The family marches on.
Greg and I had a real day of reckoning on Charlotte's ninth birthday. It was an emotionally charged day, I need not say, and so it came to the surface finally and all at once how completely and totally burnt out we both were. We were parenting like crazy, each of us, almost separately under the same roof. Our four children, all different ages, all different needs, were running us ragged. We had neither time for ourselves, nor time for each other. Something needed to change.
Was it really that something changed? Or did we just say the words, and suddenly things seemed easier? It's true that things have felt hard. Having four children (or is it that the two little ones were so close?) seemed easy for the first five or six months. Maeve was an easy little baby, content to snooze in a wrap or be toted around in a sling. But once she started to need naps in bed, a bedtime routine in the evening, and started to crawl like a girl with a plan at around eight months, things became much more busy. Suddenly the little girls were ripping things off the shelves much faster than I could pick them up. I was juggling and jostling schedules of two, small, relatively inflexible people. I had them napping on an alternating schedule so that I could not leave the house. This was intense. Just writing it down makes me realize that much of the frenetic pace was the result of the 18 month gap. The two older kids were constantly having to wait. I felt insufficient.
Things feel better. Things feel streamlined. We've started to go out on dates. Imagine that! And we're trying to give each other time to do what we want to do. Life is good.
The kids are super.