I was talking to a close friend of mine who had a 3 year old, 2 year old, 1 year old and then triplets, and asked her when life with multiples would get easier.
"Oh, at 3. 3 is definitely easier."
The other day, I went over to her house asking her if indeed she was mistaken, because I'm telling you.... three is NOT easier. She acquiesced that it's actually 5. I laughed in response - likely when they're 5 I'll go to her and she'll say 7.
I've decided, parenting never gets "easier". It just changes.
When the twins were little, I can vividly remember wondering how I would even make it through the day. From having to sanitize bottles, to enduring screaming for no apparent reason, to constantly disrupted sleep, I thought I'd seen the worst parenting had to offer. Of course, the incredible love I felt for these precious children outweighed any difficulty, but I did have my moments questioning my abilities as a mother.
But, as they get older, I've noticed that life with children only gets busier and more complicated! The little blessings given to me by God are now growing into little people, with very lively personalities and energy that shames any electric power plant. I find myself running, running, running after three little busy Tazmanian devils wooooooshing their way through my house and yard, disrupting everything in their path, and at the end of the day there is very little energy left to accomplish tasks *I* want to finish.
It's what I call "survival mode".
Everyone always says, "Ah, childhood. It goes by so fast! Don't blink, or you'll miss the most cherished years of your child's life." I believe them. Some Fridays I wonder where the week went! Although school, house cleaning, social and work obligations pull on me from every different direction, I refuse to let my own comfort affect the time I spend with my children.
I still pause with them to smell one of the fantastic roses from the garden, pick strawberries, play with trucks in the sand, and even challenge them to a game (or two) of Mario Kart. I want my children to know me. To cherish our relationship. To be able someday to come to me with their troubles and feel safe enough to talk them out.
Yesterday I had a little victory with Will. He hit his brother in an argument over an Ironman mask, and I sent him to time out for 5 minutes for the action, explaining again the importance of keeping our hands to ourselves after an argument. About halfway through his punishment, he said, "Mommy, I still love you even when I'm on time out."
Sigh. He understands.
It will be challenging, painful and even soul-wrenching at times, but I'm so grateful that God saw me fit to be a mother to these sweet boys, even if it is all by myself.