Dear Middle Child: We will find our new normal, I promise

Bear with me as I try to establish some sort of balance in raising all three of you without letting anyone down.

Dear Middle Child: We will find our new normal, I promise

Dear middle child,

I know lately, it seems like you and I barely have time together with everything going on in our family. In the past few months, many changes have taken place in our home including the birth of your baby brother. And between helping your big brother with his homework to constantly tending to your little brother, mixed with taking care of our home, and everything else—it doesn't seem to leave much room for us to spend time together, my second born.

I try my best every day to make time for you in our busy schedule, and on the days when I don't, it eats me up inside.


At times when the baby naps and your brother heads outside to play, I quickly run to the kitchen to prepare dinner while I have the time. Minutes later, I look up from the boiling pot and see you playing house all alone. Then it all hits me.

Suddenly, I realize that the day is coming to an end, it's almost time for the dinner-bath-bedtime shuffle, and I reflect on the day and all the times I wanted to play with you but didn't. I didn't play with you because I couldn't, not because I didn't want to. There were other priorities that seemed to beg louder for my attention, but that doesn't mean you're the least of them.

I want you to know that I SEE YOU.

I see you when you bring me your favorite book to read.

I see you when you want me to sit with you and watch your favorite show.

I see you when you want us to go outside and play ball.

I see how hard you try to gauge my attention in everything you do.

For an almost 3-year-old, you're pretty independent for your age. I love how you attempt to put on your own clothes even if your socks are inside-out, pants are over your head and your shirt's upside-down. I love that you want to feed yourself all the time and that no one can pull a fast one over you, not even your big brother.

I know our family is changing and growing but I want you to know that you are just as important as your brothers. For now, hang in there with me as we try to navigate our new normal together. Bear with me as I try to establish some sort of balance in raising all three of you without letting anyone down. Know that no matter how hectic our lives get, I will always find time for you.

The day you were born was one of the three most significant days of our life. I don't just want to count down the days and go through the motions of raising you, rather I want to create meaningful memories and experiences with you.

So, for now, just for now, I have to let you play on the iPad or watch TV just a little longer as I nurse the baby. And believe me, because I'm a media-conscious mom, I feel even more guilt from having to rely on technology as a distraction—but that's how it has to be for now. Just for now.

We will find a more balanced balance one day soon, my middle child, I promise.

So, for now, even if we can't spend as much time together as we'd like, let's embrace the those moments where we do get together.

Let's cuddle on the couch just for five more minutes.

Let's talk about what your baby brother is doing when he is nursing.

And let's connect throughout the day wherever we can.

Our new normal is coming, but for now—let's find some space in the in between—for just us.

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My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

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Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

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If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

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Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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