- sleepless nights
- overdraft fees
- stress headaches
- saggy stomach skin
- monthly food spend
- cuddles and love (see? SEE? It's not all bad!)
However, after around four and a half years of sleep deprivation, 27 months of pregnancy (not consecutive months, but still equating to over two years' worth), countless stitches, baby sick gracing the shoulder of pretty much ALL of my clothes, and a sickening number of stinky nappies, the numbers have started to work in my favour.
Last year, weekends and holiday days were a whirlwind. The boys, as yet, not walking but still ridiculously ambitious in what they tried to climb/eat/fall over (delete as appropriate), needed constant rescuing. Lily was bored. Evie - still in my tummy - made entertaining Lily/rescuing boys harder than it would have been otherwise.
Last year, I realised that the best way to 'cope' was to ensure we had lots of entertainment in the form of friends over to play or trips to the soft-play centre or park. It was exhausting, but it was still easier than the alternative: Lily was entertained, the boys were safer/happier, and I sometimes got to swig a gulp of decaf coffee (yey! go me!).
This year, suddenly MORE has become LESS.
Because we don't need to rush around anymore. We love seeing friends, but don't need company 24/7.
The kids are becoming self-sufficient. They play together, screaming and laughing in the paddling pool, or playing "ducky fall over" (don't ask) on the trampoline. Ray and I are always present, but often with laptop on the go, or sipping a cup of tea (or being the duck in ducky fall over (honestly, you really don't want to know)).
In short, we've created a little troop of playmates who are starting to become more interesting to each other.
Even Evie now joins in with the dancing (in her baby walker). Every time a song comes on the TV, they're all up wiggling their little bottoms; and although there is still the odd tumble (usually Joe), fight (usually Tim and Lily) or stolen toy (3 out of 4), the laughter is starting to outweigh the crying.
And I'm not just talking about mine.
Even the kids seem happy.