I quite vividly remember the worry I had over adding baby #2 to our family. At that point in our lives, Miss H was it. She was our whole world.
The idea of loving another being as much as her seemed unfathomable.
The fear that another child would somehow take away from her was heartbreaking.
The idea of financially taking away from Miss H was daunting.
Of course, by the time those fears had crept in, I was pregnant with Mr. B and there was no going back, ha.
Obviously, those fears were unfounded. I quickly learned that my love would not be divided, it would be multiplied exponentially. And a sibling did not take away from Miss H, but added so much for her. She had a built-in best friend. Another warrior in her tribe. And the love between them is so beautiful, that any other worry quickly melted away.
And the money? Well, I’m a firm believer that you spend what you have. I’ve learned to budget really well, and although I don’t always love saying “no,” we’ve found a balance between activities that is financially (and let’s be honest, mentally) feasible (one instrument, one activity of choice). And if we have to tighten down on that eventually, that’s okay. I know I’m not raising the next Mozart or Pele, so while activities are fun, they’re not necessary. Working together and spending time together as a family is far more beneficial and rewarding in the long run; guaranteed.
So there wasn’t much to question when we decided to have a third. And my worries of one day adding to our family again are few and far between because I’ve got to witness how beautifully it all plays out each time.
The only thing there never seems to be enough of is one on one time.
J and I try. We try so hard to make sure that all of their needs are met. We try to make sure they each get the time with us that they need.
But the truth is: sometimes we fall short.
It’s just a math problem. There are only two of us and three of them. And sometimes it’s just one of us that they are each needing, so then it’s a one to three ratio and that’s even more challenging.
But we try. Oh, how we try.
I typically do bedtimes, though occasionally J steps in when I’m exhausted or the kids just haven’t seen him enough. I spend time with each one, reading stories, asking them about their day (What was the best part of your day? What was the most challenging? When were you a helper?). It’s nice to have that time with them.
And during the day I try to find 5-10 minute spurts of solo time with the big kids, too. If Mr. B and Sweet M are playing, H and I will find a quiet spot and read or talk about our day. If Mr. B is needing some love, I will ask Miss H to entertain Sweet M while we cuddle or do a puzzle or play with toys.
It’s not perfect, but it works.
There are times though, when I can tell that one of my darlings needs a little extra TLC. Sometimes that means we cuddle longer at bedtime. Or that I take that kiddo with me solo while we grocery shop.
Or sometimes that means we go on a dessert date after bedtime, like I did with Miss H a week ago.
She was really jonesing for momma time, and to be honest, I needed some H time. So I texted J and asked him to be home by 6:30 because I had a date with my best girl (J is in grad school right now, so his schedule is even harrier than usual, which is saying a lot!).
We went out to our favorite little French restaurant and had hazelnut cake and coffee (milk for Miss H!).
We had a fantastic hour. Just me and my little lady. Talking about school and friends and little brothers. Talking about her hopes and desires and dreams for her future.
I had one hour to fill her cup up with momma time. It didn’t seem like enough or even very fair, and yet we did it. And we left that restaurant hand-in-hand, me knowing that we’ve got this. We’re doing all right.
There will be many more dates in our future. And in the futures of those darling boys of mine. And some days and weeks and maybe even months it won’t seem like quite enough, but in the end, their cups will be so full of love that it will be okay.