The Logarithmic Scale of Parenting


I’m scared.

We’re about to have another baby.

OK, the due date is December 1, so there’s still some time left in my life, I guess. But once that little one comes out into the world, well, that’s it. From what I’ve seen of other families with two or more children, things appear to get a lot more hectic. No more time for dishes or laundry or cleaning the house or having some quiet time to read. Not a chance.

And the reason I’m scared is, well, it seems busy to me NOW! With just one! What a sweet daughter she is, our Madeleine Sue. How can life get any busier? I’m tired NOW at the end of the day. I’m barely organized NOW. And you mean to tell me it’s going to get worse? But I have all these house projects to finish. I was going to write a book, as soon as I figured out how to get up early in the morning.

Amidst all the feedback I was getting about growing family size, there was one comment that stood out to me. Someone had mentioned that parenting two kids was MORE THAN TWICE as hard as parenting one. Like a logarithmic scale, I suggested. Er, sure, whatever. It’s just a hell of a lot of work.

But I felt I was onto something…

So I researched the amount of work one does (denoted in kiloJoules) as related to the number of children one has and found that the relationship closely resembles the logarithmic scale (see the green line in graph above).

And now I could see light at the end of the tunnel. My fears started to ease, like magic, and I knew what I had to do.

It’s simple, really. You’ll notice by looking at the chart that the amount of work you do starts to taper off the more children you have. It comes to a plateau. In other words, there is a maximum level you reach, and then you can do no more.

See honey…all we have to do is have ten kids!

2 thoughts on “The Logarithmic Scale of Parenting

  1. John T says:

    Actually the 2nd is easier in some ways. There’s a tremendous amount of stress with the first as everything is new and you have virtually none of the eqiupment. But now you know what to expect. You can do diapers one-handed in a minute flat. Maddie’s at an age you can give her instructions and she’ll actually listen. And the fact that they are both girls means you have a ready supply of hand-me downs when your youngest gets older.

    Also, it’s good to start incorporating your oldest to help out. She’s going to be getting less parenting time with you distracted with the baby so having her involved with what you’re doing helps. Katie would help me sort socks. She loves cleaning the floors with the swiffer or dusting.

    Each person and couple is different. But I’ve really enjoyed my two girls. They grow up really, really fast, so enjoy these special years with them. I know I don’t take enough pictures, even of what is mundane. Baths, feeding, car rides. It’s neat to remember the paraphernalia you used for these things.

    Having two is no piece of cake, but at least your second are not twins like my brother had or our other friend Gonzo. 🙂

  2. Jomama says:

    Cool blog–glad John mentioned it while we were on line at the movies tonight.

    Yeah, you got it right with the chart above…get your rest, or finish those projects while you can. It’s going to be REAL busy after December. But busy in a good way.

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