"Three is most definitely a crowd when it comes to husbands."
Whenever people comment that my kids look nothing alike, I usually just agree with them but, sometimes, I say, "Well, that’s because they each have a different father!"
There are times when it’s not worth the shocked looks or the follow-up questions.
So, here’s how I usually explain it: I married my first husband Brett when I was 21 and we had our beautiful daughter. We divorced five years later and that’s when I met Harry, a man I’d been friends with for years.
We’d always had feelings for each other and I fell pregnant just six months into our relationship. We have a son together but, sadly, Harry and I didn’t last. Then I met my current husband, Hamish and we have a gorgeous girl together. He will be my partner for life, I’ve never been more in love.
If people talk about juggling all the different things women usually juggle in life, I tell people I juggle two ex-partners as well as my husband!
It’s actually worked out easier than I could have imagined
Gossip about your kids. Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective by letting your child "catch" you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.
I still have a good friendship with Brett and we share custody of our 12-year-old. She goes to her dad every other weekend and for school holidays, she usually spends most of her time with him, so she gets some quality time with her father.
I’m not on great terms with my son’s father, Harry. We had a nasty breakup so things are still pretty tense between us and we went through a stage where Harry was threatening to fight for full custody so he could move interstate and take our son with him.
But, thankfully, his plans to move interstate fell through.
'He threatened to take my son away from me.' Image: iStock.
He has our son every Thursday and Friday night, and every other weekend, which has worked out really well. I felt it was important he spends as much time with his dad as possible, just for that tight father/son relationship.
Three is definitely a crowd when it comes to husbands
People always want to ask me if my two ex-partners have met my husband, Hamish.
Say "I love you" whenever you feel it, even if it's 743 times a day. You simply can not spoil a child with too many mushy words of affection and too many smooches. Not possible.
Yes, they’ve met but it’s not as though these men are ever going to be friends. When it comes to Hamish, the other men want to know that their child has a step father who treats them well.
He’s an amazing step dad – but I wouldn’t say that Hamish treats my first two kids exactly the same as he treats our daughter. That’s just human nature, I guess. He’s naturally going to be more loving and closer to his child and not as close to his step-kids.
There have been a few harsh words here and there
Harry isn’t exactly fond of Hamish, because I left him for Hamish. He hated Hamish at first and was horrified that our son would be living with him. Harry sees Hamish as the reason our marriage ended but that’s not true. Our marriage would have ended with or without Hamish being around.
'He's more loving towards the daughter we share than my other kids.' Image: iStock.
The hardest part
One thing people don’t really understand is that when my first two kids are off with their fathers, I miss them dreadfully. My sister once said, "But at least you still have one child at home with you when the others are with their dads." Yes, that’s true but it often makes me miss the other two even more.
Get kids moving. The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.
There’s only been one occasion when all three of my children’s fathers were together in one room – for my 40th.
I thought it’d be good for the kids to have all the dads there for a casual get together and it went okay. But, apart from saying hello to each other when they arrived, both of my exes ignored Hamish. That’s okay, I never expected them to be buddies!
Brett and Harry get on pretty well but neither of them would go out of their way to start a conversation.
The other thing that’s really difficult is Christmas day
I’ve worked out an arrangement with Brett that we take it in turns each year, where one of us has our daughter for the morning and lunch while the other parent has her for the afternoon and stays over.
But Harry didn’t like that idea for our son. He’s very bossy and can be pretty selfish so he pushed for taking our boy on overseas trips every other year which means I don’t get to see him at all over the Christmas holidays one year on/off.
Apart from that, I can’t really complain.
The kids all feel loved and that’s the most important thing of all.
Just say "No." Resist the urge to take on extra obligations at the office or become the Volunteer Queen at your child's school. You will never, ever regret spending more time with your children.
Fan theories about Love Actually
Fan theories about Love Actually