Had you told me 5 years ago that I’d have 3 kids under 5 I would’ve laughed AT you (that crazy, ‘you’re ridiculous’ kind of laugh). But here we are. And I’m so fortunate.
Looking at my littlest bub, I’m OVERWHELMED by her perfection. Her beautiful strong fingers, the perfect veins on her eyelids, her chubby legs and gargly smiles. Ah. I’m completely smitten. My kids are just incredible. And I remind myself of this often, especially during the times of silently and inwardly screaming pretty profane language in my head.
And so it’s becoming more and more clear, as we grow into this family rhythm of 5, what exactly I’m learning. I’m winning at times, and failing a lot. I’m drinking a fair amount of wine and am currently completely addicted to Masterchef Australia. It’s ‘mommy’s show’ and the family knows not to bother me. Well, all except for Brea.
So here it is. My list of what I’ve learnt in 3 months with 3 kids.
– It’s loud. Kids are loud. It’s like they’re attached to amplifiers. They scream. A lot. My kids like to scream to the North Pole for Father Christmas. Yep. Noise. All the time.
– The demand is high. Physically, be it for a toy, or some water, or to be fed, changed, or carried. To be rocked, or bounced, or sung to. Mentally, to negotiate eating noodles and salad and sibling rivalry. The logistics and importance of eating at the table, answering hard and ridiculously unrealistic questions while treating them as important, all the while encouraging number and letter recognition with a smile on my face. How to remember the wipes, nappies, a blanket, dummy, suncream, extra clothes and wrap before an outing. And that’s only for one kid. The bag packing, laundry folding, dry-Pronutro-stuck-to-the-bowl washing. It goes on, and on, and on… You get the point. Tip: just don’t ever sit down. It saves you inevitable disappointment. Trust me.
– Have a First Aid kit on you at all times. Your chances of needing it have skyrocketed exponentially.
– Know your priorities/goals and gather as much energy as you can muster to CHASE THEM. Want to lose weight? Don’t even think about the run before hand, just throw your shoes on and walk out the front door. Grocery shopping: take a list (because baby brain x3 is outrageous) and hit it hard. Want to eat healthy? Just don’t waste time wandering down the sweet aisle. All it will result in is recognizing your incredibly weak self control and another voice message from your hubby of a screaming baby.
– You will love #3 as much as #1. It’s mathematical. It works out. It’s miraculous.
– Expectation management. Be VERY realistic about expectations of outings, yourself, patience levels, frustrations with your hubby (internal ‘who is doing more’ calculations), potential sleep-deprived grumpiness, how much you can and can’t do in a day, how often you’ll have to reheat your coffee or never finish a sentence. We are not all Erin Brockovich.
– Always, always, always, ALWAYS use a breastfeeding pillow. I’ve learnt this the hard way THREE times now. Your functioning wrists, neck and back are essential for life. In case you were wondering. Also a yoga ball. Take my word here – just buy one.
– Make it a RULE to have ‘me time‘. Shopping, a massage, a haircut, a run, coffee or drinks with your girls. It.WILL.save.you.
– Laugh at yourself. Enjoy a good cry in the shower. Roll with it. Wear that mom-bun with pride. Sleep with white noise on. Allow yourself to dream. Grow a Village. Pray. Sleep at every given opportunity.