The flipside: going from a family of four to five

The flipside going from a family of four to five - Ever-changing life of a MumFive weeks ago, I wrote this post just before giving birth to my third baby girl.

I never got a chance to post it as labour started, so here it is. It’s quite interesting for me to read back on the many, many thoughts and feelings that were going through my head just days before giving birth.

By early next month my family will no longer be a family of four but a family of five.

Welcoming a new little one into our family is exciting, but at the same time it is a quite daunting. I have some many hopes and fears running through my head at the moment and sometimes it feels quite paralysing.

I worry that my other two girls will need to take a step back or feel that they are missing out on some one-on-one time, particularly in the early newborn stages as this mum gets the hang of having three children.

Finding that time is certainly going to be trickier, but I hope that as we fall into a routine we will find our way. I am going to try my best to make sure that each of my girls still knows they are fully loved and supported, but at the same time our family is evolving and we are all going to need to adapt in some way.

For some strange reason, I have been thinking how I’ll miss no longer having a hand for each child to hold when we are out and about. There is always going to be one who needs to hold on to another sibling’s hand. Maybe that will foster some good sisterly relationships! At the same time, I don’t want my eldest, Miss 9, to be one of those kids who feels like she needs to take on the role of a ‘mini-mother’ (while I’m sure she’ll enjoy it) just because I need a hand with the baby. She is a child herself and still needs to enjoy this time as one.

Unfortunately, we continue to battle sleep issues with my school-age girls, so throwing a newborn’s sleep cycle into the mix is going to be extremely hard work. I live in hope that maybe, just maybe, this will improve.

However, the school-age part does provide a positive as I will get to spend some lovely time with baby, providing me with a chance to find a routine and maybe even catch a daytime nap if I need it (I’m hopeful!). On the other hand, baby’s routine is going to suffer as I will need to get out the door for school drop offs, pick ups, after school activities and the like regardless of baby’s schedule.

These final weeks of pregnancy are going by so slowly and while I’m looking forward to the end, I’m also cherishing the time I currently have to myself. While I am looking forward to feeling a little more like, well, ‘me’ again and not having to share this body with another little human (sorry baby), at the same time I can’t wait to meet my gorgeous little girl!

Bring on the champagne, ham, meat lovers pizza, sleeping on my back again and rolling over in bed with ease. Goodbye heartburn, aches, pains, sore restless legs and the 20kg of weight I have added to my body.

But most of all I can’t wait to see the joy on my girls’ faces when they meet their baby sister for the very first time and get to give her a cuddle. Those moments are priceless and worth every hope and fear that tosses around in my mind each day.

UPDATE: Reading back on my thoughts, I am pleased to say that we are all settling in well as a family of five.

Miss 5 and Miss 9 are totally besotted with their little sister, and argue constantly about who is able to hold her next … although they won’t extend that love to changing a nappy!

Amazingly, their sleep issues have improved dramatically since bringing home their baby sister from hospital – something I am so grateful for!

I’m enjoying the time I get to spend with baby while my other girls are at school, and love seeing the joy they get in greeting their baby sister at the end of a school day. They really do miss her so much!

While pregnancy is an amazing time, and results in one of the greatest miracles of all, I’m glad it is now over. This pregnancy has taken its toll and I know that I could not put my body through that again. I’m done and my family is now complete!

Do you have three children? How did you find the shift from having two to three children?

How did you know when your family was complete?

4 thoughts on “The flipside: going from a family of four to five

  1. I read this post with nostalgic fondness. I remember feeling so concerned about how to deal with three children, particiularly when the older two were only 4 and 2.5 years old! I had the baby in a pram and toddler tethers for the girls and we all survived OK.

    I remember chaotic days where Mr Busy didn’t sleep more than 40 minutes at a time and being so grateful for Play School at 3pm so I could flop on the coach and just sit quietly for a moment or two.

    I remember Mr Busy settling into a day sleep routine that fitted perfectly around Playgroup. In fact, Mr Busy used to sleep in a back room at our church while we played the morning away.

    I remember Miss Sunshine (then 4yo) being so mean to me when I brought the baby home. I’d left her and then came back with this demanding noisy thing. She was rough with him and horrid to me.

    I remember Miss Sunshine hitting the Terrible Three’s and realising that I had another toddler and a baby on the way and thinking “Oh no, what have I done?!”

    And now they are 19, nearly 18 and 15. They are so beautiful and amazing and they are the best teens a mother could hope for. We survived a house full of little people, and tantrums and toilet training and chaos and undending questions. We got past all of it. I thought those days would never end and then all of a sudden they did.

    And now the 19 year old is driving herself around in her own car and after October I’ll only have one child left at school.

    How do these things happen? I am completely mystified. I’m pretty sure there’s little people hiding around here somewhere.

    • Thanks for sharing Tracy, sounds like you have a lovely family. It all goes by so quickly. I’m making sure I soak all this newborn goodness in as I know it is my last one. I’m lucky to have some one-on-one time while my two older girls are at school, although it does mean a lot of interruptions to her routine for school drop offs and pick ups, but that’s the life of a third child we are finding our way 🙂

  2. I think my biggest fear when it came to number 2 was how my big girl was going to handle it. She was only 20 months at the time though, and I think that helped with the adjustment because she wasn’t really old enough to really understand what was happening and so adjusted quickly. Didn’t stop me from breaking down 3 days before Zee’s birth though, in hysterics because I was just so worried about her. I’m not sure if we will have any more children, but I’m sure if we did I’d probably freak out the same way agin! I’m happy to hear that things have been going well and everyone is settled in, those first few months with a new baby are so precious x

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