1.Â Â Â Every day is laundry day, several times a day at that, and what the bottom of your washing basket actually looks like is a distant memory. Furthermore there is a real and very likely possibility that whatever clothes are actually stuck at bottom of this basket have been outgrown by the child they belong to and in all probability the one that comes after him/her too.
And itâ€™s not just dirty clothes that youâ€™re drowning in. As the washing machine works overtime, the mountain of clean, fresh smelling clothes builds up in your, wherever you store them, until you get a chance to put them away.Â Building, building, building waiting for your toddler to sneak pastÂ you in his mucky wellies and recreate that scene from Peppa Pig â€œjumping up and down in muddy puddles (of clean clothes)â€ minus the part where Mammy Pig rolls on the ground laughing .
2.Â Â Â You count how many children you have with you when you leave the house and as you enter and leave all shops, parks and elevators. You in all likelihood quickly check you have predominantly the right gender and do a quick scan on hair colour
3.Â Â Â You feel completely justified in not remembering all of their names and believe your children should know who you mean when you call â€œyouâ€ â€œwhatyamacallitâ€ or â€œwhateveryournameisâ€.
4.Â Â Â People count as you go by and frequently ask â€œare they all yours? What do you drive? Have you not got a television? Are you done?â€ and slightly less frequently (but have asked all the same )â€œare you Miriam Oâ€™Callaghan?â€and declare â€œyou must be devoutly Catholicâ€.
5.Â Â Â You have to motivate yourself to load them all into the car because that task and locating the necessary, shoes, coats and underpants takes longer than the reason youâ€™re actually leaving the house.
6.Â Â You have to label the toothbrushes because toothbrushes only come in so many different colours and duplication is necessary.Â This is especially important if you need to identify which toothbrush the three year old used to fish the breakfast waffle out of the toilet.
7.Â Â Â You watch reruns of the Waltons and find yourself looking for tips on how to make mealtimes run more smoothly.
8.Â Â Â You find thatâ€™s not the only thing that youâ€™ve taken from the Waltons and as you kiss them all goodnight you add in â€œGoodnight Mary Ellen. Goodnight John Boyâ€ just for good measure.
9.Â Â No-one is quite sure how many children youactually do have â€“ just that youâ€™ve â€œa loadâ€
10.Â Â In spite of the noise, mess, relentless workload and constant battle with certain family members to wear underpants, when you see them all together in a rare tranquil moment – you just canâ€™t believe your good luck.