Tomorrow we start our new “normal” routine. E has preschool, John has work, and I’ll be home with the other three kids. John asked me tonight how we’re going to work tomorrow morning–he’s been getting up with the older 3 kids and getting them breakfast for the last 2 weeks while I stayed in bed with M (due to sleepless nights). However, that’s all going to change when John has to be up and at ’em in the morning. Thankfully he’ll be dropping E off by 9, so at least I won’t have to be dressed. But coffee will now become my friend again as I deal with what every mom of a newborn deals with–sleepless nights and full days with young kids.
Last week was a fun week. Near the end of the week, John took advantage of the kids’ sickness-free days and his time off from work to take us different places. We went to the local park and took pictures of the kids at the lake. They got to ride their bikes and scooters, which made their day! We had some warm days last week as well, so the kids swam in our pool and enjoyed the (hopefully) last really warm days of summer. We also had a crazy thunderstorm with golf ball size hail. The rain lasted for hours which gave the kids (and John) a chance to run outside in the puddles.
John took the kids to church on Sunday while I stayed home with M. It was the first time I’ve been home alone with just one child for multiple hours at a time in who knows how long. The house was so quiet, it stayed clean for hours, and I was able to focus my attention on just one baby. I was reminded of what life was like when it was just E. I was busy, to be sure, but I wish I had cherished that time with her more. Recovering from childbirth when you only have one baby to look after is so different than recovering from childbirth with subsequent babies.
I was hanging the laundry on the line on Saturday and realized that even though M is small, she has significantly added to our laundry pile. I also had the “Hokey cats! We have 4 kids!” epiphany. 4 kids. And this little girl, the latest addition to our family, is 2 weeks old. I still cherish this newborn phase, even with less sleep and more crying. I love that I can put her down on the bed and she won’t move. I love that she finds comfort in me holding her. I love that feeding her is so easy. I love that she sleeps most of the day and night. I just love having a newborn. When I was pregnant, there wasn’t a moment where I thought, “I will really miss this.” However, almost every day with M I’ve thought, “I will really miss this phase.” I am definitely a fan of the newborn/infant phase and will miss it the most when she’s older. I do love independent children too, don’t get me wrong. Knowing E can pick out her own clothes and J can make his own bed is freeing. But I love newborn cuddles, I love the newborn smell, I cherish newborn sounds. I’ve been able to spend quality time with both Mo and M as infants because John’s been able to take off work both times, and I’ve loved it.
We’re going to miss Daddy being home with us during the day–I think the kids are going to go through major withdrawal without him around to play with. And I’m going to go through withdrawal now that I have to prepare all the meals and clean up everything again. I love co-parenting and am sad that I have to go back to single parenting during the day again. However, I also enjoy having food on the table and a roof over our heads, so it’s a good thing John has a job. Although I think John will miss spending all his time with us, I think he’ll also be glad to get back to a routine, one where he can be alone and work instead of referee young kids all day. He’s been such a huge help the last couple weeks though, and I am sad to see his paternity leave end.