Today I thought I would write about my current situation during my 36th week of pregnancy. Yes, that’s right – 36 weeks. But then I realized not much had changed since my 27 week pregnancy report. Oddly enough, it feels like it was about three days ago.
One of the latest updates is that all C-sections are booked. I was advised to have a third c-section (which I am happy with) since I have already had his two c-sections. In the selection section, you will be booking at 39 weeks of pregnancy. That means the baby will be born the week of my birthday. She requested that I call her the day after my birthday. The main reason was that today was my grandmother’s birthday and it was a very special day for our family. It means I won’t be in the hospital on my birthday and I hope Sam and I can have a fun day together.
Today I had a test to check my baby’s growth. Since Joseph was still a small baby, he was being closely monitored this time. If the baby’s growth suddenly slows down, we’ll probably whip him out, but for now he’s doing great!
Physically, I feel good. In the evening, my lower back started hurting and it became difficult to bend down to pick up things, but I managed to master the beautiful but ugly “pregnant woman bend”, which basically means squatting down and picking up things below knee height did.
The only thing I actually suffer from is fatigue, which turns into frustration. I know I shouldn’t be angry at myself for being tired, but I am. I’m an active person and I like to be busy, but pregnancy slows me down and I don’t get to do even half of the things I’ve planned each day.
Tiredness causes her to become nagging and short-tempered, which obviously isn’t ideal in an environment with a 2-year-old.
I’m a firm believer that all you really need to be a good parent is a truckload of patience…and I don’t have that right now!
Just this morning, while I was packing up for the day’s outing, I asked Joseph if he could run upstairs to get Mum’s jumper. We live in his 3 story house and he has 2 energetic boys so it’s very convenient to get things from the top floor!
Joseph thought for a moment, then looked up at me from where he was playing on the floor and said, “No, you understand.’
Of course, George perked up at this point and turned on Angel’s button.
“It’s okay, Mom,” he smiled kindly, too sweetly. “I’ll buy it for you!” He grinned at Joseph and ran past him, but he wasn’t fast enough as Joseph grabbed him by the ankle and dragged him down like a sack of potatoes.
“No, I’ll take it!” cried Joseph, climbing on top of his brother.
Before I knew it, they were wrestling on the kitchen floor like two drunks in a bar fight. Then a dog got involved, and I thought the whole thing was pretty exciting, so it involved claws and a big, drooling tongue.
I’d like to add that the kitchen floor is slate so it’s literally rock hard and there’s currently some building work going on so it’s dirty (see the Instagram story highlights for that!). I gave up on mopping a few weeks ago because everyone just kept flipping it over. I walk around with dirty shoes anyway!
I stared at the chaos spreading out at my feet. I was staring at the tears and the screams and the dust and the fur, and half of me was so furious that something so simple had turned into such a mess! I knew that if I hadn’t been pregnant, I could have acted quickly and resolved it before the tears came (not my tears, the boy’s!), but I didn’t have the energy to do so. There was no. My other half didn’t care at all. As they fought on the floor, I stepped over them and slowly walked upstairs to get my jumper and waited there, covered in tears and snot and dust, until they came after me.
Frustratingly, it was a really warm day so I didn’t even need to wear a jumper.
Anyway, that’s off topic. Being 36 weeks pregnant while caring for a 2-year-old and her 4-year-old is tough, and even the simplest little tasks are so difficult that the actual pregnancy feels so effortless. You can also deal with back pain and frequent bathroom trips compared to dealing with two little boys!
Having a third baby is much different than having a first or second.
I think it’s partly because I feel like I finally know what I’m doing, but also because I’m 100% sure this will be my last baby.
The confidence of a third time mum
I once heard a mother of three say that the only gift she wants to give to first-time parents is the confidence to become a mother for the third time. And it’s true, this confidence is absolutely priceless.
It’s not that I expect it to be easier, and just because I’ve done it twice before doesn’t mean it’ll be easier the third time.
I know this baby is different from George and Joseph (who were chalk and cheese from birth!) so I don’t expect anything to be the same. But this time, I don’t have any of the self-doubt that the boys had. I wasn’t at all sure if I was doing it right. I felt like I was holding out and I was sure that someday someone would notice my lack of parenting skills and pull me up!
However, I managed to raise two boys. These two funny, healthy, happy, energetic little boys may not be perfect, but they are as perfect as any other little boy I know!
They’re into butts, farts, and burps. They can’t play anything without making a little noise, and we currently can’t walk through the gift shop without throwing a tantrum (“exiting through the gift shop” itself should be illegal)), and they don’t understand that. The concept of “indoor voices”. But all in all, they’re very good kids and I’m afraid to pat myself on the back and admit that Sam and I have done well and I’m sure the next baby will too not!
Our last baby
I’m sure this will be my last baby. I think I said that last time, but this time I mean it! It definitely will be and that’s why I want to absorb everything and enjoy every moment in a different way than the boys. It’s not that I didn’t have fun with George and Joseph, but I didn’t really appreciate them.
The sleep-deprived newborn period is so exhausting that I didn’t 100% realize how special it was. It’s tough when they start toddling around and become obsessed with everything, but I want to enjoy that period because they’re so cute. Who cares about taking all the pots out of the cupboard? As long as no one gets hurt, it doesn’t matter!
Babies are HARD!
Another difference with this baby is that I’m willing to admit how difficult it is. Maybe the reason I didn’t like talking about difficult parenting was because I was worried I was the only one.
What if it’s difficult because I’m actually a little bad at it? What if someone else knows something I don’t and there’s a secret trick I’m missing?
For some reason, recognizing that parenting is difficult makes parenting so much easier. When you have a tough day, you won’t feel like you’re failing and you’ll be better prepared for the tough times.
But seriously…be prepared!
The part where I give some advice: How to get organised and prepared
I’m not really an organized person. I’m dirty and dirty. I lost my keys and forgot my handbag. I said it would be ready within 5 minutes, but it’s been 4 days and I still haven’t left.
It took me a long time to get the hang of adulthood, but now, at 31 years old, after having two children and running a business for six years, I can finally say I’m in charge. I’ve become good at being prepared and organized.
Here are some things that have helped me stay organized as a parent
#1. Marie Kondo’ing the house
It’s simple, but if your home isn’t full of clutter and junk, you won’t have clutter. I don’t know why it took a book and a Netflix show to make me realize this!
And what about the child’s mess? He has three keywords. This is her Kallax shelf from IKEA.
#2. List making
Honestly, I don’t do anything without a to-do list there is nothing.
#3. Using a timer
Set a timer and get things done. It eliminates distractions along the way and helps you stay focused when the end is in sight. In particular, tasks that might take all day can be completed in an hour if you focus on them.
#4. A calendar
A good old fashioned family calendar – somewhere the whole family can see and use.
#5. Outsource the stuff you hate
Cleaning, gardening, ironing, car washing, etc. Whatever it is, having someone else do it for you is probably not as expensive as you might imagine.
For me, it’s cooking.
I hate cooking. My family doesn’t like me cooking. The truth is, there’s no one I like to cook for. It’s stressful for me too, time consuming, and requires a lot of thought and organization. Unfortunately, Sam is just as bad at cooking. That’s why I order most of my meals from his Cookfood.net. Basically, we sell high-quality frozen prepared foods. The types of meals you want to prepare in bulk and freeze if you can. This will save you a lot of time and energy, and will make your home a happier place at dinner time.
#6. Don’t put it off
If you can do it now, do it. Don’t procrastinate. I learned that if I don’t do something right away, it’s never done. Until now.
#7. Watch YouTube organising videos
There’s something strangely soothing about watching someone organize their cupboards. I also love Emily Norris’ “Mum Hacks” video.
#8. Less is more
In every sense of the word.
Purchase less. Do less. Unemployed. And, oddly enough, you get more out of it.
A lot of my confusion comes from trying to do everything, trying to have everything, and trying to cram everything into the house.
#9. Have a routine
I think when you have kids, especially once they start school, routine comes naturally because your day has to revolve around a 9 to 3 routine.
I hated the idea of doing the same thing every day, but I actually love the rhythm of it.
#10. Sleep! All the sleep!
Every parent has one thing that is the hardest part of raising children, and while it’s different for everyone, for me it’s exhaustion.
If you sleep well, you can conquer the world. I can do anything. I’m invincible.
When I’m not sleeping well…wet lettuce is no good for me. Totally, completely useless. I need sleep a lot.
And that’s exactly what I’m going to do with this baby. Sometimes you might end up going to bed at 7pm, and that’s totally fine!
Settling into family life
When I gave birth to George, I thought I would be able to continue living a normal life and fit this new baby into the life of a typical 28-year-old. To be honest, most of the time I did. Mom and Dad helped out a lot, and Sam and I took turns doing anything that wasn’t baby-friendly.
Raising a child alone is relatively easier than raising two children, so having one child was easy!
When Joseph came along, it wasn’t so easy. Finding a babysitter was even more difficult, and neither Sam nor I wanted to be left alone with two kids under 2 while the other one went out for the night.
At this time, my life changed and I felt like we were officially part of the family. We couldn’t continue as before because we were a family. Sam and I weren’t just taking turns parenting, we were parenting together and we became a proper team. It took some time to adjust, but I’m getting the hang of it now. I’m pretty sure a third baby will be incorporated into our family life.
My Newborn Essentials: Newborn and Baby Essentials and Everything I Didn’t Use