Veteran parents with large families told me that going from one to two children was the hardest transition. But going from two to three would be no big deal.
A month in to life with my third baby and I can confidently announce – Those other parents are liars.
Parenting three kids isn’t exactly a whole new ball game.
It’s the same ball game, but your teammates are rowdy, screaming children, the rules keep changing and no one has a clean uniform because you can’t keep up with the laundry.
Friends and acquaintances ask me how it’s going.
I used to just smile and say “it’s good!” because I was too sleep-deprived to elaborate.
But I realize that is doing a disservice to any parent who might be considering having a third child.
Instead, now I answer bluntly: Life is a circus. It’s insane. Things are way harder than they were a few short months ago. Life with two was a cakewalk compared to this.
I recently made a trip to the grocery store with all three children. “How bad can it be?” I naively thought to myself.
We hadn’t even made it into the store before I had a fussy baby, a toddler sprawled out on the pavement mid-tantrum and a 6-year-old asking me if her brother’s behavior affected her chances of getting a treat in the store.
Oh, and someone in a car sat waiting for that parking spot my toddler was having a meltdown in. Move along, buddy. This may take a while.
I don’t say these things to scare anyone. I am not saying things are bad.
Chaos reigns in our home most days, but I’m not mad about it.
It’s just a new dynamic. My family is learning how to navigate this new normal.
It’s a messy, noisy road we are now on with three kids in the car (which is littered with crushed Goldfish crackers and broken crayon bits.)
But we are finding our rhythm and making sense of it all, one step at a time.