My parenting style has definitely evolved over the years. With my first I tried attachment parenting, and was absolutely exhausted by my constant attempts to breastfeed, bed-share, and babywear. After my second child was born I was a helicopter mom who became a "trying to survive" single mom. Now that my third baby is here, however, I have found my stride with "third-child parenting." Turns out, there are so many things this third-child parenting mom wants you to know. Seriously, you guys. You have to know about this option... and hopefully way before I did.
The main thing I've learned being a mom of three is that it's not necessary to try so damn hard. Motherhood doesn't have to mean martyrdom and it certainly doesn't have to be as difficult as we sometimes make it seem. Instead of slowing down and figuring out what's really important — like healthy kids and a healthy mom — we spend a lot of time stressing about things that, in the big scheme of things, mean very little. And after my third child was born I realized that I didn't have time or energy to devote to beating myself up about things I couldn't control. As a result, and thanks to my lowered expectations, I started actually enjoying being a mom.
I'm not saying being a mom to three children isn't hard, because it is. I think taking three kids to the doctor's office at the same time is an un-named level of hell, for example, and I definitely feel outnumbered on a daily basis. But in many ways having three kids actually seems easier than having two, or even one, baby. I sort of wish I could go back in time and give myself some magical "third-parenting" advice, which would definitely have included the following: