It’s 12pm in my hours and its totally quiet. My house is clean and all my kids are napping. I can hear wind through the trees outside and the humming of airplanes in the distance. I sit on my couch looking at my 2 month old sleeping in her bassinet and think for a moment “I think I’m getting the hang of this.” We are now a family of 5 and I think I’m starting to come up for air. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doing anything in some Pinterest perfect form. I’m constantly skulking around my sleeping baby like a ninja in a glass factory to not wake her up. We may or may not have resorted to feeding our 3 year old brownies for dinner when he refused to eat anything. But we are learning daily what it means to be a parent of boys and a girl. It is truly a whole new world.
So what is it like having three kids?
Joy and awe: there is nothing like seeing your new baby for the first time. Nothing. When Nathan brought Hope to me, I almost felt like I had to be dreaming, the day really came and our ‘hope’ became a reality. I had that same feeling with all my kids. Joy, relief, wonder, awe. Your heart makes room for more love to give and its the most incredible feeling.
Survival mode: I feel like we were hit with the reality of three kids when the last parent helper left and we were “all by ourselves”. We are now officially outnumbered and the need for survival kicks into gear. Without even trying I immediately became more organized. Why? Because I needed to be and I thoroughly enjoy my sanity.
Be a real team: We really are learning to rely on each other even more than we did before with parenting the boys. Recently Nathan had all three kids outside so I could make a phone call in peace. 45 minutes later I was off my call and he quickly goes into night routine mode by making dinner, washing up the boys ad putting them to bed. I was so surprised he did everything without me asking. Later that night he said in a somber tone, “I will never judge how much work it is to take care of the house and kids again. It’s a miracle you can get anything done in one day!” Nathan will be the first person to tell you that our little girl has changed his life, and his actions are evident of that.
Be kind to yourself: I’d be lying to you if I said it is not overwhelming a times to take care of three little ones. You become super aware that you only have two arms and at some point someone is going to be left crying for a moment. Don’t internalize temporary situations. Babies will cry, kids with scrape their knees, someone will have a tantrum. It’s just life and it is not a reflection of who you are. On the contrary, it’s my job to be reflection of Christ to my children.
Ephesians 4:2 says: Be completely humble and gentle; be patent, bearing with one another in love.
Have a sense of humor: There gets to a point where either you will take everything so seriously, or you will learn to let go and just enjoy the process. Seriously, just relax. A few days ago I couldn’t find Luke- he got stuck under his bed and couldn’t find his way out. After I stopped laughing, I lifted up his crib and got him out. Kids will poop, pee, cry, and sometimes all on their favorite toy (that was yesterday). Kids having a tantrum? Turn them compleately upside down and spin them around, then see how fast they stop crying. I also have quite a few funny voices my kids find entertaining and can seem to diffuse situations when needed. Smiling and being loving through a situation will make it a lot easier on you and your kids as opposed to yelling or stressing. It may feel like a impossible place to reach at times, but if I’ve learned anything from having so many little people, gentleness is your greatest strength.