Eating Crow, and Other Side Effects of Having More Than One Kid


Eating Crow, and Other Things You Might Have to Do If You Have More Than One Kid

Maybe you relate to this situation: You had one, perfect child. You spent a lot of time washing her pacifiers off, refusing to let him watch any TV, and making only organic baby food. None of these things are bad. But as the children multiply, so do the responsibilities, car trips, and meals to serve. I haven’t washed a pacifier or made baby food in a long, long time. 

With kids spanning from ages two to 10, I’m changing diapers while trying to help with fourth-grade math homework. (Just kidding. I let my husband, the math teacher, do that.) I’m serving my toddler bite-size foods on her high-chair tray while shoving strips of bacon and whole pancakes at the rest of my crew, also known as the Bottomless Pits. I’m trying to read the toddler a board book while my six-year-old tells me it’s boring, my eight-year-old runs around the room jumping on couches, and my ten-year-old is begging me to do something, anything with her, or could they all at least have another half hour of tablet time? 

Eating Crow | Chattanooga Moms Blog

Our standards and practices from being a mom of one or two might change as we increase the size of our families, even though we swore they wouldn’t. I still strive to be on time or early — to me that is a priority. Will my kindergartner have his shoes on the wrong feet and his pants on backwards? Probably. But he’s dressed. Did everyone get a bath last night? Probably not. But they’re wearing clean clothes and have been fed breakfast and have lunches in their backpacks.

My mantra as a mother has always been to do what it takes to stay sane.

Sometimes that means changing our views on things that aren’t life-threatening or truly against our beliefs. Your younger kids might have a later bedtime than the older ones did at their age, because these little ones want to stay up late and see their siblings. Your little ones might watch a little more TV or have a tablet much younger, because that is the absolute only way you can mop your floor once in a while. Give yourself grace and a bubble bath. These are not life-or-death choices.

When my oldest child, Libbie, was in preschool, one day the boys in her class got in trouble because they were playing “zombies” on the playground. I was absolutely astonished. “How do these kids know what zombies are?” I exclaimed to a fellow mom (who happened to have both a 17-year-old and a four-year-old). “They’re four and five!!” “Older siblings,” she answered. I still thought there was no way my children would know about zombies at such a precious, young age.  

Want to guess what my six-year-old loves to talk about? Zombies, shooting people, Star Wars, and Pokemon. He only cares about what his older siblings like. I have eaten crow, and it was not tasty.

But I still think he’ll turn out OK.