Whenever anyone asks me "How do you DO it?" with three children -- the second and third just a year apart, I tell them the truth: a precipitous lowering of standards.
These crumbling "standards" apply to me, my home, and mostly, to the kids. For example, for the last eight years, my only hairstyle has been "ponytail" and when I'm feeling super-duper fancy, it's "hair briefly down from a ponytail." This has the added benefit of a big semi-circular dent in my hair, from where the ponytail holder has been secured for the last eight years.
But really, it's the kids who have few standards. This struck me soundly last night when Hub-D and I came home from a night on the town, and the babysitter informed us that Birdy had a hard time falling asleep.
"So she's wearing her plush horse costume."
"OK!" I say.
"And her pink slippers over her PJ footies."
"That makes sense."
"And she's sleeping on her floor because her crib is 'too small.'"
When I went to check on her, indeed she was zipped up in her pajamas, with her Halloween costume over that, and the pink slippers over THAT. She was sprawled on her floor with her head jammed up against the metal rack I use to store office supplies.
In addition, as usual, there were two lights gleaming in her room. Of course she required a night light, but then also, my desk lamp must be on 24 hours a day or life is simply not worth living.
There were used Pull-Ups sprinkled here and there all over her carpet and half-torn books on all the spaces that weren't used up by my sleeping child, her horse costume, and the used Pull-Ups.
(I should note that the used Pull-Ups aren't totally my fault, because she tends to put on a sequence of two or three Pull-Ups a night, and then completely disrobe and yank off her peed-in Pull-Ups, then put on her entire ensemble once more.)
Upon viewing this scene, which would have been a source of horror for myself in 2007, when I ever so carefully purchased a NEW, un-peed-on rug for the unborn Gigi, I just smiled and closed the door. I would have judged myself so harshly, anytime before 2008, for allowing a child to pass out in such squalor.
I told Hub-D about it and he reacted as only a loving father would, which is he went back into her room, took a picture, and then left the room.