"Making it work as a single mom of 3 boys"
"I am a single mom with three boys. I was separated while pregnant with my third, and even when we were together, my ex would be gone for 16 hours a day, 6 days a week.
"Anyway, I think back to those times now, and it only made me stronger and more ready to deal with divorce and raising kids alone.
"My first was a hard won baby, almost 4 years in the making, my miracle boy. When he was 9 months old, I discovered that I was pregnant with baby no. 2, my first two are only 18 months apart.
This was not going to be easy...
"We were very happy, my first was such a dream and having another did not scare me at all. I knew that it was by no means going to be easy with an 18 month old and a new born, but I felt ready.
"Well, my second was/is a very difficult child, from the womb I could feel him constantly moving and jumping. Sometimes, it feels like we have a daily battle of wills, him and I, and I don’t always win!
"Hence, when I discovered that I was pregnant with baby number three, I cried and cried and cried. How was I going to cope? Single with a 3.5-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a newborn? But my baby was just the pudding, he fit right into our already established routine.
Let them get involved
"The absolute key: do not alienate the other children when a new one comes along, keep the children involved. We would all sit on the three-seater couch while I breastfed, bonding together. They all bathed together, dressed together, went to bed together, changed nappies together, got muddy together... you get the picture.
"Frankly, it was so much easier for me to work it this way, they just loved being totally involved in everything.
"I also gave up fighting to keep them in their own beds. The baby was in the cot pushed up next to my bed, and often, my other two would crawl into the bed with me sometime during the night. Getting them back into their beds was not worth the fight or the loss of sleep. And they won’t do it forever, they will grow out of it.
"My second still gets into my bed during the night on occasion, but there will come a time when I will have all the time I please to sleep, and will miss the nightly cuddles.
'I work hard to keep our heads above water'
"I am a full time mom, I work full time, I have to be super organized to get through my days. Yes my social life is non-existent, I rarely go out, but I prefer to go home to my boys and spend as much time as possible with them.
"I do not have the luxury of being home by 5pm everyday. I work hard to keep our heads above water, and to give them all the opportunities that they would have with a father in the house and the added income.
"I try and keep a good balance between it all, another key to keeping a happy home, and of course, a happy mom. Time is precious, and it goes by so fast.
'I know I am strong enough'
"For me, it was dealing with the here and now, always being prepared, and continuing with routine. Don’t think too much.
"On the rare occasion that I do have time alone, if I allow myself to think too much about the massive task still ahead of me, I start to feel totally overwhelmed. But I know I am strong enough, I will keep my head up and keep forging on.
"I LOVE being a mom, I love watching them grow, and I love the things that come out of their mouths; they astonish me daily.
"I can’t wait to get home to them."
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