That photo above is of me as a brand new mom, with a three week old baby Charlie. I was tired and happy and struggling with breastfeeding and overwhelmed and insecure and scared and so in love. This was before my postpartum depression showed up. Before I experienced intense anxiety. Before I developed Hashimotos (and eventually hypothyroidism). That first six weeks, six months, year of motherhood was HARD. If you have one baby and you are thinking “man, this shit is HARD” you’re right. But you know what makes having one baby seem easy? Having two. And you know what makes having two babies seem easy? Having three. And you know what makes having three seem easy? I think you know…
I often have people comment on a post on Instagram how they see me with three and don’t know how I can handle it because they are struggling with one or two. Well you know what? I felt the same exact way. Charlie was two before I even thought “ok, maybe I can have another.” And I seriously doubted ever feeling capable of feeling normal again after having three kids. But, I do. It took a year, but I got there. I think it took having three kids to show me that I can do it, that I am good at this, and that I need to listen to my gut.
There were days when I didn’t think I was going to make it. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen — I just knew it seemed insurmountable to make it through the day. But slowly, day by day, it got better. If I could go back and tell that new mom a few things this is what I would say: Read More
With so many amazing baby products available today it seems like there is something out there to fit every need (except the device that ensures the pacifier stays in baby’s mouth — if someone can invent a safe method of doing that you will be a ZILLIONAIRE). While some of those great products come with a great big price tag (for good reason) there are others that cost very little. After having three babies I have to say that some of my absolute essentials are in the under $15 range. And for how much you’ll use them and love them, that basically means you’re making money 🙂 So I thought I would share my favorites in case there are some on my list you haven’t heard of or tried yourself. I’d put all of these on my registry if I were doing it all again as a brand new mom. Read More
The difference between a first baby’s 1st birthday party and a third baby’s 1st birthday party is the obsessing over the planning and details. For Charlie’s, I started planning months in advance, making countless DIY projects and decorations. Since I was really busy and somewhat in denial that Quincy was turning 1, I didn’t even think about his first birthday party until the month of his birthday. And the only thing I made myself was his smash cake and the party cupcakes. Every other bit of decor came from the Target dollar spot, except for a super cute paper chain that big brother Charlie made the morning of the party. I wanted to share to show you that simple parties can be just as sweet and cute as elaborately planned ones. And honestly, I was able to enjoy Quincy’s party much more than any other birthday party I’ve thrown for my kids. Because I just didn’t overdo it or stress about it. Read More
I did a 52 weeks project with Calvin, so when Quincy came along I knew I couldn’t let him be the third child who wasn’t documented as much as his brothers. Plus, any excuse to take his photo and use that Ikea rug, right? I cannot believe we’ve already completed it, but here’s Quincy’s. If you are thinking of doing a similar project, here are a few tips: Read More
It took me almost two years to write Charlie’s birth story and a year to write Calvin’s. But Quincy’s has been my hardest to write, partly because I wasn’t ready to relive it and partly because the year of sleep deprivation afterwards made me forget a lot. Luckily I had written down many of the details shortly after he was born so I could go back and piece those parts of the story together. It’s funny — Quincy started his arrival just like his two brothers before him: my water broke in the middle of the night while I was sleeping. The exact same with all three boys. But after that, my labor and delivery with Quincy was just as different as my first two times, as was our first year together. Just nature’s way of reminding you that every pregnancy, labor, delivery, and baby are different. (Fair warning: this is a long post…)
Quincy was due on February 2nd, but Charlie was a week early and Calvin arrived 10 days before his due date, so I expected Quincy to come a bit early too. I was a bit anxious because I wasn’t sure who would be taking care of Charlie and Calvin when I went into labor, as we have no family close by and planning a visit from my mom who has to fly in was too hard since, you know, babies come when they want to, not when you want them to. We have some friends who we put on our “labor list” but even still, it is stressful to not know exactly who will be caring for your children. Plus, Calvin had never spent a night apart from me and was only 17 months old, so he didn’t exactly understand what was happening. The mom guilt was real. But I make a “Charlie & Calvin fact sheet”, taped it up in my kitchen, and hoped for the best.
Every morning that I would wake up and hadn’t yet gone into labor I was relieved and more anxious at the same time. I had only ever gone into labor with my water breaking. I didn’t know what it felt like to go into labor any other way and wondered if I would recognize it when it happened. I was worried I would go into labor, not realize it, and that Quincy would come fast and I wouldn’t be able to find someone to watch the other kids. The stuff we moms worry about is sort of hilarious isn’t it? And the fact that we never learn that we can’t plan for or control everything when it comes to our little ones, even their births. Read More
What women do everyday all over this country (and the world) amazes me. Our strength, our sacrifice, our tolerance, our ability to have a cold and not act like we have the plague. If we choose, we can grow life and we can nourish that life from our bodies. We do so much that often isn’t seen or noticed or recognized. We aren’t paid as much and we have to work much harder for our successes. We have to worry about how we dress, if we walk alone at night, how our actions will be perceived. Our appearance is deemed worthy of commentary. We are shamed and judged for our choices. Sometimes by other women. So today, and every day following, let’s be united. Let’s recognize each other, support each other, lift each other up. If we don’t, how can we expect our male counterparts to do it? How can we teach our sons as well as our daughters? We are strong. But we are stronger together. Here’s to the strong women: may we know them, love them, raise them, and be them. I think if you look inside yourself you’ll see there is a strong woman in each and every one of us. Imagine what we could do if we all work together.
Art designed by Erica Canup, via jointheuproar.com