I have three kids. Three amazing, funny, special and unique kids. Sitting at the kitchen table today writing out a packing list for a small road trip we are taking this week, I was stunned at the number of bags I am planning on taking with us for a couple doctor appointments (we are heading to John Hopkins in Baltimore to see some specialists for annual visits - more on that later). The diaper bag for the baby. A backpack for the toddler. And another bag for the pre-preteen. Not to mention the medical folder and Mom/Dad things.
Looking at this packing list, I see so clearly why I always feel like my juggling act is going to fail at any second ---- there is nothing the same about parenting these kids right now. Nothing. They are each in completely different stages needing a completely different kind of mom.
Baby Stage --- basic needs. Feed, change the diaper, sleep. Repeat Repeat. Repeat. And if possible, mama should sleep when baby is because this stage doesn't really understand that nighttime is only for sleeping!!!! Stage Baby requires stamina.
Toddler-dom ---- OMG the energy. And a boy -- and yes, I truly believe there is an incredible natural difference between boys and girls. The attention span is 2 seconds long and the words, while there, are still forming so full complete thoughts/opinions/questions are a mix of words, whine, and gibberish. Translation always necessary and most of the time its just a guess on what is being said. Stage Toddler requires energy beyond possible!
Pre-Preteen Years -- 9 going on 17 here in this house. Homework, social activities, sports, friend drama, chores, learning to be self-sufficient. So many changes and so many times Mom doesn't know anything at all about anything in the world. These Pre-Preteen years require patience and a good car to drive the whole clan to all the activities.
You see, on any given day, I am flipping between all these stages just to keep the kids moving forward. Sometimes, on the days that I am ON, I can manage all three at the same time --- homework with the pre-preteen while the toddler is at the table playing PlayDoh (his own form of homework) while I nurse the baby.
The stages are all so challenging and so fun. Some days are easier than others but I love experiencing all these things ----- each kid is so different both in the stage of life and their personalities. I can't wait to see what is next!