Having children changes your life. That's a statement that no one doubts today. However, it is not the same to have one child as to have two. And of course, there is something you only discover after a third birth (in spanish: tercer parto). And it is that as in everything, experience is a degree, and although we have read many books and we believe we have all the information necessary to face the new stage that is the arrival of a new member of the family, it is one thing to understand the teachings that we can discover every day in Mom's Blog (El Blog de Mamá), and another very different to experience them in our own flesh. So here I leave you with the things I learned from the experience of having increased the family up to three times... That is, if we don't count the dog and the two cats.
1) I realized that all children are different
Even if these are children born to the same parents and raised in the same family, all these children will still be different. Education, of course, matters, but its influence on children's personalities is overrated. Every child has his or her own innate temperament, his or her own inclinations, his or her own developmental peculiarities, his or her own nuances, and this is great! Every child comes into our lives to teach us something. Identical children are a fantasy or a sign that something is not working.
2) I became much more tolerant
I think, having read the word "more tolerant", my partner will sigh sadly and look at me with reproach. Yes, sometimes I scream a little, and make a fuss. But, in general, I stopped worrying as much about a variety of reasons as I used to. Now I don't care at all that the child has found cookies and is throwing them away with all his might, instead of eating them, that he likes to run around naked or dress up, that he sucks a pacifier or is still in diapers, that he doesn't eat all he should when he should, or that he eats more than I do. I don't worry about diarrhea, snot and fever (yes, yes, all children get sick and it will pass). Age crises don't bother me, they amuse me. I feel where it is possible to give the child freedom and where it is worthwhile to stand firm to the end and keep the limits of what is allowed.
3) By the way, about limits
The scope of what is permissible must necessarily be so. Before, it seemed to me that this was wrong, we must give the child freedom and simply guide him, explaining to him. Unfortunately, it doesn't work. You need clear limits of what the child can and cannot do. Children themselves like rules very much, as it calms them down to know that they exist. For example, "we eat desserts only after eating", "first lessons, then cartoons", "anyone who hasn't washed their hands before eating will still be hungry", "at exactly 8:00 pm we go to brush our teeth", etc. And if these limits and clear rules exist, then there is no need to explain why ice cream or a chocolate bar (even a piece!) is not allowed now, why you should wash your hands if they are already clean and why your mother does not allow you to watch another episode of The Dog Patrol.
4) I don't care about early childhood development
It is impossible to keep a child from this development in a large family. The youngest are attracted to the older ones, who seem to them, even when they are so young, to be true demigods who know everything. The most important thing here, in my opinion, is to raise the older child properly, to invest in him or her to the fullest, because that will be the ideal that the younger children strive to achieve. BUT! In order to raise the first child properly, it is not necessary to take him to developmental classes from the age of one. Just let him be close to you and explore the world under your careful supervision. The rest is a matter of observing what she is good at, what she likes, and empowering her.
5) I began to value, strengthen, and maintain the family hierarchy
Freedom and equality? No, this is not about us. With the birth of the third child, my partner and I came to the conclusion that hierarchy in the family is necessary and its absence is destructive. The parents are in charge, the children are taken care of and their opinions are heard, a dialogue is held with them and the reasons and doubts are explained to them. But the last word is always ours. In our absence, the big sister is the main one among all the children. But this not only gives rights, but also imposes responsibilities. And of course, grandparents are also an authority figure to respect, although this is a separate issue that is not for post, but for book.
6) I realized that I have to take care of myself too
And I started to learn how to take care of myself. Before I lived according to the principle "all the best - for the children", now the principle is upside down. First, I try to take care of myself, so that I can focus on the children later with all my energy. Happy parents are a guarantee for a calm and joyful atmosphere in the family. If one of the parents is exhausted, worn out, squeezed... it will not make their children happy. Children look at you and capture your gaze, trying to read in it what is hidden inside. And if they see that you are not well, happy, joyful, they blame themselves for this first of all. That's how children are.
7) My partner is the same core as me
And that's why first (after me) is my partner, and then the children. The couple's relationship cannot be left aside, since a happy relationship has a greater benefit for the children, in my humble opinion. Sharing care is a good way to strengthen the relationship and the parent-child bonds.
8) My purchases have changed
With my first child, I spent incredible amounts on all kinds of baby stuff, outfits, gadgets and accessories. I bought tons of things for Ania, but I didn't buy almost anything for myself, because children's things don't require adjustment and I buy them quickly, and there's always little time, so I better buy them for her and for me...never.
Now things are different. I realized that children
1) they grow very fast.
2) they get dirty.
3) they absolutely don't need so many clothes and, in general, they don't care what they wear.
To feel all this, it took me almost 8 years of motherhood and 3 children. Now I buy things, mainly for myself and the kids, according to the principle of whether there's money, time, and desire.
I mastered the basics of online shopping and started buying children's clothing from online stores where it costs reasonable money and there are often sales and bestsellers. I always look forward to the "today a 40% extra discount on everything, including the clearance section" promotions. Legacy clothing and second-hand clothing are a great option.
For me, I also buy things on sale. I can't remember when I bought something at full price. I have definitely learned to save with my third child.
9) I started spending several times less on cosmetics
At 35, I realized that the key to good looks is proper nutrition, physical activity, hygiene, a sufficient amount of sleep at night and eyes that glow with happiness. This is the foundation. Everything else is a series of optional aids.
10) I realized that it was impossible to do everything and endure
In the same way, I resigned myself to the fact that it is better not to do it perfectly than not to do it at all.
And yet, lo and behold, I suddenly remembered asking a friend, who already has five children, what she learned from the birth of her fifth child. She thought for a few seconds, then said that with her fifth child, she learned not to pay attention to other people's opinions of her. She says that somehow a sense of calm and confidence came over her strengths, her actions and her convictions. And that these people think what they want, she doesn't care. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and she has a right to her own opinion, different from that of others as well.