It’s been a while since I wrote anything. I miss writing. But finding time to do so is a whole new ball game now days.
The truth is, most days I feel like I’m drowning. I had lots of people warn me how much work the third child would be. They told me laundry would multiply exponentially. They told me my hands would be full. I was warned. The trouble is, I was warned AFTER I was pregnant.
The warnings are true too. My work load feels as if I went from 2 children to 8! I love my baby girl, and I am so happy she is a better sleeper than her big siblings. But I feel so guilty too. I spend my time referee-ing fights between the older kids, trying to keep up with laundry, attempting to keep the house marginally clean, cooking, fixing juice……. The work never ends. When am I supposed to get to hold my baby?
My first born was held, cuddled, talked to, read to, bathed religiously… I was good at being a mom to one. My second child didn’t wear cloth diapers, and by doctor’s suggestion we cut baths down to just a few nights a week, but he still got cuddles and stories, and all those things. Child number 3? Oh my. She hears books some times. She wears cloth diapers when the budget is too tight not to. She gets held when she is hungry. She swings a lot!
Today I was washing a giant load of clothes, like I do every Friday. I got ready to throw some in the dryer and opened it to find a set of sheets still in there from Wednesday! By the time all the clothes were washed and on the clothes line (who can afford to dry that many clothes?!) all 3 kids had gotten dirty to the point of changing clothes!
I started “potty training” Gracie early — it took her 2 years to figure it out, but I started early. Skeet handed me a toy yesterday and said “hold dis while I go potty.” I remember how I sat with Gracie, held her hands, read her books, gave her jelly beans for going in the potty! And Skeet just took himself the first time he went… of course, that made a mess for me to clean up, so there’s that.
I’m missing things. I can’t keep up with all they do. I can’t sit and watch them learn to color in the lines. Or listen to them “read” books from memory. I barely get them all fed at reasonable times each day; let alone making sure everyone brushes their teeth! I actually had to put teeth brushing on our chore chart, just so I remember to have them do it!
I don’t know how to fit in time with them and still keep my own sanity. Most of the time I’m so overwhelmed and frustrated I snap at the poor kids for everything. I try to teach them how to behave, but it’s hard to do when I have to start by saying “I know you’ve seen mommy do that when she was mad, but…” How is that supposed to work for young minds?!
I’m trying. I’m being more intentional now about some time with the kids (but think I might need to go back to a flip phone to help me focus better when I sit to play.) Yesterday I sat in the hall resetting bowling pins for a while. The day before we colored together. This morning I read a couple of books. I’m working on learning to swim with three kids; but most days, the truth is I barely keep my head above water. I just hope they remember how I tried.