Life as a parent of three kids living in Singapore is busy, funny, and a little mad. To keep myself sane, I drink lots of coffee and try to look on the bright side.
There are pros and cons, ups and downs. I start off this post with 8 things I love most about having three, and end off with the downsides…Here goes.
#1 Entertainment becomes cheap (Three is company)
Jumping on the bed, dancing to the track of Can’t Stop The Feeling, playing dressing up and acting to someone’s jumbled-up screen play. You name it, they’ve done it. They play with anything and everything, as long as they’ve got a companion (usually each other.)
There are some days when the messiness gets to me but you know, it’s also on those days I get to hide in the room (in peace) to finish off some writing work, so messes aside, I am actually thankful.
#2 We get to experience different stages of childhood (all at once)
While I’m coaching my eldest on her studies, and helping her to learn skills like priorities and planning, I also get to do silly things with my boys, and watch Josh make his little discoveries about how our world works. His sense of wonder never fails to make me smile. (I guess that’s the precious-ness of having a bonus kid!)
#3 We get to savour different strengths and specialities
Vera is into drawing and music. She loves doodling in her free time, and has started writing silly short stories around her illustrations. It’s something she does to relax and I marvel at seeing all her works.
JJ is a sports and dancing boy. He can’t stop moving at times, and his favourite past-time is jumping and dancing on our bed. As for Josh, well he’s currently top at…eating. He is a true blue foodie. I mean, which toddler actually enjoys tucking in a plate of salad?
#4 Multiple goodnight hugs before bed
Vera goes to bed first as she’s up the earliest. So we try to pray together and have goodnight hugs. Then come the boys who are always boisterous even at bedtime. Tucking them in can be tedious but eventually they’re out, and I get to smell their hair and kiss their cheeks. Bedtime is the sweetest moment for me, it’s when I can reset the day and give thanks all over again.
#5 We can leave the house for date-nights knowing they’ll never have a dull moment
Yes they may squabble and fight over little things, but at least we know they’ll never be alone, bored or hooked to gadgets. And most times, they actually seem to get on quite well once mum and dad are out of the house. Weird but true.
#6 They look out for each other
This applies mostly to Vera at this stage but I’ve seen some glimpses here and there in the boys. Whenever we’re at the pool Vera will be quite willing to care for Josh, especially when I explain that I need to do a lap or two. And the best part, when I go out with the threesome, Vera helps to chaperone the boys, one on each hand.
#7 They pass on knowledge and ‘wisdom’
The beauty of having kids of differing ages is that the eldest will always share the stuff she’s learnt in school or through books. Although she’s only eight, her brothers look up to her and listen earnestly whenever she’s teaching them something. I can already see her playing the role of part-time tutor to her brothers in future. (Hopefully she doesn’t teach them the cheeky/naughty stuff too… :P)
#8 There are more hands to clean up
Who you gonna call when a huge mess has been made? Not just the one who made the mess of course, we teach the kids to help one another, and more hands just make the work lighter.
PS. Do you know that when children help out in the family, they feel a greater sense of belonging and ownership? *wink*
There are of course also some downsides to having 3 kids.
– You’re always outnumbered. There’s always a war you need to mediate.
If you’re at the mall, and one needs to go to the bathroom, another needs a drink, and yet another needs to go on the swings (right at this instant), you’ll never win. Every day we are at the negotiating table, teaching them what it means to compromise, have patience and wait.
– It’s so noisy you can’t hear yourself think
For an introverted mum like me, quietness is something I’ve always relished and actually quite need. Now that the kids are at school in the mornings, I get to enjoy some peace and quiet. And I consider it a huge win on those days when I get to take a nap, and the kids don’t start a fight the minute I fall asleep.
– It’s hard to go out in a normal sedan
We don’t drive as it’s expensive and we live in a central location. So we usually Grab or Uber our way around town. Now with 5 (albeit still a baby-ish looking 5th person), it’s tricky. Since the rule for child booster seats were made stricter, some Grab drivers also refuse to take us after seeing so many kids. (Thankfully they’ve launched Grab Family now.)
– It’s expensive to eat at restaurants
Step into a normal looking Jap place and the average bill is $60-70. And we’re not even talking about ordering mains for kids – thankfully they’re content with rice and miso soup bowl, along with chawanmushi (and some additional meat from our mains) on top.
– It’s expensive to travel too
We’re planning a trip to Melbourne this year and oh boy tickets alone costs about $2.5-3K. It’s also tricky to squeeze all of us into one hotel room. We always need to make room for our littlest on our bed.
– The bugs can make their rounds
With kids in kindy/school, when one brings home a bug, it inevitably “travels.” Some bad months, we’re so busy taking care of one sick kid after another, it gets a bit insane and we lose track of what happened when. (Tell me I’m not alone??)
Life with three means there’s never a dull moment. I’m also aware that it won’t be too long before they’re all teenagers and the only noise in the home will be the squabbling between the hubby and I.
So bring on the mess, the noise, the fights – I’ll take the whole package. I know I’m going to miss all these things when the house gets too quiet 10 years down the road.
Mums and dads, what are your joys and pains about having 1, 2, 3 (or even more) kids?