"You have it a lot worse than I do."
You were wrestling with your two children in the parking lot when you saw my three.
I know you didn't actually mean that because I have more kids, my life is worse.
Because girl, that's insane.
You were struggling in that moment and you couldn't imagine adding one more to the mix. A figurative and literal ankle weight.
Math is math, two is more than one and three is more than two. And on my hardest days with them, I'd love to practice subtraction.
I'd take it down to zero, my body would be perfect, my house would be clean, and my stress would come from trying to decide between which all-inclusive vacation to take.
Or maybe I'd be desperate for a child?
I bet zero would feel lonely, not free.
The number one? That's where my mind goes the most. Because I savored milestones... I actually remembered them. Don't ask me when my others walked or talked. I've got no information to give.
It's all just chaos and damage control at this point.
But sometimes when you have a good thing, you want more. I'm a more type of girl. So I'd still be working on addition.
Two? Maybe that'd be perfect, a parent for each child. Even numbers are easy. Houses would always have enough bedrooms and I wouldn't be haunted by an endless debate: minivan or SUV. I've lost a lot of sleep about third-row seating.
But I've loved every one of my children so intensely that I couldn't help but get carried away in the multiplication of it all. My joy kept compounding.
These kids stretch me. The skin on my stomach is paper-thin, my patience thinner.
The noise that came along with them is obnoxious. There are a lot of mouths to feed - I have to frequent that grocery store you saw me at way more than I'd like.
But I get to watch so many dreams unfold right before my eyes, they're going to teach me lessons, and I hope they give me a lot of grandchildren.
That works for me.
So on my hardest days, I try to focus on the right numbers. And my number is different than yours, not worse.
To read more from Scarlett, follow her on Instagram.