With a newborn, a toddler, a high energy preschooler, and one in school who I also homeschool because the district doesn't seem to view kindergarten as important, I often find myself living to get through the day. I think "I can make it till "nap time" (which these days consists of two napping and one to three others watching Veggie Tales). Then I think "Ok, I can make it till bedtime".
I find myself living for tomorrow. "Tomorrow things will be better". Or. "When they are a little older...". But that is stupid. Really if I look at my friends who have older kids, they have a whole new set of frustrations and daily "have-to's".
I am really disappointed in myself because I feel like so often I am rushing their lives away. For heaven's sake, they are only this age once. I don't get a do-over. This is it. I will never ever get today back. I will never ever again get to experience what we are doing right now. And that is really sad to me.
But on the other hand, I am tired. I'm not going to lie. I get asked quite often "so...how is it now having four?" I guess that is a fair questions. Honestly most of the time it isn't a whole lot different than having three. With having had a home daycare for the past five years, we are used to a house full of kids. But now they all stay and don't go home with other people. (The hardest thing about four seems to be getting OUT THE DOOR. I feel like I am herding cats. I try to be an organized person, but getting OUT seems to be mass chaos often. I'm hoping in the summer when we don't have to do hats and coats it will get easier).
But I also hate that question. How do you THINK it is going having four children with the oldest being five? Do you think it is easy? Do you want me to whine and complain about how I don't sleep and I trip on toys all the time and how my perfectionistic firstborn expectations have been flushed down the toilet along with who knows what else that can fit and I haven't realized is missing yet????
But I LOVE having four kids. I don't know which one I'd get rid of if I wasn't to have four. Each brings unique qualities to our family. I love each and everyone to pieces. I am so very glad God has given us four kids and blessed us with them. They are worth a messy house that I constantly am picking up (don't look under the furniture please, I never quite get there).
I think it is easy when you have a blog to make it look like you have it all together. I certainly don't. On a blog people tend to show what they want to and leave the icky things out (or they just tell the messes of life and forget to stop and smell the roses). My life isn't icky, not by a long shot. I really gave it a thinking the other day when #1 and I were arguing over his involvement with what I think of as "extra curricular work activities". Really I was just being moody and stubborn and insensitive. He is doing his best (and a darn good job I believe) to provide for a family of six. He sees what can happen when husbands don't man up and do what they need to. He is a great provider and selfish little me needs to tell him that more often instead of whining about him not being home because he has yet another meeting.
If you are a cop or a cop's spouse you probably know what I am talking about. There is always something be it court, or a committee, or fitness duty. And when I see him walk out the door on his day off or when he isn't "supposed to be at work" I have a tendency to be irritated. Mostly because I love to be around him, but also because I feel trapped being here with four little ones and sometimes not leaving the house for 48 hours at a stretch.
But I stepped back and thought about all the people I know. I thought through several times families I know through church, and camp, and softball, and some of you whom I have never met but I read your blogs. And you know what? I didn't want to trade lives with anyone. Not one family. I couldn't think of anyone who really had it better than we do. The grass may seem greener on the other side, but it isn't.
No one has it all together. No one has the perfect marriage, or kids, or job, or leisure activity. Despite what others on the outside looking in may think, every family has issues. So I am trying really hard to just be thankful for my kids, for my husband, and for that horrible smell in the kids' bathroom that we really can't ever get rid of. Because this is the life that God has GIFTED me with. And I want to remember every day to enjoy where I am in life right now.
Have you ever struggled with this? What helps you?
*Snug was at school when I took this picture...he wasn't left out on purpose. And I realize Sweet Pea doesn't have clothes on, I was working on that when I decided to capture this moment!