Monday, 16 July 2018

Siblings In July: What's It REALLY Like Having Three?

For this month's Siblings well as sharing some adorable photos of my boys from the past month (because they're nice to look back on!) I wanted to use the opportunity to address a question that I get asked quite a lot...something that's been on my own mind quite a lot lately, too.

And that is...

"What's It REALLY like having 3 children?"

I get asked this question pretty often on Instagram in particular, and recently a lovely follower asked me about how I find it parenting 3 children as a mother with high anxiety.

I thought this warranted a blog post as's something I think about a lot.

I can't really give you a definitive answer as to what having 3 children is like of course...because every families experience of that will be different.

It depends on many factors - how calm your life is, what your work situation is, what your financial situation is, how much support you have from outside sources, how often the family is all together, the character of the children...etc etc.

Our situation is one that I'd describe as pretty chaotic most of the time, if I'm honest.

Our house is never really calm, ever.

Our oldest is home educated and none of the boys go to any childcare setting right now. I work from home and Jon is currently a stay at home Dad whilst looking for work so the 5 of us are always together. There isn't much in the way of outside support as my family live 250 miles away and Jon doesn't have any, and our financial situation is not the is usually something we worry about often.

And as for the boys personalities? Well, I'm not really one for stereotypes...infact I loathe stereotypes of rowdy rambunctious boys... but even I have to admit...the older they get, the more stereotypically "boy-ish" they have become!

Not in every way of course (The sheer number of Princess dresses and dolls in this house would tell you otherwise!) but they are certainly VERY loud.

They scream a lot.

 They are FULL of energy that seems to know absolutely no bounds.

 They love to wrestle with each other....even though it ALWAYS ends in tears.

They seem not to be able to understand the concept of furniture NOT being a climbing frame, no matter how much I repeatedly tell them otherwise.

They don't understand why anyone would ever want to calmly walk somewhere when you could RUN at top speed.

In short? They are a handful and a half!

Don't get me wrong....they can have their calm moments too, and they are all lovely, affectionate, caring and sweet. But they also all completely crackers, a little bit wild and 3 of them feels like a bloody lot most of the time!

When there are more children than feels like a full scale military operation to safely walk them all down the street by yourself.

When there are more children than feel constantly under attack and outnumbered.

When there are three reluctant little ones to put to bed, three to bath and dry, three to feed, three to keep entertained, three to keep feels like a LOT.

And I honestly live in wonder at how single parents manage it, or those with MORE than 3 children.

I find myself starting to wish bedtime to come around from around 2pm each day....only to then start to really bloody miss them when they FINALLY fall asleep after hours of begging and bartering!

And when you suffer with high anxiety like me...there are additional challenges too. I worry constantly about all sorts of things. About not being able to keep an eye in three places at once when we're in public, so I'm always on edge about child snatchers or injuries.

I'm always worried that statistics are going to go against me, and that maybe the odds of one of them contracting a deadly disease go up with each child you have.

And when one of them gets sick and you KNOW it's going to have work its way through all 3 of them which could take weeks, it's a whole new level of exhaustion!

I'm always tired these days, always overwhelmed....and whereas I started 2018 feeling pretty confident that I wanted to have a fourth child, as time has gone on and the boys have got a little older I've started to really doubt my ability to handle four children.

People assured me that it gets easier as they get older, but personally? I'm not finding that to be the case. I think it's definitely got a bit tougher.

Nothing really prepared me for the attitude problems a 5 year old can have and how difficult their emotions can be to handle, and coupled with a stroppy threenager and a terrible two who's just learning the fine art of screaming and's not always fun!

The thought of adding another child in to the mix? I honestly can't imagine how I'd cope, where the time to look after it would come from, or where the space would come from in our house or car either! (let alone how we'd afford it!)...and most of all, how my anxiety would be.

I think perhaps I've missed the boat on the fourth baby, I feel like I should have gone for it back when I felt like we were capable of I feel as though as my will has been pretty much destroyed by these three tiny tearaways! (Plus my eldest tells me regularly that "We have ENOUGH brothers in this house, so no more babies!" in no uncertain terms!)

So what's it like having three?'s chaos! Exhausting, endless chaos.

But of course I wouldn't change it. And I LOVE seeing their relationships grow and change, and seeing their personalities developing more and more every day.

They are each so different and unique. Even with 3 children of the same sex, they could not have more differing personalities.

But make no mistake...three is no walk in the park! (It's always a run...mostly being dragged...and never allowed to leave....)

Parents of more than 3? I know how annoying this is to hear...but I have NO IDEA how you do it! You amaze me!

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