Sunday, May 19, 2013

Missing Something?

Seriously, how do all of you do it? I mean those of you with 2, 3, 4 . . . 19 kids? How do you do it?

How do you do it, while still maintaining your smile, your energy, and most importantly your hair? Alicia is a great kid and all, but seriously, lately, I feel like we're coming apart at the seams.

Those of you who know me well, know I once had a lofty dream of having four, yes, FOUR, kids. I love kids, I reasoned, it'd be fun. MWUAHAHAHA. Lately, I've really started to reconsider. I mean, part of me still hangs onto the hope that by some miracle of God, we get this supernatural stamina, patience and energy to handle four little kiddies running around our house. But right now we're doing all that we can just to survive.

I sometimes wonder, is it us? Are we doing it wrong? I mean, how do some moms have the energy and capability to have three young boys under the age of five, be pregnant with her fourth child, bake amazing treats and still run 10 miles every day. (Yes, I'm talking about you Mrs. Sawatzky.)

And then others who find the time to sew, and bake, and keep their house clean and take their child out for modeling shoots, and still have time to make baby number two, or three.

I'm like... I really would like to have a second one. But really? Do we dare?

And I'm at odds, too. Because part of me is like... we want a second one, let's get it over with. If we're going to be tired, let's just be tired all at once. I don't want to get to a point where Alicia is a bit older, she can do more on her own, and we can take things a bit easier, and then BAM have to start all over for another 3 or 4 years with kiddo numero dos. At the same time, can we really handle adding another person into the mix, with everything that we have going on?

I mean, seriously, am I missing something? Other families seem all the ready to have more kids. Parents whose kids were born about the same time as Alicia, if they haven't already added to their pantry, are in the process of creating or baking their next sweetie pie. But in our little bakery shop, as the chief baker (my wife) so tactfully put it, "The store is closed."

And while, I would so like to contest and on occasion do try to persuade my wife to prepare for our second, part of me feels like, who am I kidding? We have four hands full with Alicia. How can I even think of having a second, or a third, or dare I say it? A fourth.

On a side note, in my naivete as a young single man, I thought, hey wouldn't it be fun to have twins? Now I think, WAS I CRAZY?! So you parents of multiples out there - hats off to you.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of joys that we experience. Like the sweet smiles that we get from Alicia each day. Or even her crawling up to me just now, putting her little hands on my knees and pulling herself up to be close to me. Those things are precious.

I mean, I honestly have no answers. I don't know what I can do to make things easier for Linda or myself. Or maybe there is nothing we can do. Maybe it's just a phase that we need to go through.

I guess part of me writes this to let those of you out there who are in the same boat as me know that you're not alone. Not all families are idyllic with well-disciplined children who sleep, eat, and poop on schedule, and moms and dads who keep a spotless home, while cooking dinner with one hand and changing a diaper in the other.

All I can say is I am clinging on to God for dear life, I tell you. =D


  1. It gets easier with more kids, at a certain point they start to play with each other and help you out... you also aren't really expending MORE energy that much for another child, a bit more but you are already using a lot of energy for one child. And plus, it's just fun to have a family. You are going to plan to go out with your one child anyway, might as well be with your two or three or four children. Family outings are fun and realizing that your family is a company of its own with a need for objective and rules and standards and compromise, it just becomes easier. I dunno - plus you aim high and end up somewhere lower...? My hubs wants 6, I want 5, I'm sure we'll end up around 4 maybe.. hahaha. who knows. Just bite the bullet and have more kids! Multiply and replenish the earth as commanded. You guys will be great!!

  2. a wise older lady once told me, "When you have one kid, it takes all your time. When you have two kids, it takes all your time. When you have three kids, it takes all your time, etc. Not to mention the extra special challenges you have had with your extra special girl. Give yourself grace. Everyone is just doing the best they can with the circumstances they are in. I believe you and Linda will come to a place where you both feel (at least mostly) ready for more!

  3. I promise you that we have it less together than you do, but we didn't really have much time to reconsider whether or not we were ready for number two since literally five days after Jonathan came into our home as part of his whirlwind adoption, we found out we were pregnant with number two. And now, of course, number three is on his way and so it will be three under three in August. I have been told the jump from one to two is harder to take than the one from two to three, so I am hoping that's true. Actually, Stephen really doesn't like little kids/babies (although he's definitely warming up to them), and so his idea was to get all those pesky baby years over with as quickly as possible. I think what gave me courage was knowing that my brother and I were only 15 months apart and that my mother always loved that we were on the same page when it came to age-appropriate books, activities, etc.

    But kids actually have much, much lower expectations than we put on ourselves. You know, Dora can actually teach your kids their numbers. And they don't really care if they are wearing the same shirt they slept in. Or, no shirt at all in this weather. There are definitely times when I realize just how much easier one would be than two (though I barely remember what it was like to have just one since I only had just one for nine months and I was pretty pregnancy-fatigued most of that), but at other times, I love that they keep each other occupied and I don't have to give them all their social interaction all day every day! And so many activities aren't much more effort with two than one. Baths can be taken together. The same food needs to be prepared (once they're past little baby stage). And a double stroller isn't that much harder to cart than a single one -- most of the time, at least. (And I agree with Paula's wise older lady about the time kids take.)

    But still, I grew up in a house that was far from spotless (though neater than I can keep a house) and with a family late for everything with a busy doctor-mom and a creative dad who walks to the beat of his own drum, and I thrived on the craziness and creativity (though I never did learn how to keep a neat, tight-run house). Cleanliness is not actually next to godliness, thankfully.

  4. We may seem to have it all together, but there's a lot of chaos in our house, too! :)

    We enjoy the chaos, though. And I think I've become more efficient with more's something you learn as you go.

    But, seriously, is my hair ever done? Nope! Do I ever have time to go shopping for new, fashionable clothes? Nope! Do I often get takeout instead of making dinner because I'm too busy? Yep! :) But I make time for the things I really, really enjoy (running, etc.) and that makes me feel good and energetic and ready to tackle my day.

    Once Alicia is about 4 years old, you will take a big breath of fresh air...I always tell parents of 2-3 year olds, 'keep hanging on...4 is coming.' Trust me, it's a whole new world. :)

  5. Tom and I so understand!!
    And yes, we too sometimes wonder if we're doing something wrong, and admire those who handle 3 or more. So many make it look so easy! I look wistfully at those who are expecting or have 3 or more and there's a part of me that would like that very much, but it is tough, and even more so when you have a child with special needs and are busy with therapies, trying to make sure they have everything they need to grow and learn things that come so naturally to other kids ...