Comedian Jim Gaffigan once said, “You know what it’s like having a fourth kid? Imagine you’re drowning, then someone hands you a baby.” Having a gaggle of kids is a blast, but there are certain things that parents of one or two kids will never understand.
The struggle is extremely real for moms of three-plus kids.
1. Getting Everyone to Smile
Remember snapping family photos where everyone is smiling at the same time? Forget it. Can’t relate. Holiday cards and Facebook first-day-of-school pics will always feature at least one kid making a weird face/melting down/mid-puke.
2. It’s SO. LOUD.
Seriously, why is it always soooo loud? A construction site will seem like a day spa compared to this endless racket.
3. There Are Never Enough Bathrooms
Once you have more than a couple kids, the math just doesn’t add up. Somehow three is the same as a hundred.
4. Nosy Questions
When you become a parent, you realize quickly that the entire world is suddenly very, very interested in your life. Have more than two kids and the awkwardness of people’s questions ratchets way up. “Were you trying for a boy? Is that why you just kept going?” Ummm…
5. Bedtime Routine? What Bedtime Routine?
When there are more kids than parents, getting them into bed becomes a nightly game of whack-a-mole. A distinctly un-fun game of whack-a-mole.
6. Babysitters Cost More Than a Night Out
Once you come up with the cash to pay a babysitter to take care of your gaggle of kids, you’ll have to make it the best date night 14 cents can buy.
7. Staycations for Life
When you add up the total cost — plane tickets, hotel rooms, meals, admission to parks and rental cars — numbers lose all meaning.
8. No One Ever Wants to Watch the Same Movie
Or play the same game. Or visit the same restaurants. Someone is always going to have a stink face on due to the unfairness of having to compromise.
9. Trying (Unsuccessfully) to Hide
When more than two kids need your attention, they will cooperate as never before and you may look up to see the bathroom door being lifted off its hinges when you were trying to hide.
10. Party Invitations Are Basically Just More Bills
Think about what you spend on gifts for other kids’ birthday presents. And the Tooth Fairy payouts. Add in holiday and birthday gifts. Now multiply by a number more than 2. Then go lie down for a little bit.
11. Literally Everything Requires a Technical Plan
Stopping by the grocery store on the way home from school seems simple enough, right? Until you start thinking about getting people from the car into the store. How do you keep one seated in the cart, the other from bolting straight across the parking lot, and GOOD LORD, WHERE IS THE OTHER ONE? See?
12. A Clean House Is Like Your Pre-Mom Brain
Because you’ll never have either one again. Deepest sympathies.
13. Self-Care? Sorry, Can’t Relate
Like date nights, folks will tell you to “take some time for you.” Get your nails done! Get a massage. When someone says that after your third or fourth kid, just laugh and laugh and laugh until it gets really awkward and they’ll get the picture.
14. You’ll Find Out Just How Strong Your Relationship Is
Looking for a fun way to test your relationship? Add children. Lots of them. And if you want to really take things up a notch, have them all come into your life on the exact same day!
15. 100% Guarantee You Will Do That Thing Where You Call Every Kid’s Name ‘Til You Get the Right One
The longer it takes you to get their name right means you love that kid the most. Make sure to whisper that to each one.
16. What Is Life Any Other Way?
Just thinking about all the imperfect ways everyone loves each other makes your eyes sweat. No, we’re not crying. Not at all.
Imagine suddenly going from zero to three kids overnight. In Paramount’s new movie Instant Family, Rose Byrne and Mark Wahlberg decide to become foster parents. Life gets REAL fast as they learn the ups and downs of caring for a little pack of humans. You’ll laugh! You’ll cry! You’ll remember why every struggle is worth it.
Instant Family opens in theaters November 16.