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The Daily Struggles of the Parenthood Juggle

Photograph by Twenty20

I knew that life with more than one kid would be a juggling act, but I never realized how many balls I’d have up in the air or the hundreds of little things that would make parenting so much harder than you realize when you’re baby hungry.

If you are new to the parenting game or considering starting your family, here are a few very real things you can count on:

- Your babies will puke in the car when you're in a hurry to be somewhere. It will be messy and stinky and get in all the car seat crevices.

- Your babies will scream in the grocery store while you’re in the checkout line. This will, in turn, stress you out and you'll sweat profusely.

- Your babies will have complete diaper blowouts on family picture day.

- Your toddlers will lose their shoes. Daily.

- Your toddlers will be picky about some foods, no matter how much of a variety you offer them.

- Your babies will wipe their faces on your shirt, so your shirt will always look like you picked it up off the bathroom floor that morning.

- Your babies will scream in the car while you’re stuck in traffic.

- There will be an emergency, or six, while you’re on your way to work that you'll have to figure out how to handle.

- You will have a hard time finding babysitters. Trust + reliability + availability pretty much = impossible!

- You will trip on toys. Pay special attention if you have stairs!

Your toddlers will climb on you, jump on you, pull your hair and rub snot on you.

- Your toddlers will have potty accidents in their car seats and you’ll have to disassemble to wash so your car doesn’t smell like a port-a-potty.

- At restaurants, your toddler … well, imagine the worst and see if they have a takeout menu!

- After toddlerhood, the kids’ schedules get crazy and your family calendar will overtake your social calendar. (What is a social calendar?)

- Family trips will be more stress than fun, and you'll hope the kids only remember the fun parts.

- You will have to find time to shop for groceries and cook meals. These kids have to be fed constantly!

- You'll have to schedule doctor and dentist appointments during business hours, a cruel punishment for working parents.

- They will all need you at the same time.

- They will all cry at the same time.

- When you talk on the phone, they will demand your attention. Every. Time.

- You’ll have to show up for each kid in a way that caters to their specific needs.

- Your laundry hamper will be full of clean clothes you literally just washed. Probably still folded.

- Your kids will grow like weeds—fast and wild. The clothing budget alone will make you gulp.

- Your toddlers will climb on you, jump on you, pull your hair and rub snot on you.

- Your babies will grow into grown-ups right before your eyes.

- Your heart will fill up in a way you can’t experience otherwise.

OK, OK. Calm down. Not all of these will happen to every family. Then again, not everything that happens on a daily basis is mentioned above!

As much as I love my free time, I wouldn’t trade having more of it for anything. The juggling act of family life is overwhelming and hard, but looking into the eyes of the littles around me, I’m reminded of all the good things that come with parenting, too. It all centers around love. So, while there may be 100 things that can go wrong in a day to make parenting the toughest job in the world, it’s also the little things that make it so great.

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