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How to Transition into a Growing Family

Jeff:
A great question from our community today, and that’s from Joe, I believe it’s Freudenberg I think, let me know if I mispronounced that wrong.

Jeremy:
Yes.

Jeff:
But yes. Great question that you brought to us. Common thing is transitioning into a growing family. It’s growing bigger and bigger. Yours specifically was, “Top tips for transitioning from two to three kids. My wife Caitlin is due in 10 days. Rhythms are already deteriorating as she is unable to do most cleaning, cooking, et cetera. We are putting plans in place for me to take on some of these things and asking for help from family friends, but would love some additional thoughts from you guys and others in the group on how to navigate delivery and newborn stage with two littles who still need our love and attention. Appreciate you both.”

Okay, great question. I’ll try to give our quick rundown on how we did this. Now basically, first thing is you have to have a plan of attack. Meaning you have to have a strategy, don’t try to just be reactive, be proactive. And it comes down to certain resources you want to deploy, if you want to dig into certain finances or not, if you want to try to save more, if it’s already strapped. There’s so many different ways. I’ll give you ours that really helps. So I would say going from two to three was the easiest for us simply because I felt like we felt the most strategic. Not because it was the easiest, but it felt like finally we got our plan right. And so a couple of things that we were ready for that did work really well. One is we were ready for me to really tag team and divide and conquer a little bit more than usual where like, “Okay, Alyssa is on total baby duty and I’m on total toddler duty.”

So 99% of the time, at least for that first, I don’t know, six months, I was in charge of the two oldest kids. I was in charge of hanging out with them, taking care of them, feeding them, taking them out to the park, making sure we had dates, et cetera. Now that’s hard, I had to restructure work for that and all that. And then two, I was in charge of trying to use any of our financial resources we had to set up the home for success like you said, with cooking, cleaning, et cetera.

So that was when we hired a house cleaner, that was when we hired someone to come help us with laundry and all these different things. And that’s hard. That sounds like a luxury and it is a luxury, but it’s also at least… I can tell you the cost of it is not anything more than pulling our cable bill off and going down on some of our data on our phone. And it really isn’t that much to pay someone 10 or 15 bucks an hour for a couple hours a week to really do some things that can really set you up for success.

And yeah, and we did have to pull from that. We were like, “Can we not do this so that we can do this? Can we not do this so we can do this?” And so we had to kind of allocate and change things and say no to some certain things in that season, but really those things, the philosophy of, “Okay, I’m just full time in charge of the oldest so that she can attach with the baby, but also be all in on the baby, not feel overwhelmed. And then I’m also going to try to bring in as much help as I can within our resources.” And that did, looking back now, really, really help more than even the jump from one to two because we weren’t ready as much, et cetera. But what would you say, Jeremy?

Jeremy:
Yeah, there’s a couple of things that we did in this transition as well. One was that every time we had another child, we were very clear that each of the older kids needed to level up.

Jeff:
Yeah, that was one I forgot.

Jeremy:
And so we would give them more training and more jobs. Yeah. And that’s exciting. Like, “Oh guys, we’ve got a new team member. And so you get to help mommy or help daddy with this and that.” Just getting them really excited instead of having the culture that we have often have, which is every time a new family member comes, we’re going to be dividing the scarce resources of the family even thinner, so you’re going to get less. We just flipped that narrative on its head for our kids and said, “We’re a team and we get a new team member and we have a new challenge.”

And so that was big. This is also, when we went from two to three, when we set aside a room in our house for someone to live with us and give us 15 to 20 hours a week of work, household assistant kind of work. And we found that that was super necessary at that stage.

Jeff:
Yeah.

Jeremy:
So yeah, we had to be creative. Sometimes you have to put the two older kids in one room to pull that off, or you have to think about how to do that from a housing perspective, but that was something that we decided to do as well. But those are just some ideas. Joe, we’re super excited for you and Caitlin, and can’t wait to meet your third baby and see how this levels up your family team.

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