Four. Okay fine. It is overwhelmingly a lot at times. But really, not so different than having three.
Upon meeting a new person, seeing a stranger at the beach or grocery store, etc, I went from "nice professional lady with three good looking slightly precocious kids" to "batshit crazy lady with FOUR KIDS who is a disheveled mess and CLEARLY WILL NEVER STOP REPRODUCING."
The sudden change in reaction is rather staggering.
I was a disheveled overwhelmed mess before. All that is different now is the leaky boobs and baby on my hip. HA HA. (Also staggering, the number of people who meet me with baby on my hip, not seeing the other monkeys running around, and ask, "Is this your first?" Um. I say. No.)
No but truly. Not much has changed. The infant part is hard of course, I was a bit out of practice, but otherwise my life feels no more chaotic.
And actually. There is a freedom I have felt in having a fourth kid. Maybe its just older mom wisdom been at it for a decade kind of thing.
HA. Maybe not.
But the fourth kid has allowed me to say - to myself mind you - its okay, you don't have to do it all.
I mean. FOUR KIDS.
And yea, crabby nine year old? He can get his own peanut butter sandwich for lunch.
And, hey, its okay to fall back on frozen meatballs AGAIN for dinner. FOUR KIDS.
HA HA. I am negating my own "Three-isn't-that-different-than-four" argument.
But yea. You can only keep an eye on so many places at once. You have to actually start - gasp- trusting your own kids.
Maybe that is the freedom I am feeling. Maybe it is that I now see my big kids as BIG. CAPABLE.
They can cross the street to grab you an iced coffee at the parade so you can keep an eye on number 2, 3, and 4 kids. (This is the 9 year old tasked to this, of course) You can ask the seven year old to please come and load the dishwasher. You can say hey guys, I am putting the baby to nap, be good.
And its okay.
In fact. I have been again and again surprised by my kids as I give them more space to "do" all of the deeds that I thought were "mommy tasks" required of me - and only me - throughout the day.
The other day I realized, as I lugged laundry down the stairs with a baby asleep in the wrap. Hey. Nine year old can do this. So I said, hey, nine year old, will you come do this? Uh. Sure mom. (Insert a bit of eyerolling and sighing, but still he did it, fairly willingly.)
Its okay to ask for help.
Its okay to need grace.
Even from our own kids.
Sometimes in our desire to do so much for them, to be so much, we forget that they learn best by doing. And that we need to let them do, even if imperfectly, in order to grow in experience and responsibility. And this is true whether you have two or ten kids.
So. Pour a cup of tea and go boss around a kid. It'll feel AMAZING.
I am joking people. Seriously I am.
But. It IS good for them to see value in what we do all day.
Yes, it is a lot. Fine. You are right.
|little guy LOVES his big sister|
|you guys. my lemon tree. planted from seed. its huge!|
|our green haired swimming queen|
|am i big???|
|omg he has started pulling my face toward him to give me kisses. its the cutest ever.|
|summertime cartoon watching. sigh. some days i just cant even. you know?|
|what are you doing mom?|
your room is a mess.
thats because its my preteen lair.
God help me.
no seriously. God. HELP