If you have kids, you know life can be hectic. Few things ever seem to really run smoothly. But if you have three kids? Well, if you have three kids, that’s sort of like playing the game of life while wearing two left shoes.
And that’s because this is what being the parent of three kids looks like.
You’re always outnumbered. No matter how hard you try to exert your authority and tame their behavior, there will always be more of them than you. And this can be dangerous. They’re probably in their rooms right now, plotting a coup, and one they’ll likely succeed at enacting, by the way, given how exhausted and frazzled you are. It’s all a part of their master plan. Their brilliant, temper-tantrum-fueled master plan.
There’s so much shit – literally and figuratively. Just when you’ve finished wiping the toddler’s butt, the baby releases a Code Red explosion in his Pampers, but not before the oldest throws his skid-marked undies in your face and announces he’s all out of fresh drawers, which you might have noticed earlier had you been able to navigate through the piles of toys and discarded classroom crafts littering every square inch of your once passably clean home.
You can never find what you’re looking for. Speaking of lumps of toys, crafts, and clothes, you can never find the thing it is you need to locate urgently, as in RIGHT NOW. Whether it’s the middle child’s favorite snuggly or your only set of car keys, that shit is buried, and it’s pretty much a hopeless cause at this point.
Someone is always wearing someone else’s hand-me-downs. And it doesn’t even matter if the kids are different genders. Once you’ve amassed a sizable collection of clothes, it’s tough to justify adding even more to the already burgeoning mound, particularly when they’ll only wear them for a couple months anyway and children’s clothes somehow cost more than your own.
Somebody is always the odd man out. Roller coasters, tandem bicycles, and square dancing are all off the table, which is too bad, really, because when you think about it, you’ve definitely been itching to dust your checkered shirts off and do-si-do around a barn somewhere.
You’re always forgetting something or someone. Even if your kids could all remember their own crap, they wouldn’t, which means in your desperate attempt to make sure nobody leaves the house without a lunch for the day, you forget to make sure everyone’s wearing underwear. Spoiler: At least one of them is not. And you’re pretty sure you left him on the toilet.
Getting anywhere on time is impossible. You’re lucky if you get there before an event ends, to be honest. Getting everybody ready and out the door in an orderly fashion simply isn’t happening, what with having to wade through what looks like a retail store threw up in your living room, not to mention the chronic no-underwear wrench those damn kids keep tossing in your groove.
Your once-oversized vehicle now feels like a compact Smart Car. You used to be able to pack a week’s worth of provisions in that thing and still have room for six of your closest friends. Now you’re pretty sure your oldest rides with a seatbelt lodged in his butt crack in the middle back there. Poor guy. You feel bad. Not bad enough to take on another car payment, but bad. Trust me, WE UNDERSTAND.
You don’t own a single photo where everyone looks decent. Your holiday cards and family portraits look more like pictures of insane asylum patients than a happy brood because nobody will look in a single damn direction and smile at the same time for once in their lives.
You can’t remember anybody’s name. Until you’ve called them each by the dog’s name twice, that is. Life would be so much simpler if they’d just agree to wear those name tags, wouldn’t it?
You can’t handle one more extracurricular activity. As hard as you try, you simply can’t be in three places at once, which means someone is always left feeling disappointed or hurt, and you’re always left wondering where you can find a scientist willing to clone you in exchange for pet hair and table crumbs as payment.
Having three kids is hard. In fact, sometimes you contemplate springing for more to even things out a bit. But then you remember you’d need more wine, and you’re pretty certain it’d just end up lost under some mountain of crap anyway.