Jan 292012


The earth shakes when the doctor places your firstborn in your arms. Your love for him is colored by terror because you are positive that he is going to die with each passing minute. You bring him home understanding that the Universe has made a mistake, that someone more qualified, more motherly will show up to retrieve him soon. So while you wait, you play house for awhile. You hold him with trembling, clutching, sweaty hands. You still do. You do not trust that he will be able to navigate his world. You eye his doctors, his playmates, his teachers, even his grandparents with great suspicion. Will they be gentle enough with him? He is so sensitive.


What you really mean is: I am so sensitive. I’m like Lazarus, fresh from the tomb, eyes burning from the sun’s brightness. I can’t handle the ferocity and fragility of this new love. Please be careful with us.


You think if you just hold his hand tight enough, read the right books, choose the right foods, choose the right schools…if you just hold your breath forever…it’ll be okay. You’re not sure what okay is anymore. Maybe okay means you’ll succeed at keeping him and the world apart forever. Maybe okay just means that you’ll both survive this love, this love so intense it threatens to consume you both like a fire.


Holding your second, you become human again. You are elated and concerned. Your firstborn is replaced. You can’t look at or listen to both of your babies at the same time. So you look at your baby while talking about your firstborn. You say, hold on honey far too many times. Your guilt is relentless. How will you convince them both that they are the center of your universe? This new angel seems like a stranger at first, and then your firstborn does. Suddenly he appears to be a giant. You wonder when he’ll start pulling his weight already. You are worried you’ll never find your balance. What is the right division of time, love, attention, fear, worry? And then, for the first time, you become concerned with how the juggling act you’re attempting to perform looks to the world. Am I doing it right? Am I saying the right things? Am I buying the right diaper bag, house, car, invitations? Are they wearing the right clothes? Am I? Do I appear to be enjoying motherhood enough???


But then again, you have your moments, don’t you? When they smile at each other, when he retrieves her toy, touches her hair, tickles her feet. When you hear two giggles coming from the family room for the first time. When you and your husband look at the two of them on the floor and exhange a glance that means – look at what we did. We’re doing it. We’re making a family.



Then the third arrives. And as you hold her for the first time, you notice that your hands are steady. The all consuming fire is gone. Love is just . . . love. You don’t feel threatened anymore by her or the world. Because all of a sudden you see in her teeny little face that she is the world, no need to protect her from herself. And you understand now that you’re not her protector anyway, she has One of Those. You’re just her teacher. You’re just borrowing her for a little while. You decide not to spend so much of your precious time begging God to protect her from the world. Seems silly, all of a sudden. Because She, God, the world, they are all mixed up together inside that pink skin. They are one in the same.


Then, as you count her impossibly tiny fingers with yours, you check your heart and find no guilt there. Because you understand that you are about to present your older children with the greatest gift of their lives. Who else but a sister travels with you from the start of Life’s path to the bitter end? And you know, now, that if the olders spend the next few months relearning that They’re Not the Center of the Universe…well, good then. It’s an important thing to know, and it’s a lesson best learned early. So there’s another gift to them, courtesy of you, and this new littlest one.

And by now, you understand that things will get tougher when she comes home. You will sweat even more at the grocery store. You will have less money to buy her the right things. You will look far less graceful at play dates. But you will care less. Because by now you have listened to and spoken to enough honest mothers to understand that we’re all in this together. That there is no prize for most composed.  So you’ve decided to stop making motherhood harder by pretending it’s not hard.


Then you look down at her…your third… and you think: what’s so different about you? But before you’ve even finished asking the question, you know the answer. And your heart says to hers – Oh. You’re not different than the other two...I’m different. I am learning how to love without so much fear. How to relax a bit, in this brutiful world. How to let go and trust. You are helping me breathe easier, you three. One at a time, and together.

Amma, you came to me and you said: It’s okay, Mama. We’re all going to be okay.


I didn’t know that before you told me, baby girl. I really didn’t know.


I love you, Amanda Nicole.



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  123 Responses to “One, Two, Three”

  1. […] Glennon Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. thank you so much for your posts…they are beautiful. It is always what I need to hear at the right time.

    i was so nervous about having a third..between having 2 yr old twin boys and the fact that there was a 1 in 4 chance she coulld have had CF (when I was 5months pregnant with boys-found out we were CF carriers-it was chaos). at around 12 weeks or so we found out SHE was healthy and I knew then that she was meant to be. and after I held all fear was erased. You are so right that you just know that everything somehow will be ok..we will be ok….crazy, stressed, tired, unpredicatable BUT ok.

  3. Wow. I, too, am in tears. You captured it exactly…just how it felt, 1, 2, and 3.

  4. thank you…this is beautiful! it really is says it perfectlly.

    I was so nervous about having a third……between having 2 yr old twin boys, thinking I could NOT have anymore kids, and the fact that there was a 1 in 4 chance she could have had CF (when I was 5months pregnant with boys-found out we were CF carriers-it was chaos-my CF screening results were misplaced). After the most stressful 12 weeks or so we found out SHE was fine and I knew then that she was truly meant to be. and then finally when I held her all fear was erased. You’re right, you just know you all will be ok…it wil be crazy, wonderful, stressful, wild but OK

  5. Gorgeously written!
    I have 3 daughters, and this is EXACTLY how I felt when each was born, and even now, as they all appear to be growing into giants right before my very eyes. Thank you for telepathically picking my brain and putting the thoughts into words. Kind of scary how you can do that!

  6. […] little lovely post over at Momastery about the differences in motherhood from your first child, to your second child, to your third child.  Considering I have recently been through the “should we have another one” debate […]

  7. Amen. With number three there is a whole new understanding of being a parent… With my first I felt like she was just this little person that we took all over with us and with the second you are terrified your firstborn might starve from being neglected! But then number 3 rolls around and you know you’ve got it covered and that you kids won’t be forever damaged if you don’t get out of your sweats that day.

  8. We have two children (21 months apart) and I am yearning for a third despite feeling most days like I may be crushed under the weight of trying to be a good mother to the two under my feet and in my arms. Each day is a journey for learning to love with less fear… to stop pretending its hard but settle into finding happiness in this moment. Thank you for your honesty… it is so refreshing.

  9. I’m new to your log but have been raving about you to everyone! This post (like so many others of yours) spoke to my heart and made me cry.
    I had my third child 15 months ago and he is the one I credit with finally making me a mother.
    I loved my other two ferociously and with all my heart but I always felt like such a fraud. People would tell me I was doing a great job and how wonderful my kids were and I would wonder how on earth they got that way because I struggled through every day and cried at night at how unqualified I was.
    When my third child was born it was like all of a sudden, I got it. I finally got it and now I can enjoy being a mama with a little less guilt and a lot more confidence.
    Thank you Glennon, Arohanui xoxo

  10. I am in shock of how you wrote my thoughts and feelings in such detail. Thank you! I can’t wait to read this to my family! This has warmed my heart today and I so needed that.

  11. Beautiful! Your post made me rewalk through each of my three children’s births and see lessons learned and how I changed. I have no doubt they were each hand-picked just for us…even my screaming, pterodactyl firstborn. The word was humbling, Thank you God for her. My 2nd had scary medical issues on Day 9 and we thought we were going to lose her…but didn’t. It rattled our souls in the best way. Thank you God for her. Our 3rd arrived and all we could do was giggle. He slept that first night, but we didn’t. We giggled. All night. And, ate cheeseburgers at 3am. Thank you God for him. I am a brand new Monkee, and I thank you, and I thank God!

  12. Thank you for your words that comforted me as I get ready to welcome my second into the world. I was on an only child and while I know that it was God’s plan for me, there were many lessons that were harder for me to learn because I did not share life with a sibling. I am also an older parent (36) and I want my daughter Abby to have someone to go through life with when we are gone. Thank you for always being honest and saying what we all want to say. God bless you and your beautiful family!!
    You truly have a gift…

    • Holly, I am also an older parent. My baby boy will be one in 2 months, I will be 36 in 3. My husband asked me last night if and when we were going to have number 2. This blog entry terrified me for number 2, Because the emotions just seem so big!!! but your comment made me realize that even though I can’t imagine loving another child, I will. And that when we are gone Jack will need a sibling to do life with.
      So Thank you Holly and Thank You Glennon!

  13. “So you’ve decided to stop making motherhood harder by pretending it’s not hard.” Wow. As a mom to one 17 month old, these words immediately set a piece of me free.

    And Glennon, I’m not Christian, wasn’t raised as one and always very much felt that quote about, ” I like your Christ but not your Christians”. You are changing my mind and know that your words speak to all, very well.

  14. Just been blessed with grandchild #3! As an old mom, the worry never goes away whether your child is one or thirty-six. Being newly married, we wanted a large family, but were blessed with only two. Every age, every stage brings new challenges and new blessings. Trust in your faith and your gut–you will always be blessed!

  15. OMG wait until you become a grandmaw…its a whole different ball game and I am LOVING IT!!!!!!!!

  16. Oh my.
    I read this with my third headbutting mefrom the inside…
    It means a lot to hear this from someone who’s gone before me.

  17. Absolutely gorgeous piece. Warmed my heart and lit my whole face.

    I hope very much for my kids’ sakes that this same glorious division of love, the taming of the ‘primal parent’ if you will, is also true for adoption of a second and third child. It’s such a rich, deep and beautiful thing that you have described here; I covet it for my sake and the sake of my family also.

    Thank you.

  18. You express yourself so beautifully that I sometimes wonder, is this person for real? Then I look at your family and realize that no one could fake that deliciousness.

  19. Love you all and happy birthday! Even if its not the actual day, I am in constant celebration for all of the love born every moment! My 4th only brought more love, just when you think you are so full you are going to burst (literally). Once you discover Gods will behind having children, you realize the small (and quite simple) part you have in the whole beautiful scheme of things. We are building the kingdom of heaven here on earth. Some get it while they are here, others have to be stretched a whole lot before they are ready, but each one of us are offered that promise when we are born. Thank God I am His baby girl…what a glorious family we share!

  20. Such a beautiful letter! Amma is a blessed girl to have you for a momma.

    As I sit here, two weeks from meeting little one #2, I am absolutely terrified that I’m going to somehow screw this all up. There’s no way I can be a good mom to two little people. But deep down, I know love really is the only way ahead. I just keep telling myself that my first born was first for a reason, she needed the extra love, and she taught me all I need to know for this next one.

  21. Your love letters to your children are beautiful. Your writing is beautiful. YOU are beautiful! I just discovered your blog, and the first night I read it- I bawled. I wasn’t even having a rough day; your writing and honesty and love just struck a chord (or several). You really do relay the love of God in your writing. I feel His Spirit when I read your blog. And that’s a really big deal, a very big accomplishment and talent. So keep at it. And thank you. For sharing your stories. For everything.

  22. I love how perfectly and bravely you capture and say “out loud” the truths of my mama-experience – thanks.

  23. Thank you. I’m pregnant with my third and your words strike an even more beautiful chord in my heart. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  24. I love this: “And by now, you understand that things will get tougher when she comes home. You will sweat even more at the grocery store. You will have less money to buy her the right things. You will look far less graceful at play dates. But you will care less. Because by now you have listened to and spoken to enough honest mothers to understand that we’re all in this together. That there is no prize for most composed. So you’ve decided to stop making motherhood harder by pretending it’s not hard.”

    Right on! Mother of three children not old enough to be in school here… My third transition was better than 0-1 but worse than 1-2. More guilt about not meeting needs adequately. Yet isn’t that one of the most important lessons we can learn in life – that we can’t make it alone and we need His help? Desperately? God commanded us to multiply and replenish the earth. He can help us with our mothering. He can even help with the ‘over’population. He can do all things.

  25. I lost my daughter, Ansley, at the age of 2. She died in her sleep of unknown causes. We do not have a reason that our heart was taken away that day. She was our only child until my daughter Campbell was born. My husband and I are absolutely in the first stage and will never make it to the second or third. Even if we have a third.

  26. Beautifully written. However…
    After the birth of my second child over 30 years ago, I opted for sterilization. I believe that overpopulation is a human ability, not a human right, and we should only replace ourselves. I have never regretted my decision, especially now that we are over 7 Billion. Just another consideration.

    • Boo to you! That kind of arrogance just takes my breath away.

    • Marilynn, although the admission of such is lacking from your post, I’m going to trust you realize that what is right for you and your family is not right for everybody. That’s why some of us can make the choice not to reproduce at all, yet still respect, even celebrate, the right of others to joyfully pursue parenthood as many times as they wish and are able to do so.

      Just because somebody’s chosen path isn’t for me, I’d certainly not want to presume or imply that those individuals have not given full consideration to the decision they have made. As long as every child birthed or brought home is cherished and wanted, I believe that’s what matters most.

      • Very well said, Chris.

        And Marilyn, the population is also larger now because we have the gift and ability to live longer; we regularly see 4 generations in this day and age. I certainly don’t think that people are killing themselves as more of their descendants are born in order to control the population. What is good for one is not always what is good for another. Your choice was to have 2 children, others may choose to have more. I’m glad you haven’t regretted your decision, I CERTAINLY will NEVER regret my decision to have 3, possibly more.

    • Overpopulationisamyth.com

    • I will welcome every child God gives me with loving arms. I will not interfere with His plan by artificial means.

  27. Thank you for this post. I am getting ready to have my third in 3 weeks and have been wondering about this transition. You could not have been more on point with the transition between 0-1-2…so I completely believe and trust in your experience with #3. You have taken God’s plan for you and spread it to the world…thank you for that. Thank you.

  28. I have relayed this same message to others – about how we grow from our first to our third little love. God is so good, isn’t he? That he knows exactly how many he must entrust to us in order to grow us into who he wants us to be for Him. Very lovely, sister… we are all blessed by your pouring out your authentic, beautiful heart. Thank you.

  29. Beautiful. Now I’m convinced I totally want a third!

  30. THANK YOU! I have never heard or read anything before that so perfectly articulated how I feel about motherhood. The fear with #1 was all-consuming, and I’ve often said that what I felt/feel for her is not ‘love,’ per se, but a protection instinct. And of course i feel constant guilt about that. With #2, I have allowed myself to let down my guard just a bit, just enough to enjoy my little miracles. And wouldn’t you know, I even feel guilty about that, too! Maybe I need a #3…? :)

  31. That is so cool. :) I feel downright neglectful of my baby sometimes thinking how little time I spend with her compared to her brothers at that age. Mommy guilt never goes away, like you said. Lol.

  32. You couldn’t have nailed it any better!!! I have 3 precious & “energetic” little boys and I feel exctely as you have written so beautifully! Thank you for this…perfect way to start my week! My 3rd who is now 8 months has been the biggest joy in our lives…he has taught me so very much about myself and our family and I will forever be grateful for him! Although my days are crazy and hectic & I often feel like ripping my hair out, I couldn’t be more happy and love having 3 children. THe mother I am today is a completely different person than the mother I was at first. Just relaxing, enjoying, playing and taking them all in is so wonderful! Thank you for sharing that!

  33. So well written, and so raw. Thank you for this, Glennon.

  34. Wow. Your words are exactly what is in my heart. Thank you for sharing this. So beautifully written and truly heartfelt. Love it.

  35. I love my little Amma. And it makes me feel really bad that she got so screwed on the crib situation when you were watching Shaila for us. Does she still resent me, has she gotten over it? 😉

    I remember when I had my first, I was shaking. When I had my second, I was shaking more. He was early, he was fragile, he was sick. I think in loving them each the way you do, you honor where you are and who they are.

    You mother with your instincts which have only gotten stronger with time. And you are a great mommy, G.

  36. This is precisely how I felt when i had my third child. I had a 7yr old and 4 yr old and along came this sweet baby boy. It was so calm and enjoyable. It felt like I had come full circle and we were complete :)

  37. I like what Kelly Ripa said: “Kids are like pancakes. You screw up the first one, but the rest turn out okay.”

  38. I remember so distinctly looking into my third daughter’s eyes as she peeped up at me from the bassinet in the hospital, as I strolled around the corridors, and thinking, “We’re in LOVE!”…

    With my first and second, I was so flustered. And to tell the truth, I still am, as I negotiate each milestone with plenty of extra angst. But with my little Birdy, hell, we’re in LOVE.

  39. I had my 3rd almost 8 months ago and I STILL feel terrified that something bad is going to happen to her! What’s the trick to feeling confidant?

    • God… The “trick” is to use your Life Manual (aka the Bible). Use it right and everything falls right into peaceful place.

    • I actually still feel a little scared. Sometimes a lot. I’m not sure mothering without any fear is even possible, is it?

    • My 3rd is three months old and I still check his breathing every time he sleeps…unless I happen to be asleep too. :) But it’s more for peace of mind than to keep the “terror” at bay. The rest of this post rings completely true for me. It will get easier, but every child is new and different and I’m with Glennon, the fear never completely goes away. Maybe it’s our innate realization that these babies are so precious.

  40. I think Dr.Suess was onto something when he wrote… “The Grinch’s small heart grew 3 sizes that day…” When I had one child I wondered how it would be possible to love my second as much…but that’s the great thing about love…there is always room for more!!

  41. What can I say? Wow. As a pregnant (7 months) mom of a 3 yr & 1 yr old looking forward to baby sister arriving, you have hit my heart dead center. I am recent reader to your blog and that is twice now, you have managed to capture my thoughts and feelings and put them so perfectly as written prose. You mentioned recently in a blog post about trying to ‘do’ more for the Lord. Well sweetheart, you did good by me, and I feel like your ability to articulate such thoughts for other moms is what you are supposed to be doing. Thank you again for an amazing blog post! I am sharing!

  42. with your second you feel like your heart must divide….with your third you realize your heart can expand:)

  43. I can’t relate to the second and third children as my first is only 14 months old, but the beginning of this had me in tears. It’s strange when you read something that makes you feel like the author crawled into your soul when you weren’t looking. It is both unnerving and comforting.

    • That is *exactly* how I felt when I read about the second child. How could she see so deeply into my heart. Tears. I’m convinced I need a third. 😉

    • I agree. She captured how I feel as a mom of 1 so perfectly that I am convinced I will need to have 3 kids so I can get to love without so much fear!

  44. Thank you, no really, thank you. That’s all, I’m lost for words.

  45. Thank you for what you do. I’m new here, and I love all that you share. I don’t know if I’ve ever ‘met’ anyone who is so honest and unpretentious as you. AND you’re not afraid to share your heart with the world. God bless you.

  46. And when you get to number FOUR, life is nothing but sweet! As I type, dishes are in the sink, dust on tables, but happy kids are bathed and reading and making paper Valentines form the dog!! Ahhh, sweetness…

    • You got it figured out mama!!! I have 3 and often think that if I was blessed with a 4th, I would do and think as you are! Live in the moment with these little blessings because when you step into your mommy role and really live it, it can lead you to amazing joy! All the other “stuff” will always be there, but our little ones will become big and the moments will pass…that’s when we can dust & organize our closets!

  47. Tears and a heart of gratitude for you, and your God-given gift of authenticity and writing. God has touched me so much through your words, over and over. I finally just had to comment. I’m sorry that I haven’t before now. I needed this. You’ve woken me up to the realization that I’m not alone in feeling as I do. You’ve helped me adjust my perspective appropriately and laugh a long the way. I will carry your words closely. They are making such impact. Thank you. Thank you.

  48. I made my husband read this and now he has agreed that we do, in fact, need a third child. I am thanking God for this beautiful gift he has given you and the ability to touch so many people. Awesome!

  49. Shit. I knew I should have had 3.

    • LOL – kristen this just made me crack up. I have three, but only intended to have two. I know that I would’ve felt I should’ve had three after reading this if I didn’t already. (Does that make any sense at all?)

  50. Glennon,
    I am a mother of one son. I am stuck in the first couple of paragraphs. The love is nothing less than feirce. I have never wanted for anything the way I want and need for him. We had our son later in life and he will be an only child. He is 7 now and I still want to protect him (us) from the world. I remember that feeling in the hospital that he would never make it home, then being home and thinking how can this be? How can I be responsible for any one? I wouldn’t even consider breastfeeding. I jokingly told friends that with all I had put into my body over the years, there was no way I could produce anything that would be healthy for him. Jokingly, but laced with much truth. I never felt “enough” in MY life, how could I be enough in his? I remeber in the hospital being given a medicine for pain that left me completely high after an emergency c-section and sheer panic took over. I hated the way my “new” high felt. I had never met a drug I did not like until I had my son. I needed all of me there. I have been “here” ever since. He saved me, by giving me my son. : ) I pray for help daily. Help in letting go. Help in holding on. It is a good thing God has a sense of humor. I imagine Him sitting there listening to my prayers smiling and shaking his head. I so want to honor this wonder gift I never deserved. While I will never have a 2nd or 3rd, I thank you for your beautiful words and wonderful prespective.

  51. Your writing is beautiful and your thoughts and emotions are open and honest. I’m so glad I found your blog.

  52. Aww so sweet. Great post as usual.My name is Amanda Nicole, and my cousin calls me Amma… Kinda funny :)

  53. This is my greatest fear. That I am not giving my daughter the greatest gift of all – the gift of siblings. We lost our first pregnancy, got lucky with the second and went on to lose two more after we were blessed with our daughter. She’s now 4, and we are both in our early 40s. While we have always wanted more children, the stars have not aligned for us to do so naturally and the realities of today’s world (okay, let’s be honest – the realities of our finances in today’s world in our 40s) keep us from going at it any other way. That being said, there’s truly not a day that goes by that I don’t worry about my daughter growing up without siblings. Will she be lonely? Her father and I can’t always be there to play with her and on those Saturday mornings when we’re taking the time to straighten the house, her friends will be at their homes playing with their siblings. Will she be jealous? Will she be resentful? Are we doing the right thing? Will I ever stop worrying about it?

    • Lisa,

      God gave you what you, your husband, and daughter what each of you need…each other! Don’t worry about not being able to give her a sibling. One of my best friends is an only child and she is a WONDERFUL friend and mother. She is very generous with her love, friendship and time. She learned this from her parents. Raise your daughter to know The Lord and love Him with all your heart and you will give her everything she needs! God will put people in her life that will be the siblings you were unable to bring to this world. Enjoy!!

      • Genelle – THANK YOU! I love all of your sentiments – and I do believe them to be true. Sometimes, you just need a little reminder. God has already put many special people in our little girl’s life whom she calls her “little brother” or “little sister” so you’re absolutely right. It’s amazing how much more peaceful I feel just reading your post – thank you.

    • Lisa, as I read your comment the following quote came to mind, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” by Julian of Norwich. God has your daughter right where she is meant to be, in a beautiful family with with parents who love her.

      • That’s beautiful, Amy. Thank you for sharing. I will surely remember the quote but also the sentiment you added after it. Thank you.

    • Lisa – I see this list of replies is all full of moms of multiple kids, and I wanted to give you some reassurance. I’m an only child – and though there were times when I was growing up that I really wanted a sibling, wanted someone to play with, had moments of loneliness, the bottom line is that I turned out just fine. My dad worked and traveled a lot, and my mom worked too, and I had plenty of love from them even if they weren’t always with me. And frankly, I was probably better off with that scenario than having a pair of helicopter parents. I was capable of playing by myself early on, of interacting well with adults at a younger age than many of my peers. And I’ve grown up to have healthy relationships with my parents.

      So maybe your daughter will go through phases of feeling jealous of her peers or resentful that you couldn’t give her a sibling, and I’m sure that won’t be easy to hear. When you’re ready, I’d encourage you to share with her the reasons why she’s your special girl – and to focus your conversations with her on what she means to you, not just on what you all may be missing. She may not understand right away, but she will eventually. And as her parents, you’ll get to focus your attentions, and your time, and your resources on her in a way that you wouldn’t be able to if there were more children in your house. And that is more than enough for her, I’ll bet you a million dollars! :)

      • Jessica – thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts – I appreciate your perspective I also appreciate the notion that when the time comes, I can share with her why she is our special girl and that that knowledge might be able to help her be at peace with it. Again, thank you for writing – I expect I’ll be printing out all of the responses I received and keeping them in a special place for moments when I need a reminder!! Best, Lisa

    • I was JUST telling my brother tonight about the children I know who are “only children” and how they seem a little more gentle, more peaceful and more mature than a lot of children who grow up with siblings in the home. They aren’t having to constantly battle for toys and attention, and they have more one-on-one interaction with adults. My 4 year old daughter’s very best play mate is an only child and they NEVER fight with each other (but she will fight with her siblings CONSTANTLY if I let her)! Trust God’s plan for your life, and if you know that HE is in control, then you KNOW that your daughter is exactly where she’s supposed to be in this life!

      • Veronica, thank you for your advice to trust in the plan for our lives – and for pointing out that my little girl is exactly where she is supposed to be. It’s easy to forget the master plan when you are so close to it all (the whole forest through the trees thing!). As for the “more peaceful” part, we’ll see about that. It’s 10:33 and my little night owl is still coming out of her room every 5 mintues “to give us just one more hug and a kiss”….sure, that’s the reason! 😉

    • Lisa – trust that your family is complete as it is, because it is. I have a sister and I have multiple children, but that isn’t what makes my family complete. Love is what completes us. Your daughter may one day wish for a sibling, just as I sometimes wished to be an only child. 😉 We sometimes want what we can’t have, just because it is different than what we know. I do know this now, I would never trade my life for anyone else’s, just as you would never trade yours. Your daughter will grow up knowing that she is loved, adored and treasured. What better gift is there for a parent to give?

      • Heather – everything you wrote is so true – sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else. Thank you for sharing your perspective and for reminding me that the gift we’re giving to our daughter with our love, devotion and adoration is the best gift of all. THANK YOU!

    • Lisa,

      I was an only child to 2 working parents. I echo what the others have said – while there were times of jealousy/yearning for a sibling when I was young, there were also times where I knew how awesome it was. My parents never had to balance competing children’s schedules when deciding which activiites I could do…it was all about me. At christmas, I got ALL the presents. I never got dragged to events for my siblings I didn’t want to go to.

      Now that I am an adult, married to a man who was 1 of 7 kids, I am the one who can entertain myself. I enjoy peace and quiet. My husband is constantly *annoying* me because he can’t handle being alone for a minute. It’s why we had our little girl…to give him a playmate. :) I was slightly at a disadvantage when I went to college, because learning to share a dorm room was quite the growing experience for me, but other than that, I turned out great!

      Your daughter will be fine because she has parents who love her.

      • Devan,
        First, thank you for making me laugh with the comment that you and your husband had your daughter to give him a playmate. Hilarious. But also, thank you for saying it as simply as this: “Your daughter will be fine because she has parents who lover her.” You couldn’t be more right, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me.
        Best, Lisa

  54. I just said this to my little 2.5 yr old third child two days ago…”you saved our family”. Of course, she’s know idea what I mean and really, it is God who sent our little “surprise” because He knew that without her we would stay in the place of “faking it” and we probably would have destroyed ourselves. But, little EG brought us to the place of accepting ourselves. Hallelujah for number 3!!!!

  55. I am so glad you are here and sharing…thank you.

  56. Bingo! Perfectly stated. I get it, I get it! I have four. 12, 10, 2 and 1. Two bonus babies at the end, but so grateful and so wonderful beyond words. Love and confidence grows for yourself each child, but also increases for your spouse. Love your blog!

  57. I’m a fairly new reader to your amazing blog. Your words hit home and are perfectly timed.

  58. You nailed this one alright! Thank you for reposting on my oldest/son’s 8th Birthday -I LOVE it! I, too, have a son with two little sisters. And everything you said is EXACTLY what I have been through over the past 8 years! And when Natalee, my 3rd, AKA “My Sunshine” was born…so was I…again! No fear, just joy (partly because I knew she was my last and I was desperately going to try to enjoy, or at least not blow, this one)! Of course I love them all, but I love who I am NOW more than ever! XOXOXO

  59. Mummy to 4 Daughter’s (13,11,2,1) and now finally learning how to be a mummy, far more relaxed yet so much more to juggle. But the little fourth she is teaching us so much, She completes us.

  60. So perfect as we are trying for #3. Thank you.

  61. I can’t even take it anymore, I just have to comment. I swear you consistently write exactly what I am thinking all. the. time. I’m sure you get that a lot, but the similarities dont stop there. Our lives just seem to parallel each other so much. The alcoholism, having to “quit” and wake the hell up when I got pregnant with my son, ohhh I could go on and on. I am a new reader to your blog and oh man, am I glad to have found it. Currently pregnant with my third (I also have boy, then girl, and I’m almost positive this third is a girl), and this post just touched my heart to the point of tears. Oh who am I kidding, I’ve wept over many of your posts. :) You just get it. All of it. So thankful for your writing, it’s so special.

  62. I was amazed to see a few exact words in your column that I said the night after my first born was born. I had stayed up all night in the hospital, crying. The nurse came in the next morning and asked me why. I said “I just don’t know how to protect her from the world.” She told me “Oh honey, you are worrying too big.” I still worry too big but I try more to take it one day at a time!

  63. Oh, yes. So true. My third is 8 weeks, and you are writing what I didn’t even know I was thinking. I’m so glad I found your blog.

    • My 3rd is not quite 4 months old, and Dr. Maureen is exactly right: you are writing what I didn’t even know I was thinking. Thank you for articulating what has been in my heart!

  64. I’m a mother of three – I love this! Thank you for sharing!

    • I’m a mom of three, too, and this post is amazingly accurate for me as well! I used to live across the street from a Missy June who had a brother named Gary. That name is so unique, I’m wondering if you are the same one?How cool would that be!

  65. I am 18 weeks along with our somewhat surprise number 3. It’s been very different from our other 2 being that they were 150% planned. Thanks for the peace and reassuring that we can handle it. I am so glad to know that there is no contest for the most composed!
    Ps- saw a quote in my Sunday school lesson and immediately thought of you and the blog “once you realize your mess can become your ministry, you actively look for ways to provide security and protection for others with that struggle. “

    • The blog was beautiful. Alexis, your quote will live with me forever. Thank you.

    • Alexis,
      Cue the Twilight Zone music! I am pregnant with unexpected baby #3 after planning the first two obsessively and thinking we were done (we’re getting old!).
      Ditto the Sunday school lesson-so strange.
      It’s uncanny how Glennon hits the nail on the head every time for me.
      Blessings to you!

  66. Tears. Each and every time I read one of your entries.

  67. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You once again speak the truth of my heart! As the mother of three I feel the same way. Each of my boys has brought me closer to the mother I am supposed to be.

  68. What sweet timing of this post – God knew I needed to hear this RIGHT NOW!! We are preparing to bring home our 4th child through adoption (we have 3 bio kids) and I am feeling the grief of the change in our family, but OVERJOYED at the thought of adding this precious daughter. Thank you!

  69. Since we’ve had number 2, almost 3 years ago, we’ve been contemplating number 3. I LOVED reading this article and will be sharing it w/ my hubby. I am number 3 in my own family and have loved growing up with 2 older siblings. Thanks for putting into words the answers I have been searching for…

  70. This is beautiful, and totally makes me want to have a third.

  71. Glennon- a deal friend showed me your blog & I’ve been attached daily since. Thank you, especially, for this entry. I only have one baby- beautiful 6 mths & have never been able to describe the love (until reading this). Thank you so much.

  72. Wow, this is so well written, and so very true. My 3rd was just born in October (a boy, following a barely 3 year old girl, and 17 month old girl), and what a wonderful transition it was. Much easier than going from none to one, and one to two. It just seems right. I linked this post on my own blog (I hope you don’t mind), because any mother of 3 should read this. Love it, love your blog!

  73. I remember this so well from the first time, love this one. My first two are twins and yet somehow this still so completely applies to my third. She helps me breathe sometimes…brutiful.

  74. Powerful and beautifully written…

  75. I just had my second so this could not have come at a more perfect time for me. Yet again I am awed by and thankful for your writing.

  76. You say this so beautifully. I also have 2 boys and 1 girl. I have often thought that my firstborn surprised me with a love I have never known, my second born helped heal my broken heart and my third filled an empty space that I didn’t know existed. Thank you for your beautiful words and I am going to hug my children and tell them I love them and hope they realize that even though they are 17, 11, and 9 they will never be too old to hear it.

  77. How do you know how to write exactly what we all think? Your gentle formulation of the just right words make this thing called motherhood seem all okay. Thank you.

  78. I just had number two and I still feel fear mixed up with my love. It’s not as intense with my son as it was with my baby girl, but it’s still there. Maybe the secret is to have three??

  79. Yesterday my oldest turned 16 and today my middle son turns 13. You spoke about my journey, too. I went from scared to wondering to totally empowered by motherhood.

  80. This is so encouraging…and timely as I await the 4th of July arrival of an unexpected pregancy for #3. Deep breaths. I get more reassurance than is likely recommended voluntarily from my 3 and 6 yr old; but to realize that we’re doing it, that I will have survived a year without don’t-go-mental meds…I know this day will come, though it seems so far away. thanks for a glimpse into a hopeful and bright future.

  81. “There’s no prize for the most composed” is my new mantra. With an almost 3 year old and 18 month old twins, I am not composed most of the time. Thank you!!!!

    • I have a 3.5yo and 18mo twins as well and composed is no longer in my vocabulary. I strive for “not crazy looking” and succeed more often than not. :)

      • I have a just 7 y.o. and twins 14 months behind her, at almost 6 y.o. You WILL get through it. I am SO glad there is all day kindergarten. They were all so tired of hearing me! I feel blessed every day.

  82. Oh, that’s just beautiful! <33

  83. Glennon, I have five and you’re right that with each one there is a growing confidence in yourself. I had a little more time to adjust to having three as there is four years between them – they’re now 12, 8 and 5. But number three, four and five came in a span of 33 months – last two are 3 and 2. God is gracious enough to carry us through the moments when you can’t even remember if you brushed your teeth. But when, like yesterday, my husband and I realize there are SEVEN people in our bed, laughing, playing and loving each other, we know we are blessed beyond measure. Pressed down, shaken together and overflowing!

  84. Love this and yes, it is all so very true. I love all three of my munchkins- for so many different reasons… they each touch my heart and give me something that was missing before they became a part of our family.

  85. You have me in tears. We’ve said those exact same things about our 3!! Thank you for articulating my heart so beautifully!

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