What is having 3 kids like? Have you ever been to an all inclusive resort? Yeah, It’s nothing like that. If you don’t have three kids I recommend you drop everything and go, for you just might blink and end up with a gaggle of children. Back to the question at hand. Having three kids. Research has shown that mothers of three are the most stressed, even more than mothers of 4 and 5. Why is 3 so stressful? Once you obtain 3 kids you must overhaul your parenting philosophy. My personal philosophy is called “herding cats” and it involves a lot of yelling, cajoling, and bribing. Also, parenting becomes a lot more physical. Since no one under my care can currently “wipe their own butt” I carry around what I affectionately refer to as “the diaper suitcase.” Full to the brim of snacks, toys, diapers, epipens, and band-aids. I’m aware that my bag includes many life saving devices because 2/3 of my children are in the suicidal leprechaun phase. When in a pinch, they’ll choose danger over safety every time. Because of this I wear Henry everywhere to keep my hands free to grab children out of traffic, large bodies of water, from face planting on concrete sidewalks, and to be able to sprint after flight risks. It’s basically crossfit without any results.
Having 3 is coming to grips with the fact that I will do nothing well. Everything will be done in mediocrity. I neither spent enough quality time with the kids or with the dishwasher OR with my pillow. There’s a lot to get done. Read books, pick up toys, yell, cancel gym membership, drink coffee, remember to cherish baby, vaguely wonder if baby has hit milestones, break up fight, they’re hungry again?! Wait I’m hungry. No, I’m hangry. Teach everyone kindness. Put on your own outfit, don’t touch your poop!! You pooped too? Everyone pooped?! Is dad home yet? Hugs, kisses, rock a bye baby. And that’s my day. It’s frenetic and crazy and fun and exhausting. Exhausting. What is it like to have 3 kids? Imagine you are dead. I do sometimes because dead people get to lay in their coffins and no one bothers them! So having 3 kids is not like being dead because the dead are better rested. It’s a tired unlike anything I’ve ever felt.
3 kids is a party. 3 kids can surround you. You become a clan- a tribe- an entity. I love having three. There’s also a dying to self that happens. A little more inconvenient, a little more planning and work, and a lot less time with friends. You wonder if the babysitter sees your number pop up on the screen and inwardly cringes. Having 3 kids is hard and good. If you have 3 kids I often think of you in comraderie as I do life. “That person is doing life too, and as far as I can tell, it hasn’t killed her yet.” This helps me get through the day. You might have 3 kids if you’ve ever gone out for a date with your husband and stared blankly at each other while mindlessly eating tortilla chips. “Is anyone doing anything cool on Facebook?” “Probably. I’m too tired to check.” “Want to take a nap in the car?” If having three children were a recipe it would be equal parts happy as it would be tired and add in a dash of “I’m blowing it.” Make that two dashes. Maybe you’d better add the whole bottle.