Everyone keeps asking me if it’s harder with three. ‘You must have your hands full’ they say and then they ask me how I cope?! Honestly, most of the time, I cope just fine and three really is the magic number! We’ve just been loving having our bigger family and though there’s more to contend with and more to organise, it’s just perfect. I feel incredibly lucky and like I’ve absolutely won the lottery! Remember that line from ‘The Goonies’ when Mikey says he’s sorry to his Dad for not being able to find the treasure and make them the richest people in Astoria? Then Mikey’s Dad says ‘As long as we’ve got you and your brother safe we ARE the richest people in Astoria’? Well that’s it… I just feel very lucky and very rich. Three beauts to keep me busy and occupied, what could be better?! Nothing!
But I’ve realised that I’m not super human and sometimes… Sometimes things do get on top of me and I make mistakes. Not dire mistakes that can’t be rectified I hope but just like any parent, any human being really, I can’t be Mary bloody Poppins 100% of the time and occasionally things slip. So sometimes I shout. Sometimes I’m moody and sometimes, to my shame, I take it out on the older children. They get it in the neck for things they really shouldn’t be getting it in the neck for. I am tired and I have found myself being harder on them than I ever have been before. Harder on them than I ever wanted to be and quite frankly harder on them than they ever deserve.
This weekend is a case in point and poor old Florence got the full force of my anger directed at her. She’d been a pain in the bum truthfully and she definitely deserved to be spoken to about her behaviour BUT… She did not deserve a Mummy shouting at her and… The shame of this is tremendous, one who swore at her. What she deserved is the Mummy I try to be, the one who sits down with her and cuddles her and talks through the problems. I have always found cuddling them through a tantrum, listening to them and just trying to be on their side while still guiding them towards the right direction has worked wonders for me and we have such a close bond I think it’s definitely the way forward but when you’re tired… Oh… Well everything is worse and that includes my temper.
I had to really take stock on Sunday night and tell myself off for being such a twat. What kind of twat swears at their kids? The same one who has been shouting at them to LISTEN in the mornings and PUT THEIR SHOES ON when they’re told first time, not 2 seconds before they go out the door and then berating them for it all the way to school. The same twat who says she’s going to throw all the Lego away unless it’s tidied up in 5 minutes without any previous warning. The same twat who burns their dinner, doesn’t iron their clothes and hasn’t read them a bedtime story in over 3 weeks (don’t worry, Daddy does)… I’m just confessing I guess because that twat is me.
And admitting how badly I’ve been dealing with some things because I’m tired and seem to have a hundred things to do at once all the time just has to be done. I just have to control my temper, language and the way I deal with things better because I am seeing a look in their eyes, particularly Florence’s, that says ‘WHO ARE YOU?’ and I so don’t want that…
So… I am going to try to be better, be calmer, stop worrying about their bedroom floors being untidy and just try and focus on the big things. Yes they DO have to put their shoes on when I ask them but I will ask them, not tell them, and I won’t shout. I am painting such a bad picture of myself here I realise. And the truth of it is this: the ogre I’m talking about doesn’t come out very often but Mum guilt dictates I tell you more about that than the other. Most of the time I keep it together, the plates are a spinning and we all have a laugh, dance around the kitchen, pull Daddy’s leg, enjoy a movie… Those times far outweigh the times when I let a plate drop and allow an avalanche of them to escape rather than just tidy up the broken pieces calmly. Most of the time I am a good Mummy I think and I do treat them as they deserve to be treated… It’s just, I only have two hands and with three children, occasionally only having two hands can prove difficult. But then I have shoulders (Jimmy rode into school on them this morning) and I have a tummy and a back (that’s what slings are for)… So Yes, in answer to the question I keep getting asked, I DO have my hands full and sometimes coping is a stretch of a word but I’d say 95% of the time I do… and I’m working on the other 5% when the plates all get thrown about! This very day last year I found out I was pregnant with our little Raffie, I had no idea of the whirlwind and the wonder that was about to hit us but I am SO glad that it has and despite having a very grumpy Mummy at times so are the big kids. They love their baby brother with such ferocity it makes me want to cry with pride. I am bringing up three lovely children – who couldn’t cope with that?!