One under one is hard. Two under two is just as exhausting as it sounds. And three under three? That’s life today for former Bachelorette star Emily Maynard Johnson—and, yes, she says it’s the epitome of chaos.
“Occasionally I do think they’re going to kill each other,” says Maynard Johnson, 31, in a new interview with People. “The baby has taken a couple of play hammers to the head!”
With 2-year-old Jennings Tyler, 15-month-old Gibson Kyle and 6-week-old Gatlin Avery, Maynard Johnson says she’s relying on help from just about anyone who’s willing to give it—including her 12-year-old daughter, Ricki.
“I just have to remind myself that she is not my nanny, she is still only 12,” says Maynard Johnson. “I don’t want her to look back on her childhood and be like, ‘I just had to babysit my brothers all the time.’”
So far, that doesn’t seem to be the case, as Maynard Johnson says Ricki “secretly loves it.” But the mama does have to keep her expectations in check for the two big brothers.
“I still really have to remind myself [Jennings is] only 2—he is still very much a baby,” says Maynard Johnson, who married automotive management consultant Tyler Johnson in 2014, years after Ricki’s father was killed in a plane crash during Maynard Johnson’s first pregnancy.
As hard as life with three children under the age of three can be, Maynard Johnson says her past helps her appreciate it.
“I was so young when I had Ricki. I loved being a mom to her, but I was in such a fog for a lot of it, from everything that had happened,” she says.
There’s just one key: Carving out a few minutes for herself—anyway she can.
“I do hit my max,” she admits. “Sometimes I’ll go sit in my car and drink my coffee. I don’t want to see what kind of mess the kids are making inside!”
Emergency car coffee breaks aside, Maynard Johnson says life is just as she hoped it would be. “I’ve always wanted a lot of kids. I made it clear on our first day, Listen, my clock’s ticking, and I’m ready to get on this,” she says. “I wouldn’t change any of this for the world.”