5 Unexpected Ways My Third Child Has Changed Me

What causes siblings rivalry? Having more than ONE kid – Tim Allen

 

I am the eldest daughter and I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. I don’t recall siblings rivalry among the 4 of us. Growing up with the 3 other siblings means we had to share everything. And this was one of the reasons why I only want to have ONE child.

 

Konstanz was from my first marriage. Desiree was my daughter with my current husband.  One of my friends told me: You have a boy and a girl now. You are just looking for trouble if you are thinking of a third child.

Yup, I was looking for trouble.

 

When Meredith arrived, everything changed because she wasn’t at all like her older siblings. I felt like a new mom. She was completely different from her older siblings.

 

5 Unexpected Ways My Third Child Has Changed Me

 

1. I became more patient

I breastfed all my kids and I thought Meredith would be just like her own siblings. But I was wrong. I had to call in the lactation consultant and it made me realised that I have been doing it wrong all these time! It turns out the siblings happened to be naturally good in sucking. The lactation consultant was a really nice lady. She told me I was too impatient in getting Meredith to latch. I felt really bad because I should have been more patient. I should be focusing on bonding with the new baby instead of getting frustrated at how she couldn’t latch.

Meredith was also a late sitter. She couldn’t sit at 9 months old and I was getting really concerned. Her paediatrician said she is doing fine and I should be more patient with her. And he was right. Shortly after the visit to her paediatrician, Meredith began to sit. From then, she grew exponentially. Meredith makes me realised I should be more patient, and I should trust my kids.

 

2. Recognising and accepting limits

I found the love for babywearing when I had Desiree. My husband and I were light packers and we found a stroller to be extremely inconvenient, especially when I am out alone with the kids. Now, I was pretty proud that neither me nor my husband needed to rely on the stroller even when we are out the whole day. However, when Meredith was born, Desiree was 3 years old and she still need her daily afternoon nap. It was fine when my husband was around, because we would babywear one child each. The struggle came when I was out alone.

We followed my husband on one of his business trip and I was confident that I did not need a stroller. I was also confident of my babywearing tandem skills. But I was over confident. I had to rent a stroller during the trip as Desiree refused to walk and I wasn’t able to tandem as I couldn’t find a place to put Meredith down. Desiree was always tired by dinner time because she missed her nap time almost everyday during the trip. My husband then told me: You have to manage this better.

I have to recognise and accept my limits. 2 is just not the same as 3. Too much time have been spent thinking how I can manage 2 kids with nap time when I am outside alone. I brought along a portable stroller on the next tag-along business trip and everything was just easier and most importantly, it was stress-free. i still tandem wear whenever situation allows, but I am not limiting myself to it.

 

3. Not attending to every cries

 

Not all who wander are lost. Some are just moms. Hiding from the children

I cannot stand baby crying in distress and I used to try to attend to my baby’s cries quickly. But now I wait.

4. I became impatient … Wait… What? 

A friend told me I should refrain from ‘baby-talking’ to my baby. Baby-talking is NOT bad, but it may slow down their language development as they often have shorter sentences, simpler words and repetition. This is a controversial topic and I am not here to debate about it. So when Desiree was born, I try to talk to her more, and less baby-talking. I did notice that her language development was much better as compared to her brother when he was her age. Was it really the baby-talking issue? I cannot say for sure it is, but not baby-talking might really help in Desiree’s language development (again, not here to debate about it).

The moment I realised Meredith was starting to respond to what I was saying to her, I began talk to her like how I would talk to her sister. I had to admit, by the time I had 3 kids, there were many times I ran out of patience. I was talking to Meredith and expecting her to understand and follow what I said. Many times my husband had to remind me that Meredith is just a baby and I should be more patient with her. Meredith might be slower in her motor development, but her language development grew remarkably. She was able to understand what the adults were saying to her most of the time and she was able to speak in sentences by 16 months. I can’t help but feel maybe it was my impatience that ‘force’ her to grow in order to understand and communicate.

Now I constantly remind myself not to rush into developing my children and allow them to grow at their own pace.

Disclaimer: No stressful environment, no child(ren) was harm.

 

5. My heart has quadrupled in size

After Meredith was born, my husband decided we should all be going back to church. He also wanted to rekindle his relationship with his god daughter, Sarah, and asked if we could also bring her along with us. And of course I was really supportive of it. We would pick up Sarah every Sunday for church and then we will go somewhere else to have fun afterwards. As the weeks went, I realised that I actually love and care for Sarah like my own. I have often wonder how did my current husband manage to love Konstanz like his own. But now I finally understand how it feels. After Meredith arrived, I felt like my heart has quadrupled in size. I used to tell my friends: I love children. What I didn’t realise is, I only love MY own children. But now, I can say: I LOVE children.

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