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suddenly I have 3 dc's and I'm not sure how to do this.....

(41 Posts)
kitkat9 Wed 07-Jan-09 21:20:52

Have ds1 (nearly 5) dd (nearly 2) and ds2 is almost 3 weeks old. We live abroad and have had dm and mil here for the past 3 weeks, so have been helping with the 2 older dc's, cooking, laundry etc, they've been invaluable...

and now I'm about to take them to the airport and I could weep. I just don't know how I'm going to cope. dd in particular is hard work, and although she and ds1 get on pretty well I can't really leave them unsupervised, obviously. ds1 is at school every day so that's a bit of help.

dh is out of the house by 6.30 every morning and although he helps out when he's here, he's not usually home till 7pm or thereabouts.

so, I need advice on how to get organised through the day. ds2 is breastfed on demand and is in absolutlely no kind of routine as yet, he's so little. I'm so tired and the thought of looking after the house as well as 3 dc's is overwhelming me. I know that for lots of you a family of 5 isn't exactly 'large', but this is all new to me so any nuggets of wisdom you can offer would help. how do you fit in the housework, laundry, cooking, etc etc etc when your demanding toddler is tantrumming and your baby needs fed again???

theboob Wed 07-Jan-09 21:27:47

both my older dc were in school but i still had that feeling of dread that you feel,i managed to get into a routine as you have tosmile
i got up at 6.30 fed ds2 ,dressed ds1 and dd,school run ,back home and just ploded on as best as i could,it does not matter if you dont manage all housework in the day,i used to catch up at night and DH and I would plod on together,you will find a routine and will look back on this.....could you put toddler in a nursery for a few hours a week???

JodieO Wed 07-Jan-09 21:31:25

I have 3 dc's too, when ds2 was born I had ds1 at home and dd at school. Dd is 7 at the end of Feb, ds1 was 5 at the end of Oct and ds2 is 2 on Sunday. I'd say just to do the things that are necessary, ie kids washed, fed, clothes clean etc and not to worry too much about the house. Cleaning will wait.

I had a sling which was fab, made things a lot easier and you can feed in some of them. You can also feed baby with dd sat reading a book with you, doing a puzzle etc. Just do what you have to do and don't push yourself too much. I'm sure you'll be fine, just know that you can do it but don't try to do everything.

kitkat9 Wed 07-Jan-09 21:40:22

yeah, have been thinking that setting the alarm to get everyone up early would help... at the moment i'm letting the dc's sleep as late as possible!

theboob Wed 07-Jan-09 21:44:04

if you get them up early you will create your own routinegrin
good luck ,I'm sure you will befine but i found it upsetting when my mum said you can cope now and left ,It's just the fear of the un known smile

sweetkitty Wed 07-Jan-09 21:46:42

I have 4 yo DD1, 3yo DD2 and 5mo DD3.

Remember how you felt when you were first on your own with 2, totally overwhelmed, I know I did, I thought how am I ever going to cope with 2, but you got through it, I think 3 is a bit like that too.

The housework can wait lower your standards, work out your absolute essentials, for me it's keeping on top of the washing, hoovering everyday and cleaning the kitchen, anything else is a bonus. Use your DH more at weekends, mine will do upstairs for me at weekends now.

cbeebies/disney DVDs when you are desperate and the baby needs feeding

Sometimes the baby will have to wait for feeds and sometimes they will be interrupted and cut short, doesn't hurt them.

mumof2andabit Wed 07-Jan-09 22:16:39

Eek talk about a thread reeling you with dread. In may when bump arrives ds will be 3, dd will be 14mo and obviously newborn bump!

Am begining to think I'll just strap dd and baby in a phil and teds first thing till bedtime lol

mumof2andabit Wed 07-Jan-09 22:18:21

How did I get reeling from filling which is what I meant to put????

spudz Thu 08-Jan-09 11:41:36

Hi KK9 - do feel for you - I had 4 under 6 and found the going really tough at times - be easy on yourself and take whatever shortcuts you have to to get by. Things are so much easier now mine are older and more self sufficient but I appreciate that's usless advice to you at the minute. Whenever people asked how I was I remember saying "I'm functioning thank you" and thats literally how I felt, just going thru the motions and having a guilt trip whenever some old dear would say " Oh you must make the most of these years and enjoy them while they are little".

You will cope because you have to and you will have some fantastic days and some ones best forgotten. Make sure you remember to eat and look after yourself (how motherly does that sound - sorry!) and try and come up for air and have a little time that is just for you where you can be you instead of the wife or the mum. Lots of luck.

kittywise Thu 08-Jan-09 11:48:04

I've no 'advice' as such, but I do remember that with each new baby I ALWAYS felt the most enormous panic when, after the helpers had gone, it was time for me to deal with it all on my own, things like going out to the shops etc.

However, you DO do it, you just get on with it and find a way to cope.

What's scaring you is the fear of not coping!

You Will cope because there is no choice!

Good luck.smile

2HotCrossBunnies Thu 08-Jan-09 11:58:25

I am in a similar situation to mumof2andabit so also reading this thread with trepidation! I am 9weeks pg and when DC3 will be born Ds1 will be 4.2 and DS2 2.4 - so gaps not quite as close. Am hoping that as baby is due beg of Aug and Ds1 starts reception in Sept I won't have too long with all 3 at home all day. Ds2 is also due to start nursery a few mornings a week then too. It will be the logistics of getting everyone to the right place at the right time which will stress me out.
I'll continue to keep my eye on this thread for any tips!

sb6699 Thu 08-Jan-09 12:07:07

I felt an overwhelming sense of panic as soon as I found out I was expecting no 3 (dd2).

Agree with Kittywise, you do cope. Even the housework isn't done and you order fast food 3 nights on the trot, its still coping as long as your dc's are fed and clean.

As for routine, that comes in time and meantime, don't stress too much on the little stuff like hoovering. If you have laundrette nearby take your washing there and have it serviced washed so you just need to put it away, and as I said before if you're too tired to cook the odd fish and chips or whatever doesn't hurt.

You will be fine smile

sweetkitty Thu 08-Jan-09 12:08:14

I find you develop a system of who gets in and out of the car first.

With busy mornings things that help me is always showering at night and laying out the DDs clothes for the next day, feeding the baby at 7am so you know she is happy throught the nursery runs etc.

I actually get more flustered when DP is here at the weekends seems to take a lot longer to get us all out when he is helping.

I never had any help from the off apart from DP so wasn't used to it, but remember feeling very weepy the night before he went back to work.

threesnocrowd Thu 08-Jan-09 12:08:59

I am expecting dc3 also in aug. DS1 will be 5 the day baby due and DS2 will be almost 3. I'm more worried about the effect it will have on DS2 than the logistics. I've just figured I'll cope and get on with it because there's no choice. DS2 has always been a bit more shy and clingy so I worry about jealousy and DS2 being sad. Any tips?

sweetkitty Thu 08-Jan-09 12:25:23

I have a 2 1/2 year gap between DD2 and 3 and there is no jealously at all, in fact DD2 adores DD3 so much it borders on obsessive, she never leave sher alone always over at her, kissing her, hugging her, the older 2 actually fight over her. She is very protective over her at toddlers as well and won't let other children even look at her, quite embarrassing at times.

Fillyjonk Thu 08-Jan-09 12:30:54

ok

I have 3 kids, they were 4.5 and 2.5 when dd2 was born last year. The older ones are homeschooled, and dp works long hours so I had home at home with me alone a LOT.

1. It is HARD
2. You need to work out/learn how to do it.
3. The early days are the worst, do what you can to get through them. Anything that makes life easier. I spent god knows how much in cafes in the first few months because it meant everyone was fed and there wasn't any mess to clean up.
4. For god's sake, if you haven't, get a GOOD sling. Take advice. You need to be able to stick the baby in there and forget him a little.
5. It will get SO much easier, and fast. Partly you will get more experienced. Partly-kids get older and easier and more rational. The absolute turning point for me was when dd2 learnt to sit at around 4 months.

WilfSell Thu 08-Jan-09 12:36:31

I have a bit of an advantage as my eldest is 5 years older than the next so he can do much more for himself, though he is fairly high maintenance...

Second what others have said: sling and lowering standards the only way to cope (though mine were pretty low to begin with grin)

Getting some things ready night before you need them (I do know someone who used to dress her kids in the next day's clothes on the grounds that children don't sweat shock. Whatever gets you through.)

I find baby wipes and dry shampoo an absolute godsend for cleaning me up when I don't have time to shower sometimes!

If you can afford it, can you get some help? Even a cleaner for an hour or two a week can make a massive difference. Or a local teenager to play a bit with the other two in the evening while you cook with the baby in a chair/sling?

DH is mostly in charge of laundry in our house but we find everyone have their own labelled laundry basket in the hallway helps with sorting. They get more able to put their dirty clothes in their as they get older, we know exactly where to find things to wash when one or other needs something specific (uniform, sports kit etc) and it means there's no sorting (only folding and putting away) when the wash is done. I am all in favour of colour coding socks and pants too (3 boys, plus DH) but the LaundryMeister is agin it smile

Same for pegs/shelves for coats, bags, shoes. Give everyone their own and get them used to hanging up their own stuff early - even a 2 and 5 yo should be able to manage this with a little training. Saves those precious few minutes getting them out the door in the morning etc..

Do you have online food shopping where you live? This saves lots of time also and means less dragging screaming kids round the shops.

WilfSell Thu 08-Jan-09 12:40:34

Ps I have found the third child has changed the emotional dynamic enormously and this has been the hardest thing (not the logistics) but you just gotta work it out yourselves, each kid/family is different and there's no magic solution. Life gets a lot easier when the youngest can sleep through the night, self-feed, play with the others though.

There is much more refereeing than I had hoped. Playing outdoors and/or putting eldest in a separate room often the only solution. With such big age gaps we struggle to find things they can all play together, but when that does happen, it is brilliant.

Fillyjonk Thu 08-Jan-09 12:40:37

have to say though, I don't have time to put stuff out the night before

bedtimes were big problem for me for ages

don't worry about a routine, just keep your head above water.

WilfSell Thu 08-Jan-09 12:44:20

Ah. And lots of things in the fridge that require no cooking helped us a lot. Ham, cheese, fruit, salad. A large supply of carbs (bread, Cheerios in particular)

I have no shame in using convenience food, esp if your cooking while on your own with the 3 of them. My kids have probably gone whole weeks when their tea has been fruit, cheese, ham and bread. blush

Fillyjonk Thu 08-Jan-09 12:45:31

oh god yes convenience food

i am lentilly weavery beyond belief but even I consider cream crackers and cheese and acceptable tea when you have 3 under 5.

WilfSell Thu 08-Jan-09 12:48:13

grin fillyjonk

Cheerios, box of raisins, glass of milk also hits all the major food groups, no?

Fillyjonk Thu 08-Jan-09 12:49:53

glass of milk? You are clearly soft

listen, if you get those little cartons of milk you can stick them in the fridge and they can just help themselves

grin

wink

but god I have done this.

mumof2andabit Thu 08-Jan-09 14:13:30

Am loving the cheerios for tea. Still have no idea quite how I'll cope but now feel more confident that I will.......

House is shockingly messy now so I can't imagine how bad it's gonna get!!

Sorry for hi jacking thread.

kitkat9 Thu 08-Jan-09 14:22:29

fab, loads of replies, thanks so much!

I am 5 hours behind the uk so apologies for not coming back before now...

have just done first solo school run smile and have to say it wasn't so bad. a bit noisy and ds2 cried a lot, but I'm not at all bothered by baby crying any more - when I think back to what I was like when ds1 cried, well, I was a tad pfb...

good ideas about getting clothes sorted the night before etc. ds1 is capable of getting himself dressed so that's a bonus. he's also actually quite helpful with his wee brother - he likes holding him which lets me zoo around getting myself dressed. dd sees her big brother loving the baby so is copying the love and isn't being any problem with regards to jealousy, attention seeking etc, which was a major concern for me before he was born as she's something of a diva grin

i think it is just a case of keeping my head above water, lowering my questionable standards regarding housework etc, and as someone else said, just functioning throughout these early days. At least I know it gets easier as they get older. Kind of.

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