3 Ring Circus

Posted on Aug 25, 2011 in Featured, Parenting | 1 comment

{A couple of weeks months ago I wrote about everyone asking us how it’s going with three kids. Since that is THE question, the only thing people really want to know, I’m going to answer it, honestly. Not just with the “fine” that I tell people in real life. Part 1: the good stuff…and today, because I promised to be honest, Part 2: the hard stuff.}

For me, the hardest things about having three kids:

  1. I don’t have a single minute in the day where I’m not actively caring for someone. Have you noticed that I almost never post here anymore? This is why. When Rain was a baby, he went to bed when we did but at least he took occasional naps during the day. When Noa was a baby, I was so so lucky that her afternoon nap was often at the same time as Rain’s (I know – THEY say that never happens but it does, and regularly did for me). Then, when Rain and Noa both stopped napping, wonder of wonders: we had our evenings to ourselves! From 8-10pm every night, I could punch out on the mom clock and just have time to recharge myself. Not so anymore. The big kids don’t nap so I’m caring for them all day and Silas has a fussy spell from 7-10pm every night and often doesn’t settle until AFTER I usually want to go to bed. This means no more day time breaks (though Silas naps well) and no more evening breaks. I’m even parenting in my sleep as I sleep lighter when I have to listen for a hungry baby and I’m nursing 8 times every night right now thanks to teething and 6 month developmental leaps like sitting and crawling.
  2. The moments when all 3 need my attention at once. I’ll set the scene: I’m changing Silas’s diaper (on my bedroom floor) to get him ready for a nap, and Noa falls and hurts herself badly. She begins to wail. I leave Silas and go find Noa. While I’m comforting her, I hear Silas beginning to fuss. I bring Noa with me to finish putting on Silas’s diaper. By this time Silas is screaming, probably hungry and tired too, and Noa is still clinging and wanting to be held. Then I hear Rain climbing the cupboards in the kitchen to get something from the top shelf that he’s not supposed to. I carry crying baby and clinging toddler with me to the kitchen to make Rain get down from the counter. He throws himself on the floor whining that I’ve spoiled his plans. These kinds of moments don’t happen all day long but I would be lying if I told you they never happen. When they do, I come pretty close to throwing myself on the floor and crying along with them.
  3. When 2 or more are crying/whining/yelling/shouting/singing at the same time. Does this really need more description? I didn’t think so.

It’s amazing how our tolerance for chaos increases with every kid. Our house often feels like a nut house but I’ve resigned myself to that. I don’t get as worked up about it as I used to. I know it’s a passing phase. I know it will get easier and I know that there isn’t a lot I can do about it right now.

It might seem ridiculous to say on the one hand that I’m hanging on for dear life and on the other that it isn’t nearly as bad as everyone expects. But you know, we’re complex beings: I think we can handle the contradiction. The circus may be loud, disorienting and a little frightening, but there’s also amazing acts, music, and popcorn. I might as well sit back and enjoy the show.

Tell me about the circus at your house. I could use some company.

1 Comment

  1. I LOVE this description as I feel exactly the same way! Well, now that my youngest is 2, things have gotten better and are not this crazy. I totally understand about swinging from “I’m about to burst into tears” to “I’m taking each moment as it comes and not getting too worked up about anything.”
    I have my “me” time during the day when my youngest is napping and my older two are watching a movie. They know that the only time they can watch something is when Sky is napping. So, it works out well for us. Not sure if your kids are zombies in front of the T.V. like mine, but maybe you could try it.

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