When I first considered whether I wanted three children, I was terrified. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to cope. Two kids are great, because mum and dad can hold one each. Not to mention, I have two hands to hold each kid.
But what happens when there are THREE kids?
I would sometimes see a mother with three or four children – walking to school, in the shops, getting in and out of the car… and I think “My goodness, how does she do it???”
Those mothers were truly super-mums in my eyes.
So the other day I had a kind of epiphany.
I was dropping my two big boys off at their school. It was pouring with rain, it was windy, and the air was really cold. I parked the car. I got out of the car and stood in the rain. The car park was full of cars, kids, parents, puddles – it was utter madness.
There I was, holding a baby in one arm, two school bags in the other arm. I had my head crooked to one side so I could hold my own open umbrella under my chin, while trying to keep the baby dry. The boys were also standing in the pouring rain, in a huge puddle, with water soaking into their socks, enjoying the novelty of rain and trying to open their umbrellas.
I was shouting “PAY ATTENTION, WE’RE ON A ROAD! DON’T SPLASH THE PUDDLES! DON’T OPEN THE UMBRELLA TOO CLOSE TO THE CAR! DON’T POKE YOUR BROTHER IN THE EYE! STOP SWINGING YOUR UMBRELLA AROUND! DON’T STAND TOO FAR OUT ON THE ROAD!” as I used my knee to herd the boys away from the zooming cars.
I was so stressed. I stood there… and I could feel my blood boil with frustration. I was going to explode. THIS IS SO HARD!! THIS IS CRAZY!! I’M GOING CRAZY!!
I had a moment of insanity.
Then a thought flashed through my head – Oh. I see. This is how THOSE MOTHERS DO IT. WITH PLAIN HARD WORK.
I quickly realised that it probably didn’t have to be so hard. I needed to calm my nerves. I just had to do things slowly. Maybe adopt a slightly more positive attitude. And stick with what was important at that very moment. Which was, crossing the road.
Rain? Puddles? It’s just water right?
So, oh well, the baby got a bit wet. My hair got soaked. The school bags were drenched. The boys looked like they just had a shower. And I’m sure we’re all going to get a cold by the end of the week. Ah well.
As we approached the classroom, one of my boys looked up at me with big happy eyes and said, “Whoa, I feel like I’ve been in a washing machine!” And I actually laughed.
Later on that afternoon, I thought about this whole “super-mummy with three kids” thing.
We’re not THAT SUPER. We’ve just gotten used to the hard work, the juggling, the busy-ness and being organised.
It’s not glamorous, but it’s life.
And learning how to love it, is perhaps the most super thing about it.
Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.