Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Operation Independence

Operation Independence
Mission: To execute all household responsibilities, with great gusto, in order to give Mommy (Word-girl) some much needed relief.
Agents: Mad-Scientist, Word-girl, Agent E, and the Littles, oh and Pinky (heading into her third trimester today!

I'm always amazed at how motivated I am by pain. The last few weeks…okay, months, have been a physical struggle for me. I wasn't fully healed from carrying the twins when surprise baby Pinky came into the picture. Round ligament pain, stretched out abdominal wall, back pain, and heartburn have kept me relativity homebound and sometimes downright  "done in"…which looks like sitting on my couch while the twins go between amusing themselves by destroying the apartment and climbing all over me to "check in". It's been a good day when everyone is alive and relatively happy.

Then I had the revelation, that with one child, I was doing everything...and it worked, but with the Littles and pregnancy, I MUST STOP.
Full stop.
So, in my whirlwind fashion of over-the-top enthusiasm for a new parenting idea, I decided to make it a family challenge of seeing how much everyone can do on their own. Brilliantly obvious, I know.

First night on this mission, I taught Agent E, now 6 years old, how to pour his own glass of milk. Don't judge me for how pathetic it is that I was still getting every single drink and snack he needed.
His reaction was priceless, "Whoa, that was totally CRAZY!" Then the next morning I started brushing his hair before school and he said, "Wait, I can brush my own hair." That's when the invisible hand slap landed on my forehead. Of course he can! What the heck have I been doing to him (for him) for 6 years?!?! So the orders started flying…pack your backpack, zip your own coat, put your clothes in the hamper…wait, better yet, here's how to do a load of laundry. Let's see, count out 10 pieces of clothing…here, this drawer for detergent…oops, too heavy. That's okay, I'll figure out a different detergent container for you.

We all know fostering independence is a healthy thing but the honest truth is, we have to let go of a lot of efficiency and perfectionism throughout the training process. The long term benefits are totally worth it…and when you can't move much, you don't have a choice. So I've become the explain, coach, demonstrate, and follow up captain of this operation. We will succeed.

Failure is not an option.

Baby arrives in T-minus 3 months.

For more inspiration check out this link.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What's So Wonderful About Christmas?

Delayed gratification.

As I put away the Christmas tree, I contemplated what makes these little green things, covered in lights, so wonderful in the first place. I mean, why do they elicit such warm, fuzzy feelings and make us feel happy? I started imagining what we could do every month of the year so that we could feel as great as we do in December. And then it hit me that the specialness of Christmas, is in large part, because it only comes once a year.

Then, later as I unloaded the dishwasher, I was thinking about how grateful I compared to 10 years ago, and I realized that the greatest gift from infertility and days and months and years of waiting, was deeper gratitude. I appreciate both the meaningful and menial task of being a mother so much more than I would have, had my children come right when I wanted them.

So I'm thinking now that I'm really not doing my children any great service in giving them what they want exactly in the time they want it. In fact, one of the biggest and hardest adjustments for E, when the twins arrived, was not getting the snack or drink he asked for directly after he asked for it! I didn't know that catering to him would mean a harder lesson in patience and difference later. There is something greater I can give my children, along with the gift or whatever they ask for, if I just prayerfully look for the best time...

I can give them the gift of hearts bursting with gratitude.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

From Infertility to a Family of 6

Back a few years ago when I was reaching out into the blogosphere for infertility support, I hated infertility blogs that had morphed into parenting or follow-my-family-blogs.

I avoided them.

On the one hand, it was encouraging to read stories about treatments that had worked and miracles that had happened; but on the other, my heart ached for all those for whom nothing worked....including the 2 years I had already spent with failed treatment. I didn't want to see cute little twin pictures and watch their children grow. It's hard to be happy for other's blessings when you're stuck trying to accept your own circumstances.

And I judged those blogs....why did you waste time crying and striving for a family when clearly your 5 kids were right around the corner? That judgement held me back from reaching out and sharing my own struggles, afraid I would look silly if I ever did have a big family. And then, one day, I just heart just spilled out and I wrote my first blog, Breaking My Silence

And here I am today, my blog morphing into this next chapter of my life...parenting these "littles" (the small people I'm surrounded with daily) with no babysitter, nanny or grandparents in sight!

I'm going to struggle with my blog because I feel insensitive for sharing my happy family when I still have so many friends waiting for just one child. I could create a whole new blog...But I want to accept that although I will always be able to empathize with those who are told they will have trouble conceiving, those people may not be my audience anymore. Like the blogs I avoided, I will completely understand.

Now, more than ever, I want to write for my children. I want to write to encourage fellow moms. I want to write to help myself grow and stretch in this very intense season of my life.

Once upon a time, I had the thought that God might take my longing and ache for more children and overwhelm me with them...and He's a beautiful thing, worth writing about.