Tips for Surviving Life with 3 Kids, 3 and under

Apr 24, 2013

I get asked a lot how the transition to 3 children (3 and under) has been for our family.  And my honest answer is - we're surviving!

Thankfully with each passing day it gets easier and easier.  Not easy... but easier.

Some days are great.  Some days are not so great. But at the end of the day, when all of the girls are sleeping, Alan and I take a collective sigh of relief in the fact that we've accomplished our main daily objective - everyone survived.

Over the past 7 weeks, since Audrey's birth, I've found a few tips to be especially helpful for our family and think they could help you too.

Whether you are adding your 3rd baby (as we did) to your family, or even if you're adding baby 1, 2 or 4+, these tips are for any family to consider when adding a new little one to their hearts and homes.

Tips for Surviving Life with New Baby

  1. Meals from Friends and Family. I'm honestly not sure what we would have done had we not had such wonderful friends and family who brought us meals those first few weeks.  It was such a huge blessing to not have to even think about getting the groceries necessary to make food for our family, let alone find time to actually make the food. Don't pass up this incredible blessing, not only for your family, but for the people who are able to serve and bless you! If you have a friend who would be willing to arrange meals for you, I'd highly suggest using the website Food Tidings to organize and manage the sign up.  
  2. Amazon Prime. I'm a bit embarrassed that I'm just now jumping on the Amazon Prime bandwagon.  After lots of FB encouragement (via my Mommy Questions of the Night), we decided to finally subscribe to Amazon Prime.  We share the account with 4 other people and so our total is $16/year.  You can't beat that.  For free 2-day shipping it honestly is the best purchase we've made in the past 2 months.  So far I've ordered bottles (which I would have normally had to take all 3 kids to Target to buy), books and makeup.  Let's just say - I LOVE AMAZON PRIME!
  3. Paper Plates. I'm so thankful for two sweet friends who strongly encouraged me to start using paper plates post-Audrey.  I hadn't even considered it and so when one of them dropped by a large stack of paper plates the following day, I figured I'd give it a try.  And I'm so glad I did!  Such a huge time saver.  Since then I've heard that once you have 3+ kids you enter into the "Paper Plate Season."  
  4. Fresh Flowers. I don't know what it is, but whenever I have fresh flowers in our home, it helps make each day even more brighter. And for those of you who are wondering - yes - I do buy myself flowers.  You can't always wait on the hubby to bring them home :)
  5. Hire help when/if needed.  4 of my sweet friends gifted us a house cleaner after Audrey was born and it was the best thing in the world!  I've also arranged to have a sitter come every other Friday to watch the girls so I can run errands.  These two things combined have taken such a great weight off of my shoulders.  I/We can't do it all - so hire help when/if needed ladies!
  6. Good Nite Lite. Right about the time Audrey was born, both of my girls started waking up at 6 am (rather than the usual 7 am).  This was just not going to work for me.  Thankfully I remember a post on Scottsdale Moms Blog : The Early Bird Stays in His Room, where Sarah suggested the Good Nite Lite to help encourage kids to stay in their bed until a pre-set time.  Now the Good Nite Lite is only sold via Amazon and is often out of stock (boo), so it wasn't the easiest product to get our hands on.  But thankfully I spent a couple weeks watching their FB Page for the announcement of more product in stock and we snatched up two!  At $44/each, they are the most expensive night lights we will ever purchase, but in my opinion, it is well worth it!     
  7. Wake Up before your kids. I know I talk about this a lot, but I really do believe that waking up before your children gives you, as the mom, a HUGE advantage.  I find that if my kids are my alarm clock, I feel like I just can't catch up throughout the day.  Now yes, this does mean that for some of you, your alarm clock will go off at 5:30 (like mine); however, the opportunity to get a shower, have breakfast and get things ready for the day are well worth the early wake up.  I especially value having 10-15 "me minutes" outside where I can read my bible and devotional with a cup of coffee.  
  8. Friendship and Family Help. I don't know how I would have gotten through the past 2 months without some incredible family/friends who were always willing to encourage me via text, drop by with a cup of coffee, love on me via gifts (which is my primarily love language) and simply be available.  These relationships have truly made the transition so much easier.  
  9. Plan Ahead. Before Audrey's arrival I took some time to consider what was on our schedule for the month following her birth.  So for us, because she was born on Feb 27th, I looked at our March calendar and bought all March cards/birthday/anniversary gifts ahead of time.  I didn't want to have to be running around with the girls to pick up these things after Audrey's birth.  This has been a huge time and sanity saver for me. 
  10. Grace, Grace and more Grace. And lastly, but most importantly, be prepared to give yourself (and the people around you) bucket loads of grace.  It is always a transition when you bring a new baby home so make sure to lower your expectations and be willing to extend grace to everyone in your home. 


Leah said...

I just wanted to leave a note about the night light thing... we got an outlet timer that you plug any lamp into. Only $10 and I think it works just the same!

Is it difficult to share an Amazon Prime account? $16/year would totally be worth it!

B + A said...

Great post with great tips. But my favorite part is the picture of you and your three little ladies. LOVE!

the brokaws said...

just stumbled across your blog from a friends and remember you vaguely from our time at ISU/SALT co! Your your family is adorable! We are soon to enter the three kiddo phase as well and i love your tips...i already fully embrace #7 and am sure that #3 is going to become a regular around here! :)

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