I've had an interesting thought lately, and I thought I'd see if all y'all agreed. Here it is: I find that having three children is actually easier than just one. What do you ladies think?
At first, that seems counter-intuitive. After all, three children do make more messes, make more noise, eat more food, create more dishes, produce more laundry, give me even less free time, and result in more overall chaos than does a single child. True.
But taking things in perspective, it's a matter of child-to-child change. I found having my first child to be nightmarishly difficult - the lack of privacy, of free time, of ability to order my home and my days as I wished. The adjustment was horrendously difficult for an admitted control-freak (and pathological neat-freak).
But with children numbers two and three, even though they added to the chaos and the mess and reduced my free time and household cleanliness even further, the percent difference in all of those factors was minor compared to that uber-steep learning curve of the first child - not to mention the fact that none of the skills (except bottle-feeding with our second-born's nursing issues) had to be learned for the first time.
I'd say that on a scale of zero to 100, where zero is "before kids" and 100 is "beyond insanity," my first child took me perhaps from zero to 60, and each subsequent child has only added three to five more points each. Not bad, considering.
Also, I find that with time and God's grace, I am becoming more and more accustomed to things that I simply could. not. take. before I had kids. Examples? Messes. Noise. Chaos. An unstructured schedule. Interruptions. Multiple lines of action and activity and conversation at once. All of those things that made me pull my hair out at one point, and now only make me pull on my hair rather than pulling it out. (My parenting journey is a work in progress, for sure.)
But overall, I really prefer having three children to having just one. I love the sibling interactions, the feeling of community, the feeling of being a huge pack. I love it! Having grown up as an only child (and not enjoying the experience, though I had a very nice childhood), I am reveling in having a larger (by today's standards) family and getting to enjoy all the multiple-children things that I never got to enjoy as a child.
What do you all think? Was one easier, or are multiple kidlets easier?
(Of course, none of that erases the fact that three do produce more work than one - in every way - and I should get back to that work! Right now! Later, all!)
P.S. The dead cricket is still "hibernating" on top of our freezer. He may be there for a very long time, because neither DH nor I desires to deal with the hysteria of the 6yo over a dead pet.