Parenting the third time around

Parenting the third time aroundI was chatting with a friend the other day when she asked how I was finding life with three children.

I smiled and told her I was doing things differently this time around and taking the chance to really enjoy these moments with my third little girl.

In the back of my mind I am realising that every first for my baby girl will also be the last for me.

So instead of wishing away the late night feeds and wakings, I am learning to enjoy them; instead of looking ahead to the next milestone, I am appreciating what is right here in front of me; instead of doing what the parenting books say, I am going with what feels right; instead ofย  worrying about every little thing, I’m letting some things slide because I know these moments are all too fleeting and will soon pass.

It’s amazing how much I have changed as a parent over the past 10 years.

With my first, I was always looking ahead, so excited and ready to experience the next milestone as my baby grew and I watched with pure amazement.

With my second, life was full and I felt content as I juggled two children and my career. I don’t believe I missed out on any milestones, but there was always an underlying feeling of being rushed with no time to stop and truly enjoy what was going on around me.

With my third, and no longer working, I feel like I finally have time to breathe. I know that this baby will be my last and, as corny and cliche as it sounds, I really am trying to savour every moment.

This will be the final time I get to experience these baby stages and all the sights, sounds and smells that go with them will just be memories one day so I want to make sure I have plenty of them.

Has your parenting change over time? What have you learned about parenting the second, third, fourth time around?

26 thoughts on “Parenting the third time around

  1. It sounds beautiful Erika. I actually felt quite relaxed with number 1, but by the time number 2 came along life became soooo busy… I feel like I’m missing out on some of the enjoyment part.

  2. What a gorgeous post and I can totally relate. I don’t know how you do 3 but my 2nd is definitely my last and I agree I often feel like her firsts and my lasts. Enjoy those baby cuddles. They grow up far too fast!

  3. It changes with every child doesn’t it?
    I still enjoy last moments with my baby. She’s five, so even things like picking her up are going to end soon. She’s just getting too big for me to carry. ๐Ÿ™

  4. I thought I wouldn’t be able to relate to this post, as I only had two children (Mr 21 & Miss 18) but I know exactly what you mean. We knew Miss 18 would be our last and yes, I did savour every moment … how quickly the years flew by, now they are all grown up!

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT x

  5. I tried to stop and appreciate everything with my daughter because it took me 4yrs to conceive her and I know that there’s a chance she could be my first and last baby. I still wiled her to achieving each milestone and wished certain phases would pass, possibly a lot more than I should have. I’m really hoping I get to do it again so I can go through all the baby stages without worrying about what everyone else’s baby is doing. I wasted so much time worrying about whether she was keeping up with all the other babies only to find they’ve all caught up to each other in the end anyway.

  6. Beautifully put. With my first I also felt like I was looking ahead to what came next and probably didn’t take the time to appreciate the then and now. I’ve been more mindful with our second, knowing he is also our last. I’m sad that all of his firsts are also our lasts!

  7. This post made me excited for the arrival of my SIL’s 4th baby (any day now). Such a lovely post. Enjoy those precious moments x
    Okay, so I am bit clucky too..

  8. This is lovely. We’re still undecided about whether we’ll try for a third baby, but I have definitely noticed the difference between the first and the second. With number one I was always wondering when the next thing would happen: when will he roll, when will he sit, when will he crawl? This time I’m the opposite: “She’s already sitting! Next thing she’ll be leaving home!” Just trying to savour every tiny moment too. Great share.

  9. Going through the same with my fourth and final baby. Every moment is sacred. He hit 3 months old last weekend and I cried. I’ll never have a newborn again. Onwards and upwards to bigger things. =)

  10. I can barely remember my third boy being a baby, it just went by so fast! I did my grieving about leaving the baby stage behind and now I have to admit that I’m happy that my boys are growing up and becoming more independent. I will miss the cuddles, though. Enjoy it.

  11. Luckily I still have all that ahead of me, the second child. I know I’ll do things differently and be way more relaxed about it. Compared to a couple of years ago, I’m so much more less stressed and cruisy now and really try to enjoy every moment a lot more.

  12. I am about to embark on life with three children. I have just seven weeks to go till I meet baby number three. I think I will be like you savouring each moment as I think this will be the last time for me too. I know with pregnancy (feeling kicks etc) I have been already thinking that way. I am still trying to get my head around having three children but only two arms to cuddle with!

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