So What’s Up with “3 Kids” and Us?

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You may have noticed lately, 3 Kids and Us blog has been more us and less about the 3 kids. The truth is, I’ve been really quiet about the kids because they’ve been driving me up with wall. Since Emma was born my husband and I have really struggled trying to maintain a little peace and order in our lives. As you may remember, Emma came as quite a shock and unexpected surprise. She’s actually the reason I started blogging in the first place. I wasn’t mentally prepared for her pregnancy and needed to know I wasn’t alone in this life of parenting three children.

3 kids

Time went by, life got more difficult and still even more difficult. You’d think that now that Emma is 2 1/2 years old we’d have managed to adjust but the truth is, we haven’t.

I’m constantly finding myself very stressed, even bordering unhappy most days, especially on the days my husband is working. It’s an emotional struggle to get through each and every day that starts with two little girls yelling, “mommy, we’re up!!!”. And of course if I don’t spring out of bed like a piece of bread in a toaster the announcement gets even more obnoxious. I actually think I prefer the way our son use to wake us up which involved a little finger peeling back my eye lids followed by a way too cheerful “Good Morning!”. Sigh … the good old days.

So here’s what has been up with the kids lately …

Mattison is turning 10 at the end of the summer. TEN! When the heck did that happen? This kid is now nearly as tall as me and I fully expect him to outgrow me before his thirteenth birthday. He just finished 4th grade and academically, he’s having some issues. Math, Science, Music, Art … all classes he excels at. It’s the handwriting that is becoming a major trouble spot. I hate to say it but his handwriting is not better than it was when he started first grade and I’m finding myself getting worried about his fine motor skills.

While he’s generally a happy and very active child, we’re worried about him, a lot. For a few years he’s been having terrible crying fits, several a day, every day. If he doesn’t get his way, is asked to clean his room, hears we’re having something he doesn’t like for dinner, the reasons go on and on but the crying tantrums never stop. His pediatrician told us he would grow out of it years ago yet they still go on. I’m really at a loss on what to do other than go back to the doctor.

Kaydence is turning 4 in July and she’s well on her way out of the terrible toddler stage and into the sassy, obnoxious, strong-willed, thinks she knows it all, I can do it myself stage. To put it into one word, this child’s attitude is exhausting me. Thankfully, her personality is bundled with so much sweetness and funny anecdotes it makes life with her more fun than irritating.

She also just finished up her first year of preschool and is begging to go to Kindergarten, but unfortunately the school system won’t let her in this early, even though I know she’s 100% ready. So she has another year of preschool left.

Emma, Doodle Bug, Memma, I don’t even know where to begin with her. The way her personality has changed in the past year she’s become almost unrecognizable. The first 18 months of her life she was a very quiet little girl, almost going unnoticed at times. And now? She’s blossomed into this amazing little bundle of energy. While she’s still very much accident prone, she’s also always racing to catch up with her brother and sister. She walked early, talked early and now I’ve just learned to have no expectations from her because I know she’ll surprise me. Just now as I’m writing this, she walked up to my office chair, put her soft little fingers on my arm and said “what’s going on mommy?” Sometimes by the way she picks up song lyrics and converses with me, I forget she’s only 2.

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  1. says

    Awww Cat! You need a vacation girly! Or a girls night out. Parenting is a tough job that never gets easier, but we all need breaks every now and then. Keep your head up and you will get through this. Just keep in mind, you’re going to miss all this when they are 20 and leaving home. :)

    • says

      Amber, yes, a vacation is exactly what I need (minus the kids). You’re right, the moment they all move out I’ll probably start wishing I could here all of their thumping foot steps around the house.

  2. says

    I’ve got the two girls nailed (like they sound just like our two girls) down to the sassy, obnoxious yet cute four year old! Ahhh!!! Sometimes, I wonder how they’ve gotten so crazy!

    I can only imagine throwing a 10 year old boy in the mix.

    Hope you have time to be you and spend with you!

  3. says

    You are most definitely not alone! I think as mothers we are ushered into chaos when we give birth but our real test is after they get independence from us. My kids are older and while they are fine with school and for the most part seem normal, I deal with 2 very different personalities from the tender hearted teen who just wants to please us to the sweet tween who honestly is still having trouble understanding why she is in trouble again for not looking around and causing her little brother to get hurt. Its an ongoing battle to try and make sure we raise these kids right but I can tell you Cat you are amazing. And you are not alone, there are many moms just like you, all trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the parenting rainbow every day :)

  4. says

    Hugs Cat. I could never do three. WE have talked about it, but I”m over my head with two. Gav is having issues with his handwriting as well. He does awesome in everything but handwriting. Hopefully your son will outgrow the fits.

  5. says

    We too had our little surprise, so I understand exactly what you’re going thru. Being the youngest of 4, I’m not sure I’ll ever recover — and that was 5 years ago. On the bright side, he’s also an amazing joy and blessing to our lives — wouldn’t want to be without him. Hang in there!

  6. says

    I can so relate how you say it is in the morning how your kids get more and more obnoxious if you don’t spring out of bed. My kids will literally jump on me, scream in my ear, whatever it takes. Bleh.
    I think it’s interesting the reason you started blogging, I don’t think I ever knew that. It seems like it continues to be a good outlet for you. I don’t have any amazing advice for you, kids are kids. I think you are doing a wonderful job and your kids are beautiful. Time will only go too fast, your kids will be grown and you’ll be wishing for those crazy, energy filled, strong willed kids. (At least that’s what I have to tell myself to stay sane. :) )

  7. says

    I so appreciate your honesty about how tough it can be some days with very active kids. I always feel guilty about complaining because I’m so fortunate to be a mom and have healthy kids, but some days I wonder if I will survive the craziness. I really crave peace sometimes. But we’ll get through it somehow … hopefully without going insane!

    • says

      Susan, you’re so right, peace now and again is nice but I do feel sooo fortunate to be a mom to these three kiddos. They may drive me insane a lot but the sweet moments in between make it all worth it and then some.

    • says

      Jeanna, you know, it does make me feel bad sometimes to complain about the kids, which is why I rarely do it. Getting stuff off my chest helped a lot and I think now that summer is here and we’ll get more time out of the house it’ll be a much needed break before winter returns.

  8. says

    I really enjoy your page and the kids. I have the same exact cat – well mine is (wiley). I wish you strength and love as you keep doing such a great job with all three kids. Plus, your hubby.

    • says

      Thank you Jackie. :) It’s interesting you mention the name Wiley, I had a childhood friend named Wiley and I’ve never heard the name used since. Very cool!

  9. says

    We all have those seasons in our life where we question our abilities as a parent and our kids’ abilities as humans. :) In the heat of this moment, it’s p;probably very little comfort, but it sounds to me like you are all just a normal family. I have five (9, 15, 18, 25 & 27) and I can completely relate to the frustrations your describing. I can give you great hope in knowing that it really will pass. Then they just move into some other phase. :) I think the hardest thing about raising kids for a control-junkie like me, is that nothing is consistent. You can’t learn it all, have “arrived”, and then use what you know on all the rest. They’re all different. As they get older, you’ll see that as a great blessing, but when they are little, it can sure make you tired. It’s good to just talk it out and be reminded that you’re not alone, your kids are not weird or damaged and others have been where you are and come out on the other side.
    One encouragement I would like to offer is that it is no accident that you have the exact children you have and they have the mom they have. God picked you especially for them and they for you. Each of you has something the other especially needs and there are no better parents for your three cuties than you and your husband. You’re perfect for the job. God never makes mistakes. You’re the most excellent choice for this mom gig.
    P.S. When they are 27 and chasing their own kids around, getting tired and feeling overwhelmed you’ll smile when you remember these days. You’ll give them a hug, maybe a little help or advice and let them know they’re doing great. You’ll see these days a little differently, then. Everything you learn and go through, now, is a blessing you can use to help them, later.
    Big hugs to you!

  10. says

    I am feeling the same way!! My three are younger than yours of course… maybe that is my issue? My 4 yo still throws fits, my 2 yo can’t speak clearly and throws fits when I don’t know what he’s saying. And the 5 month old cries if I don’t get to her soon enough.

    Sometimes I feel like a sub-par parent for putting Lizzie in preschool and not homeschooling her. But next year, I am paying a pretty penny to put her in preschool every single day. I can’t do this, Cat. I can’t handle all these kids all the time by myself. I have been truly blessed by family living close by that help. And you know what? I still feel guilty for asking them for help. Reading your post really touched my heart. It reminded me that my frustration is so common and normal.

    I wish we lived closer together so we could watch each other’s kids and give each other time at the hair dresser or even just the grocery store alone. :)

  11. says

    Cat, you’re amazing because you do make it through every day. I struggle with just having two! I want to pull my hair out every day. EVERY DAY. My son, pushes every button, and when I’m trying to get something done he takes advantage of the fact that I’m not paying attention, which I know makes his attitude worse because he gets what he wants when I’m not paying attention.

    I’m glad you can write this post and vent and at the same time pick out some really great things about your kids that you do love. You’re an amazing mom and blogger, somehow you find a balance that most of us, me included just wish we could find. ;-)

  12. says

    Oh what sweet little loves you have!! They are so cute! I know how you feel about feeling overwhelmed at times. I do too. I think You, me and most mama’s just need a time out for themselves. I am certainly in need of one, so much!! All we have is rain rain rain here and NO sun at all. UGH> That means, we are all stuck inside the house getting on each others nerves. We have one car, so dh takes that to work with him :( Praying for some sunshine soon and stress free days! Big hugs to you mama!!!!!!

  13. says

    Note that I don’t EXACTLY understand what you are going through since I don’t have 3 kids of my own, I can appreciated your stress and the busyness of life in general. Sometimes, you feel you don’t have ENOUGH time in the day to do what you need and want to do, and sometimes, like in the fact that your children are growing older, time goes by way to FAST and you don’t know what happened! I hope that you find a way to help your stress {I’m taking up yoga-care to join?} and a way to enjoy life again somewhere in between the not enough and the way to fast :)

  14. says

    Your kiddos are so wonderful, I love these updates. Emma sounds like she’s just growing and growing and I can’t believe how old Kaydee is. She totally lost the whole toddler look she had, she’s a little girl now. {heart}

  15. says

    My cranky pants wants to know more about Emma. He’s saying she’s a nice girl. isn’t that the sweetest? he says he wants to play in that pool with her lol

  16. says

    Pretty sure that little girl 3 going on 4 attitude (which I’ve got right now in my house as well) is why they don’t let kids that young into Kindergarten. Even if they’re brilliant. Can you imagine trying to teach a class full of that?! ;)

  17. Sharon says

    Reading your descriptions, anecdotes, and musings of your kids just made me so wistful for those glory days ….yes, that’s how I think of them (those days when mine were that age) —- glory days — those days of “all things kids” and how that ruled my every waking moment. It’s such a crazy time of life, when you wonder when you will regain peace and normalcy but you really never do (LOL). My last one just moved out on his own and the aching I feel for both of them (my older daughter, out on her own also) is in many ways WORSE than the years when they were young and life seemed to be a constant state of change and upheaval.

    You are so blessed (despite the bad handwriting with healthy, beautiful, and charming children and I enjoyed reading this post so much. Enjoy these years (I know you’ve probably heard that a thousand times) because they pass too fast. Your life sounds pretty close to perfect to me. :)

  18. says

    I really appreciated your honesty here. It gives me permission to be honest too. Sometimes I look at my son and feel completely overwhelmed and think back to the days when I said I didn’t want any children. Then I had two. The first (who was such an easy child to mother) passed away at 11. The second challenges me every single day and now that he’s 14, has me thinking about waving the white surrender flag and we’ll just do it his way so I can maintain a modicum of sanity.

    Then I regroup and realize what an insane thought that was :)

    We just have to keep on keeping on…kwim?

    • says

      I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your son.

      I feel like like waving the white flag many days myself. But you’re right, we just having to keep pushing forward. Between the madness there are those moments of complete joy that keep my battery charged.

  19. says

    Hang in there. We have 5 from the ages of 8 years down to 15 months. 6:30 every morning my daughter (almost 3) is in our room screaming that she needs cereal. Usually 4 of the 5 are jumping on us within 10 minutes. I know how hard my wife works to keep up with them all and how exhausting it can be at times and yet nothing in life is more rewarding.

  20. Debbie Stanton says

    I always try to remember that most annoying/irritating things my kids do are phases… and that i will survive and we will pass this stage. Hang in there! Your children’s pics are so precious. :D

  21. says

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful information about our family. Yes, can imagine how difficult it is to manage three kids with different personalities. Even though its hard to manage all things but its fun to be around them. We can match up to their imagination and thoughts, they are so pure.

  22. says

    Just found this post…I have 3 kids also and sympathize. I just had a conversation with a friend who does wellness coaching and we were reviewing ways to feel happy and positive. One of the biggest is feeling gratitude. Your children are lovely, and challenging. But I can hear the undertone of love. Hang in there.

  23. Eileen says

    So nice to read this. I am not one of your “older” readers so I really like to read the posts that helps me “GET” you. I know JUST what you mean about the overwhelming sense of EVERYTHING when you are a busy mom. We are coming to the end of the time we have to do everything for our kids but the ATTITUDE phases are hitting hard now. uggh. Bless you Cat. I know if anyone can do it right, YOU can. I see your strength and if you dont seen to have the strength somedays…you have an honesty that just makes others KNOW. thanks

    • says

      Eileen, I know we don’t technically “know” each other but I absolutely love you! Your comments always give me the biggest smiles, reminds me of what I love so much about blogging.

      I actually have a really good update about our son that I need to sit down and write out. We’ve seen some really great changes.

  24. says

    Hi Cat,

    I’m new to your website, so let me introduce myself. I’m Michael Thal, a teacher, writer, and father of two adult daughters whom I raised with little help from my divorced wife. I know how hard it must seem to you on those days you’d prefer to stay in bed then meet the needs of three demanding children. With 28 years of classroom experience and two masters degrees in education, I had the education to ease the strain of the demands of two young children and their immature mother. I invite you to visit my website and you’ll discover many parenting techniques at and its blog. Take a peek. You won’t be sorry.

    I look forward visiting you again.

    Best wishes,

  25. says

    beautiful post Cat. I love how you still find the extra something special even though your children are just being children . My daughter who’s 12 goes through those crying fits alot. She makes me nuts. When she starts to cry I send her to her room so she can cry it out. I think its hormones. Then when she’s finished I tell her to come down. if she doesn’t like what were having for dinner then I let her make her own. Usually its something from chefboyrdee and as long as she eat’s its okay with me. Hang in there Cat It gets easier.