I wanted to share this from an email I sent to a friend who asked how things were going in our neck of the woods:
We’ve been finding our balance times we can go out (between feedings) and times I need the privacy of our home to avoid meltdowns (of the children, of course. LOL). [She says while bouncing the newborn, typing with one hand and juggling the pacifier the baby keeps spitting out.] I’ve also been mastering the art of nursing the baby while: making lunch, folding laundry, problem-solving, cleaning, and mediating. I tell ya what, that Hannah sure has a good latch. Most of our nursing sessions are not done with aerobics at the same time, but at least once daily requires some “skill”.
I have found that three kids keeps me more homebound with great value in everything being here w/o requiring me to have brushed teeth. 😉 I have been keeping up on the laundry (doing 1-2 loads per day and nearly getting them all folded and put away as well). This makes me feel great accomplishment. =D Funny how accomplishing a load of dishes, laundry or a shower before noon makes you think about writing in to the Noble Peace Prize for a nomination.
I, like you, have been focusing not on how to get a large amount of things done, but on how to get things done well. It’s more than just listing off desired behaviors louder than the frustrated screams, but making the time to explain why we should want to serve our family over ourselves in two and three year old lingo. It’s finding that extra special way to show each one of them love daily in the way they understand love. It’s strategizing your day so you’re nearby to listen in and encourage respectful play amongst sisters, ready to model kindness and clear communication. It’s nursing the baby while making lunch sometimes, but it’s also sitting down and having an extra rocking session without concern for the washer’s transfer needs. It’s settling into the balance of productivity mixed with the reality of a pajama day. It’s dancing in the accomplishment of timeliness being defined as only 5 minutes late when two poopy diapers announced themselves at the exit door. It’s saying “no” to extras and “yes” to help without falling into the trap of feeling useless in motherhood. It’s seeking opportunities to serve others from your living room or drop off some encouragement when the kids are already strapped into the car. It’s letting go of nap-teased hair and laughing at the new shapes hair takes as it dances in the afternoon breeze on the family walk. And it’s engaging the girls in dollhouse play while vacuuming the living room with the baby strapped to your chest.
It’s a whirlwind, a challenge and an utter, laughable joy that both keeps me going and knocks me off my feet. It’s three. And I love it!
I was born for this. =)
Hannah’s now 3 weeks old as of yesterday, sleeping 4-5.5 hours at a time at night (thanks be to God) with an occasional odd 3hr shift in there every few nights, and gives us eyes for about a total of 2 hours daily. She continues to be a peaceful, predictable, and patient baby that I’m praying she doesn’t “grow out of” next week. She has her moments of “help me fall asleep” exhaustion 1-2x per day, but with a little bouncing and extra snuggling she knocks out within 10 minutes. She has never returned to that crazy shrieking scream that was unable to find a solution (referring to day 3 and 4 of life). And grateful cannot resound any more from my lips.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that we’re nuts to have had three so close together. Makes me want to pull out a picture of your family. 😉 But, honestly, it doesn’t feel like too much to handle. It’s just like a fun Tetris puzzle – figuring out which piece goes where to get everyone’s needs met today. I’m thankful for no hormonal weirdness leftovers. I’m thankful for calm, quiet Jesus music setting the background for patience and peace in our household. And I’m thankful for the hope of good seeds producing good fruit when I sit down and take the time to teach life lessons, over behavior avoidance.
So thanks for asking. And for caring.
And for loving us.