Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Longer Than I Imagined

Before Josiah was born, I - in my inexperienced, idealistic, first-time-mom way - thought that I'd give myself a couple of weeks to get back to normal. A wise friend cautioned me to give myself two months. She was right: by the time Josiah was two weeks old, I was still doing plenty of "baby blues" crying and life seemed overwhelming at times; but by the time he was two months old, we were comfortable enough with life and parenthood to be flying from California to Israel for vacation, right in the middle of steamy hot August - not the most convenient thing to be doing with a newborn.

Now that I have four children, I'm wondering if maybe two years is the amount of time I'll need for this adjustment. I've thought numerous times recently about something that a friend of mine - herself, a mother of five little ones - said to me. "Whoever said that the transition from one child to two children is the hardest apparently never had more than two children." I couldn't agree more.

Before Shav was even born, I knew that this adjustment could prove to be harder than any previous ones were for me. Yet somehow, I thought by this point in time - close to 9 months down the road - things would be easier than they are. After all, when Tobin was only 6 months old, I felt accustomed enough to juggling three children to confidently see Jeff off to Israel for several weeks. Now, the thought of him being gone for such a long period of time makes me shudder.

I don't want to be misunderstood: I LOVE MY LIFE and feel incredibly blessed to be the mother of these four boys. Life is wonderful! I am happy!

But I just don't know how to do it all. I guess I'm realizing that even though my life is truly wonderful, it's not necessarily easy. And I'm wondering when it will ever feel easy again.

Meanwhile, as I ponder these "important" thoughts, I thank God for this small boy...
...who can brighten my day...
...with just a smile.

And, let me tell ya, some days need brightened! ;)


Sally said...

Keep going, Davene! I don't have 4 little children, but Paul and Hannah were about 15 mo. apart. It wasn't until Hannah was a year old that I could start to catch my breath and begin to feel human again. Then, now that she's two, I think I can fairly say that a lot of things are easy and the tough when-will-this-day-ever-end days are a rarity. I know that your situation is different, especially since you have 4 little children. But, the brighter days will get more, and I know you will get things figured out to make more things easy as you go along. (Now, I'm going to need some of the same reminders in a few months when I enter again that blur of perpetual exhaustion and life with a newborn and two toddlers. Sometimes I wonder why God made the early months of motherhood soooooo hard and exhausting. I'm sure there's a reason and an answer, but we'll have to wait until we get to heaven to find out.) Just keep focusing on your primary goal right now---teaching your children about God and his mighty deeds. If nothing else gets done but that, you will have succeeded.

Morning said...

I asked my friend who has three if she was having "fun", and she said she would be, if only she could have an hour every day just for herself. It's just such an unrelenting task, and with babies at such different stages and ages, life is trickier. Likely when Shav is old enough to really be "one of the boys" you will find some time for yourself. I do sympathise with you -- but how exciting it will be one day to have four big men who belong to you!

Julie said...

It is hard to be in the thick of it. You can be happy with your life AND overwhelmed with it at the same time. And I don't know if it gets "easier" (it kind of gets bigger), but things change.

I remember meeting a friend at B&N for storytime/coffee once. She had a calm 3 or 4 year old girl who stayed by her side. I had a 3 year old, 2 year old, and infant, all girls. The 2 and 3 year old were in different directions and the infant needed to be held, and I was reminded of why I DIDN'T do storytime at B&N, yet again.

The mom and I couldn't even sit at the cafe with the kids and get a sentence out. And it seemed like other children were quietly eating a snack by their moms but not mine. And I was totally overwhelmed. Ssomething tells me that yours would be the calm snack eaters, though. Just a hunch.)

My friend, meaning to encourage me, said "3 years. Give it 3 years and things will be easier and look completely different." (this knowing that the infant was the last one finally) And while that was a TRUE statement, at the time it wasn't ENCOURAGING to me, because I didn't think that I would make it through the next THREE MINUTES let alone the next 1,000ish more days!!!!

I gathered my chicks from hither and yon and trucked them out to the van. And cried. And felt overwhelmed. In that moment.

It has now been 1 1/2 years. Things are a bit easier in some ways (the infant is a toddler and the 5 and 3 year old stay put usually). We can do things with just one in a stroller. There is now time for me to "get out" occasionally to do mommy things like exercise or worship team or take a class.

There are also lots of voices to hear and hearts to keep up with and individuals to learn to know and love. You are amazing to keep such an upbeat attitude in the midst of it all. I try to take one day at a time. Sometimes that works. ;)

You are a great mom. And it's ok to not be able to do it all. Don't take 18 years to learn that like I have!

Elizabeth said...

I love learning from you Davene. I can imagine how hard it can be at times. I love your joyous outlook on life though, even when its hard. All your boys are so very blessed to have you as their Momma. Its my goal to be like you one day.

I can imagine your trepidation about Jeff going to Israel. And I will start praying for you all.

Much love dear Davene :)

Sally said...

Is Jeff going on a trip?

Davene said...

Oh, dear, I wasn't clear when I was writing late last night, was I? Jeff is NOT going on a trip - at least, not that I know of - not anytime soon. But I was imagining how I would feel if he were going away...and comparing my hesitancy after having 4 children to my confidence after having 3 children. That's all. No trips. :)

Thanks so much, everyone, for your encouragement!!!

Margie said...

Hello, Davene - thanks for your honesty. You post so often that I almost believe you're coasting through these days with four! I remain really amazed at your ability to homeschool, cook, and post so regularly and so well.

You're a model for so many of us.