I really want to be honest about This Life, our life at the moment. I feel like I should be honest about how hard the transition from 2 to 3 kids has been because I don't want anyone else who is finding parenting hard to think I have it all figured out and that it's easy because it's not. For me or anyone else. If anyone else is feeding you that line they are probably (almost definitely) stretching the truth.
From moment to moment things are pretty good. Most of the day - maybe 85%, everything is calm and everyone happy enough. But the rest of the time can be pretty fraught. And as I sit and go over what happened through the day it's the less than stellar bits that I tend to focus on and beat myself up over.
The big kids would like me to read to them or play games with them like I used to be able to but I just can't. Baxter needs me a lot - feeding, changing, winding. He's also not sleeping particularly well during the day which means he is often tired and doesn't want to be put down. So the times he is content to kick on the play mat are the times I'm trying to through washing in, put dinner on, pick up some of the 8516112131 random objects off the floor so we at least have a path from to room.
The hardest time for me without a doubt is possibly the hardest time for everyone. Dinner, bath and bed threaten to do me in just about every night. Someone not eating tea or complaining about what I've made set me on edge. Usually because I've bust a gut trying to make something healthy and tasty one handed while jiggling a grizzly baby. Usually there's no chance to clean up after tea because I need to get the kids washed and ready for bed. Brodie is so helpful and will collect pyjamas and get himself dressed, undressed, washed and will help Grier too, but he's only 5.
I really miss being able to spend some relaxed time at the end of the day with Brodie and Grier. Usually it's a quick story whilst I'm either feeding or trying to bounce an unhappy and noisy baby with the other hand. And when I kiss them goodnight and switch the light off part of me is overwhelmed with relief that they're in bed and part of me feels awful that everything is so rushed and just not what is used to be. I'm just hoping that we'll be able to get back to our leisurely stories and cuddles and that the kids won't remember this bit when they reminisce. The irony being the days that are the most frantic are the days when everyone needs a bit more love and attention which just can't happen just now.
So when Greig gets home an hour later usually I'm still jiggling and unhappy baby, full of woes. Lucky him.
I know that this bit won't last forever, that things will become easier when Baxter is more settled. And like I said there are bits during the day when all is good. This is life for us right now, busy, chaotic, all the feelings, finding our way, sharing our hurts, trying to retain a sense of humour and finding extra cuddles when it feels like there are none left.
I wrote the above on Thursday night - after a particularly hard day - can you tell??
Then on Friday all the kids read the manual and were model citizens all day. Like seriously angelic. I got everyone where they needed to be, the played together, tidied together, ate dinner together and went to bed early after plenty of snuggles and books because Grier skipped her nap and Brodie was tired after football. I've also had a headcold which migrated into tonsillitis and an earache which probably hasn't helped with the old tolerance levels. I think the universe gifted me with such a wonderful day so I could remind you that even when your week has been a complete shit show there's always a chance tomorrow will be better, so chin up buttercups:)
they were so quiet i went to find up what they were up to. reading and drawing quietly apparently.....
i had to take this while peaking around the door so I didn't disturb him. listening to your child read to themselves is magical. Magic boy.