I’m not one of those people who planned their pregnancies. You would think so, being that every one of our children are almost, to the dot, exactly 3 years apart. But no. Sure we didn’t take every single precaution during the deed, but it was always like, “we didn’t conceive last time we did this, why would this time matter.” Oh being a young parent.
The first one you think, “Ah, it’s just one. NBD.” The second ones comes along and now it’s “How fun! Now the first one has a playmate.” You get to 3 and you’re like “Ok….ok…. this is cool…..” But then when 4 rears it’s adorable head, my brain was like “Alright, so minivan it is. More car seats, and definitely no more naughty time with the husband.”
I love my kids. No one is going to write, they don’t love their kids. At the end of the day, I usually look at my husband and want to strangle him for getting me in this mess, but that sensation quickly disappears when I roll over in bed and a little hand wraps its hand around my face to kiss me goodnight for the fifteenth time.
The hardest part about being a parent to multiple children isn’t what I thought it may be. It’s not the tons of laundry, the growing schedules, not the lunch boxes, or fighting over the toys. The hardest part isn’t even the stares and pleas I make with them when we head out to a restaurant. The hardest part about being a parent to a brood of children, is making sure each and every one of them knows how much I love them.
To be honest, I think about this more than anything else in the day. I remind myself to take a minute and just hug the 5 year old whose world is crumbling down because she wants to wear her purple headband, not the green one. Not the green one. I use time to lay with the 8 year old while she finishes reading her book, stroking her gorgeous curly hair. I stop everything I’m doing to hear how my 11 year old stepson schooled his friends at recess on how to score a soccer goal, but then tripped trying to get back in line and had to play it off like he did it on purpose. When the 1 year old gets… well he gets love automatically.
The hardest part has been hoping that I am enough for each child. Trying to balance this enormous pride and joy I have for each kid that shares my last name is the hardest thing in the world. I tend to hover around the baby more, and I’ve explained to them how they all had their turn being a baby and I babied the heck out of them. I need to remember that at each stage in their life, for the rest of their lives, they’ll need me. Their mother.
If you were looking for a list of things to do to be a better parent to multiples, this isn’t the place. I have only one tip.
Make The Decision to Love
I have no doubt in the power of love from a mother. There is nothing like it. Okay, a Father’s love is pretty close, but we win. Mothers win. Mother’s naturally love. Sometimes though, we get caught up in the day and forget to show it. Write it down if you most. Love My Bobby, Give Kisses to Kelly. When you have more than one kid though, you need to remind yourself throughout the day, everyday, that each one needs to know you love them. Whether it’s through time, words, hugs, or kisses, make the decision to do so.
You can easily get lost in the shuffle of the day with multiple children in the household. The easiest thing to do is to take a time out, and don’t let the day go so fast that you miss a child in the process.
The youngest daughter once asked me when I was pregnant with her little brother, “When you have the baby are you going to love me not as much.” I quickly explained to her that every time I have another baby, my heart gets bigger and get filled with even more love.
The older sister turned the corner to get some water and commented, “Yeah, can’t you see that’s why mom is big…”
I’ll take that.