Five Things I’ve Learned From My Three Kids

sound of musicI’m a father of three daughters. The oldest is only four and three-quarters and the twins are three years younger. I say this because I know there will be many more lessons  as they get older and especially because we have a little brother on the way. But it’s been an interesting four plus years and I wanted to take stock of the changes so far, both mentally and logistically.

  1. The way they see you is who you are. I recently had a situation where work wasn’t going well.  What kept me grounded was coming home and seeing how great I was in my children’s eyes. At the end of a long day, seeing your  girls running to greet you is the best in the world and puts it all in true perspective.
  2. The never-ending search for efficiency.  When you have a child, your life changes dramatically for sure. However, when you have three you learn to budget your time (and resources) with great efficiency. Anyone that has called us in the evening knows that from 5:30-8:00 pm (if we’re lucky), it’s dinner time, followed by 4-B’s; baths, brushing, books and bed. Followed by another half hour of cleaning up. Basically, you pull into the driveway, fart and it’s time for Leno. I’ve recently purchased books to learn how other families deal with crowded homes and little time to run them. We’re still learning, though I’m considering breaking out my old coaching whistle, a-la Sound of Music. Our quest for getting laundry done is still in progress. I’ll only say that my hoping the laundry gnomes get it done is not working.
  3. Buy in bulk! It’s self-explanatory. Buying one or two of something is a waste. This is true for anyone but REALLY important for families. Peapod is the greatest (or any delivery service). Aside from the run to Costco, going to the grocery store is rare. For an extra $5 we save $100 of kids not yelling “please buy me this…”. Not to mention, time is precious and wasting hours lugging kids to the grocery store just doesn’t cut it.
  4. Traveling equals mobilizing. When we go anywhere as a family, we don’t hop in the car and just go. We have to plan the logistics about an hour ahead of time. Through hard knocks I’ve become efficient at having the backpack packed at all times. Cars get warmed up, kids get dressed (fed if necessary), stroller packed, etc. We’re always aware of time but unfortunately getting to parties or church on time isn’t always doable. Our family, friends and the Lord will have to understand.
  5. Kids teach you more about yourself than you can teach them. Related to my first point, these kids show me who I am and who I want to be…Papi. The only exception is when they observe me watching my sports teams and they stare in bewilderment. They’re young New England fans, they’ll soon learn the triumphs and the stings. That aside,  my four-year old can sound like she’s arguing or procrastinating but then makes such a logical point or repeats a lesson we taught her that it more than impresses us.Yes she can manipulate as a four-year old is apt to do but she genuinely is inquisitive and is growing in her understanding of her little world. Which makes me see mine in a new and different light.

Being Papi to them is the hardest but greatest job in the world and I’m lucky to have it. I can hardly wait for the lessons learned yet to come. That’s my take.

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4 Responses to Five Things I’ve Learned From My Three Kids

  1. bussokuseki says:

    That time between pulling in from work and calling it a day resonates deeply (I just wrote about, actually). I kept looking for some efficiency myself (three kids too) before I realized it just wasn’t there…but do let me know if you find it… Be well~

    • In terms of efficiency, we’re still looking for the magic wand. However, there are several small things you can do that help. Staying ahead of the game is the key. For example, have the kids engaged in an activity while food is prepared and served. Before they’re done eating run up and get the tub ready and clothes/diapers ready. Also, I prefer quick baths…all business. keeping a step ahead and quick transitions allows more time for reading just before bed time, which is most important.

  2. I’m constantly looking for easier ways to do things! Here’s a post I wrote on this in response to a request from someone! http://familymattersnz.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/my-top-10-time-saving-and-organisational-tips/ I’m sure I was better at time management before I added twins to my tribe…

  3. Hi Ben, You have quite a lot of wisdom. Being a parent stretches me and grows me everyday. It is an amazing experience, as is being married, but that is a whole different blog! God Bless and thanks for sharing your insights!

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