A to Z of Life With Three

A lighthearted ode to life with 3 or more kids.

Alone time. If you had any alone time prior to having number three say goodbye to it. In fact going to the store with only two kids will practically feel like alone time.

Babysitting. It’s easy to pawn off one child to a helpful friend, Grandma, coworker. Two kids? Not as easy but still very doable, it just requires a little more planning. Three? Well you just spent more on childcare than you did your date night.

Costco membership. Three kids is when the Costco membership becomes a necessity. You really will go through two gallons of milk, a giant box of goldfish, six rolls of toilet paper, a flat of strawberries, and eight mangoes in one week!

Don’t even think about sleep. Enough said.

Emergency room and doctors. You’ll know both of these well, sometimes visiting them multiple times in the same week, often with the same child because we all have that one child who is always sick or the one to get hurt in the most unexpected and random ways.

Five hundred forty four forms. This is the amount of paperwork it feels like when you have three in school and sports.

Germs. When germs enter your house, just know you’re all going down. It’s not a question of will everyone get sick, it’s a question of will this be an all-at-once type thing or a drawn-out month-long type thing?

Head counts. 1,2,3. 1,2,3. This is your mantra when your out in crowded places with your kids.

Industrial size laundry detergent. The laundry pile is never ending, so is the quest for the perfect laundry system.

Juggling schedules. Coordinating schedules for five will leave you feeling like you’re an air traffic controller and cloning yourself will start to sound rather appealing.

Kid Math. 2 happy kids = 1 grumpy kid. 1 grumpy kid = 2 kids napping. 1 newborn + Target = 2 energetic big kids at home. These are the type of math problems we should be taught in school.

Laughter. There is so much laughter. Seriously, so much laughter.

More is merrier. The extra kid or two that pops in for carpool or a playdate won’t be a big deal. You’re used to being outnumbered so the only real concern is what type of snacks you have in the house.

Nap time. If you get all three to nap at the same time it’s like winning the lottery!

One-on-one time. It’s hard to get undivided attention when you have a family of five so one-on-one time is the ultimate reward. Just 10 uninterrupted minutes leaves everyone feeling the love.

Pieces. There will be pieces of everything everywhere. Pieces of your sanity left on the living room floor, pieces of snack in your purse, pieces of legos and doll shoes in your vacuum.

Quiet. When you go to a party or enter a bank everyone knows you’re there. There is no such word as quiet unless it involves mischief.

Relaxed. After worrying obsessively about child #1 and experimenting on child #2 you become pretty relaxed and laid back for child #3. You stop googling everything and trust yourself more. You tend to rely on the saying, “been there, done that. I’ve got this.”

Sidelines. Generally by the time baby number three comes along your oldest is in preschool or sports and as a result your third will spend much of their life napping in cars, hanging out at rehearsals, and running around on the sports field.

Third Row. The third row is crucial for surviving long road trips. You have the flexibility to strategically place all kids in a position where they can not physically touch a sibling. You may not solve the problem of them looking at each other but you won’t have to hear “he’s touching me” for four hours straight.  

Upset. No matter what you are doing or where you are at least one kid is upset. You went to the swings first and they wanted the slide. You packed apples for snack they wanted oranges. And on, and on, and on.

Very do-able. For all the chaos that comes along with three or more it is also very doable. On the outside it can seem loud, crazy, and hard to handle. On the inside it’s just more of life with kids.

Wow! You have a lot of kids! Or wow, you’ve got your hands full! With the addition of a third child you become ring master of a tiny circus, which attracts spectators as you wander down the aisle with a crying baby, a preschooler running down the aisle, and a young child hanging on to the side of the cart.   

Xtra love. The more kids in the family equals more hearts to take care of each other. Younger siblings don’t just rely on mom and dad to feel cared for and loved, they find comfort in the hand holding and hugs of big brothers and sisters.

Yelling the wrong name. Lexie, Tay, Goldie, who ever you are…get over here. Moms of three are known for yelling out the wrong name of the child they want. Sometime they cycle through every family name, including the dog’s and sometimes they mush names together. No matter the preference, all styles result in your kids mimicking you.

Zero. The number of times you regret having your loud, chaotic, perfectly imperfect family.

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