This second month has been mostly me and the four kids at home all day together. That adjustment, while busy and difficult at times, has been a lot more seamless than #mycrazy had ever let it be in my head when I was anxious about it. I think we get out a little less and watch a little more TV than I would like, but we are making this four-kids-five-and-under thing work!
What We Learned About Preston:
Even though Preston has had to be very flexible and accommodating of his three older brothers and their activities, needs, and schedules, he is very much his own person. When I am just feeling like I can predict when he might have blocks of time where he is sleeping or awake, he will turn that completely upside-down as if to remind us that he is here and he is trying to run the show. He usually will wake up and be hungry enough to eat almost right away. Then he'll have about an hour or hour and a half of an awake block and then will take a nap. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I'll get comfortable with that and then he'll take a really long (or really short) nap and throw off his day. Or, he'll decide he wants to sleep right after he eats and then want to have a long awake period after. Or, he'll want to sleep a ton during the day and will have a random night where he is up and wanting to hang out. My body has had a hard time keeping up with him because he has no patterns. It's been a nightmare for my boobs!
|Sleeping angel <3|
|Smiling at somebody :)|
When I'm holding Preston, it is a guarantee that at least one other person is all up in my grill trying to get Little P to interact with them too. Most of the time, I have three people climbing all over me to get a look at Preston.
|He's not sure how he feels about his brothers being all over him all the time.|
|Preston can't even snuggle without someone else being right there!|
|"Watching" his brother swim.|
First time taking all four kids by myself to playground
First time taking all four kids to a store
First family vacation (trip to cottage)
First time going out to a restaurant with all six of us
First time putting feet in Lake Huron
|The cottage with all my boys|
|We went in pubic, all of us, and we survived!|
|Preston Huron touching Lake Huron!!|
What I've Learned About Being a Mom:
I think the theme of momming with four kids is grace. I can go to bed every night knowing I am doing the best that I can. While that is a good feeling, it also means that often I am fighting feelings of my best not being good enough. Parents feel that way a lot- being totally spent physically, emotionally, mentally but still feeling like they fall short.
I am trying grant myself grace, which is so hard for me to do because I have put myself at the bottom of the totem pole- also a thing so many parents do.
I'm trying to give myself grace when I put on makeup maybe once a week (I have a nice summer glow so who needs that anyway?!).
I'm trying to grant myself grace when I put on workout clothes hoping to take a really good walk (which has been mostly the only exercise I'm doing- working out consistently has not fully made it back into my priorities) and then the day is over and I realize I never took that walk.
I'm really finding grace when the reality that I may wore maternity pants for a very long time sinks in (I'm trying to think of it like I'm really giving them a last hoorah since I will never be pregnant again).
Most surprising this time is finding grace deep within when I feel overwhelmed at anything "extra." Right now, working out is extra, reading books is extra, doing any things for the upcoming school year is extra, taking care of my aging cat is extra, staying caught up on my work email is extra, even blogging feels like extra. Some of these things are my most favorite things to do and jamming them in feels next to impossible right this minute. (I have a two month old baby and three more kids, that's okay right?!)
Look at al those parenthesis as I rationalize my decisions to myself. That's where my grace comes in I guess.
I am motivated and empowered with difficult things- they fuel me... bring it on. So I chip away, little by little and celebrate small victories when I can. Completing this, even though Preston is now two and a half months old will be a victory. I have finished two books lately and I am so proud of that. I have gone to two spinning classes, and wahooo!
I know I'll get there- feeling a little more on top of it. But that's what grace is all about isn't it- respect and acceptance and patience.
Meanwhile, as I'm working on digging deep to find grace for me, I'm trying to give it out regularly to my children and Josh. We are all trying really hard.
I'm also trying enjoy small things- this is the longest summer I will have all my kids at home. I've been off on maturity leave since the end of April, so my summer started nice and early and boys have been done with school since the end of May. I'm trying to look and savor a lot of moments- running around in the sprinklers in underwear, all four boys laying in the play gym, morning walks at the cottage, sunsets, messy and sticky popsicle faces, swimming without swimmies, first T-ball games, evening walks and bike rides as a family, and Preston smiles as he takes in this big beautiful world.