Monday, 4 April 2011

three kids or more.

One would think that the addition of a third child would have pushed this organizationally challenged mom into a world of chaos. Surprisingly untrue. My third child actually thrust me into a state of organization that I never anticipated. Granted I'm still challenged, but by my own standards I've made leaps and bounds. As I see it, the first child you keep alive and healthy and you adjust to this new life that is turned upside down by a tiny, perfect little person. When the second child comes you have a new challenge; how to handle two children at one time when you got used to pouring everything you have into just one. Now before you panic, when the third (or more) come along…you got this! You know how to keep them alive and happy, you have settled into parenthood and life is "normal". You know how to share your love, time and energy with more than one child. You know what to expect so your new baby anxiety is at a minimum and you can move on to new things. Like how to leave your home and make a trip to the supermarket with three or more children and return home with the same amount and your sanity intact. You have learned the tricks as far as what to pack in the diaper bag/purse. You make rules for the older children to keep them safe because you now officially have more children than hands. My personal favorite: "hands on the car!". It may sound like you are about to frisk and cuff them but it is such a basic safety trick. If the child's hands are on your vehicle it is literally impossible for them to be running in traffic. This is for the brief period when you are getting yourself and your children out of the vehicle and ready to enter the store. You learn quickly that parking close to the entrance is not quite as desirable as parking near the "cart corral".
One of my good friends is a mom to six. Five biological children and a stepchild. She is a calm and gentle person and her children are all very pleasant to be around. I have often said that her children take up less space than two average rambunctious kids. I think she started out a little more gifted than myself but it is still impressive to me that with that number of children she totally has it together. I firmly believe that she gained more and more skills as each child came. Maybe out of necessity, I don't know, but more children didn't overwhelm her, they made her an even better mom. It's not for everyone of course, but I think with the right parents the more children the merrier.
As my children get older life gets more involved. My oldest is a football player and wrestler. Apparently two of the most intense practice schedules you can get at age 7 by the way. This is when the juggling begins. My second child has just begun soccer and is looking forward to starting cheerleading for football (thank goodness they practice at the same venue) My husband and I sometimes have to divide and conquer. We investigated beforehand what the practice schedules would be and how they would mesh considering we are using one vehicle (my husband's company vehicle is only for work). I'm forced to be organized and plan ahead which is great for me, kind of a crash course. Then you factor in homework which now begins in kindergarten, which gets a little tricky. Homework at this age is not just for kids and you have to allow for that time together. We try to prioritize: homework, dinner, practice. Doesn't always work that way of course so flexibility is key. Of course, we all learn flexibility with that first child when we realize that they don't go by our timetable and plans are never set in stone. So you see, even those who are so challenged, like me, will find the way to make it work.
I am Jen, a cofounder of the group that is "moms at wits end". We are about sharing all the trials and triumphs of parenting with honesty and humor. We believe in admitting flaws and supporting each other unconditionally. Feel free to visit us at

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I love the "Hands on the Car" trick - unfortunately doesn't quite work so well when a three second memory of what they are supposed to be doing happens but we can only work with repetition!

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