There were moments in the beginning of this gig that I would pause and survey my surroundings. A baby on my breast, greasy ponytail in my hair, and dirty clothes shoving its way out of the top of the laundry chute. I'd sway my firstborn and try to remember that this was temporary. This moment, this stage, this insanity, ALL of it, was so temporary. I knew that the chores would always need tending to but that my baby would cease to fit into my arms, so I chose to rock and sway and sing the lullabies. Occasionally, I'd lose my mind, but that, like the baby in my arms, was also temporary.
As I'd projected, it came true. The baby grew up a bit, and another took his place in my arms and at my breast and the laundry still piled and the ponytail still required washing, but now there were two little souls who needed my care. Holding this second infant in my arms (always, always in my arms, that second one!), I surveyed my situation. More toys, more laundry, less time to accomplish any chores, and even less of a desire to worry about them. There were pictures to color and letters to sing and books about dinosaurs and 'lectricity to recite until memorized. I would lose my mind more frequently, but that was mostly due to a lack of sleep*. Again, so temporary.
A few houses and life events later found me with another infant in my arms. Knowing that this one, my 3rd child, would most likely be my last, filled me with a sense of nostalgia for every moment and milestone she zipped through. With 3 times the laundry and chores, having a baby who was happy and content allowed for me to lose my mind a little less in her early years, and for that, I'm grateful. For it seems that these past years have found me in moments of insanity more often than all 3 infancies combined. It isn't the lack of sleep but the change of needs that has caused my head to spin.
I just did a little math; on an average week, I currently spend 21 hours of my life either driving or attending activities with my kids. This does not include the 15+ hours of homeschooling or "extra" activities such as birthday parties and going to friends' houses. That means that I spend over 36 hours of my weekly awake time doing for my kids, but not necessarily doing "fun" or interacting on a deeper level. This is just the minimum requirement for me to get them all where they need to be. It's no wonder I'm going slightly crazy.
*See: 2nd baby who only slept in Mama's arms till 12 months of age.
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