Friday, May 3, 2013

Almost Three Weeks In: A Real Look Into Life with 4

(While I try to keep my posts as positive as I can, this one  may not quite fit into that category-but it's real-life!).

It's been nearly three weeks since Baby #4 has arrived.  We are still working on settling in and getting to know our Little Queen Bee.  Some days I think we're making progress, as she'll take long naps and stretch out her feedings a bit, but then that comes to a halt and I'm back to being up most of the night and trying to keep her content during the day.  She's following in the steps of her older siblings and showing signs of reflux that make her uncomfortable and this week I've figured out that she is unable to tolerate dairy like our youngest son.  This can make life a bit challenging, as her temperament is not always so pleasant and she seems to eat more than she doesn't in an attempt to keep herself comfortable.

Since she requires so much time and attention, the kids have started to "rebel."  My youngest son has begun to act out and be incredibly uncooperative and aggressive.  I know he's fighting for attention, but it's getting very tiring.  I've implemented the listening chart to try to positively motivate him, but he's really struggling.  I do my best to spend as much time with him as I can, but it's just really hard to do when I'm feeding the baby all of the time!  My oldest son is also having some behavior issues that I'm sure stem from the new baby as well.  The Princess has her moments, but for the most part, she's doing great.  We have our moments where multiple people are crying, screaming, or throwing a temper tantrum, time-outs and being sent to rooms are an everyday occurrence, and my finest parenting skills (insert sarcasm) have reared their ugly heads.  We are far from perfect, but we'll get through it.  

Other than driving the kiddos to school, I can count on one hand how many times I've left the house in three weeks and two of those were for doctor's appointments.  I haven't been anywhere without a child since before Baby #4 arrived nor have I had much alone time at home.  I know that this, too, shall pass and I fully expected this, it just doesn't make things any easier.  There are times throughout the day where I just want to scream, "I need a break!"  The reality, however, is that when you have small children, especially a newborn, there just really aren't a lot of breaks to be found.  

My mom has been my saving grace throughout the past few weeks.  Her and my dad stayed with our kids while we were at the hospital and made all of our older kids feel very special during that time.  She has come to our house to help with the kids, cook, clean, and school pick-up on the days she's here.  She is going to save me again soon when my husband leaves on a business trip for four days!  This is one of the great benefits of moving back near family and her willingness to help out.

You know how the saying goes, "The days are long, but the years are short."  Right now, the days are long, but I hope in the next month, I'll be able to have a little more downtime and maybe get out of the house without the kids.  I am looking forward to being able to exercise again, as it's a great stress-reliever and puts me in a much better mood!  It would be nice to be able to get some sleep, but I am not about to get my hopes set too high about that yet.  Those goals seem pretty lame, but they're really important to this mama!  I'm going a little stir-crazy here if you couldn't tell....

At the end of the day, though, I have four cute, smart, funny, and healthy kids.  Soon they'll be grown and these days will be long behind us.  I'll probably even miss the chaos and unpredictability that each day brings.  Parenting is a wild ride and we're definitely on one of the thrilling, adrenaline-pumping rides right now.  I better buckle up and hold on tight!


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