I have three children with three very different personalities and needs. I constantly struggle as a parent to find some “balance” between them. My head is usually spinning by the end of the day with all the demands and various moods. I think the biggest challenge of having multiple children is trying to find a happy ground. My search still continues!
A typical day in our house goes down like this:
6:50 (Middle child) “Mom, Mama, I’m awake!” “Mom, wake up, I’m hungry!” “Mom, are you going to sleep all day?” “Mom?”
7:15 (Baby) “Mama, ba-ba!”
7:30 (Oldest child) “Mom, I don’t want to get up and go to school, I’m still tired!”
My morning routine consists of getting everyone up, dressed and eating breakfast. Then it’s time to scramble around to find shoes, coats, hats and backpacks and not mention school snacks and lunch. As I shuffle my oldest child out the door for the bus, I hustle to get my daughter ready for preschool. I’m fortunate I have two boys and only one daughter because getting a girl ready in the morning is no picnic! I hear things like: “I don’t like this dress!” “I am not brushing my hair!” “I really don’t feel like teddy bear day today!” “I can’t find my pink sneakers!” All the while I have a screaming toddler who is fed up with sitting in his high chair for 45 minutes. (I guess I don’t blame him.) I finally get my daughter to school. She runs right in and hugs the teacher. The teacher just adores her, which is quite amusing seeing that she’s morphs into a different child when I pick her up. As I say goodbye to my daughter, I find the baby playing at the indoor sand table dumping scoops of sand onto the classroom floor. I quickly gather up the sand and try to put it back. I pick up the baby to leave and he arches his back in anger and screams all the way to the car. I buckle him into his car seat and start the car. I breathe a sigh of relief that I’m finally sitting down and able to catch my breath. The good news? It’s only 9 in the morning. The bad news? It’s only 9 in the morning. I drive to the nearest coffee shop since it’s my only release. As I drink my coffee, I glance in the rear view mirror only to find my sweet boy dumping his juice box all over his pants. “Fantastic.” I say to my self. I drive to Target anyways. I put the car seat cover on the shopping cart and buckle my juice-ridden son in his seat. I’m on my way in to spend $100 on the one item I came in the store to get; paper towels. Gotta love that store, but anyways. I make it through the store but not before buying one box of goldfish crackers, and one box of fruit snacks for the baby to munch on so I can get things done. I race past the candy aisle and get to the checkout counter before he sees it. As I am unloading the unnecessary items onto the belt, I look over at my loving child licking the handle of the carriage and smiling at me. “Great, we’ll be at the doctors in three days.” I mumble to myself. The cashier woman just looks at me and smiles. Either she thinks it’s hysterical or she’s afraid for me. I get the baby to the car and unload my belongings. I start driving and glance at the clock. It’s only 9:45. I drive home, unload the car, unload the child and come into the house. I notice the dog is looking hungry and I wonder if I forgot to feed the dog. I look over at my nicely manicured lawn and notice he has chewed up a dirty diaper and left it all over my front lawn. I definitely forgot to feed the dog. The rest of the day goes down pretty much the same until 4:00 when my oldest son gets home from school. Then the witching hour begins in my house. I usually refer it as the witching hours because it lasts from 4-7 in our house. Basically the rest goes like this: Kids fight, kids cry, kids don’t like the four different meals I’ve made for dinner, kids play, kids don’t want to go to bed, kids cry again and kids fall asleep. I usually manage to come back downstairs with one eye open, looking like a frazzled mess. I sit down for just a moment numb from the day I had. My husband then winks at me because he thinks it’s “his night.” I pretend like I don’t see him and go upstairs to “play dead.”
The days continue like this with exception of a few rare occasions where everyone is happy, healthy and content. My search still continues for some balance. I’m hoping that the older they get, the easier they get. Something tells me it’s just wishful thinking.