to my best group of girlfriends the other day. My oldest son is the oldest among all of our babies [read: his breastfeeding story], so they were asking me how kindergarten was going. I told them about how he hugs me and tells me he is going to miss me that day, but then tells me he is fine and I can go. He is excited when I pick him up and wants to tell me all about all the things he is doing. He asks his sister how her day was too. Just, mama-heart-bursting kinda stuff, you know. The things that make me feel like I must be doing something right. So even though I have been boo-hooing about all of these transitions, I actually haven’t really cried once. Because I look at these children and I am just so proud of them. Honestly, I’m proud of myself, too. We survived the first year [times three]. Now it’s time to celebrate!
Our milestone blanket is by Batz Kids. Owner and mom of three herself Chelsie had just opened her shop when Diego was born with the idea for this milestone blanket and now makes several milestone products and has grown her Instagram following impressively [@batzkids]. We feel so honored to have repped for her over the past year and watched her grow. <3 Side note: my OCD self is really kicking… myself for not having brought the blanket on our vacation last month to capture month 11! You can find other sources for items you see in our monthly photos tagged in my original Instagram posts, follow the hashtag #watchdiegogrow.