By Contributor Amanda Howard (@littlenancygifts)
Having kids is amazing. It truly is. But no words from the older and wiser, or books, can truly prepare you for the day in day out battles we face with parenting.
My husband and I have three happy, healthy, amazing children. 4 years, 2 years and 6 months old. Hubby works full time and I'm a stay at home mum. My eldest does two days of kinda, one 4 hr block and one 3 hour block. The rest of the time I have all three kids at home with me.
Since having baby number three, for the past six months we've been cruising along - dare I say it, pretty well! Sure, the odd sickness throws us out, a few sleepless nights here and there but for the most part our littlest is a ridiculously relaxed baby who prefers to self settle in her cot, giving me plenty of time to keep the two busy boys occupied and fed!
That was until two weeks ago. My 2 year old just stopped sleeping during the day. Just like that. No more sleeps. He's my emotional one on a good day, so now without a midday sleep the afternoons can become almost unbearable with an inconsolable 2 year old who just cries constantly and demands Milo.
Then enter the 6 month old who is starting solids. I've bought some purees and started on some baby led weaning but some days are literally a blur of feeding and cleaning up, nappies, washing, folding, hanging, down for naps, up from naps, getting here, needing that, dishes, dinner, bath and bed. Some days if her napping doesn't coincide with meal times or what ever else is going on she doesn't even get any solid food! Mum guilt.
You know back in the day when you would go visit a friend or family member who had a few kids? There would be dishes in the sink, washing on the floor and a full, over flowing bin and you'd think "how can they have their bin that full. It's literally over flowing. I mean just take it out, the bin is full so just take it to the bin". I never understood how that happens.
I do now. I have had a bag of rubbish sitting in my kitchen all day because there was always something more urgent to accomplish than putting the bin out. And not only that, but when I maybe did have a second to do something other then tend to the three kids I may have needed to wee or heaven forbid eat something or take a shower before midday. I remember texting a friend of mine a few weeks ago saying, "eating and having to go the toilet is actually an inconvenience, I'm so busy". Doesn't that sound crazy?
The adjustments with the kiddies I know will keep coming. Each new phase that we go through we will adapt and it will become the new normal. This past one has been the biggest adjustment yet.
To keep my head in the game I remind myself being a parent is a marathon, not a sprint. One day at a time.
These days will pass all to quickly and my babies will be standing there soon enough telling me how embarrassing I am and that they can't believe I'm older than wifi!