By 8 a.m., I have already done two loads of laundry, changed sheets from a night time accident, emptied the kitchen sink and filled it again, swept under the dining table . . . twice. I have shed actual tears over spilled (breast)milk, and questioned whether the spill on my kitchen floor is urine or juice. Mostly likely a combination of both.

For the past six years, I’ve either been pregnant or nursing a newborn. Our three monkeys keep us so busy that life BEFORE kids seems like a distant memory. NOT being someone’s mother now feels very foreign, as if this was the role I was always meant to have. Destined for motherhood or not, I have my moments when I doubt the trust Mother Nature has in me.

But here I am, a mama to three squirmy, little boys. Our days consist of spills, and crumbs, and screaming, and tears, and bodily fluids. I’m in the trenches of motherhood, and almost always in survival mode. There are days that I feel pulled in a million directions, and yet, cannot pinpoint a single thing I actually accomplished.

Life with littles means warm eggs and hot coffee are a thing of the past.

I don’t remember a day when I’ve gone to the bathroom without little fingers wiggling under a closed door.

The sight of kids knocking on the glass shower door has become my norm.

It’s no longer strange to me to take 15 minutes to finish a single sentence with my husband.

My stomach is no longer queasy at the sight of someone else’s blood, urine or vomit.

I’ve experienced the rush of adrenaline that goes along with a sick or hurt child.

I’ve learned how to translate baby talk.

We laugh at our plans gone wrong.

I can predict the cause of a meltdown, but I have yet to perfect how to prevent them.

Life with littles also means my sweaty kindergartener tackling me with a hug after school.

There are ten requests for one more hug and kiss each night.

It means piggyback rides and giggles.

It means Mama is the best medicine for a skinned knee or common cold.

The biggest emergency in their mind is finding their superman cape before bedtime, because they NEEEEED to sleep with it. (I pray their troubles always stay this small.)

Chaotic and head-over-heels go hand-in-hand these days.

One moment, I think I might lose my mind, and the next, they sweep me off my feet with a kiss on the check.

I’m constantly teaching and correcting and loving and hugging—all day, every day.

Our home and our lives are messy and loud, and oh so blissfully perfect all at once.

At any given point in time I have a million plates spinning in the air and I just hope and pray if and when one drops, it’s an unimportant little saucer. Life is crazy and loud and messy and I wouldn’t dream of having it any other way. I don’t miss the days without them; what was missing from my days back then was them.

Michelle Tate

A native Texan, born and raised, I married my college sweetheart, and now spend my days raising our three young boys. In another life, I was an elementary school teacher, before diving deep in my true passion for my own babies and writing.