A few months ago, my husband and I got the best surprise of our lives when we found out we are expecting our third child. While we were initially shocked, we are both very happy about the new addition to our family. I always wanted three children and I hoped our family would keep growing. I did not, however, expect it to happen at age 40.
My older two children will be seven- and 11-years-old when their sibling arrives. Our lives these days consist of school, sports, activities, and a lot of driving (that is when things aren’t shut down for a global pandemic). We are in a sweet spot of parenting where our children are past the infant, toddler, and preschool stages, but not yet in the teenage years. We are having a great time with them! It will be quite an adjustment to start over with a newborn.
I have a few more months before this little one is expected to make an appearance. By this point in my other pregnancies, I was probably a little more prepared, but things are a little different this time around. When I stop and think about my feelings toward the pregnancy, I have a few thoughts.
- I don’t need all the things I needed with the first two. So much has already changed since I had a newborn, but I do remember all the baby gear with the first two. With this baby, I am much more of a minimalist, and I only plan on getting the most essential items.
- I have helpers this time around. A great thing about having children so far apart is that the older two are excited to help with the baby. While they aren’t old enough to babysit just yet, there is a lot they can do. And in a few years, I will have babysitters!
- I have more realistic expectations. I understand that my reality with this new baby will be very different than it was with my first and even my second. I won’t have as many days at home or baby play groups because I will be working and attending the older kids’ activities. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. This baby will be going with the flow.
- (I think) I will be a more laid-back newborn mom. When my first child was a baby, I felt a lot of stress and worry. With my second, I was a little more relaxed. With the third, I hope I will be even more laid back.
Right now I’m hoping for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, but I also have a few concerns after the baby is born.
- I’m worried about the lack of sleep. Those first few months are not easy, and I’m not as young as I was with my other two. I just can’t function on as little sleep as I used to. I am already praying that this baby will be a good sleeper!
- I will be working this time. When my first two children were born, I was a stay-at-home mom or worked part-time, but now I am working full time. I can take a few weeks off in the beginning, but I am planning to return to work. This will be an adjustment for everyone. I will have to be very intentional with my time, be as organized as I can throughout the week, and keep my expectations realistic. The truth is, I will have to let some things go. It’s OK.
- Age and energy. And finally, I try to maintain a healthy diet, get enough rest (see point above though) and exercise to keep my energy levels up, but it takes a whole new level of energy to chase around a toddler, not to mention the rest of the stages of parenting. My husband and I just added at least 18 more years to our child-raising time frame and I hope I will have the energy to keep up until all of our children are launched.
Despite any concerns I may have, I am so thankful for this new baby and extremely excited about this amazing surprise. I am doing my best to enjoy the remaining months of this pregnancy and to savor special moments with each of my children. They are growing up so quickly and I don’t want to rush through anything. I am trusting God to provide me with the grace needed to parent all three of these precious children.