Dates: Wednesdays, April 10-June 12, 12:30-2pm (skip 4/24, 5/1)
Three is the new two, or so they say. While having three children in San Francisco is still on the “up and coming” side, it seems recently more parents are making the decision to have a bigger family. I will be honest and say that the first year of transitioning to parenting three children took me completely by surprise. Though somewhat prepared for the logistical outnumbering, I was completely unprepared for how difficult it would be to meet the emotional needs of three tiny humans. I also felt quite lonely watching friends with two children beginning to return to some normalcy, while I was in the throws of parenting an infant once again. I would have loved a community of moms of three to talk to during this time, and while they say hindsight is 50/50, I do feel I have learned so much over the last 3.5 years, and wish I had been able to create the time and space to reflect and learn from others a little sooner on my path of a mom of three.
The group will seek to offer a unique community of support for parents during the first year of transitioning to a family of five.* While there are many joys in having a big family, there are also many challenges. We will create a safe space to talk about these challenges, as well as hear advice and strategies for managing logistical and emotional outnumbering, carving out critical time for ourselves, asking for help, sibling dynamics, relationships with our partners, and more!
Week 1: Challenges and joys of parenting three children. The first week we will create a safe and welcoming space to share with one another our unique perspectives on the challenges and benefits of moving into parenting three children. We will listen to one another and offer glimpses of hope as we share benefits observed or experienced in moving to a bigger family.
Week 2: Emotional outnumbering. An opportunity to share challenges of feeling overwhelmed by meeting everyone’s emotional needs and learning practical solutions for connecting with and spending time with each child.
Week 3: Logistical outnumbering. What about managing morning routines, bed time, carpools, extra-curricular activities, family calendars, and not to mention work/life balance of ourselves and partners?
Week 4: Self-care and mental wellbeing. How do we maintain our sanity, let a lone a sense of centeredness, throughout the transition and beyond? What are small everyday things as well as bigger picture attitudes and philosophies to adopt to prevent parental burnout that we are even more susceptible to as parents of three.
Week 5: Letting go, asking for help, and maintaining commitments to things that are truly important. What can we let go of? What can we get more help from neighbors, friends, family paid help or outsourcing? What is important enough that we don’t want to let go of and how do we maintain those commitments in the somewhat chaotic day to day of parenting three children.
Week 6: Sibling dynamics - Different siblings, different reactions. Concrete steps to help children develop less sibling rivalry and form life-long bonds and meaningful relationships.
Week 7: Relationships with our partners. Ships passing in the night or married couple? Strategies to remain connected, increase joy, and weather the storms of busy family life.
Week 8: Summary, review and group guided discussion topic.
*This group aims to support parents (moms, dads, and partners are welcome!) who are in the first year of transitioning to parenting three children. Babies 0-6 months are welcome to come to the group. We suggest that parents find alternate care arrangements for crawling babies in the 6-12 month range. We are excited to have a range of parents join the group and together share from slightly different stages of the first year of a three kid family.
Rebecca Walsh, founder and director of Early Childhood Matters, has three children now aged 3, 6 and 9. She has been leading groups for Second Time Moms since 2012, and is excited to offer this unique group to specifically support Third Time Moms.
She has over twenty years of worldwide experience in the field of Child Development. Rebecca's primary focus is helping parents to understand the developing brain of children, while providing methods to establish connection and effective positive discipline tools in the early years. Her passion is sharing with parents and caregivers the wisdom and experience she has gained from working as a director, lead teacher, supervisor, parent educator, teacher mentor, and most importantly as a parent of three young children.
Rebecca has decades of experience: founding preschools internationally, developing early childhood and at-risk youth programs throughout the Bay Area, directing head start programs, and teaching and mentoring at Pacific Primary. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Childhood Development and a Master's in Religion and Psychology.
Since founding Early Childhood Matters in 2010, Rebecca has worked with parents throughout the Bay Area and beyond [from New Orleans, LA to Melbourne, Australia] to help them better understand and support them on their journey to nourish the minds and spirits of tomorrow’s world.