Thursday, December 02, 2010

Looking in the mirror

These days it would be interesting to see my life from the outside looking in. In the picture above, I am in a Target dressing room nursing the baby. I was probably emailing on the phone and changing a diaper. I even tried on a dress (didn't fit) while holding a baby in my arms! A few days ago while at the grocery store with all 4 kids, I was pushing the cart while nursing the baby in the Moby wrap with a nursing cover on top. My friend Stephanie walked by me in the freezer section, noticed I was nursing, and said something to the effect of, "you never cease to amaze me, Blair."

Multitasking at its best. That's my life right now. This morning I was talking to my mom on the phone while nursing a baby and buying a Christmas present online. I've been known to drive, talk on the phone, and hold a pacifier in the baby's mouth behind me in dire situations (always getting off the phone or putting it on speaker quickly!). My mind and my body seem to continually be doing several things at once. Many times it backfires and I do nothing with my whole mind. I get to the check-out at the grocery store and have no wallet. I lose the bills and they don't get paid on time. I forget a change of clothes for the child who gets wet wherever he goes. I miss out on a special moment with a child because I'm too busy with an email conversation.

This week it has been especially wearing on me. We haven't had many outside activities, but both the boys have been so needy. Thomas has had a cold and has needed a lot of cuddling and even a doctor visit. Steven Joseph has been in great need of attention. He's been into the dog water, the toilet water, throwing dirty water from the wheelbarrow, wetting his pants, squishing food into the carpet, name it. He needs me from the second he wakes up until the second he falls asleep..."Mommy, I need you! Get out of bed! Put the baby in the swing! I want cold water! I am hungry! Come sit with me on the couch, Mommy!"

I've been trying to finish the Christmas shopping online, decorate, plan for St. Nick day, pay the bills, question the insurance coverage for dozens of medical bills, question the Nikon camera repair situation, plan a Christmas program for next week, and plan a Little Flowers lesson for tomorrow. Last week was a major purging of the kids' rooms, the sewing room, and the playroom. I probably got rid of 6 trash bags-worth of stuff. It felt good but I knew that I would still have issues with messes around the house.

The messes are never going to end with small children in the house. They are imaginative and enjoy setting up villages, churches, vacations, and homes all around our house. We can work at learning to pick up messes when we're done. I need to work on it too. But finding peace amidst the blocks and trains and Little People is important, as is finding peace with sick babies, needy toddlers, sassy schoolgirls, and a racing mind. The season of Advent is one of preparation, and I need to prepare my heart in prayer, my mind in silence, even while my body has a lot of things to do and places to be.

I know I need to slow down where I can. Next week is going to be one of the busiest of the year. We've got outside activities nearly every day, and then this big program I'm in charge of on Friday. I'm going to try to step away from the computer and put down the iPhone more, stay away from my new obsession--money saving mom blogs, and just sit and nurse and maybe start sewing some stockings, and enjoy the time with our friends...getting to see the "real" Nutcracker downtown and practicing for our Christmas program. I want to enjoy reading our Christmas books and singing Christmas carols and finishing our school semester with happy (not harried) hearts.

I hope I can do it.


Jill said...

Lovely thoughts.
I used to nurse in the changing rooms of stores all of the time! It was a challenge when Marcus and Bennett were babies because I had to try to stack coats around me to get them both propped up and nursed at the same time while the then two-year-old had to occupy herself in the room.
Actually, I have many memories of all of the places I nursed babies...Henry got the most mileage since he got nursed all over Europe- probably five different countries! :)

And I totally get the messes. I hate to be a grump and make them put away each little thing when they use it because all of their games and ideas seem to be a work in progress! But, I am trying to think of ways to keep things more manageable and not have ME end up cleaning up everything at the end of the day.
We have just gotten into some good routines with where to put dirty laundry, how to fold playclothes and keep them in a little place where they can wear them over and over after they get home from to tidy up their toothbrushes and toothpaste messes...all sorts of good stuff. But, then our shipment will arrive and we'll have to start over again!

Anyway, all this rambling is cutting into your precious time. ;)

Kuovonne said...

You are an amazing mom and person. I am in awe how you can turn a frenzied week into a bit of inspiration.

Kimberly said... really amaze me!

Sometimes, I feel the same way you do...harried and totally off my rocker. But then I look at my plate, and realize I can say, "No" to some things that can wait. It's SO hard to say no when you have little ones who need you so much...I realize it's not always possible. Even now, before our baby is born, I am saying, "no" more than ever, just because I know I still won't be able to commit to doing things after the baby is born.

Maybe there is too much on your plate? Whenever I take something off the plate, even if it was really hard to do, it gives me a sense of relief!

Hang in there!

JulieC said...

You are truly amazing and an inspiration to me in so many ways. I see myself in you when my three girls were little. Now looking back I see that the messy playroom really didn't matter. That's not what they or I remember, and it was messy! Now they remember all the things we did not had. Maybe its time to hang a curtain at the door of the playroom and forget about it. Have one day a week be the "cleanup" day and the rest just spend having memory moments. Also, I have some wonderful hands that would LOVE to come hold a baby or play with the rest anytime you need it. Laurel even asked Santa for a baby doll this year, a very nice one, but nevertheless, a baby doll. I never thought I'd be buying my 13 yo a baby for Christmas. It's because she wants to nurture and love it. She would love to come snuggle your real one. Hang in there. November was like that for us too. Have fun at the Nutcracker!!

Elizabeth said...

I was just having similar thoughts yesterday when I was nursing, helping C with his spelling words, and trying to sort out health insurance claims over the phone. I think the first year with a baby, whether your first or fourth is just plain hard.

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