A Survival Guide to Three Kids in Diapers

Let’s all just relax, take a deep breath, and stop competing to be Mom of the Year. Let’s just settle for World’s Okayest Mom sometimes.

I am posting this list because I often hear “How do you do it?” Well, I set the bar low, for starters. I know my kids won’t have a “normal” life right now, and I’m okay with that. I figured that admitting to some of my survival tips would help free other moms from some guilt. Sometimes other moms will “confess” something to me that I don’t think is bad at all. Please,  don’t be so hard on yourselves.

Conversely, unless you have spent 24 hours in my size-tens, don’t judge.

PS, I have come to the conclusion that I would have far more creative energy if I hadn’t spent of all it teaching five years of kindergarten. Those 100+ kids got my best. My kids, eh, not so much.

Here is a list of things I do that make me more sane.

1)      I don’t do chores during afternoon nap. I only allow myself to read, nap, watch TV, or blog. That’s it. Just four choices for me.

2)      I do not really play with the kids much. Seriously, I rarely do.

3)      I only do one big chore per day – and it’s during morning nap. Don’t ask me what I’m going to do when they drop down to one nap per day in a few months.

4)      I only go one place per week – at least right now while we are on a twice/day nap schedule. That means I can take my kids to storytime at the library, or the playground, but not both.

5)      I hire an 11-year old mother’s helper from church for a mere pittance for three hours a week, so I can do some other chores. She entertains the kids while I work. I don’t leave her alone and she doesn’t have to change diapers or anything. She is super happy to be making some money and getting “babysitting” experience. I am super happy to have some extra hands, but not pay an exorbitant rate.

6)      My mother-in-law comes  here for an entire day, once a week. I consider myself extremely fortunate for this one. That day is the day that I take my older son for a date to the pool, or get bigger chores/ shopping trips done.

7)      I let my 3-year-old play outside by himself (but he only goes if the dog comes too- otherwise he says he’s “wone-wee”). However, I do live in a private spot in the woods and I have a huge back deck that serves as a playpen. It’s so big that he can ride his big wheel – and every other wheel –while I watch him through big glass doors. Also, I have a very careful 3-year-old and I understand that not all kids are created equal.

playing on deck alone

8)      I have friends come over to our house for a playdate while the babies are having morning  nap and my older son is awake – rather than going to their house.

9)      I feel really really happy when they go to bed!

10)   I put them in their own rooms from a young age. And I am not the devil for doing it.

11)   We did cry-it-out. And I am not the devil for doing it.

sharing room again

12)   I do not go to them at night unless they’re sick.

13)   I have my husband do the grocery shopping. During a really hard week,  when it is more important to have my husband home than it is to have food right away, I have been known to use a grocery delivery service (which was not as expensive as I feared).

14)   I completely childproofed one room, so that we have somewhere to go in the house where I can completely relax.

15)   Our LDS church service is three hours long, and it’s during naptime. We have a system now that isn’t perfect, but it allows us to get there. We take two cars and go to sacrament meeting as a family. Then, Mr. Okayest takes the babies home for nap, while I stay with the older one. It’s not ideal, but we are doing our best.

16)   As for laundry, I do 1-2 loads of kid laundry every day. Kid laundry doesn’t have to be taken out of the dryer immediately because, well, it’s kid laundry. Who cares about wrinkles? I do the adult laundry, including my husband’s button-downs, on the weekends when we have two adults.

17)   My kids never get bathed enough.

18)   I don’t do chores after they go to bed. My husband goes to bed very early because of his work schedule, so the 1-2 hours between their bedtime and our bedtime is sacred couples’ time. Or sacred TV time. Or whatever floats your boat time.

Now, lest you think I have got it all together, let me assure you that I do not. I have been known to burst into tears as soon as Mr. Okayest walks in the door, for any of the following reasons:

  • Migraine
  • PMS
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stomach viruses
  • The dog
  • My toddler crying for two hours at the playground because “he wants to go home” and then crying all the way home because “he doesn’t want to go home”
  • Seeing a book that I used to read to my oldest when he was a baby and then sobbing because I can’t remember the last time I read a book to my current babies and now they’re going to have low IQ’s
  • Realizing that my 3 ½ year old doesn’t know how to play hide-and-seek and, therefore, has a lot of huge holes in his childhood from my bedrest/ recovery period
  • A mean librarian
  • A kid at the playground making fun of something my kid can’t help
  • There was more than one suspicious fluid to mop up that day
  • My babies aren’t cuddling me anymore because they are simply getting too big to cuddle
  • Not showering that day
  • It was the day of the week that Mr. Okayest went to grad school and was gone from 5AM until 9PM
  • All three crying at the same time (PS, I am now accepting applications for what to name this particular phenomenon.)

I don’t have this mothering thing all figured out at all. I just want mothers to relax and let go of the guilt and do what works for them. World’s Okayest Mom says it’s okay.

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13 thoughts on “A Survival Guide to Three Kids in Diapers

  1. Kids are resilient, kids are designed to be free range and shock, horror, have some contact with germs and dirt. Kids have the best imaginations in the world (until society forces us all to grow up and out of them) and with 2 adult kids I can confirm that until their age reached double digits they always got more fun out of the box a toy arrived in than the toy itself. I’m an only child so the dog was my company too, but at least your son has two playmates in waiting. If they have no playmates, kids will invent one. Kids eventually go to school where qualified teachers fill in all the gaps we might have missed in their pre-school education – if they’re Einstein when they get there they haven’t been developing enough of their other necessary physical, emotional, independant and problem solving skills through playing. Kids who are loved, fed, have a roof over their heads, and two parents who don’t fight, are already rich beyond the wildest dreams of many. I’m ok with all of the above, you’ve written the best okayest list on parenting I’ve read in ages 🙂

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  2. I think we might be twins separated at birth or something. If not that, we’re at least living the exact same life. I think all us mom’s are secretly just okay and many are unwilling to say it out loud. Rock on, Okayest Mom.

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  3. Reading your post makes me think I’m normal. I’m a first time mum, just back to work and finding it tough…. Tho listening to what you have to say, makes me realise all mums must feel the same. You have also given me some tips…. I like your mummy style!!! Have forwarded your post to my husband so he too knows that being a mum is tricky and I’m not the only one that cries some times!!! Lol

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  4. I love this! I had 3 in diapers when #3 was born (all 1 yr apart) and I was extremely grateful for childproofing and a fenced in yard. I could have written most of this, especially the hubs not being home much at times. I never had much help, so I’m glad you have been able to get that during this crazy stressful time. It does get better, so I hear. Mine are ages 3, 4, & 5 and it’s still a gamble whether or not I should even try go to the bathroom alone and I still won’t take a shower unless all are asleep or hubs can watch them.

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    • Hey! I see yours are 5, 4 & 3! My first children are 15 months apart, and we are trying to decide on having a 3rd! We love our first 2 boys being SO close together. They are 20 months and 3 months right now (the youngest is actually a CHD survivor)… What is your advice?? I’m scared we’ll regret not having another, but I’m terrified of having 3 crazy babies in diapers! Lol

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      • Hi! Sorry for the delayed response time… but thank you for reading and for your comment! My boys are 4, 1, and 1 right now. I really can’t give you advice, because I’ve always been baby-crazy! Just kidding- what I mean is: only you and your spouse can know what is best for your family. As for my family, what I know is the-3-babies-in-diapers-phase is just that- a phase. And I believe that your family (and your knowledge) are the only things you can take with you when you die. Therefore, it was, without question, worth it for our family. Best wishes to you!

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  5. Pingback: One Year Later: In Photos | Okayest Mom

  6. This is a good list 🙂 I have a 3 year old, 18 month old and am expecting, currently 22 weeks. All boys. I am afraid I’ll have 3 in diapers :/ My current two share a room and nap at the same time and go to bed at the same time. I get oneverything 2 hour nap which I use as down time. Sometimes I will clean for the first 30 minutes but after that it’s time to rest. I also have a deck (I put a gate up) that I let my kiddo out onto.

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