What It's Like to Have Three Kids Under Three

After having three kids in two years (two years and two days, to be exact), a lot of people want to know what it's like. I get it, they're curious. Having three kids in two years (twins and then another) doesn't even sound like something that should be biologically possible. Most of the couples I know are on their first, if they have kids at all, and here we are with three. I'm so used to the chaos that I forget what this actual three-kid circus must look like to an outsider. Here's a little summary:

  1. There's a lot of crying.  From all sides.
  2. Success is now defined as all three kids napping at the same time.
  3. I haven't had a grown-up song stuck in my head for a very long time. Meanwhile, "The Wheels on the Bus", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and Daniel Tiger jingles run through my brain on repeat.
  4. Sometimes the twins' needs are ignored.
  5. Sometimes the baby's needs are ignored.
  6. Usually my needs are ignored.
  7. My closet during the last 2+ years has been an endless cycle of pregnant-but-not-quite-ready-for-maternity clothes, maternity clothes, even larger maternity clothes, post-pregnancy-but-not-quite-ready-for-regular-clothes, and whatever-the-hell-is-easiest-to-nurse-in tops.
  8. Which means my body has also been put through the ringer in gaining and losing a combined total of 200 pounds in the past 2 1/2 years.
  9. The laundry. There's always laundry. Frequently covered in spit-up or other bodily fluids.
  10. I used to daydream about traveling to Paris and Italy. Now I fantasize about having a live-in maid. Who's also a nanny.
  11. There are probably at least four surfaces in our house that are sticky right now. And that's just in the kitchen.
  12. People comment that I must be Supermom. I'm not. I just do what I have to do to get us through the day.
  13. The toddlers seem to think that "shhh, the baby is sleeping" is code for "you should totally scream right now. And if you can get near the baby's crib, shake it a few times for good measure".
  14. My husband and I snap at each other more, but we're also quicker to forgive. We know our irritation all comes from pure and utter exhaustion.
  15. Bedtime is both the most stressful and the most magical time of the day.
  16. Despite the tiredness, I frequently stay up late just to get some alone time. The highlight is that it's usually the first time since about 6:30 AM that someone hasn't been touching me.
  17. Thinking about having three kids in high school at the same time is terrifying.
  18. Same for paying for three in college simultaneously.
  19. Driving a minivan is non-negotiable..
  20. I both want time to speed up and slow down. Depends on the day. Or the minute.
  21. Leaving the house is at least a 30-minute process that begins with nursing the baby, moves on to negotiating with the toddlers over shoes, coats, and climbing into their carseats, and ends with pulling out of the driveway, hoping I didn't forget anything, Like a child.
  22. My husband and I are officially outnumbered. Though when we're both around, we at least have one more hand than kids. For now...