Not sure where I heard this, probably a friend of a friend of a friend, but someone had asked this person, who had 4 children, was it more difficult going from 1 to 2, 2 to 3 or 3 to 4 children. After a moment's thought, the person supposedly said that the most difficult transition was from having no children at all to having 1 child! Well, back when I heard that, I only had one child at the time, and it was pretty darn believable. Jonathan was not an easy baby, certainly our most difficult, but not knowing too many other babies, not sure where he fits in the grand spectrum of difficult infants, but I'm willing to bet he wavered along fairly difficult and really difficult. Little did we know that it was a big part of his personality, and it was there to stay...but I digress.
Anyway. Now that I have three kids, I'm starting to see where people fall into the idea that once you have a couple of kids, a few more won't make a difference. Dare I say even, that 3, having seemed to time it better this time around, is a bit easier than just the two? I say this for a few reasons. First of all, there was only 27 months between number 1 and number 2. I had two in diapers at once, no family nearby to help out, and re-read paragraph 1 about what Jonathan was all about. Now that number 3 is here, I've got an almost-6 year old (8 more days!) and a 3 1/2 year old. Huge difference. Huge. Yes, having an infant is always a stress and a strain, but NOT having a small toddler in the mix is making all the difference in the world...at least so far.
A few weeks ago, Nicholas had RSV and had to be hospitalized. Because we don't have family nearby and I was forced to live at the hospital for the duration since I'm breastfeeding, we sent the two older boys down to my mom and dad's house to stay with them for a few days. Nicholas was discharged on a Friday, and Mark went to get the big boys on Sunday. So from Friday until Sunday afternoon, we were back to one kid again. An infant, a SICK infant, no less. And let me tell you how EASY it was. Yes, we were pretty exhausted, and worn out physically and emotionally, but we had one kid between two people. And this infant is nothing like his biggest brother was. This one only cries when he really needs something, and then once you meet that need, he's happy again.
But you can't rubber-stamp everything...the timing of the children makes all the difference in the world - I have a friend who had 3 in less than 3 years. Oy. And their personalities make a big difference. And simply the fact that we have one full-time in school makes a difference, I think. On school days, the needs and schedule of the school child come first, and the others must adhere.
So far, since Nicholas was born, I've had Mark home or Jonathan in school most days. We've had a LOT of snow days with everyone here, and when Mark does work, it's a short day, at least for a few more weeks (FMLA leave, thank you!). But yesterday and today, I've had all three at home all day and Mark at work all day...and I've survived. Guess it's giving me a little taste of what summer's going to be like around here. Jonathan has a bad cold, so he's home from school. It's not the best situation; today it took me about 2 hours to finish my lunch, and most of the time we're not all dressed until 9 or 10 am. Not a whole lot gets done around the house. And by the time Mark gets home I'm ready for the spa. But I think all this crappy weather we've been having, all the snow on the ground and the fact that we've hardly seen the sun for 2 months contributes a bit, too. Once I can throw the windows open, hang my laundry outside, and grab the boys and go for a walk on the trail or to the farmer's market, I think things will improve. At least that's what I'm hoping. I have a lot of hesitancy about how I'm going to handle 3 boys all by myself this summer while Mark works! But I'm a mom, I'll adjust. I hope.