Being a mother of three isn’t anything like being a mother of two. Just in case no one warned you, here are some tips about this new time of life.

Ten Tips for What to Expect When the New Baby Arrives

1. When you the new infant arrives, all those feelings of having a trying but remarkable experience will come again. Each baby is a new experience no matter how many kids you have.
2. Exhaustion is to be expected even more than with previous infants because now you are aware of tending three. Make sure you have support from your partner or others before your due date.
3. You may find your older two seem incredibly big—bigger than before you gave birth. The contrast with the infant is so striking, your older kids may seem ungainly and large. Know this is normal.
4. No matter how prepared you tried to help the older kids be about having a new sib, expect they’ll be competing for your attention. You will feel pulled three ways no matter how many books you read about expecting a new baby in the house. Remember this is natural and you can’t be expected to meet everyone’s demands. Doing your best while exhausted is all you can expect of yourself.
5. Try to remember you are important. If you don’t take care of yourself, it’s hard to take care of three children. Lean on your partner, friends, relatives, whoever is available to spend time with each child, so you get some time to yourself.
6. When help is nearby, jump in the shower. Feel the warmth of the water and refresh yourself. Remember you count!
7. Of course you wish you didn’t still look pregnant, but time will take care of your figure, so don’t despair. Remember what’s most important is how you feel on the inside, not how you look on the outside.
8. Make sure you take time to enjoy your baby’s gaze up at you while you feed him or her, or change a diaper, or give a little bath. Those moments are the most precious and endure in your motherly mind forever.
9. The two older sibs need reminders of how important they are. If they slip back into baby ways, seem to forget they were toilet trained, or have tantrums, or angry outbursts or seem to be spending too much time quietly alone, these are all invitations to communicate with you. Talk to them gently even if they are screaming. They just need reminders they are still loved.
10.Here’s the best part—you now have three children to love and be loved by. No matter how disorganized and chaotic life may seem, the love is there to be surrounded by and enjoyed.

Congratulations! You’re a mother of three!!

Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst with a new book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior available on amazon, barnes and noble, familius and book stores everywhere.

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