Three weeks into this new gig and I still cannot believe I have three kids. I wrote a little bit here about what it feels like to have three kids and, well, I have a funny feeling it's going to be a while before that feeling changes.
And when I say I cannot believe I have three kids, I really mean it. I can count on two hands the number of times I've had a mild panic attack after having pulled out of the driveway (and driven a few miles down the road if we're being honest) and thought to myself, "holy shit, I think I forgot the baby."
In my defense, he's the only one of the lot that isn't constantly talking at an ear drum-splitting decibel so I'm sure you could see why he'd be the easiest to forget.
In full disclosure the number three has absolutely been my tipping point. As in, the Scales of Crazy have certainly fallen under the weight of our now third baby.
I was pretty confident in myself as a mother when I had my first baby and even after welcoming our second, most days I still felt like I had a modicum of my shit together. But three? Three kids has absolutely rocked my little world.
It looks like three is the magic number for a variety of things. For things such as:
- This blog to suddenly take a backseat to life. I've always loved coming here to write and despite staying home to raise my family and wanting to be present for my kids, blah blah blah, I've always made time for this blog. It's always been near the top of my priority list because I felt as if I owed it to my readers. Nowadays? I'm lucky if I can write a grocery list each day let alone a blog post. And that's so annoying because I hate grocery shopping.
- To start contemplating a drink in the wee hours of the morning. This needs no explanation. There have been mornings, many mornings, where my first thought upon waking is, "how appropriate is a mimosa with my breakfast?" And by "with" I clearly mean "in place of."
- Panic attacks to set in at the park. Why? Because there's only so many days we can spend inside of the house. After a while the house looks like we've been robbed and the older boys are clamoring up the walls. That said, heading to the park is one of the singularly most stressful things I can think to do with three kids under four, second only to taking them all to the pediatricians office. I don't have enough eyes, arms or patience to do either of those things alone.
- The need to invest in ear plugs. Do you know what it sounds like to have three crying children at once? It's worse than nails on a chalkboard. In fact, it's like three sets of nails on a chalkboard. And the minute the third one starts crying? All common sense and futility flies out the window. Who to tend to first? The one whose cries are the shrillest or the one who will remember whether or not you tended to him or just let him scream? I still don't know the answer.
- The intense desire to run away at the end of the day and I'm not ashamed to admit it. For whatever reason, my children are determined to shorten my life explicitly between the hours of 5 and 6pm. It's as if they suddenly go deaf and turn into wild little heathen children. Makes me think we should have named Maclane "Damien" instead.
- The feeling that I'm literally drowning in laundry. I had a hard time keeping up with the laundry before we had a tiny little human who uses approximately no less than 15 pieces of laundry a day. It doesn't help that swaddle blankets only last a mere half day around here before they're suddenly flung onto the floor and drug around like a Swiffer mop. Add a couple of outfit changes, various burp cloths and a bath towel to that and BAM. Suffocation by laundry. Seriously, has anyone really died from that because I wouldn't be surprised.
- To know without a shadow of a doubt that we are absolutely, 100% certainly done having children. If you read Collins' birth story then you know that this decision was kind of made for us before this moment, but seriously, we are so done having children. I'm sure I will always want a baby. I mean, how could I not? Their tiny warm bodies, so snuggly and sweet-smelling. The way they do that little sucky thing in their sleep, the tiny coos and squeaks they make. I will always want that. I will always long for the feeling of a newborn asleep on my chest but let it be known that babies don't keep and they eventually turn into toddlers (hold me closer, Tony Danza) and then pre-schoolers and then they're pretty much full-on little grown ups. And that means they have their own opinions, their own ways of doing things and truth be told, they cost a shit-ton of money. We are SO done with having any more of those.
I really don't want to keep writing about how three kids has literally turned our lives upside down. There's only so many times I'm going to be able to say "this is hard," without sounding like a whiny, broken record but for the love of all things holy, I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is so fucking hard. And it's not even hard. I just don't know what else to call it.
Crazy. Chaotic. Overwhelming.
I think I keep saying this because it's truly more of those three things than I ever imagined but perhaps that's because I never really imagined it at all. I never really thought twice about having three kids. It was more of a "well, we already have two and one more would be really kind of fun" and by fun I should've thought, "one more would be really kind of fucking nuts," and then some.
And as much as it's all of those things above, I mean it in the best way possible. Because as crazy as it is, and as chaotic as it gets and as overwhelming as some of our days may be, it's really been so much awesome. So I haven't had much time to write but I've had plenty of time to soak in the newborn snuggles and watch my two big boys becomes brothers once over. I've watched my husband sleep through middle of the night diaper changes like it was his j-o-b and spent that extra time memorizing how that sleepy newborn feels on my chest.
I now have three kids and even though it's hard to believe, I'm loving every fucking crazy minute of it. Well, except for those minutes between 5 and 6pm. I'll never love those minutes.