On Sunday afternoon, we were getting ourselves and three kiddos ready to head out the door for a graduation open house. The baby was wailing in her carseat, Alex was grumpy and complaining that he didn’t want to go, and Max was crying about something that I don’t even recall.
As we listened to all the screaming and got on our own shoes, Keith joked, “We did this to ourselves, you know.”
Oh yes, we did – we chose to have three kids close in age, and this life definitely comes complete with many crazy moments.
It is such a joy having these three little ones in our home, though! I can’t complain even for a moment. In some ways, it is much easier than I thought it would be. In other ways, it is challenging, but so very worthwhile.
We have a vague routine in place now, so I can somewhat predict how our days will go. (Not that ANYTHING is truly predictable with three kids, three and under!)
The biggest challenge right now is that babies are time-consuming. Jensyn is an amazing night-time sleeper (hallelujah!), but she is becoming rather demanding during the day. I know this phase will pass, but it makes the days a balancing act right now.
Keith and I were talking about that before bed the other night. Jensyn refused to nap anywhere other than our arms, the boys were acting out because they desperately wanted attention, and both Keith and I had chores we wanted to accomplish.
We talked about how challenging it is to find that balance between taking care of the house and yard, sitting down and playing with the boys, caring for the baby’s needs, and making time for others. It seems that every time we start a project –whether it’s cleaning the bathroom or folding laundry or working in the yard – it’s going to be interrupted, and often the job will go unfinished for days. It’s impossible to do it all at this point in life.
Alex is so good at entertaining himself, and he’s a helpful little boy too. He doesn’t complain one bit when the baby gets all the attention. He loves that baby SO dearly! Poor boy gets an attitude, though, when he’s been left to fend for himself for too long. I have to remember to just set everything else aside and play trains or read his High Five magazines with him from time to time.
Max loves the baby, too, but you can tell he craves attention. He screams more than ever, and he gets very whiny. I’m learning that it takes a good 10 minute snuggle to help him feel loved…then the whiny behavior disappears for a bit. He just craves that cuddle time.
So, if you stop by our house, you’re probably going to see a messy kitchen, a basket of unfolded laundry, and hair that hasn’t been combed. You’ll probably hear at least one child crying as I spend a little time with another child. Likely, you’ll trip over about 16 toys while walking between rooms.
But these baby days, the ones that are so precious, will be gone before long. We’ll just live with the craziness and the messes for now. We’ll miss stepping on toys someday, and we’ll long for a little noise. We can’t overlook that these kiddos are getting big way too fast, so I’m going to do my best to ENJOY the craziness and the cuddles while I can!
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton