Ah, the 3rd child guilt... and how we're "individualizing our love" for each kid!
If you know me personally or follow me on Instagram, you know that my parenting technique is “survival” and “lets try to raise kind kids”. For the most part, the daily mechanics of our family of five is working out!
OMG. SOMETIMES the guilt of trying to divide two parents between three young children is draining.
DRAINING I TELL YOU. (big ups to the parents of BIG families… I’m talking about 4, 5, 6 kids…) 🤘🏼
And don’t even get me started on when Jay’s gone for work and I’m by myself with the three. lort.
Sometimes after the kids go to sleep, we sit on the couch and talk about how bad we feel about how we approached some situations.
“Maybe we should get ready earlier instead of yelling at the kids to hurry up?
“Maybe we should make different dinners for each kid?”
“Maybe we should sign him up for baby movement classes too?”
"You think we should let him sleep with us, too?"
“Maybe we should get him that toy, too? So they don’t constantly fight over it?”
Most of our guilt comes from, “well we did it with (insert first born’s name here) we need to do it with the rest of them”. 🤷🏻♀️We kind of lump all the kids together and do all the things. The second kid? Yes. He wore his brothers hand me downs. The third kid? Yup, he’s wearing BOTH of older brother’s old clothes. Their toys? Shared. Books? Shared. Baths? Together. Dinner? Together. Sports? Together. Sleeping? Even that is together.
And to be honest… there’s just not enough hours in the day, parents, arms, cars, money, space, resources, to do ALL THE THINGS we did with our first born with our other two kids. There’s just not.
So since Jay and I are human and NOT a pair of time traveling octopuses 🐙 with money oozing out of our tentacles, here’s how we are SORT OF keeping our heads above water parenting three small kids WHILE making them feel special…
We do little things with each kid. Sometimes their special thing is JUST THEIRS or some times it changes on any given day. Caleb likes Legos. Isaac likes Puzzles. We make sure to spend time with each kid (without the baby) doing puzzles or building legos. Sometimes we go on kid-dates. Sometimes a snuggle on a couch is all one kid would need, while another kid NEEDS you to sit with him while he builds a tower.
Dinner is sort of custom. I refuse to make three different dinners for three different kids. I cook whatever has been in the fridge the longest or whatever is expiring soon. Unless it’s a special occasion, you don’t choose what’s for dinner and you’re going to eat what mom is going to make. HOWEVER I sort of customize each dinner to each kid. For example, Caleb doesn’t like sauce on his stuff. Isaac likes sauce with a little side of food. Caleb is okay if his food touches. Isaac will throw the plate at you if his food is touching. Whether its giving a kid oranges instead of bananas or cutting a sandwich in the shape of a triangle instead of a rectangle, your kids notice these special things AND it helps lessen that guilt burden A LOT.
We cut corners. When the two older kids were babies, I made their baby food. Every single meal was handmade with love, frozen, thawed, and fed in a high chair at the table. Now, with three kids, soccer games, soccer practice, bus pick up, cleaning, laundry, preschool pick up, and whatever mom and dad have planned that day – poor kid #3 is lucky he eats in a high chair sometimes!
So I buy baby food so I can feed him on the go or in a high chair. My favorite is Gerber. ✊🏼Gerber’s Purees are made with real fruit and veggies and just like how I would made with my first two. Enjoy Gerber for your baby with this coupon!
Each kid has a say and we take turns. Wanna know what my kids fight about the MOST? Music in the car or whatever is playing on TV. First world problems, right? So we make sure to play the requests and have the kids take turns splitting up what they want. When we read stories before we go to bed, we make sure each kid chooses a story and has a turn to talk about the best part of their day.
ONE SPLURGE. Jay and I both decided that we will splurge on ONE THING for each kid. Shoes. LOL! Shocking, no? Backstory – Jay is obsessed with shoes. A bonafide sneakerhead. Once upon a time, words like “undeadstock”, “color way” and “copped” were frequent words in his vocabulary. We moved from Arizona to North Carolina and his trunk was full of Jordans and Kobes and while our marriage certificate/social security cards/passports were somewhere else! LOL! He still collects shoes, but not as crazy as before. ANYWAY! LOL We decided that we will buy each kid new shoes (not use handmedowns). We did this not only because each kids foot is different but because our kids look similar and dress similar (even if they pick their own outfit out!). We want them to choose their OWN shoes, be their OWN person, and have this special thing so they won’t be lumped together with their brothers.
look at the kicks // Marla Thach
How do you individualize your love for your little ones? Did you parents do anything special with YOU and ONLY YOU?