If you had asked me how many children I wanted to have while I was growing up, I would have told you at least one, well it turns out I am now a happily married mother of three children. My first two children have a difference of four years between them and my last two are exactly two years and six days apart. The younger two are who I often am found referring to as “my two in diapers”. Little did I know my middle child would not take to potty training early and I would have a new job of being double diaper duty Mama.
Being a parent is challenging, trying and rewarding all at once, everyday there is a new situation that requires your immediate attention. Parenting three means you have three times as many little ones who want your attention pronto, which can create a chaotic situation. From my experience having three unique individuals also means you have to implement a routine that each child will thrive from. Meet my middle child, AJ, he is my strong willed little one who feels that being nearly three means you can stay home alone with the cat as your babysitter, stay up until midnight and you can help yourself to the fridge whenever you feel the urge. Although the rules are quite obviously that the cat is not a valid babysitter, bedtime is near eight in the evening and you must ask before opening the fridge, AJ tries to rebel against these rules on a daily basis.
My oldest child is your typical leader, organizational older child who enjoys telling her younger brothers what to do, where to do it and how to do it. Often referred to as my little helper, she enjoys being my parrot and will often be found repeating every instruction that comes out of my mouth. The new, exciting situation around my house is that she can now hold her baby brother without mommy’s help and is often found attempting to pick up the baby any chance she gets. The baby, well he is near one year old and is starting to have his own unique character that closely relates to his big brother AJ.
From my personal experience of raising three children I can tell you that consistency, respect, love, and positive reinforcement are the key to raising happy, healthy children. A parent must be consistent in that they say what they mean, mean what they say and follow through accordingly. This rule applies both at home and in public, all too often I see a parent giving into a child’s tantrum just to appease the public’s eyes and ears. I will be the first to admit I have gone through many grocery store lanes with at least two screaming and/or pouting children. Does it bother me that others see my children acting in such ridiculous ways? Yes it does, but it also makes me proud to know I am teaching my children that no means no. My children can pout all the way home if that means they learn Mama says what she means, means what she says and follows through.
Each of my three children must be taken care of in three different ways, one requires little instruction and the other two require a lot of instruction. Parenting three, two or more can be challenging, complicated and chaotic at times, but the best word to describe parenting is rewarding.