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    As Hard As Three

    August 4, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    When people ask me what it is like to have Baby Q. around, I have to be honest and say she is the easiest baby I have ever had. Of course, we are getting better at babies in general, and I am sure this helps. But she is also just plain easy. Her personality is very relaxed. She enjoys life and doesn’t demand much beyond the basics. She is a good playmate.

    But she is also easier in a practical way. My two other children suffered diaper rash and skin allergies that required expensive diapers and wipes. This baby wears generic brand without complaint. The other two had to have their formulas switched one, two, or three times due to allergies. This baby drinks the basic Similac, again, without complaint.

    But three is still hard. We just had a very difficult three weeks. First, there was potty training, which was very successful, but there were many household things which slipped through the cracks. The next week, I contracted some sort of disease and was sick the entire week. I think all I did was cook. This week, we had some incidents which will not be discussed publicly, some discipline issues, and I found myself longing for the good old days when my husband worked from home.

    And that is why I resonated with this post at Semicolon:

    Then came my third child, a beautiful baby girl. She slept through the night at an early age, sucked her thumb contentedly to comfort herself, and fit into our family perfectly. BUT parenting was no longer something that was manageable, something that I would eventually get the hang of if I spent enough time and energy studying the matter. Now there were three, and I was in over my head. They outnumbered ME; They outnumbered US. One child could easily escape and use red tempera paint as ammunition in his cannon while I was cleaning up after the other two.

    The wonderful part of this story is that adding another and another and another never gets any harder than three. When you realize that it’s really, truly only by God’s grace that any of them survive to adulthood, that each child is a gift, and that the molding and shaping and even educating that parents do is somewhat limited in scope and influence, and that as a parent you are almost completely deficient in the skills, patience, and wisdom that are needed to parent these children . . . well, then you can begin to relax, do the best you can and depend on God to fill in the gaps.

    I believe I am currently in the place where I need to do that last thing: be content with doing the best I can and depending on God to “fill in the gaps.”

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Kimbrah August 4, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Brandy-

    What a timely post. I have just been coming to the same realizations myself.

    I just got off the phone with my friend who is expecting her 7th child soon and it was such an encouraging conversation.

    I think I would also add that we need to surround ourselves with older Christian women who can encourage us in our parenting instead of just looking down on us or criticizing us for the amount of children we have, as if to say “Well what did you expect, having x amount of children.”

    Thanks for the encouragement Brandy!

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