3 under 3

Struggles and Joys

Posted on: February 5, 2011


The toy room, five minutes after I tidied it.



20 minute tantrums over things like stirred/un-stirred weet-bix, plastic cups, nappy changes, undies that are the ‘wrong’ colour, which book to read, bedtime, etc., etc., etc!

Finding the patience to endure said tantrums.

Positive discipline. Almost non-existent these days.

Interrupted sleep.

Maintaining a relationship between two exhausted, overwhelmed, overworked people. Hoping we’ll still be there for each other when the intensity of early-parenthood eases.

Potty training.

Realising that I’ve possibly become so absorbed in this mothering thing that I’ve let go of my other goals and can’t even remember why I wanted them.

Seeing the bigger picture.

Trying to think of new and exciting things to do with them. Trying to think of new and exciting foods to feed them. Trying to find the energy to prepare new and exciting foods once found.

Trying to find the words to convey to Tom how utterly sincere I am when I say: I. Can’t. Handle. All. Of. This. Overtime. Any. More. He is worried about money, but I am worried about my mental health and I think the kids deserve happier, better-balanced parents. Although, maybe I’m finally getting somewhere on this one: he has agreed to cut back. The compromise is that I will have to return to work sooner than I had planned. If I really liked my job, this would be an absolute no-brainer. But I find casual teaching super stressful and can’t help thinking that trading my three angels for thirty 5-12-year-olds (some of whom are openly hostile towards casuals) is just a really dumb idea. But at least I’ll get paid, and surely just one day a week (to start with) won’t kill me…

The mess they make. Especially the bio-waste variety.

Staying on top of things like grocery shopping: suddenly, there will be no bread, milk, fruit or vegies in the house and I will be forced to take three kids to the supermarket… never pretty.

Neave is doing her ‘cheese’ face, not crying!



The way the older two are starting to play together, making up their own games.

Hearing them sing songs in their cute little high-pitched voices. They make up their own songs and dances, too.

The way Tiernan suddenly recognises the letter ‘T’ and is constantly shouting “Look, there’s my letter/name!” He’s started to draw ‘T’s, too, but is quite the perfectionist and doesn’t accept even the slightest wobble in his work! Very frustrating to watch, but he is so proud when he gets it ‘right’.

Watching Molly read a book to herself. She turns the pages and says some of the words or phrases from each page. Her memory is amazing!

The ‘good’ days when, for some inexplicable reason, everything just works.

The days when I manage to keep it together, even when things do go horribly wrong (not exactly a ‘joy’ but an achievement anyway).

A clean house. Rare, but joyful.

Being the number one person in their lives for now.

The funny, funny things they say and do.

Seeing Neave become more and more confident, crawling quickly now, pulling up to stand and even letting go occasionally. Seeing her personality emerge. Her big smiles, even temperament, occasional giggles. Being stopped by strangers telling me how beautiful she is, which I already know, but it’s nice that others think so too.

Tiernan’s made-up words.

Despite her occasional relapses, appreciating how much better Neave is at sleeping and eating now.

Cuddly times with each of them.

Hearing them say “I love you.”

Oh good, the joys do outnumber the struggles. Just checking.

1 Response to "Struggles and Joys"

Love this post Anna. I have many of the same struggles and joys. Adrian still sees me as ‘part time’ (I’m now working four days, so only one less day) but still feels that as I am ‘part time’ I have to do everything – cooking, cleaning, dishes, shopping (the real struggle). And aren’t I so lucky to be part time? Hmm. But I do love catch ups on my day off and Raleigh singing herself to sleep and times when we all get out as a family and I wonder how I felt complete when it was just Adrian and I. Guess the struggles just make the joys that much more joyful.

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