Here are some things I’ve learned since having my third child:
- Organic teething wafers will allow you to (almost) enjoy a meal without interruption (almost.) One pack at home, two for a restaurant meal. Just go ahead and work that cost into the overall price of your bill. It’s worth it.
- You don’t need *all the baby gear* -somewhere for them to sleep, a way to help you carry them easier (I love a sling for infants, Ergo for big baby), a few simple onesies and footie pj’s, a car seat, and eventually one baby spoon and one cup. I’m a convert to minimal baby items. Don’t need that extra stress of trying to match the correct lid to cup and there’s like, 20 options to sift through. Just…no.
- How to add an extra punch of protein to any meal. It’s amazing how much more energy your body needs to care for three children and yourself. Actually, scratch that. It’s amazing that we can do that, period. (Hint: add nuts to everything.)
- If you have help, even for an hour, use it. I’m sure that thousands of years ago, mothers would be like, “Hey, sister-wife? I need to go, uh, rustle up some herbs for this stew here so, can you watch the kids for a sec? Thaaaaanks. BRB.” The baby will not remember if you take a walk by yourself or go mindlessly browse Ross for 45 minutes. Get a fancy coffee or a milkshake. Listen to a podcast that has nothing to do with babies or parenting. Breathe. Don’t try to have complicated conversation with anyone. Small talk with the barista is all you need right now. Remember that you are a person, and now also a mother. Again.
- And finally, This Too Shall Pass. Teething, growth spurs/sleep regression, spitting up fits, dirty diaper fests, doctors visits. But also- first belly laughs, two-teeth smiles, baby chatter and squeals, early morning snuggles. Savor the moments that make your insides fill up with light and hope. Either way, in the sweet and in the difficult, just take a deep breath and open your hands. The sun spins so much faster third time around.