mom with her three kids
New Baby Siblings Parenthood

Life with Three Kids

By Christi Terjesen

I have three boys under the age of 5. I’m outnumbered and usually overwhelmed. Life with three kids means…

…I’m tired

I haven’t had a full night of complete REM sleep cycles in one year. A great night is getting up only once to feed the baby. I used to sleep until 10am in my twenties but I haven’t woken up after 7am in five years. I would take a nap when the kids nap but there’s too much laundry to do. That’s if they even nap.

…I’m starving

I’m still trying to lose the baby weight from my first son. I have smoothies with kale. I eat cucumbers with BBQ sauce. I haven’t eaten breakfast or lunch sitting down in five years. You’d think that would help! I want a frappuccino with whipped cream but I have water instead. Last week I managed to lose one pound but had bread with dinner and gained two.

…I’m still embarrassed

I can’t go to my favorite fish market anymore since my middle son ran behind the counter and tried to touch the lobsters. He laughed hysterically at the excitement while the horrified owner caught and held him until I could grab him and leave. Every time I shop at Target, he screams as we pass the headless mannequins yelling, “That’s so SCARY!!!!” He’s sort of right.

With three kids, I have the baby in the carrier and two kids in the cart leaving a tiny space for what I actually came to buy. I need to keep the boys contained or they will run through the aisles. I despise the checkout area because they lean over the sides, trying to grab at the candy.

…I’m haggard

I don’t have time to put on makeup anymore. I own a blow dryer but I haven’t used it in months. My shirts are purely functional. They need to loosely cover my mid-section and be able to be pulled down for nursing. I’ve saved my pre-pregnancy clothes because I refuse to give up hope. I also refuse to buy in-between clothes so I have exactly four things that actually fit.

…I can’t remember anything

I go into the pantry and can’t remember what I needed. I get two rolls of toilet paper because we always have run out somewhere. I return to the kitchen and try unsuccessfully remember what I had needed. The toilet paper is immediately forgotten about.

…I’m exhausted

It takes 30 minutes to leave the house. First I have to find and put on the boys’ shoes and socks. Then I realize I have to change my middle son’s diaper. The boys pick baseball hats and I have to break up the fight over the favorite of the day. I feed the baby and find his hat and put him in the infant car seat. Then I put the baby in the car and strap the boys in. Next I get the diaper bag and my pocketbook from the house. Next I go back in the house and get the car keys. Next I go back in the house to get my water bottle and/or sunscreen and/or my wedding ring and/or my shoes. Now I’m ten minutes late and I don’t even want to go anymore. I drive around the block and go back to the house because I forgot to close the front door.

…I wouldn’t have it any other way

My kids are hysterical. I love their completely opposite personalities and quirky observations. I love that they look like their father and my father and occasionally like me. I love looking at Christmas through their eyes. I love the conversations I overhear in the backseat and when I witness one child truly being kind to the other. They pick me dandelions at the park and tell me they love me.

Despite nothing being perfect, I do manage to get the house clean enough and cook dinner. I manage to get through the day and even feel privately proud about it. Then my husband comes home from work and asks “Why is there toilet paper in the kitchen?”

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