Now for some thoughts I’ve had the past few weeks. Yes, quite a creative opener huh. This past winter when I was in the fog of post partum and thought I could never be myself again I was wondering why in the world I thought it was a good idea to have my kids so far apart. I was thinking those friends of mine that had 3 so close together were lucky. They didn’t have to do the school and newborn thing at the same time. I felt emotionally exhausted all the time. I cried alot. So now, I am looking at Tessa’s 6 month mark, and I am feeling very blessed. My big kids still fight hard, they still disobey, we still have to discipline and talk sternly often, but I realized that I needed help. I needed help from my kids! I started realizing I needed to give them jobs. When Joel and I were pregnant with Tessa, I had this little pain for Eden that she would go through the loss of being my baby girl. Then Joel reminded me that we were having Tessa not just for us, but for Josiah and Eden. This reality has never been more evident than it has been these past few weeks. Josiah desires things (toys, food, experiences) and one way to help him understand responsibility is to give him jobs. Duh-right? All the moms who read this that have big kids are thinking I’m dense right now. But I hate being needy. I want to be able to do everything myself. But these jobs are not just to help me, they help Josiah and Eden. And they amaze me because they love it, it gives them purpose and joy! And it gives me freedom! yeah!
So, if I need to make PB&J’s, and feed Tessa I ask “who wants to feed Tessa?” and I get an excited “ME!!” from somebody. Or if I have to nurse Tessa I ask “who wants to MAKE their PB&J?” and-whoa-there’s an amazing sense of independence! There are messes to clean up after, but man, it’s worth it! It has grown since these first requests. Josiah wipes the breakfast gook off of the table every morning. Eden gets diapers, pacis, blankets and toys for me. Josiah takes out garbage. Eden helps me load the dishwasher. They of course are responsible for all their things: markers, papers, toys, games, shoes, shedded clothes, etc. But the big jobs that Mama does given to them makes them feel ten feet tall! I am waiting for the day when I have to force them to do these things, but for now there is joy. Tessa brings so much joy to the big kids, that it is a joy to serve. So I’m loving 6 months with Tessa. She can be helped and reward her siblings for their help with a wide ear-to-ear smile, a giggle, a funny motion. Such joy. I now know why big families are hard and also joyful, even though I don’t feel like a big family. I’m proud to see their sucess, and they are proud to be my helper. Yes.
(thanks again for this bib Lynn, it’s a winner! All stains disappear in the wash! Even though this pic isn’t much of a testimonial)