This past week was a tough one because I worked three days when I normally work only two. It was tough on all of us. The good part of it was I was able to have a three day weekend and go to T's kindergarten Valentine's party which was one of the most positive, uplifting experiences I've had as a parent. (I'll try to post something about it on his blog soon.)
The transition from two to three has been much harder for me than from one to two. I'm not sure why. Individually, each of the kids is pretty darn easy but somehow when they are all together I get completely overwhelmed. I know partially because I am so tired most of the time but little things add up - cooking, cleaning up, laundry, playing, finding whatever is lost, driving to whatever appointment or activity, etc. It just goes on and one.
The other day while watching break dancing with another parent at the school, this mother asked how it was having three kids since she and her husband were considering making the jump from two to three. I responded that I was not a good person to ask since three has really put me over the edge and we're just trying to hold on right now. Often these days my inside voice speaks with my outside voice when I would normally keep quiet. I felt bad I said anything but at least I was honest. It has not been easy for me.
The other night I was so tired after a long day at home following two full back to back days at work. My in-laws were over wanting to spend time with the kids. They really wanted to snuggle the baby but she was just in one of her grumpy moods and did not want to be held by anyone but me. As I sat and listened to her cry while I tried to finish my dinner, I found myself rocking and saying, "Shh Shhh Shhh" to my food. I'm that tired. And no, I'm not trying to keep doing everything the same way as I did prior to three kids. It's just there is so much to do.
So what is it like working and having these kids? There is actually a lot that goes into my work days. The day before I am packing lunches for myself and the kids - the big kids prefer cold lunch at school so I do those. The baby's milk needs to be packed, bottles sterilized, breast pump supplies prepared for work, and the diapers and bag packed for the following day. Clothes need to be laid out for all of us - if this is not done, melt downs ensue in the morning. No one in the family likes waking up so early for school/work. In the morning, we get up early, eat, get kids ready, then Hubby takes big kids to school and I take baby to the sitter's. I estimate we're up about 2-3 hours before we actually start our work day. At work inbetween patients and at lunch I take time to pump - at least twice in the day. Then at the end of the day, I pick up Baby, Hubby picks up the big kids, and we all meet at home. Hubby and big kids get home first so they do baths. Then I get home around 6:45/7 we eat (I try to put something in crock pot the night before). Then bed time for everyone. Although, the baby generally is not totally ready so I nap while she settles down. It's quite an elaborate song and dance on those days I work.
Still, these happy smiling faces are worth all our efforts. Worth every bit. Still, though, best not to ask me what my thoughts on having three kids is (at least not for a while).