There is one question I get asked most days and if only I got a pound each time, I’d be filthy rich. Three boys? And you’re how old? How on earth do you do it?! You must be busy. You must have your hands full. How do I do it? I don’t really know in all honesty. I don’t know any other way.
I’m sure the same answer applies when someone without children asks a parent with one child how they do it.
The same answer probably applies when a parent of one child asks a parent of two how they do it?
I get it. I do. I ask myself the same question about parents of twins, triplets or higher multiple births. I recently watched the video that went viral of the lady who has two year old quadruplet girls. I certainly don’t know how she does it.
I don’t mind the question, I just don’t know how to answer it. I ask myself the same question about a mother of 4 children. I don’t know how she does it.
I ask my mum the same question. I’m one of six, my youngest brother and sister are twins. I don’t know how she did it.
How do we do it? What do we do – what don’t we do. In a world that’s full of false pretences and Facebooks perfect parents.
We don’t do expensive holidays abroad or fancy hotels with lavish surroundings. We don’t jet all around the world or have passports full of stamps.
We do inexpensive trips to the seaside where we do fresh air, sandcastles and splashing in the sea. We do walks in the quiet outdoors where it feels like we’re the only ones around.
We don’t do crowded city breaks in the middle of all the noise and the hustle and bustle that is city life.
We do nature, we do wild and stress free. We do home from home.
We don’t do a million fancy after school clubs. We don’t have a large disposable income.
We do tired little boys when we get in from school. We do homework and quiet reading. We do gentle playing in the warm and cosying up on the sofa with a blanket and a movie. We do building dens in the hallway and under the kitchen table. We do dressing up and pretending to be Iron Man and Captain America. We do really early mornings and picnics on the middle of the living room floor. We do living by our means.
We don’t do crazy nights out or fancy dinners in expensive restaurants.
We do movie nights and takeaways from the comfort of our sofa. We do pizza and pasta at our favourite Italian restaurant or a cooked breakfast at the little Turkish café that always welcomes us so warmly. We do dinner with family and lunch with good friends.
We don’t do tidy. (Although I do spend my life trying.)
We do muddy knees, grass stained clothes and washing baskets piled high. We do 2 washing loads a day as standard and welly boots lined up by the front door. We do splashing in the bath and playing with Daddy’s shaving foam just for fun! Shhhhh!
We don’t do board games, family trivia or major competitive sport.
We do building Lego Duplo towers as high as we can reach and train tracks that manoeuvre through the entire of the downstairs. We do slinky races down the stairs and who can get to the post box the quickest. We do sleeping lions and my firm favourite – the who can be quiet for the longest game.
We don’t do perfect.
We do running late and forgetting to read our school books. We do bickering, winding each other up and time out. We do apologies and fiercely looking out for one another.
We don’t have it all, but we have each other.
Yes my hands are full.
Full of love.