How Having Three Kids Instead of One Has Taken Me From an A+ Mom to a Proud C-ish Mom

I’d just like to write a post to take a knee for the mom I was with only one child.

I fully recognized my average score on the mom-scale had dropped as I drove my three kids to their schools. Two at our elementary, and one at a preschool…all starting at the same time. It’s an act of scheduling contortionism, which is par for the parenthood course.

We fail almost every day.

As I dropped my daughter off at her preschool, I had a poignant flashback of taking my oldest to the same school-I’d gently get him unbuckled, kiss his fresh, clean face, and tear up a little walking back to the car.

NOT NO MORE. My sweet baby girl, my third and last child, couldn’t have a more different experience as I pulled up to her preschool last week. We proudly clocked a PR of only six minutes late, with Itsy Bitsy Spider blasting. She hopped out of the car barefoot with a few rogue Goldfish fumbling onto the sidewalk, and I kissed her wild hair as I stuck her own little sandals in her hands, steered her toward the door, and hurried to work.

I hardly noticed Itsy Bitsy Spider accompanying me the entire way, but it must have kept the adrenaline going.

So, yeah, I’m currently at about a C-…which mom-of-three me celebrates as a passing grade, and mom-of-one me would have spent several sleepless nights teary, guilt ridden, and feeling like I should be in some kind of parenting jail. Or hell. Or jail in hell.

As a tribute, I’d thought about writing my old self, the new mama of one and aspiring organic shopper, an obituary.

I won’t, though, because I could see that getting awkwardly morbid quickly, and it also makes me wonder if I overdosed on therapists at one time in my life. Did I once pay someone to put that idea in my head?

Instead, I’d like to salute and formally bid adieu my one child motherhood by highlighting my most notable 180: leaving my kids.

Bless one-child-me, whose soul felt bruised even to leave my son with a babysitter. We were livelaughloveing, and my new mom hormones were TURNT UP. WAY UP. I may as well have left a note, and I can’t confirm I didn’t. Had I left instructions for a babysitter when I’d had one child, they would have been something like this, printed:

Dear Babysitter,

Thanks for coming over! We’re so happy you passed our background check, but would you mind leaving a small hair sample in this container? Help yourself to any food (notice we bought the name brand graham crackers this week, which are also gluten-free and organic in biodegradable packaging), and make yourself at home. My kids should be sleeping, so just hang out! Watch TV!

Except, try to avoid turning the TV volume higher than 12, because that will wake up my son, but it’s okay if you have to because you don’t lip read as well as I’ve been forced to learn. If you would like to actually hear your show, you can just put him back to sleep after he wakes up. He’ll lay down for you super easily.

All you have to do is this!

You’ll need to heat up a little milk (roughly between 4-6 oz) for my little one, for 45 seconds. He is particular. Shake the bottle. Test the temperature. He also likes his grey blankie to snuggle with, but make sure it’s not on his face. Or, he can just get up and watch TV, but only one show and not for too long. If you don’t understand what he is saying, try the Dinosaur movie, but fast forward the part where the dad dies. Along those lines, if he says something that sounds like “daddy,” it could mean daddy, Mickey, or blankie (full phonetically spelled translation guide on the side of the fridge).

But whatever! Just have fun! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!!

Consult the attached pamphlet for numbers of my–

Poison Control
My number
Restaurant’s number
Next door neighbor’s number
911’s number
Insurance agent information

Homeland Security
CPR instructions
Animal control
Living trust
SWAT (Don’t hesitate to call!)
Current shot records
Life insurance documentation
Last will and testament

We will be back in forty five minutes! Thanks!


PS Fire extinguisher is under the kitchen sink.

Three kids is different. We’ve had to downsize on our livelaughloveing, which has been whittled down to just live. With three kids, there is no note when babysitters come over. Maybe not even formal direction. Notes have been furloughed at our house in 2021.

You know what leaving the house is like now?

The exchange is merely a high five walking out the door, slapping hands with the person you’re pretty sure is here to watch your kids and not deliver your Amazon packages…but either will do when you’re late for work.

“Hey, hi, Alison, right? Oh, Amy? You’re our last babysitter’s neighbor? Friend?  Her cousin’s homecoming date freshman year? Cool, okay. Yeah, hey, so my kids might get hungry. You can make sandwiches, and they just can pull some Doritos out of the couch cushions if they want some chips with it.

 If you want other food, I’m sure you can find some. In here. In the house. So.

Oh, also, text me when my kids are in bed. If I don’t hear from you by nine, I’ll just wait inside my car in the driveway until I know I’ve successfully averted bedtime duties.

Also, there are three kids here. Did I tell you that? Ihavethreebye.”

So, there we go. Goodbye, old mom-of-one me, and your accompanying late night reading about red dye number 40. Your kids drank a Slurpee yesterday.

Hello, mom-of-three me, whose late night mind wandering questions how parents of more than three kids manage, where my car keys are, and when I’m going to start checking pockets before I put clothes in the dryer.

If 3 kids has karate chopped the livelaughlove-ometer down to a mere “live,” I’m not sure what families with more than three kids must have.

Maybe a different four letter word.