Negative #1...Car Seats
Oh how I loathe car seats...with the fabulous laws in NC, a child must be in a car seat until the age of 8 or the weight of 80 pounds!!! Since I don't have unusually heavy children, looks like we will have to deal with car seats for a very long time. Now I know it seems like a silly negative but think about it...3 car seats! That's three seats instantly gone in you vehicle, three children you have to assist with strapping in (that's a real booger in the rain), three car seats to climb over, around and through when getting to anything! It takes 51" of clearance for three car seats, most vehicles do not have the capability of even holding three car seats. Our Honda Odessey has 65", which is why most mothers of young kids own either a van or SUV. Jonathan has a Ford Escape and we cannot use it unless we don't have the kids with us...forget about moving the car seats, that is an extensive job!
Currently, Paisley's seat is behind the driver seat, she can't climb into her seat on her own yet so hers has to be on the outside seat. Sebastian is seated behind the front passenger seat and although he can climb into his seat, the buckle is so difficult to do up that he needs assistance to buckle. The dilemma is whether I want to reach/climb over Paisley to help buckle Sebastian or lift the 20 pound baby carrier, with Milo inside, over Sebastian to click it into the base on the middle seat?! As of right now, I am lifting Milo into the middle seat, that will most likely change when he gets a bit older and heavier!
As you can see, a silly negative but a big one, one that will remain an issue until our kids reach 8 years old or 80 pounds!
I am lucky enough to own an assortment of strollers but have to admit that my favorite is still my single Chicco that attaches to my baby carrier. I wish there was a double stroller that could fit all my needs! We have a double side by side jogger that I use for any outdoor activities like festivals, the park or long walks but don't even bother taking it anywhere where you may have to go indoors. I forgot to switch it out a few times and had to cancel my shopping plans. It physically would not fit through the Coldstone door or the Kirkland entrance and pretty much hits everything going down aisles. So, unless the activities take place soley outside, the jogger is a no go.
We also own a double tandem stroller...great for fitting two kids and a diaper bag BUT moves like a bus! It is so heavy and difficult to maneuver through stores that I rarely use it. Why doesn't anyone make a vertical one (that doesn't have the poor bottom kid sitting on the floor).
I also have a single stroller that came with my car seat as a set. This is the stroller I have in my car for everyday use. It is not ideal but it's better than the alternatives. I will usually stick Paisley in the stroller, Milo in the baby carrier like a Bjorn and have Sebastian walk beside me. It is a very slow process and takes a lot of patience, we don't do anything quickly...which takes me to my next topic!
Negative #3...No such thing as quick errand
Running a quick errand pretty much goes out the door when you have your second close age baby but you still attempt to do it. It might take you an extra 10-15 mins with a second child in tow. The addition of my third child added a minimum of 20-30 minutes to my errand routine, by definition it is no longer a quick errand after that. It takes us anywhere from 5-10 minutes to get in and out of the car! Now, don't get me wrong, I can do it faster, but someone won't be happy or clean or dressed appropriately if I do.
It just takes time to get out the stroller, load the diaper bag (checking it first for diapers in every size and wipes), retrieve each child, re-tie shoe laces, check diapers for surprises, change diapers if necessary, strap on the Baby Bjorn, load the baby into the carrier, grab a pacifier, grab a blanket, grab my purse, lock the car....and finally be on our way! So, as you can see, there is no such thing as a quick trip to the post office or grocery store! We usually experience at least one tantrum per trip but that's just part of parenthood.
Negative #4...Diaperbag & Supplies
Oh my, the supplies required for my three bundles of joy is incredible! There is so much to pack and carry and stock and replenish! I always seem to miss something and hear grief about it lol. It is nearly impossible to fit it all in one bag, unless you carry a suitcase with you. My purse has not been clean since I became a mama.
Sebastian is potty trained but you can NEVER rule out an accident! An extra pair of underwear and shorts/pants should be kept close by. Paisley is only 18 months old so diapers, wipes, extra clothes...she needs the whole package. Milo needs all that Paisley does plus some...you really need several changes of clothes, a lot of diapers, rash cream, hats, blankets, pacifiers, etc. I also have a never ending supply of band aids, Tylenol (infant and children's), sippy cups, snacks and hair bows not to mention toys, shoes, and coats.
Negative #5...Bedtime & Naps
No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get all three to sleep at the same time. I get lucky every once in a while for naps but usually Sebastian chooses to fall asleep much later than Paisley! Milo is a cat napper and never lines up his exhaustion with the other two.
Bedtime is like a circus parade at our house...it is crazy but life! We usually start with a bath, then teeth and PJs followed by a book and then bed. It never goes that smoothly...it never fails that one (or two) of the kids choose to have a bad night! I like to think I have the patience of a saint lol cause that is what it takes to get all three of my buckaroos in bed. Unfortunately, it doesn't end there...Milo is up every three hours to nurse. On a good night, one of the other two will sleep through the night, I don't think we have ever had a night where they both have slept through the same night. Sebastian gets up one to two times and climbs into our bed, Jonathan will carry him back to his pirate bed each time. Paisley is not as easy, she is as stubborn as her momma. She wakes up crying and it takes a good 15 minutes to get her calmed down and back to sleep. It was difficult as first, but now we are used to it as it has become our routine! Being the stay-at-home mom, I usually field the night shift so Jonathan can get some sleep.
Oh how I dislike doing laundry! It has always been my Achilles heel...I don't like folding it and I can't do Jonathan's the way he wants it done (thank you, Marine Corps). I'm not sure who the genius is who makes baby clothes but all seem to bunch up into little wrinkled balls that are impossible to smooth out! Three babies equals a minimum of three dirty outfits a day but it's more realistically five or six. Milo will have a week of no leakage followed by a week of several blowouts a day! Laundry, laundry, laundry....it haunts me daily and I can't ever seem to get ahead of it!
Holy toys!!! Where do I even begin? We have a playroom that is busting at the seams with toys for every age! I have tried to purge but how do I justify getting rid of toys that the next child will enjoy? I'm not an excessive buyer either, my babies have incredible extended family members who spoil the heck out of them! I buy some and I'm all about investing in new toys that will enhance their learning and creativity but it's so hard to store, organize or get rid of all the toys needed for a 3 year old, 18 month old, and 11 week old.
Negative #8...Wall Space
I have an obsession with photographs of my family, particularly my children...this may be why wall space is a negative for me, but hopefully everyone else has this same problem. I have run out of places to hang pictures of my babies! Milo's baby pictures need a presence in the house and it is hard to find places to put them...I am having to replace, which I hate!
So, I am sure there are more I am forgetting about but for now, that is my extensive list of daily hardships (the not so obvious ones! We all know the expense of raising three kids!)
If I forgot one, please feel free to add on :)
P.S. These pictures have absolutely nothing to do with the text!