Me: Your mom and my mom. They both told me that they thought it might be a little too soon to be having another baby at this point; it might be too overwhelming.
Me: And I think I know what they meant now. I don't doubt he was supposed to be born; I know we were supposed to have him, but I am feeling overwhelmed. I get it now.
The delicate balance I've been towing thus far in my motherhood existence is starting to strain, dear reader. I'm finding myself overwhelmed beyond what I thought I was capable of doing before. Simple tasks (like laundry? Dishes? Grocery shopping? Making a phone call?) are now interrupted with six separate human beings (and one feline) demanding my attention. Each human has specific needs (the husband needs clothes laundered; the 6 year-old needs to read to me; the 2 year-old has a stinky diaper; the baby needs to nurse), and each one needs/wants my attention immediately.
But! In order to combat the stress of this, I have to throw in some of my own "me" needs to be met. Things like book club, lunch dates, online-time, etc.
But! I have outside responsibilities. Such as piano lessons, my callings, my job (Avenia Bridal). To name a few.
See, I've already given up a bunch of stuff to try and stop the stress from eating me alive. I've already cut back on the stuff I like, too. I even sigh and move on when the house isn't as clean as I would like, and I will even slack a bit when it comes to my job(s). But it's not working, you know. Not really.
And then something else is starting to bug me: Where is the line when it comes to my relationship with my children? Should I focus more on their independence? Their need to learn how to clean/cook/do homework/be successful/one-day-move-away-from-home-and-not-need-mommy-to-take-care-of-them? Or should I be working on my personal relationship with each one? Should I be worried more about their ability to trust me? To come to me for help? And even worse: How can I do both? Teach independence, righteous living, and create an environment where they feel loved, trusted, and give back love and trust in return?
I had a fabulous talk today with my visiting teaching companion. She is at the opposite end of my life (well, the middle end, I guess). Her oldest is 20 and her youngest is 10. She lived my life, and so I love to hear about her experiences. She told me that with her kids, she erred on the side of leniency in order to build and establish a close relationship. She admitted that she's not sure whether or not that was the right way to go, but so far, it's working out okay. One of her kids is having a really tough time, but it's obvious that he loves his mom --to me, it's obvious, anyway.
I guess I'm not sure what I'm even trying to say, but my kids have been on my mind so much lately. Having #5 has shown me that making this choice to have a big(ger) family is something that I have to own. I can't pretend it's easy, and I can't pretend it will get easier (especially since we want a sixth!), but I do know having these kids was the right choice for me (and, I daresay, their father). It's a challenge I signed up for willingly, so I'm okay with trying to figure it all out. Even if I make a million mistakes.
Hey, I've already made at least 1/2 a million, so I've got plenty more to make!