When I’d first had the twins, I remember someone saying to me that she could always spot parents with three or more kids as they were more laid back than those who had one or two children. I didn’t really get it at the time, but it’s something that has always stuck with me and I think she might be right (she was a mum of three, so she had a good insight). Not because we are naturally laid back, but because we simply have to be in order to survive being outnumbered!!
I’m actually a natural worrier and perfectionist, but this doesn’t doesn’t work well with three children!
When you have one or two children you can spend time selecting clothes to ensure they’re all co-ordinated – with three it just takes too long! As for matching socks, well finding one pair in our house is mission impossible, never mind three! My Mum thinks this is a crime against humanity, me on the other hand – well as long as they actually have socks on then I’m happy!
Keeping the house tidy and keeping on top of washing is also a challenge! I’ve learnt that storage for toys is key, so that you can just fling stuff in – out of sight out of mind! I’m lucky to have a supersized washer and dryer to handle the washing, but sometimes our clothes might be slightly crumpled as I refuse to waste my precious evenings ironing!!
With three young children, life almost becomes about survival! Yes, they play on ipads more than I’d like, we bribe them with sweets and I don’t always leave the house armed with snacks and toys to keep them amused whilst we’re out (sometimes just getting out is an achievement). We also rarely take out beakers or changes of clothes in case of accidents – nowadays there is always somewhere you can pick up stuff if you really need it! However, we are strict on the things that matter to us – manners, bedtime and being kind to others.
As a result we are more laid back, simply because we have to be otherwise we’d completely stressed, which wouldn’t be good. I also think it’s important to pick your ‘battles’ wisely, so focusing on what’s important for us rather than ‘pefection’!
I definitely think being more laid back has it’s positives. We travel a lot and being more laid back certainly helps with that. I know people who won’t leave the country with their kids due to fear of how they might react on the flight! Yes, they might scream for a bit, but in a few hours you’ll be somewhere lovely and it will all be worth it!
It also means that we spend lots of quality time with our children as we’re not spending our time ironing or rearranging the playroom!
Don’t get me wrong there are days when we are completely stressed, but that tends to be because the children aren’t following instructions, which is a big issue for us at the minute, rather than because of something such as one of them getting a bit messy!
This parenting journey is quite a personal one and what works for one family doesn’t work for others. We view our role as parents to be helping our children to become the best person that they can be and I don’t think matching socks plays much of a role in helping us to achieve that!
Do you have three or more? What are your survival tips?!