My husband has a brother and a sister. I have two sisters. So we both grew up in a family with three kids. To us it was just a normal situation, not too big, not too small. I don’t think I ever gave it much thought, except when I watched the Cosby show. I thought our family wasn’t big enough. I desperately wanted an older brother and I thought it would be great if I had that many kids later in life.
Now that I am a mother, I am positive that 5 children would be the death of me. I have absolute respect for those that are able to pull it off. I am a mother of three, and I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this adventure.
Sure, I realized that we were going to need a bigger car, a bigger house and that it was going to be busy but the reality of mothering three kids is not at all what I expected.
Being a Mom of three is sometimes like an episode of ER. The camera zooms into a touching scene. Soft music is playing, the surroundings are faded, then suddenly you’re being swept away into utter chaos with the passing of a stretcher.
A lot of my days are like that. One moment I sit and cuddle at night with my youngest, the next I am a referee in a heated discussion between siblings. I get yelled at by my oldest and at the same time my youngest passes me dancing and twirling in a princess dress.
I congratulate my daughter for passing her swimming exams and take my other daughter for her first swimming lessons. I gradually loosen the reins around my son as he gets older, while I pull my daughter extra close as we cross the street. I dance to a song on Sesame street with one kid and listen to the other kid calling it childish.
My days are full, my days are never the same. Some days are harmonious, filled with routine, smiles, kisses and singing in my head. Some days are heavy, burdened and feel like a group of giant rocks rolling over me the moment I get out of bed. Some days are loud. I yell, my kids yell, they stomp the stairs like a herd of elephants, something falls, something breaks, doors get slammed and voices are raised.
Most days are hectic, dropping off kids, picking up kids, cooking cleaning, planning, running around.
None of my days are dull.
I do have a chance to read a magazine or to simply sit down with a cup of tea, but that mostly happens when the kids are away or asleep. My husband and I run a tight organization. We plan and schedule, there are doctor’s visits, sports, school meetings, swimming lessons, all times three. When one of the kids gets sick, our entire schedule is disrupted and the whole house quickly turns to chaos.
Date night is a rare thing for us. We mostly watch a DVD together and try not to fall asleep before the movie ends. You are probably shaking your head right about now. And I haven’t even told you about the finances yet.
But there is another side.
There are moments my husband and I pause to look at each other, silently agreeing that we have the best kids in the whole wide world.
When I wake up Saturday morning and all three of them are snuggled in one bed reading stories to one another. When I put on music and they do silly dances together. When we sing songs in the car on our way home. When they play self invented games together. When one of my kids jumps in, to help another kid before I get a chance to. When I watch them watching TV, hanging upside down on the couch. When one of the kids says or does something silly and we laugh until our bellies hurt. That is the other side. A moment that takes my breath away, times three.
How many kids do you have? What are your challenges, and what are your blessings?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our writer in the Netherlands and mother of three, Mirjam.
The photograph used in this post is attributed to the author.