As we settle into nine, I struggle to find balance. This is not out of the ordinary, regardless of how many children one has. None to one is the biggest adjustment. Three to four means the sedan no longer provides enough seats. Six to seven is the same. A newborn baby, with all her joy and blessings, takes a period of adjustment.
Fortunately, my kids have always welcomed the newest sibling without missing a beat. They are excited about the new baby and loving.
Fortunately, I don’t have debilitating postpartum depression. Down days? Yes. Days plagued with complete exhaustion? Of course! Days when I think this is impossible? Again, yes. But child rearing IS impossible without God.
I reached out to a friend who is also a mother of seven. Her youngest is a few months older than mine. I asked how do you manage? I’m overwhelmed today! She was loving and comforting in her simple words of advice and wisdom. YES she is overwhelmed oftentimes. Focus on the things we can do as opposed to those we cannot. Things that can be let go, let go.
I struggle greatly with these two things! As much as I know she is right… as much as I know I do plenty in a day… It never seems to be enough in my mind. I want my home clean. I want to put on makeup. I want to be able to take my kids out daily… and not just the backyard. But finding the balance…
I planned today to take the kids to the pool. Yes, all seven. I’ve been saying I would for days. Finally, at 5pm, I sat them down and said I simply could not manage that right now. I watched and listened to their disappointment as I offered up the splash playground as an alternative. I threw in a trip to the frozen yogurt shop to “sweeten” the deal. But then baby awoke; I fed her. Changed more diapers, etc. Then it was 6pm and time to make dinner.
I put some fish in warm water to thaw and sat for a moment to color (a picture of fish, ironically). Then baby cried again… So I put her on my lap and began writing this. Mainly because at first I was feeling defeated again. Another day gone. But I wrote to remind myself…
Yes, some days will be slow. Others overly booked. Some days will be downright difficult. But each day is good. And I’m grateful.
Even as I remind myself to just breathe.