Thursday, September 13, 2012

Adding a Fourth

Yesterday, when I was talking to a couple different friends, I realized something.  One of them said I'm making parenting four children look easy.  And I don't know if I've portrayed this experience well.  The challenge isn't in parenting each child, but in bringing each component into the whole picture.  The challenge is how differently I have to parent each child.

The rugrats are easy.  They need basic logistical care, but not constant detail.  Homework, feeding, cleaning, clothing, laundry.  Stuff I mostly understand.  And their needs are pretty simple, and the complications easy to solve.

Then I have a teenager.  And he's a good kid, but I'm done with logistics, mostly.  If I never cooked for him again, he wouldn't starve.  He does most of his own laundry.  I have no idea if his room is clean because I've stopped going in there.  Heh.  But I'm not done parenting him yet!  This period is Life Skills. And it's not easy, but it's WAY important.  Does he know how to treat a girl?  Does he know how to use a checkcard?  Can he apply for and maintain a job? Can he safely drive a car?  Is he ready to be on his own in two short years??  It's easy to give him the least attention right now because he can survive without me.  But I am constantly reminding myself how important these next couple years are in skills he'll desperately need when he leaves our nest.

Now throw a newborn in the mix, I double dog dare you.  Everyone knows the attention and time a newborn eats up. 

So am I busy?  YEP.  Am I tired?  Absolutely.  But I'm so doggone happy and feel so fulfilled.  Some days I'm going to chase my tail all day and hope I don't make anything worse.  But most days, I'm going to make a difference.  I'm going to continue to give these kids the tools they need to be successful adults.  And, I hope, I'm going to squeeze in a nap. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Maternity Leave

I've had myself a few crying jags today.

We've had the captain home for 17 days.  17 great days.  Tomorrow, he starts back at work after "maternity leave."  I'm going to miss him so much.

This guy, he never misses a beat.  Not only does he just step in and do what is necessary around here, but he does it without complaining.  He never makes me feel bad or guilty for all the extra stuff he has to do -- the laundry, cooking, the cleaning, the boys' baths/bedtime/general entertainment.

I feel a little panicky to be without him.  Am I ready to take care of four kids alone?  Will I get to Mass on time and keep everyone together?  Will the lack of sleep make me crazy?  Will I maintain enough patience for the rugrats? 

I know.  Suck it up. Other moms do it.  But I've been spoiled.  And I'm reminded to be thankful for the other (better) half of my team. I love you, Cory.  Couldn't do this without you.  Hurry home.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Clara Beff

Upon meeting her for the first time, I said, "Jack, say "hi" to Clara!" 

Jack:  I'm not going to call her that.

Me:  No?  What are you going to call her?
Jack:  Clara Beff.

Well, of course he is.  His brother is "Maffew" after all.