Today I actually Googled, "how to manage three kids under two." In case you're interested, Google wasn't very helpful. They had lots of advice for two under two, or two under three. I found a few links to other people with three kids under age two, but they seemed to be really blissful about it all. "It's busy, but so worth it," and "it's chaotic for the first six months, but we love it so much we're trying to get pregnant again already!"
Eventually, I found the words I needed to read: "the tough stage passes just when you think you can't possibly go on any longer ... don't expect much time for yourself, but carve it out when you can ... I promise you will look back on these years fondly."
I hesitate to publish any negative words on the Internet my kids may one day grow to read, in case they take it too personally. But I'll say it: sometimes I feel angry. Summer wasn't planned, and while I welcome her as our fourth child, I sometimes am still angry that she came before I felt ready. My body hadn't fully recovered from a twin pregnancy. Hailey and Robin still need pretty involved parenting and supervision during their waking hours, so there is no time leftover for other things like meal preparation, phone calls, laundry, cleaning. When I am trying to sit and feed Summer, but it is also time for lunch, I feel angry at how torn I feel. I don't like having to choose between one kid's needs to favour another's.
I feel like I have to remind myself these simple truths on an hourly basis some days: this too shall pass, the days are long but the years are short. I have to trust that I will look back on this time with warm memories of rainy-day puddle splashing, and not when I gave in and cried while I served lunch that was promptly thrown onto the floor.
Today, I mused to myself, "maybe I could just go work somewhere to pay for Hailey and Robin to go to daycare." Because that would be easier. I felt bad that I wanted to ship them away rather than do the dirty work myself. I don't have a job to return to that I love. I don't have to return to work to ensure our family makes ends meet (thankfully). I just wanted to pawn off the hard work of parenting to someone else. I felt bad, but I don't want to let myself feel guilty: thinking these things is OK, and part of the journey. There's no point burying these feelings, right?
Nineteen-month-old twins are a lot of work. So are newborns. I might not have planned to have three kids under two years old, but I do. Time to pull on my big mama boots and do this thing.