Thursday, June 25, 2015

I Have Time

I have 3 kids, now, y'all. THREE. That means we're a family of five. That sounds so huge, even though it's only one more than we had before.


Look at them! Are they not the cutest?! And they're smart, too.

Anyway, I thought having three children would be easy. I rocked one. I finally got a handle on two. And then God surprised me with three! What's one more, though? Oh, wow. I'm going to be really honest with you here, though. I had extreme--extreme--postpartum anxiety. For months. As in, I woke up every hour of the night sure I was going to find a dead baby in the cosleeper next to me. As in, I had to take my seatbelt off in the car and check her breathing every 5 minutes when we drove anywhere. As in, I had to Google every sound, every bump, every sneeze, sure I would find some deadly explanation. If you have ever had that kind of anxiety or are still going through it, I feel ya momma (or daddy). You can't just turn it off and it kind of takes over your every thought. Some people might say it's all the devil and he probably does take our thoughts and run with them, if we let him. But sometimes, it's just plain hormonal.

Also, my attention is now divided in 3 directions. There is a little more laundry. There's a little less sleep. A little more chaos. Homeschooling a 5 year old with a 3 year old and a newborn is also pretty tough.

On the other hand, there is more love. There's one more baby to nurse and cuddle. There are more cute baby clothes (girly ones at that) in the midst of the grass stained shorts and dirty underwear. There are more kisses than I can count from brothers who are wrapped around a little girl's finger. There is more.

Here has been the problem, though. Sometimes, when I want to distract myself from the chaos of life, I get wrapped up in something else. Something besides what's going on in the moment. Maybe you've done it before, too? Sometimes, I check Facebook too much during the day. Or research vacations. Or, just sit and get lost in my own thoughts instead of being present. Then, when one of my children needs my attention, I get really frustrated. Instead of being right there with them, I respond in anger, because I'm not present enough to consider the situation and respond patiently. It's like, "How dare you interrupt me from the reverie of my own thoughts?! I need time for ME!"

And you know what? That's selfish of me. I do get "me" time. My husband lets me sleep with the baby until he leaves for work. He makes me coffee and I get to enjoy it while the kiddos watch a little Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I get to take a hot shower every day and my children very rarely interrupt it. After they go to bed, I always get at least a couple hours of alone time before I go to sleep.

My children deserve to have me here, to have me present, most of the day. They deserve to have a mama who responds patiently, with my full attention on the problem at hand. Because I have the time. I have  time. And they deserve my best.

So this week, I have been present for them. I've checked my phone less and read my Bible more. In fact, when I've been tempted to check Facebook too much, I've opened up my Bible (or Bible app) instead. And you know what? There has been peace in my home. Even when my boys have acted up, there has been peace on the inside of me instead of impatience. I have time. I have time to show them the right way to behave. I have time to display patience and grace and love and to have FUN! Lots and lots of fun!

Today, my sweet baby girl is five months old, already. I was getting ready to lay her down for her nap, when I looked up in the mirror and saw myself holding this 13 pound baby--who used to only weigh 6 pounds a very short time ago. So, I stood there and rocked her longer. And when she woke up smiling 20 minutes later--I wasn't mad. I have time. Time is my gift to my children and I promise I will give them all I can!