This is the true story of seven creatures, including two parents, two dogs, and three boys, living together under one roof. Find out what happens when one mom stops being polite, and starts getting real.
“How do you do it?” The question I so often hear from innocent bystanders as I venture into public with my three boys, ages five and under, in tow. I smile, and laugh as I answer back, “It’s a little crazy, but a lot of fun!”.
Well, let me tell you what I really want to say. If it looks like my hands are full, it’s because they are. So don’t stare in bewilderment. Hold the door open and offer to grab the baby before he knocks the display of cereal boxes over.
If you currently have three or more small children, maybe you can relate. Or if you are deciding on whether or not to go down the route of adding another bundle of joy to your family, read on.
Do you like the sound of crying? Cleaning endless messes? Folding eternal heaps of laundry? Or perhaps you think sleep is overrated and have considered giving it up all together. Between the five dependents living under our roof, there is a 100% guarantee that at least one will be up at night disrupting that imaginary solid night’s sleep.
I recently read a study that discussed how parent’s mental health deteriorates with the birth of a second child. Ha. I think common sense might also lead to a similar conclusion. But what about adding a third? My study findings would determine not only deteriorating mental health, but physical health, common sense, and overall sanity. Cortisol courses through my veins at all times.
Something about the shift from man on man coverage to zone defense brings on this complete surrender of control. With two adults to three children, someone is inevitably fending for themselves. The one who screams the loudest wins the attention competition, so guess what we hear a lot of in our house? LOUD screaming, along with the absence of silence, at all times.
Once upon a first born child, I sliced grapes and ventured to places like the Children’s Museum. Three little boys who run in three different directions need enclosed spaces. Like their house. Or maybe a nearby park or library. #thirdchildproblems
There are three times as many toys scattering the floors. That means three times as many messes, three times as many things to break, and three times as many things to lose. Along those same lines, three times as many requests to fix and find those broken toys.
Three tiny bodies need three bulky car seats, so chances are, you will drive a mini van. No way around it.
Sicknesses last three times as long. There is no such thing as a 24 hour bug or a 7-10 day case of the flu. Multiply everything by three, and then do it again because the illness is bound to cycle through everyone at least one more time. It would be nice if they all caught the germ bug (as my 5 year old likes to say) at the same time. Is it bad that I now actively promote sharing cups in order to speed up the inevitable??
Luxuries like lunch transform into cold, pre-licked peanut butter toast and half chewed apple skins.
Exercise looks less like self care and more like carrying a baby on one hip and a laundry basket on the other, all while picking up a Lego with your toes.
Multitasking becomes the only way of life with three boys.
Favorite things go from sunsets and vacations, to PBS kids and a trip to the dentist.
Say goodbye to timeliness. A dirty diaper, lost shoes, and a tantrum about wearing pants now impede your ability to be on time. Anywhere. Ever.
Wrangling Chaos becomes the norm. I legitimately get hurt on a daily basis, no exaggeration. Intervening in their play brings bruises and battle-wounds like you would not believe. If a day goes by where no one gets injured, did the day even happen?
Oh, but what would I do with a morning to myself? If I’m being honest, I thrive on all of this chaos.
One day I will ache for these long days and even longer nights to return. One day there will be no fights to break up, no butts to wipe, and no toys cluttering my floors. And I will publish my real world empty nesters edition where I complain about being bored and sleeping too much.