If you’ve followed my articles at any point over the past few months, you’ll know that I share every aspect of being a mom. From how to grocery shop while keeping your sanity to learning how to appreciate all the hard moments, I’ve shared a lot about parenting and the trials that come with it. Failures come easy to me it seems, but I’ve realized that there are parents out there that need a bigger appreciation than a single day a year. Parents of more than two kids deserve a shout out.
Some days I’m on a roll and can be the mom from 7th Heaven. Kids both bathed, fed, teeth brushed and in bed by 8pm on the dot. Home cooked meals all day and a clean house. And still able to have a chance to take my own shower and reserve time to have a conversation with my husband when he gets home. Those are great days.
Then there are days when I’m the mom from The Middle. Frozen waffles for breakfast, messy hair in buns that was not brushed, baby wipe bath, teeth possibly brushed and struggling to get in bed by 8 p.m. These kinds of days usually end up with a not so clean house, microwavable meals and no shower for me. And most definitely no conversation with my husband when he gets home.
There really is no in between. I’m either an all-star or a “you tried” star. This past week I watched my friend’s two children from Wednesday morning until Friday night. In addition to throwing them in the mix, I watch my niece in the afternoons for a few hours every weekday. For several hours a day this past week, I was responsible for five little people. Five little, beautiful and ever impressionable people – it was an experience.
I don’t know how people have more than two kids do it. I’m not talking about celebrity families that hire nannies, au pairs, live in chefs and house cleaners; I’m talking about the everyday parents who do it on their own. You are champions. You are considered the beasts of the parenting world. If this was an Olympic sport judged on performance, you could show up in yoga pants covered in throw up and still take first place.
All of the kids were on their own schedules. One of them liked peanut butter sandwiches while the others had to have jelly. Some wanted their sandwiches cut one way and one didn’t want it cut at all. Bedtime was a breeze for half of them and a battle for the other half. Baths were awful all over because my bathroom floor might be rotting through from all the water that hit the laminate, but that’s okay. One was up at 5:45 a.m. every day and ended up waking all the others up at the same time too. There was never a single time when all the kids could be in the same place, doing the exact same thing and staying on the exact same page even though they are all around the same age. It was ridiculous.
I loved being able to watch the kids. My own children learned to appreciate sleeping in their own beds. My youngest has been attached at the hip ever since and really had a hard time sharing her mommy. And my friend’s kids that went back home probably has a better appreciation of her. Every parent parents differently. Some things that are acceptable at my house probably isn’t acceptable at my friend’s house, and that’s okay. But I feel like if I had more than my two girls the rules would fly out the window. I’d be lucky if they all had pants on in time for school.
So to all you moms and dad with more than two kids, this one is for you. I struggle every day with the two I have, yet, most of you make it look easy with these four and five kids you have. Maybe it’s because after the first two kids you can be considered a professional. Or maybe you all really are just all-stars who deserve the recognition. Whatever the case may be, you rock.