"You're having another baby? Looks like you have to start all over again! You ready for that?"
Let's face it. I hear that one a lot. And at first, I didn't think much of it. Three kids, after all, will be even more of a circus than two. And, if you know my kids, we have quite a circus. But the more I heard it, the more it started me thinking (I know, a dangerous prospect).
Having a third baby will certainly be a game changer. It will certainly be a new phase. But it isn't starting over. It's simply hitting the reset button.
Much like on the computer, when you upgrade your software, drivers, hard drive etc, a nice little reboot is needed to freshen things up.
This is our reboot. We didn't get a new computer, we simply upgraded the one we have. Now, just like any upgrade, we have to figure out where the new shortcuts are, which features have changed since out last upgrade, and which features have been eliminated altogether. But, in technology, isn't that the fun of it?
In 4 days as of this writing (tick, tock), we will be upgrading our system. The nice thing? I already know most of the rules of the programs. The basic premise of the system hasn't changed (don't drop the baby, don't forget the baby, change the baby periodically). I went through bootcamp for this twice before and I wear my battle scars proudly (a gray hair or fifty). I know what to expect once baby is out and screaming and I know my wife will be a rockstar in making sure that the little fella never goes hungry. The new part comes when we are looking at how this added software plays nice with the other programs already running in our proverbial computer. These programs have been running for years flawlessly (ha, ok, that was a a bit of a stretch), and they are comfortable with the resources they have been consuming. Now, for the first time, they will have to allow resources to be taken from them to allow this new 'program' to run.
As anyone who has even added a new program to a computer, we know that it can take some time to get these resource priorities squared away. This can often be frustrating and leave one impatiently striking harder and harder on the keyboard as if through some magical force the computer can sense urgency and force and fix the problems it is having through a keen understanding that the force you use on the keyboard is intimately tied to the need for things to work. To my knowledge this doesn't happen. However, if we roll with this computer analogy, the whole prioritizing process and available RAM and memory to make programs run needs to get figured out- programs just don't magically run smoothly and things don't automatically start working without issues (if they do for you, please call me I need your help).
Equally so, in parenting, the process, available time and available energy needs to get figured out when a new baby comes along. The existing wee little ones need to find their new resource allocation and learn how to deal with that as do Mom and Dad. They need to learn how to not pound on the keyboard when things take a longer amount of time and rather, let the programs sort themselves out through patience and a hell of a lot of coffee (coffee is life). As an aside if we use the computer theme still, I don't think computers drink coffee. Yet.
Anyone and Everyone who runs a family understands that from time to time, a reset is necessary to upgrade and change the way things are running (budgets, school, behavior, etc). This doesn't always include adding more software to the computer. And, right now, this is no different for us. Our scheduled upgrade however, is coming with a lot of new features that we get to explore and learn about.
Frankly, I'm excited to do it. It's a reset. Not a start over.
Have you ever hit the reset button? Tell me how below.