Monday, November 15, 2010

Question #1: Handling 3 kids (ha!)

Pam asked:

How do you cope with 3 kids? Seriously I want to know. Sometimes, when both my boys are giving me stereo noise I feel like my head is going to explode. So I wondered what you do to keep from going nuts. :-)

The first thing I think of when I read this may not be exactly what you are asking, Pam, but I thought I'd start with an update on how life with 3 kids is going.

Overall I think it's going well. Certainly 3 kids is somewhat busier than two, but not busier than I would have expected. And I still stand by my philosophy that whether you have one kid or eight, life is more challenging with  a baby in the house.

A couple of things that I have noticed since Luke was born: first is that I cannot believe how the laundry has multiplied. I used to be able to go 9 or 10 days without doing any, and then do several loads in a row and get caught up. Now it feels like laundry is a never-ending, constant task. I'm doing a couple of loads mid-week, and then every single weekend doing a big push. And by the time I get it folded, sorted into piles, carried upstairs, and put away? There's just as much in the hampers to go back down to the basement. A long term dream would be laundry on the 2nd floor. (Not even the main floor - it should just be right next to the bedrooms.)

We're not eating out as much (a good thing) because it's more and more difficult. We stay home more in general. Again, it's a season. Oh, and I'd be losing my mind right now if I hadn't quit my job. That opened up 5-10 hours a week that were previously busy and stressful.

Also, it seems that before Luke was born, we had fun activities on the weekends, and it was more playing than working. But now the weekend feels mostly like work: between grocery shopping, cooking, a little exercise, yard work, house projects, laundry, and cleaning, there is only time for occasional entertaining activities. Perhaps the difference is that during the week I'm just getting through the days with the kids, rather than also getting those chores done. So weekends are for catching up. I miss the fun stuff, but hopefully we'll get back around to that.

But the day to day is manageable. Of COURSE it gets loud and crazy often. As for coping skills, I don't know...I think in some ways I've just gotten used to the craziness. Sometimes in the middle of the day, several things will go wrong at once and it's nuts, and I'll picture a reality TV camera in my house, displaying the craziness for all to see. Some viewers would shake their heads, others nod in empathy, others would judge me. But it helps to remove myself from the situation and get a good laugh about how ridiculous it is. I also know that when it gets out of control, I've got a good story to share with The Girls later.

But I certainly don't have it together, I'm just getting by. Trying to keep it in perspective, enjoying it as much as possible, and relishing the evenings after they are in bed. It will get easier, I hope.


Oma Froehle said...

Whatever your expectations about how a house "should" look or how organized you "should" be or whatever, it wasn't me that set the bar too high. :-) The great thing is that kids don't remember the chores as bad things. They seem to remember the adventure of going to the grocery store and the excitement of buying a birthday present on the way to the party! LOL!

Be glad your life is about reality. It is so much more fun than trying to look like somebody ELSE's family. Yours is beautiful just the way it is.

Pam said...

No, this is actually exactly what I wanted, thank you! I told Craig about the reality TV camera crew and we both thought it was a fabulous & funny idea. I'm going to try it! Might save me from throwing myself off the roof one day (kidding of course)

Jen said...

I wouldn't say that having 3 gets easier, it just gets different. =) Every stage with kids has its ups and downs, and once you figure things out, they change again. I've learned to make the best out of whatever phase we are in. Enjoy the highs, struggle through the lows, and try to remember every moment because they grow up way too fast!

bluedaisy said...

Laughing at the ridiculous moments is the best medicine! And I totally struggle with the laundry issue (I have no idea how I kept up even with family of 4 laundry when I still worked FT). But it's what you said, each day is more like getting by than getting ahead. The days that I get up & start doing right away work out the best but most days aren't like that. I think I am starting to get to a point where I am able to stay caught up for short periods (lower standards of course!). We will get there, I have faith :)