Monday, June 18, 2012

Four Kids is the Bomb

Seriously, the bomb. You know the kind that explodes and leaves detritus, food and clothing strewn randomly around? That kind of bomb. And just to mix metaphors a little bit, let's pretend my house is a submarine that has been hit by this four kid bomb, so then you can know that I feel like I'm drowning. [Insert laughter-- tentative, shaky laughter, bordering on maniacal, in an attempt to let you know that I'm fine. Fine. Everything is just fine.]
While the sleep schedule has vastly improved around here, and the combat nursing has quieted to an uneasy Cold War, I can't seem to get it together. I told Mike that the first line of a mythical book that I'm going to find the time to write will say, "It was the laundry that finally killed her." How does laundry manage to mulitply like rabbits? I swear I leave it alone for one day and the next thing I know it's baby's baby's are having brightly stained babies.
Everything else we own is busy making homes in the middle of the floor, on top of the piano and on the couch where we used to sit. I need my boppy riot shield just to walk through the house without breaking my ankle.
I'm struggling to survive this four-kid thing. And it makes me feel even worse when I think how much I am struggling and this doesn't even count as a real trial. It's supposed to be a blessing. And I'm not allowed to complain about the struggle because it's a blessing, right?  And there are so many wonderful things in my life too. Norah is an angel. She sleeps well, is predictable and smiles sweetly. Ellie is potty training (I have a new idea for ways to convince teens to remain abstinent, or to torture insurgents. Have them potty train a two-year-old without losing their temper, only clapping and dancing happily every time the child manages to make it to the toilet). Hannah is learning to control her temper. Mckenzie is learning independence (this is a euphemism for 'yelling at me all the time and not wanting to do anything but sit around'). So things are good. And now I feel guilty for even complaining.

Dear Mothers who are Happy that it's Summer time and you get to spend every waking hour with your precious children-- What are you doing that makes it so happy? We are having small issues with adjustment to a new schedule of chores and piano practice and "don't-get-stupid-this-summer" worksheets.  Do you just forget the house and chores and worksheets and do fun things all summer long? Do you send them to summer camp all summer? My philosophy has been "Work first, then play." But this has turned into "Work First. Fight Always. Get Grounded and Have No Fun." I would just give up and go sit on the couch, but the couch is currently buried in a pile of laundry.


Michelle said...

I think we might have some copyright infringement here. Those are definitely the thoughts out of MY head (except just insert 3 where you say 4). I was telling Nate (or maybe the baby or the cat) just last night that the laundry is drowning me. If it's any comfort, I think you're pretty awesome, and if anyone can survive it gracefully it's probably you.

joyce said...

I find it strangely comforting that summertime isn't your favorite time of year. Sometimes I feel like the only one that dreads summer vacation. Like, really dreads it.
My youngest starts kindergarten in the fall. And I don't think I shall shed even the tiniest of tears...
Good luck with your mountains of laundry. :)

charbetrichey said...

Oh, Stephanie, regardless of how you feel today, someday you will yearn for days like this. REALLY! Children grow up and leave home so fast it will make your head swim when you look back. Enjoy the ride and build memories. You will look back and wonder what happened.
Please post pictures of the baby blessing. If you put them on FB, I don't do FB anymore. :-(
Love you and your family.

Em Russ said...

do you know that I love you... it is true!

You know... now that my baby is almost 3 I have decided that even though these blessings are blessings, it is the BABIES that are so darn hard. Having someone who doesn't need you every second of the day makes all the difference. Things are easier now that I am not getting up all night and carrying someone around all day. Now watch me go get pregnant again... not literally, of course! ;)

p.s. speaking of copyright infringement I saw an entire blog post on the give a mouse a cookie is my life post... it was totally your idea first!!

Trevor and Liz Covington said...

I love you too steph.....iwas just pondering this torture called summer vacation, praying I will survive! Glad I'm not the only one struggling so I can feel better about myself! I have one very meager solution. Vacation bible school starts next week. I found one that takes 2 year olds, yeah! So my kids will be learning more about thelutheran views of Jesus while I do whatever I want from 9-12 next week!

A Corb said...

If it helps at all, I lost my mind for about 8 months after my fourth...not sure if it came back or if I just learned to adjust well. Hang in there, and think of how much you love and admire your own mom, and it will make all the hard work worth it to know that your girls will feel the same way someday. :)

Tobi said...

Don't get stupid this summer worksheets? Hysterical. And something I probably really need to do with my kiddos.

I have the same credo in my house of work first and play later. However lately it's been all play and no work. And you can tell because the house looks like monkeys have been have a rip roaring good time.

Kristen and Gang said...

I'm not sure who you're comparing yourself to. Nobody has 4 kids, 1 of whom is nursing and another potty training, and has complete control of the laundry. And if they do, there're cutting corners somewhere else... like sleep.

Our summer schedule goes like this: big girls wake me up when they get up and play for 10-20 minutes until I get up. We eat, comb hair, get dressed, brush teeth and they have 2 chores. One is always their room. Then we do something fun, even if it's sprinklers. If the work isn't done, they don't play. If one person doesn't t pull her weight, she has to be tortured, like watching the other one eat a popcicle. But I only have 3 so take it with a grain of salt.

Kathryn-nannygoat said...

Amen Sister!!! Four kids was my breaking point Steph. It is when EVERYTHING in my life went into pure-survival-mode. I felt like a terrible mother because all day long I was just putting out fires. It was so overwhelming! I'm not sure exactly what changed or why the heck we thought we could add another little one to the bunch but I think in a way I finally just surrendered to the pure chaos and now (as in this very minute... check back with me in five minutes) I'm okay with the insanity.
Hang in there lady. Oh, and we always do work first and play later... cause I'm mean like that. I swear my kids are more pleasant, grateful, and responsible because of that philosophy. Hang out with entitled kids for a day and you will know you are making the right decisioon! Stick with it!

Rachel Kirkaldie said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. Children are a blessing, but that doesn't mean they aren't a trial at times, too. :) I'm sure you are doing much better than you give yourself credit for.