One of the fears my husband and I faced was that we were going to be out numbered. With two kids it’s “easy”, you have man on man coverage, with three, you move to zone coverage. So here are some things we do when we are outnumbered.
1) Stress out. Yes, sometimes it happens, when all three are crying for all different reasons. Remember this too shall pass. What I will say about this? Have a sense of humour. Laugh when this happens, cause really, it’s ridiculous. And repeat, this to shall pass.
2) Give the oldest a job to do(some sort of responsibility over something). I don’t mean sign them up for a paper route like my parents did–and didn’t that backfire on them when they had to get up to help me deliver the paper! I mean like, it’s your job to hold the baby bag, or it’s your job to hold your brother’s hand.
3)Yell. A lot. And I don’t actually mean at them. But sometimes you have to, to get their attention. When we took our three kids to disney, we yelled. A lot of: “Stop, Get back here, Get off that, Don’t hit your brother, Share, Just a few more minutes, Sit down, Stand up, Walk faster.” Remind me again why they don’t sell booze at disney? Oh yah, all the parents would be wasted.
4) Get them to hang on to something. When getting out of the car, I always get my oldest to put his hand on the circle (where the gas tank is), If I have to get him out first. Now, he is responsible enough (scared enough of me–because of all the yelling) to listen to me when we are in a parking lot. When we walk places, he always has a hand on the stroller, or in one of our hands. Unless we’re at a park, then by all means roam free child.
5)Lower your expectations. We can’t be Mary-Freaking-Poppins all the time, and you know those happy pictures you somehow manage to take a midst all the chaos is what they actually remember. Sometimes it goes good, sometimes it goes bad, but it rarely goes perfectly. The lower your expectations are, the less you’ll yell, and stress out. Expect the worst and hope for the best!
By no means am I an expert at 3 just yet, and i’m sure that one day, one of my kids is going to by laying on a therapists couch talking about their crazy mother, but for now, they’re still alive, fed, clothed and happy–most of the time.