Life update: 3 kids is a lot of fun and a lot of everything

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In general I would describe myself as a positive person. I TRY to see the good in things, and while I can certainly spiral down a negative path, I do my best to avoid that as much as possible.

It’s hard to describe how it has been adjusting to a family of 5 without thinking through all the overwhelming and challenging parts of it. There has been overwhelmingly positive and joyful parts, full days of pure happiness and ease, but in general the last *almost* 3 months are best described as a mix of chaos and pure bliss.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Emily arrived riiiiiiiiiiiiight before preschool let out for the summertime. And riiiiiiiiiiiiiight at a really busy time for Justin’s business. And riiiiiiiiiiiight before a very full editorial calendar for me. I fully admit that I did not set myself up as well as I had hoped for maternity leave. So the work/motherhood/wife/stable human being balance imploded and I found myself extremely overwhelmed.

The bottom line is, newborns are tough. Her first 4 weeks since birth were fairly easy because she slept so much. Then at around 5 weeks or so she started staying awake more, expressing more opinions and feelings, and then the 6 week growrth spurt struck. And it was a completely full week of fussiness and crying. And since then, there are good days and hard days, and I think she’s just a normal baby that way. Even chill babies have fussy days. I certainly wouldn’t describe her as a high need baby at this point, and I have had one of those, but she’s not the most chill either.

The boys have been AMAZINGLY patient and kind during these past few months. Her crying in the car seat is starting to bother them a bit more now because girlfriend has got some pipes, but otherwise they are pretty understanding when I need to walk around and soothe her, or come inside from playing outside because she woke up from her nap. They are resilient, and I never ever want to forget how sweet and caring and wonderful they have been.

David, my 4.5 year old, is so responsible too. We’ll be heading out the door and he’ll say, “Mom! Get the paci!” or “Here is a burp cloth!” I’m like, “Dave. Thank you. What would I do without you!” All the while thinking, what 4.5 year old is this mature and responsible?! Shouldn’t he just be worried about which toy car he’s bringing with him in the van than his baby sisters’ pacifier!?

Luke is so loving and affectionate. He loves to rub his face and head all over her head. It’s both sweet and a little smothering, but I let him do it as much as I can because I know it’s his way to connect with her. He sings to her and helps calm her down when we are driving somewhere because he’s seated right next to her in the van.

Justin has spent more time caring for her in these early days than with either of the boys because he’s actually home! With the boys he worked outside the home at a job that required a good bit of traveling, so it’s funny to hear him talk about how hard a day can be with an infant and how he doesn’t understand how I did that while he was gone so much for work when I had little David and baby Luke at home. It’s all about perspective because in hindsight that seems like a walk in the park compared to 3 kids, but I know at the time I was very overwhelmed as well.

The hardest emotional challenge since bringing Emily home has been my mom guilt about not being able to play or be available for the boys like I was before. Newborns are hands on, so that means less hands for my boys. I wear her a lot, which she loves, but that makes going outside *hot* since it’s in the 90’s almost every day where we live.

I look forward to the days of a predictable nap routine with Emily so I can somewhat plan for those chunks of time to be available for the boys.

I’ve had to accept that this is a higher TV and tablet season for us. It certainly isn’t all day, but we used to limit the amount of TV to only the morning and then 1 time of day for playing on their tablets. Now I’m much more likely to flip on a show for them on a hard fussy day with Emily. I feel a little guilty about it, but also know that their brains aren’t going to melt and that this is just a season. If Emily is happy, we are outside playing or off to a park. But on a “house arrest” day of trying to help her nap, I’m accepting a little more help from the distraction of TV.

Emily is still an absolute dream. She is sleeping so great through the night and that is such a gift. The days are very full and very long but I’m so glad I am rested between each one. We’ve got nursing down and I’m so thankful for that. I’ll likely write a blog post about my experience with the boys and now her at some point but I’m not quite ready to yet. I’m very, very thankful that she’s gaining weight and nursing well.

Even though Justin is home, we still count on the evening when the boys are asleep to connect. We tag-team the kids all day depending on whose work day it is, so we rarely are doing things as a whole family during the daytime. In the evening we’ll try to eat dinner all together and then put the boys to bed together. Lately Emily has been going to bed about an hour or two after the boys go to bed, so it’s a gradual transition to quiet at the end of the day.

I’m tempted to run around the house and do laundry and organizing and go through the mail and put away clutter at the end of the day, but I’m restricting myself from doing that in order to have some quiet time on the couch with Justin. I’m so thankful that he is a hands on dad that the kids get to spend so much time with. So very grateful for that.

Trying to balance my work load with my “mom days” (days I do not work) is proving extremely difficult. There is never a feeling of accomplishment since the tasks for both roles are ongoing! I love that I get to do both, and am slowly learning where I can make changes to allow for better effectiveness at both roles, without as much overlap.

What I know for sure is multiple kids is a great deal of work. There is very little quiet during the day, and being able to multitask is absolutely essential. But nothing makes my heart as full as when I’m with my babies. They are the greatest part of my life.

I wanted to share a real look at what life has been like, and I hope it doesn’t read as too negative. It truly has been the happiest summer of my life, despite being spread very thin!



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Teri says · 07.31.18

You are doing an amazing job!

Elisabeth says · 07.31.18

Thank you for this! I’m expecting baby 3 in late Dec/early Jan and just resigned from my very demanding job at our church. I’ve been feeling some guilt over it (who quits church?) but this reassurance of how demanding the transition is was so helpful for me to affirm I’ve made the right decision for our family. Thank you!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 07.31.18

I can’t imagine even bringing up one kid, let alone three. You’re truly doing awesome! 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Anne says · 07.31.18

Kate, you could say that everyone has been screaming all day and you’re hot and tired and at the end of your rope and it STILL wouldn’t be too negative! This gig is just hard. You’re doing great.

Baby #2 due in October, here’s to taking my own advice!

Sherry says · 07.31.18

You never come across negative in my opinion. You are being real and honest and doing a great job !!! Your family is beautiful and we are all thankful you share so much of your lives with us. When your children are grown and you start sharing stories of the grandkids we will all feel like we have somehow been a part of it. By that I mean, you can never stop sharing these stories with us. Have a wonderful day and look forward to some cooler less humid days in the future.

Kourtney says · 07.31.18

This is such a great, REAL, post about balancing work and motherhood. To me, it doesn’t read as negative at all. It shows that you’re “in the trenches” and trying to figure it all out. As a mom of small kids, it’s encoraging and refreshing. Thank you for your honesty!

Emily says · 07.31.18

I don’t know how anyone could read this as negative! Momming is hard! Balancing work and motherhood and being a wife and general human being is REALLY hard! I wish more people would talk about it because it would eliminate a lot of the mom guilt and shaming we all unfortunately experience. Please know that we love following along with your life and sweet family, but we also understand when you need to step away and just take care of them. We’ll still be here. Blessings to you in this very busy season!

Anna says · 07.31.18

Thank you for this! Had my third last week. Trying to juggle it all has been a bit tricky, and I’ve been feeling bad about the amount of screen time the older two are getting. Glad I am not alone!

Beth says · 07.31.18

This was great to read! We just welcomed baby #2 two weeks ago and my oldest is almost 5. A LOT of this rang true for us (and only in our second week!) so I’m right there with you, especially on tablet time. Thank you for sharing!

Ashlea says · 07.31.18

Seriously, thank you for this! I am a stay at home Mom and I had my third 2 weeks before you had Emily and it was encouraging to read this Post. I have to agree that the hardest part is the Mom guilt with the older 2 but I try and remind myself daily like you said that it’s just a season, a very short one at that, and they know they are loved. You’re doing a great job! Thanks!!

Megan says · 07.31.18

I gave three kids too, And I’m right there with you! Three kids is a ton of fun and love and work. But the fog does start lifting as the baby nears toddlerhood – my baby is 18 months and we are enjoying a little more schedule these days. You’re doing great!

Ashley says · 07.31.18

Thank you for this truly open and honest view of motherhood. You have helped put some of my reservations about the thought of having a 2nd child to rest. Trust that you are doing a wonderful job!

Anita says · 07.31.18

It only gets easier from here, so hang in there! You are in the trenches.
You don’t sound negative at all – you exude joy!

Ashley R says · 07.31.18

I love the reminder that this is just a season of our lives. I tend to want to do it all, but I often have to remind myself that I don’t have to do it all RIGHT NOW! There will be other seasons of my life when I have time to learn how to watercolor, or kayak every morning, or train for a marathon, or have a beautiful garden. Right now my season is for enjoying these little girls and tending to their needs, making them smile, loving them as they are. Thanks for being real and enjoy the rest of your time in Wisconsin!

Keira says · 07.31.18

Thank you so much for sharing and your honesty! We just had our second (6 weeks and 4.5 year old) and so i totally relate to everything you’ve said. While my 4.5 year old has been amazing and so helpful and already loves his sister so much, im really struggling with not being able to spend as much time with him, and all the mom guilt. Thankfully this all will pass and we will find our grove but man it is hard in the moment and in these early days with a newborn.

Annette says · 07.31.18

I appreciate this!! I feel like I can relate on so many levels, and I’ve only gone from 1 to 2!! It’s a busy season for sure, but like you said it’s a sweet season. I think it’s these times that we learn to lean on our husbands more – and grace more, too. You’re doing an awesome job! Whether you realize it or not, you’re encouraging a lot of us mamas who are in a similar place in life!

Katie says · 07.31.18

Just had my third as well and work full time. On a day I cried nonstop from being overwhelmed my friend sent me a quote “I’m not saying it will be easy, I’m saying it will be worth it.” Pretending motherhood is always a dream isn’t fair to women so Cheers to you for keeping it real and feeling real. Anyone who says honesty about parenting is negativity hasn’t been a parent yet.

Brittany says · 07.31.18

I love your honesty about the challenges that come with all babies! But they are so joyful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Katrina says · 07.31.18

Thank you for sharing! I am not going to lie, I cried a little. I have kids too and needed the reminder to let go of tasks to be with them and my husband. That is the most important after all. I will just try to make a walk path amongst the toys that are hiding my floor. ,🤩🤗 Thank you for your honesty!

Emma says · 07.31.18

I surely didn’t read anything as negative, just real life! It can be so hard and overwhelming in the first months! Your Emily is so sweet, and my older daughter loves seeing her and always asks if that’s Emily 😊
I’ve recently gone from 1 to 2 girls, and I have such a hard time that my 3-year-old, who has been our sweet little love for a few years now, has to wait for my attention. She’s a wonderful helper though and loves her little sister dearly – it’s really a beautiful thing!
Thanks so much for writing this post and sharing your life with us!

Whitney says · 07.31.18

I don’t think this reads as negative at all. Kids are beautiful and fun and HARD! Thanks for sharing ❤️

Tina says · 07.31.18

It’s great that your boys are so close in age, they have a built in best friend and buddy to keep each other occupied. This is such a great time for them to see how they can help wit their baby sister as well. I think we are born with the desire to help and this is a good time to foster those skills. We are our harshest critics, i think it’s amplified after a birth of a baby bc as a mom you want to do everything just right…have confidence that you are! I am a mom to three boys ages 18,14,12 and if i could give my younger self any advice, it would be to really soak up those tough times and try not to Put so much pressure on myself. It all turned out just as it should. The hard work has paid off! If you feel like you are stretched too thin, tell yourself it’s ok to let go of some of the work commitments, there will always be another time to go back. You are a great mom! Hang in there!

Darcy says · 07.31.18

I didn’t read this as negative at all. Just authentic. It’s hard working and raising kids and while I don’t have 3 (but do have a 2 year old and a 1 year old who are BUSY) I appreciated the honesty in this post. 🙂

Christina says · 07.31.18

Kate I’ve been a reader since before you had any babies, and all I can is I’m just so happy for you. I have four now, and recognize the stage you’re in. Before you know it yes it will get much easier. Not only as she gets older, but as you get accustomed to having three and it becomes your new normal and you think “what did I do with all my time when i just had two?!” Quiet does not exist in our home unless it’s bedtime and then you have to be very purposeful of what to spend your free time on. I wish I could let go and let the house go but if it’s a wreck then I’m a mental wreck. Far too often I don’t tend to my spirit and go long stretches of just being on auto pilot, then I wonder why I feel depressed, depleted etc. Having children sucks the life out of you 😂 but that’s where the Lord comes in and replenishes because they’re too little to encourage or thank us right now. I just hope you can remember that you’re doing beautiful wonderful work raising babies that will someday be well rounded people contributing to our society and being lights in the world. Hugs to you (PS – forgot to mention that with my fourth we had serious feeding issues and I had to switch her to formula at around 2.5 mos, and instantly she was less fussy in her car seat and in general … Generally breast is best and I hated having to do it, but it was the only option left for my little girl. It just seems for mine anyway that when they’re bottle fed it allows them to be content for longer. I think in the long run, since she’s doing well and growing just fine, you’ll be thankful you endured the inconveniences and relied on the Lord and your family for support to get through it)

Kelly says · 07.31.18

I had my second about a month after you had Emily and have a 2 year old, too. So I am living this same life. Thank you for sharing! 🙌

Megen says · 07.31.18

You are doing a wonderful job! We have a 5 (almost 6) year old, 4 year old and baby #3 due early January! This summer has been a struggle with both kids out of school and me trying to make it through the first trimester of being extremely sick/vomiting/nauseated 24/7. We too have had a LOT of TV and tablet time and I feel so guilty but so good to know I’m not alone. You are right, it’s just a phase that will come and go and their brains will be just fine 🙂 thank you for your honesty!

MacKenzie says · 07.31.18

Kate, you are amazing! I really appreciate how open and honest you are all the time. I just have one baby and I am learning how to do the wife/mom/work balance. Reading about your life is very encouraging for me!

Kara says · 07.31.18

I can relate to nearly all you wrote except for trying to manage a business and working from home. Our kids are about the same ages and we added #3 a couple of days before Emily was born. We also had just moved 9 hours away from our friends and my husband started a new, extremely demanding job. So I felt like I went to 3 kids much harder than to 1 or 2 kids. My mom lives closer now and comes once a week to have fun days and help us get out of the house, but sometimes I just want to stay home and manage the house and laundry and email and groceries. Like you said, it’s the best! But so very hard at the same time.

I’m glad that my older two had the summer together to entertain each other while I was dealing with the newborn. My oldest goes to preschool in a couple of weeks and I think my 2 year old will be lost without him! Fortunately the baby is more predictable now so I’ll be able to spend some quality time with her.

Kerry Rabusin says · 07.31.18

You are doing a great job;) I think perhaps as women we see our role as being able to do it all and when we fall short of our expectations of ourselves we feel like we let every one and ourselves down. I remember having my babies but two seemed harder to me then 3:) not sure why! I had two boys and then my daughter too. Just enjoy them take time to be with them because when you look back it will be the best memories in life.

Leah says · 07.31.18

Thanks for this post! My first is almost 4 months, and we’re hoping for more, probably fairly close together. I have had many moments of how could I do this with 3!? (which is silly, of course, because I’m getting way ahead of myself). I’ve been following you since David was born, so watching your transitions is so encouraging. Love the honest talk and think you’re doing a great job!

Julia says · 07.31.18

This doesn’t seem negative at all! Just had my second on 4/22 – her name is Kate 🙂 – and so much of what you wrote sounds like my house right now. Tired but grateful, and working on forgiving myself (hello iPad time!) as we all experience and adjust to this season of life.

Joy Krupka says · 07.31.18

As a mom of 5 kiddos with less than two years between each one, my transition from 2 to 3 kids was by far my hardest. Praying for you because those days were just downright difficult for me…and I didn’t work! I know you know this…but it will get easier. And your boys won’t remember that you were busy Emily during this season…they’ll remember the times you do get to spend with them. You are doing a great job!!

Julie Brown says · 07.31.18

I too have three children. They are all grown and providing me with grandkids! Those days when they were little and under my feet are long gone and I miss them. I use to hate being told to enjoy that time because before you know it they will be grown up. I was knee high in toys, clothes, school activities and just survival mode. I won’t say that to you because I feel like you are totally living in your moment with your children and still providing income to your household and I admire you. Keeping time for your husband is key and I failed in doing that. So kudos to you for having that insite. Keep on being grateful for the busyness and the chaos….in a blink of the eye you will hear little ones say grandma watch me, grandma read to me, grandma look at this……..and you will think …that you are in heaven all over again….best part is you don’t raise the grandkids!!

Sharee says · 07.31.18

You are doing great!!! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You are the only one who knows your kids and their needs and how to meet those needs. And there’s no absolutely right/one way to be a Mom. These days go oh so fast…but are oh so long when you’re in the thick of it! Enjoy them and those littles. You and Justin are a great example of putting family first above all else. Thank you for that.

Deb Gritter says · 07.31.18

You hit the nail on the head!!! And you are doing a great job as mom and business owner! It is all SO true and so hard and so wonderful; glad you seem to have a great honest perspective about it all and that you are prioritizing time with Justin too. It’s easy to become like two ships in the night and then it takes a toll on everybody. Good for you guys! Grace for yourself!

Susie Billingsley says · 07.31.18

I’m a little farther down the parenting path with 2 boys and a girl who are now 19, 16, and 13. The busy-ness doesn’t go away from when they were babes, but each stage of life has been such a gift! I started reading your blog for the hair and makeup tips, but love being able to replay our own family history by reading about your own experiences! Keep shining your light!

Felicia Eis says · 07.31.18

Oh Kate hang in there girl!!! I totally understand where you are at (I have 4 now)! People always said that going from one to two kids was the hardest but believe me I totally found going from two to three the hardest (three to four was a breeze lol). I think because you had two hands for two littles but no third hand for the third ::wink wink::

All that to say you are an AMAZING mom and even though three is hard you will make it!!!

Katie Fournier says · 08.01.18

I always appreciate how REAL you are! I’ve got two boys, 14 months apart so these kind of (real life) posts are my fave! And never, never think of yourself as coming off negative- it’s all hard! 1 kid, 2 kids or 3! You’re doing great mama!

Leigh says · 08.01.18

Sweet lady–my boys were 4 1/2 and 20 months when I had their sister. My firstborn took his big brother charge SO seriously. He was always so responsible and protective of her. And guess what? He is now a West Point graduate and having a heck of a time being nice to little sister’s boyfriend (who is a complete peach, but older brother is struggling none the less). It’s completely fine for David to have those responsibilities and he will be a better man because of it. Trust me.

Elizabeth says · 08.01.18

Yes 3 I think is that number that pushed me to the point of feeling like things were unmanageable at times. I had 2 under 2 and thought a baby and 1 yo was easier. Sounds like you’re doing the best you can. Give yourself grace that’s for sure. Going back to school and regular nap schedules help a lot too.

M says · 08.01.18

I have 3 too, with our youngest now being 18 months. This post rang true and you are doing an amazing job! I found that buying a bunch of craft supplies from the dollar store was a great way to keep the older kids busy (we did TV too in the early days, but I could only stomach that for so long). Give them some paper or paper plates and a box full of random pom poms, chenille stems, stickers, markers, glue, gems, etc and they can have fun creating a unique craft – no direction needed, they just make whatever they want. Yours might be a little young, but it’s worth trying! 🙂 I also found some games that they can play together on their own (like Zingo picture bingo and printable games I found online) so that they could have something to play while I took care of the baby.

Jennifer says · 08.01.18

I have one and tapped out before the pregnancy was even over. I didnt want to ever be pregnant again. It was not a very good pregnancy at all and he was colicky and never wanted to be away from me. So people who do it more than once have my respect. Lol!

Alli says · 08.01.18

Girl. Three kids is no joke. I have three, my youngest just turned one. I guess I got used to it… it’s just a busy, hard, crazy life…. but so rewarding. So glad I have someone in the trenches with me that’s honest and open, because mommin’ three kids can bring some serious mommy guilt. Thanks for all you do! I’ve followed your blog for a very long time and still love it!

Allison says · 08.01.18

Aww-well it sounds like you are adjusting as best you can. I’m getting ready for another baby, 14 months after I just had my first. Thanks for writing this post-you make it seem possible! 🙂 glad that Justin is home now too!! That’s so wonderful.


Kristina says · 08.01.18

Oh how I feel your sentiments! I have three as well, 7, 2 and 10 months. It’s is lovely in so many ways and chaotic and incredibly challenging in so many others. I’m spread THIN. I really struggled the first 6 months of the transition to three kids, but now I’m starting to see the light. I always remind myself that the first year is the hardest and I TRY to give myself as much grace as I can. Hang in there!

B says · 08.02.18

We’re all doing the best we can. It’s human to feel overwhelmed. Working, being a good wife and a good mother is a tough job. You’re doing great ! Hang in there on those tough days. You’re not alone! No matter what they may say, we’ve ALL had tough days as moms!!!!

Heidi H. says · 08.02.18

You’ve nailed motherhood and all it entails! Keep doing things right — you know the hard days will soon enough be behind you. <3

Deidra says · 08.03.18

Kate…this post was encouraging and don’t think anything less!

I have twin (a month shy of 5) boys and currently 32 weeks with boy #3…and right now I work 8-5 M-F…So the fact that you are just NOW feeling slight mom guilt of too much screen time is hilarious (in a good way) to me cause I’ve been there this whole pregnancy I feel like! I am praying for an “easy” transition with adding another to the house since it’s only been these two their whole lives…I can’t imagine one of them being a toddler in the middle too!

Like every other lady on here has said, you are doing GREAT Momma! Love reading your posts and I have learned SO much about how to manage not only my thick blonde hair…but life in general because of you! =)

Rebecca Regnerus says · 08.03.18

Hey there – I’m a mom of 4 (8,6,4, almost 2) with #5 due this winter. You, my dear, are in the trenches. For real. Do not feel guilty. If your house is instagram perfect all the time, your priorities are in the wrong place. Kiss their sticky cheeks and wash their dirty hands, scoop the junk off the couch and plop down and read them books. The toys will still be there tomorrow, but they won’t be little for always. Enjoy the days as best you can: survival mode is real – & its ok to feel that way. By the time I had our 4th, the oldest 2 were more help than I ever imagined. They are part of a family and the family that works together, stays together. They can help you sort socks, they can put away silverware, they can put toys back in the bin. Keep them busy helping you and then there will be time for playing too. Sometimes you need them to watch tv for 30mins so you can do grown up things, but you will be surprised how fun it is to do your housework with your littles working right along side you. God’s blessings on your family, and may He grant you enough grace just for today, every day.

Heather says · 08.03.18

Kate, you are clearly an amazing mother! I also have 3 kids, and I own a dental practice. It was refreshing for me to read your comment, “There is never a feeling of accomplishment since the tasks for both roles are ongoing!” I feel the very same way, and often wonder if my career choice has played a part. Truth is, I think any mom of 3 (Or really any number of kids!) probably feels this way. Especially those of us who are driven to be productive in life.

Thank you for sharing your life. It is such a pleasure to follow along.


Rachel Kelly says · 08.06.18

Yes to everything you said! We had our third baby on May 3rd, Maggie Elizabeth. It has been a much different and honestly more difficult transition to three than I thought it would be. Breastfeeding, mom guilt, getting back into shape, all of it…I completely understand where you’re coming from. Just wanted to say how encouraging your realness has been to me and know that in turn you’re not the only one who’s simultaneously loving and juggling this crazy life with three babes.

Patti says · 08.06.18

I love this post because I know how true and heartfelt it is. I am a mom of four teenagers (a different kind of juggling lol) and I remember where you are like it was yesterday. I think you are doing amazing because you are understanding early on you just cant do everything the same way you did before three and are prioritizing your kids AND your marriage. Sometimes the laundry and work has to wait. Keep up that beautiful attitude!

Kathy says · 08.16.18

As a Mom of three myself, I remember this season very well. It seemed like all the noise and chaos would never end. But cherish this time as it really does go by so very fast. We just dropped off my oldest son at college and it seems like just yesterday we took him to kindergarten! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family.