Having three young children has it challenges but there are definitely things that make it great!
1. The kids cheering each other on
Sofia brothers are like her cheering squad. They come into their own at sports day and they clapped excitedly at her recent dancing performance. Even spotting her coming out of the school gate can be a lovely moment their faces lighting up to see their big sister (that is when they are not trying to run off or dig up the flower beds). I also love seeing how excited Sofia is at the boys development milestones. She was amazed when they first learnt to crawl (although realising they could get into her room took the shine off a little). We danced around the kitchen when Sam said her name for the first time. She has already made a sticker chart ready for when we start potty training. The boys even do it between themselves I overheard Sam shout “Hoorary you did it” when Leo finished a jigsaw yesterday.
2. I’ve given up on perfection
When the twins were tiny my aim for each day was that everyone was fed and alive – everything else was a bonus! I’m still much clearer when it is worth going the extra mile and when good enough is totally fine. Top of the list is taking the time to do fun and memorable activities with the kids. Off my radar are ironing, trying to have a show home, trying to cook anything that would feature on Masterchef……….the list is endless. Having let myself off the hook somewhat I’ve realised that lowering my standards has probably done wonders for my mental health.
3. It is completely impossible to helicopter parent
My first parenting instinct was to somewhat over help, over supervise and be a bit of a hoverer. With everyone running in different directions wanting to do different things forget it! I can now see that taking a bit of a step back has actually been good for everyone. The kids surprise me with how independent they can often be and they all have a knack of happily entertaining themselves (although not always in the way I’d want them to as evidenced by my graffiti adorned home).
4. It forces me out of my comfort zone
There are often things that I’m a bit worried or daunted about doing with three kids in tow (especially if I’m doing them on my own). Taking them on the train, taking them out for lunch, keeping them entertained in the doctors waiting room or quiet in church or through a school assembly. I’ve learnt I just have to go for it. A day out with the three kids takes preparation and I take a deep breath when I step out the front door (armed with copious snacks, drinks, wipes, bits of spare clothing and more). We’ve had the odd disaster – ten pin bowling with newly walking toddlers tops the list. But mostly we return home with a sense of achievement, proud of the kids and with another item on the list of things it is possible for us to do.
5. When everyone is laughing at the same time!