The year after Ben was born, we noted a curious trend in our pictures. For nearly a year, all the pictures we took of the kids were either of them sleeping or in the bath. We had 4 children, age 7 and under, and we were both seriously overwhelmed. Seeing the kids sleeping was a reminder of just how lovely and sweet they were. And I guess we documented that a lot to help us remember that!
So I had to laugh when I was flipping through my recent pictures on my phone the other day and I realized that I have an awful lot of pictures of sleeping kids right now, and not much else.
You have to admit, sleep pictures of little children are a little bit enchanting. And it s so nice to know that they are not getting into anything right at that moment. But it brought home to me the reminder that I am gearing up for a year or two of fairly intense chaos and I need to be careful to take care of myself in this, while keeping things smooth for my family as well.
I have felt pretty decent during this pregnancy, but muscle pain from abs that have been ripped apart many, many times now slows me down considerably. As much as I am looking forward to our new baby, I am not looking forward to not having the time to spend quiet hours with him as I enjoy his newness and recover from birth. We will be swept quickly back up into the ebb and flow of daily life with many demands. For this reason, pain and discomfort aside, I am grateful for this pregnant time when the baby is quiet and manageable and all mine.
Still, his time will come, and I will find myself again in that mommy fog of having 4 kids under 7, 3 of whom aren’t yet in school. Only this time I have several children older than 7 who also need me. So I think I have preemptively gone into sleep appreciation mode.
This coming school year will be a challenge like none I have yet faced, and I am bracing for a bit of a hurricane.
In the mean time, I am doing my bit to prepare: planning a month of meals that replays each month on my google calendar, working on a running chore chart for the kids (and getting them to DO the chores, which is the real trick), decluttering the house, tightening the budget, planning out Christmas.
God, for His part, is working on my heart, as always. Teaching me to let some things go, to trust more completely, and showing me more of what it means to really pray. You can follow that part of my journey over at Circling Jericho, where my wandering around in circles does seem to help get me somewhere. I am specifically
being raked over the coals addressing the issues I have with trying to control everything and surrendering to God right now. (Part 1 and Part 2, with more to come.)
For now, I will prepare for what I can and try to let go of the rest, and maybe take a few more pictures of the kids with their eyes open, because they are absolutely delightful awake as well.