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If I’ve learned one thing since we became a three-under-four family it’s that you’ve gotta be flexible. I think you learn that on a small scale with your first child, a little more with your second, but with a third you just have to pray that God helps you keep them all alive and just relax.
Three kids under the age of four is a beast all it’s own. There’s having multiple children, and then there’s having multiple children really close in age. Triplets…forget it. Just douse yourself in dry shampoo and coffee, and we’ll see you in 5-10 years. Squeaks and Little Dude are 20 months apart. Little Dude and Flash are 21 months apart. And four years ago I thought I was barren. Ha!
This is a life I dreamed about, prayed for, wanted so badly that I cried myself to sleep on more than one occasion. I’m going to be honest with you (which is a phrase I rarely use because it makes me think “well, aren’t you honest all the time!?”) it is everything I hoped for and a million times harder than I could have ever known. Any soon to be moms out there looking for articles to read about what its like to have kids close in age or more than one or two kids, just stop looking. I could give you a description of my day, try to compare one vs. two vs. three but the truth is it’s different everyday.
Because of California’s wonderful FMLA (family medical leave act) Josh was able to be home with us for seven awesome weeks after Flash’s birth. After that I had to figure out how to function with three kids on my own during the day and keep in mind I’m at a slight loss for digits with which to grasp tiny, crazy fast little people (Little Dude is a major runner. I no longer judge parents who use kid-leashes.) On our first outing with just me and the kids, we went to the library for story time. As anticipated Little Dude and Squeaks went in two opposite directions for most of the trip, and at one point I had to pry a screaming LD off the library computer keyboard, all while wearing my six-week old, but we did it! Every day I am thankful that God granted me a mellow third child, because if Flash was a high-maintenance kid…I don’t even know. It takes me a solid twenty minutes to get everyone in their car seats and all the necessary kid paraphernalia packed in the car to go somewhere. That doesn’t include the time it takes to get them all dressed, and presentable to be seen in public. Add another hour for that. The logistics of getting three small children out of the car by myself, in a busy parking lot, is a little mind-boggling sometimes.
|From our first outing to the library. Just me and the kids.|
Imagination vs. Reality
I use to imagine how I’d parent. There would be lots of cuddles. My kids would have manners. I would be a patient and understanding mother. My kids would be good listeners, never scream in public. I would never give my kid my phone to distract them. And of course, my house would be clean because I’d be a stay-at-home mom, just clean while they play!
|Isn’t she lovely!|
Well, there are lots of cuddles, even if the small one being cuddled refuses. “You’re being cuddled darn it! Give in! LOVE ME!” But really, all three are world class cuddlers. The rest of that list is hit or miss. Except for the clean house, that’s just laughable. There are days where nothing seems to go as planned, so I am slowly but surely being broken of my need to plan. The phrase that has helped me more than any other, the one that plays through my head multiple times a day is “This is how it works today.” When I need to let one kid watch Minions for the millionth time so I can get another kid to sleep or wear Flash in my Tula for his afternoon “nap”. When my lunch consists of whatever was left on my kids plates after their lunch. When Flash has to stay in his swing a little longer than I’d like because Little Dude decorated an armchair with a bottle of lotion. When I let my older two dig holes all over the backyard and spread the sand from their sand table across the patio because it’s giving me time to do the dishes and hey, they’re happy.
On those days I say “This is how it works today.” and my blood pressure goes down.
God has blessed me beyond measure. He has given me the exact kids I was meant to have and I am the mom He wanted them to have. Every day these three small people surprise me, make me laugh, and challenge my heart to contain the explosive force of my love for them. Every day looks different from the last. Every day could end with a long list of things I wish I could have done differently. But I am living the life I prayed for and I wouldn’t change a thing… Well, I’d like to sleep more. Other than that, not a thing.
|My car is slowly being swallowed by kid “stuff”.|
|Painting rocks (and himself) on the back patio.|