Friday, October 9

3 year olds are still babies, right?

In just a few short days, this little man pictured above will turn 3. Being the sentimental mother that I am, and given that he is my youngest, it's got me to thinking--mostly about where the time went and how three years seem to just sneak up on me, but also about how motherhood is a funny, funny thing.

Before having kids, I had a plan for my family. I wanted four kids, all spaced two years apart. That is extremely similar to how the family I was raised in is, except most of us are even closer in age than two years. However, in making this plan I guess I underestimated the job of a mother. Kids two years apart (or less) is not as easy as it may seem, and I can only imagine what having four (or more) kids is like.

My plan began according to schedule (Tyler and Alexis are only 2 years and 2 months apart) but was quickly halted after Tyler was born. I love their age difference now, but when Tyler was a baby I wasn't quite sure we'd all survive. I've tried to decide if it's because I don't have easy babies, or if it's that I'm not a baby person, but either way, life was not pleasant back then. Thank goodness things change.

There's many factors that go into planning a family, but in my case personality has been the deciding factor. Some mothers worry less, some are more organized, some don't mind noise and chaos, some are more patient, and some can just roll with the punches better. And while I think I'm a fine mother, I know now I couldn't handle 4 kids within 6 years. It's just not my personality. I still hope to get to 4 someday, but it might take awhile. However, I can feel myself growing as a mother, becoming more patient and more immune to chaos. I suppose every one's growth rate is different and mine is just a little slower than I imagined.

Some days I lament that I'm not different, that I can't handle the same things other people can, and that I don't have 3 kids with another one on the way right now (as according to plan), but then I remind myself that if that were the case I very well could be in jail. 'Cause motherhood is a funny, funny thing. It can bring you immense joy, but it can also drive you a bit crazy and make you want to do things a sane person would never dream of.

So here's to celebrating the end of the 3rd year of my son's life from the freedom of my own home, rather than a cell!

p.s. He's still my baby, don't expect me to call him otherwise.


Amy said...

I hear you! When I was first married, I thought I would have 5 or 6 kids. Well, that soon changed! Jessica and Shalice are spaced the same as yours (2 years and 2 months apart), but then it took me 3 1/2 years to have Braden and 5 1/4 years to have Rachel! That's only 4 and we are done! Sometimes I feel badly that I couldn't have 7 kids in 12 1/2 years like my mom did, but I don't think I would still be functioning if I did. I'd rather be a good mom to 4 kids than a bad mom to 7. I'm trying my best!

Jen said...

This is a common theme that I have been hearing a lot, and one that echos my sentiments as well. I thought we'd better squeeze our four kids in really fast because I was a bit older when I got married, and now everything is up in the air.

It makes me wonder, though, if something has changed between the time our mothers were having kids to our time--because I really don't know how they did it!

Jessica Munk said...

I feel EXACTLY the same way Lisa!! :D Thanks for sharing! It helps me not feel . . . "inept". It totally depends on personality. And I don't have the personality for every 2 years :)

shellybellybee said...

Wow. I love your post. You pretty much just said what I've been thinking lately, and YES, 3 year olds are still babies. I ask Hayden almost every day, "Who's my baby?" and he says, "ME!"

Glen and Rachel said...

I pretty much agree with everything you said 100 percent. I especially appreciate your jail comments. There have been times I have actually thought to myself, "No, can't do that, if I did I'd go to jail." Not even kidding. Four is the new six, right?

Ashlee said...

Have you been reading my mind???