|I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for WaterWipes. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #WaterWipes #IC|
I am a self-confessed Type A mom who thrives on routine, organization, and being on time. The messiness of motherhood, especially now with three kids, 4 and under, puts every ounce of my natural personality to the test every single day. But the birth of what I know will be my last child gives me new perspective and motivates me to change the conversation.
My Type A Parenting Evolution
When my first daughter was born, I held her to a daily regimen that would impress the most seasoned of military generals. If she didn’t feed at precisely the 3 hour mark, or go down for a nap exactly 2 hours after she woke up, I fretted she might dissolve into a meltdown and never recover.
My second child, both by the addition of another child and her personality, forced me to embrace a little more flexibility. Though I still adhered to daily routine… if she didn’t eat at the right moment, we wouldn’t make it to toddler playgroup on time or their naps wouldn’t align, granting me the 1-2 hours of sanity saving solitude in my day.
And when my Type A personality was faced with the mess, chaos and feeding, nap and activity schedules of three kids, it was easy for the conversation to disappear into a constant stream of clipped commands to meet the demands of the clock…
“Where are your shoes?”
“Get in the car!”
“No! No! No!”
How the Last Child Changes the Conversation
With the birth of Baby M, I’ve learned the third child doesn’t have much choice but to go with the flow. My last child, he is as happy go-lucky and mellow as they come. His demeanor has a soothing effect on us all, and most of all, me. Recognizing that all his firsts are my last baby firsts, forces me to let go of my frenetic pace, my own self-criticism and just embrace the moment.
Last week, he gave me his first giggles. The LAST first giggles. It happened while I was changing him for bed… he thinks it’s funny when you pull his arms out and the onesie over his head. If I rushed to make the bedtime deadline, I might have blinked and missed it! Instead, I stopped… and even though I could hear the girls squabbling getting ready for bed down the hall… I played a few rounds of peek-a-boo, soaked up those first giggles and enjoyed one of the few moments of the day we have just the two of us.
And he hasn’t just forced me to change the conversation with him. I’ve changed it with the girls too. Getting out the door for preschool in the morning can be a bit harried, with three kids to dress, feed, diapers to change, and lunch to pack. But I’ve finally acknowledged that there is no need to fight to get everyone into the car just to be the first one to wait in the hall at the preschool door.
Instead, I’ve watched the girls prepare breakfast for each other in the playroom (after finishing their real one). And when I say it’s time to go, and Big M asks for ‘just a minute,’ instead of pushing them out the door, I’ve watched as she finished teaching Lil’ M her letter sounds that she is learning in preschool, and then watched as she helped her little sister get her boots on when my hands were too full to step in.
When we are running behind and the baby wakes up late, threatening to throw the whole morning routine, I’ve let the girls run upstairs to wake their baby brother… and the smiles all around are priceless! Totally worth being 2 minutes late to preschool.
Almost as priceless as the smiles from Lil’ M when she gets to be my ‘Big Helper.’ No matter the time on the clock, she always wants to hold her baby brother, feed her brother ‘like Mommy’, help change his diaper. And even if it adds a few minutes, and most times some extra mess, to our morning, I take a deep breath, and let her help. Because it’s her last firsts with a baby too.
Let WaterWipes Take the Extra Mess
I have loved being an ambassador for Water Wipes this year. The brand is all about doing what’s best for your family, without judgement. And they come in handy for the extra mess created by my ‘Big Helpers!’
And when I went to the hospital to deliver Baby M, I packed WaterWipes in my bag, with zero hesitation to use them on a minutes old newborn.
The last child, my last baby, has been a blessing to all of us. As it turns out, the less I hurry the kids, the less I need to. And so what if I was 5 minutes late to preschool drop-off today? I wasn’t the only one (and I’m sure it won’t be the last time)!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy The Parent Commandment: Respect Thy Fellow Parent and 9 Reasons Moms are the Worst Drivers. You can find all of these on our Parenting Tips board on Pinterest, along with more from our favorite bloggers around the web.