I usually hear ‘You’ve got your hands full haven’t you?’ at least once a day – usually from a complete stranger. I’m not sure if it’s because I literally have my hands full of the usual mum stuff (changing bag, pushchair, chubby toddler hand, etc). Or because my children are usually running rings round me. Or because I often have a fairly stressed look on my face. Or all of the above.
Our family looks like this. Our newest arrival is 4 month old Nate who is a happy little soul and breaks hearts with his smiles. Our middle boy is 2 year old Fraser who is a mass of contradictions, switching between an energetic, fearless bruiser and a focussed self-entertainer. Our eldest daughter is 4 year old Eleanor who is a bona-fide drama queen with a heart of gold. My husband holds us all together by quietly being the behind-the-scenes man we can all rely on, whilst also doubling up as a climbing frame for the kids.
Then there’s me, Danielle. Still trying to figure out who I am after four years of being a mum. I’m a mother, daughter, sister, auntie, granddaughter, and friend. I’m also a career woman with a PhD that I no longer use. I’m an ex-runner, book lover, decorating enthusiast. I’m an overthinker, worrier and planner who also likes to wing it and often forgets important things.
Whilst we’re far from trailblazers, most people have more common sense than to have 3 children under school age. So I get asked a lot how we’re coping since Nate has joined our family. The answer I usually give is that we’re mostly doing well. This is the short (and polite) answer.
The slightly longer answer that doesn’t fit so easily into a Whatsapp message is that every day is a rollercoaster with me trying to keep all of the plates spinning. The ups are amazing. My heart bursts with joy when everything’s going well and I remember why we do what we do, because it is so so worth it. But the downs are bad. My sanity and patience are tested often and in ways that I never imagined, whilst battling a level of tiredness that would have had me heading for a weekend in bed pre-children. I also have heart stopping moments daily as major injuries are regularly closely missed by my boisterous pre-schoolers. This all leaves me living on a knife edge and relying heavily on caffeine.
And the full answer, the one that is the twisting, winding road of parenting three bundles of joy whilst trying to renovate our house, hold down jobs and find some time for ourselves? Well, that’s what this blog is for…