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Children Spaced in Age {a repost}

Children Spaced in Age

This older post by Clover Lane about having children spaced in age has been popping into my thoughts lately. I discovered it years ago and reposted then, and it has proven to be oh so true with my own children. Any parent with children that may not be close in age can appreciate this mother’s wisdom (and so glad I rediscovered her blog!)

 

You will enjoy this baby SO much. But, you will not be sitting in a rocking chair in a quiet room, looking like a Pottery Barn Kids ad. Instead, depending on the demeanor of your baby, you will either be constantly wearing an extra appendange on your body in form of a baby-filled sling, or be adding C batteries to your grocery list every week for your Graco swing.

You will not be pondering over what a cute outfit to dress the baby in today, instead you will be grabbing what is clean from the laundry basket. As that baby gets older, you will not be sitting on the floor for hours watching him or her stack blocks and thinking ‘what a genius’. They will explore their world without someone constantly breathing down their back, which turns out to be a better way anyways.

You will have to relearn some things. I had completely forgotten how impossible it is to give an infant a bath and of course, you will have a whole new set of instructions from the nurses on umbilical cord care. They apparently change that every year or so. The immunizations are all different too…like they added 75 more. But you are 34. You are not afraid to speak your mind. Take advantage of your confidence. You earned it.

You might not feel like there is enough hours in the day to get all that you need finished. Although you will reassure your kids that there is enough love to go all around, as you lay in bed at night, (usually with a baby attached to you), you will tear up, because you will feel like maybe there is, in fact, not enough love to pass around. You will think of who you didn’t hug today, or if you said anything but ‘Don’t do this, Do that, Can you please’.

Children Spaced in Age

 

It will eat you up sometimes, usually when you are going on 4 hours of broken sleep. Your mind can play tricks on you and anxiety will fill in the empty spots. Don’t do that to yourself. That friend I talked about yesterday? I asked her once, when she was adopting her seventh, if she ever felt like she didn’t have enough to go around. And she said, “I concentrate on what I DO give my kids, not on what I don’t.” Good advice. Take it. Full tummies, warm bed. Start there.

You will have some harried moments, but remember those moments…sometimes there will be nothing you can do about them, and other times you will have to think, “What can I do to change this…it’s not working for us.

I remember once complaining and complaining about this travel soccer I had my daughter in. Her friends would convince her every year to try out and then she’d beg me to let her. My husband always thought it was a good idea, too, as she was pretty decent at it. But it was ME who had to drag all these kids around, nursing the baby in the middle of a cornfield in the hot sun, not watching a minute of anything, being crabby all the way there and back, all of us hungry and thirsty, the baby fussy. It ended up my daughter didn’t really like soccer that much, but just didn’t know how to resist the friend-pressure. Some of my lowest points of parenting occured because of that stress. Don’t do that to yourself.

 

Children Spaced in Age

 

Get rid of all that extra stuff, and just stick with the important stuff. If you don’t know what the important stuff is, I can reassure you that it’s not 2nd grade football skills training, or travel dance competitions. These were all invented by people with much less children than you have now, and for many other reasons I won’t go into here. My point is this: Don’t fight this adjustment. Accept that you will have to make changes, but let me reassure you, that you will ask yourself, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?” You will grow closer as a family and less stressed as a mother. Embrace the old-fashioned values of a big family. A swing, some grass, and a good book is all kids need in the entertainment department. It would be more than the majority of kids in the world have. Always keep in mind ‘global’ parenting and ‘historic’ parenting…they make the expectations place on us laughable.

Children Spaced in Age

 

Besides that great gift, you will be giving your older children the gift of independence. Trust me, it was time anyways. They will learn some lessons and be better for it. If you don’t have time to check for homework and they didn’t either, they will learn it’s their responsibility. They might have to hear the word ‘no’ more often, if driving across town to play at a friends house for two hours doesn’t work with the baby’s nap. They will have to take care of themselves more, and be doted on less. You will kick yourself for not doing some of this earlier, and be surprised at how much you were holding them back from some really necessary lessons and experiences. Count yourself lucky…some parents wait till NEVER. It doesn’t turn out so good 20 years later.

Now I’ll get to the best part of all. Your older children with that baby… your heart will explode with the amount of love and tenderness they will show.

Children Spaced in Age

Get them involved right away. They will be your salvation in terms of managing this large plate you have in front of you. When they think you are not aware of their prescence, tell your husband how much you noticed so-and-so loves their baby sister or brother, and how much help they give. They will step up to the task unbelievably. Teach them how to hold the baby, how to swaddle, how to change a diaper (wet, or course). Have them run and get a fresh outfit, and don’t cringe at the color combo. Who cares. When the baby gets older, they are the best entertainers. You will never have to occupy that baby’s time. Set him out in the family room in his jumpy seat and the hoopla will get him good and tired. Don’t ever feel guilty for asking them for help. Give them new responsibilites. Ask one of them to make lunch, even if it’s just peanut butter on Ritz. They will love to do it for you if you thank them so much and brag about them. Don’t say “the baby”, say OUR baby. The gift you are giving them is priceless. They are learning how to care for your grandchildren. That is truly awesome and worth any inconveniece or adjustment that this little surprise threw your way.

One more thing. With my older three, I couldn’t wait to “the next”. The next stage, the next word, the next tooth… With this little guy, you will do the opposite. You will bawl at every stage. Be prepared.

You are not crazy. It’s completely normal. Birthdays are the worse. Have tissues handy.”

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Thankful

Many people, things, and health to be thankful for. While we don’t loose sight of this, Thanksgiving was somewhat bitter sweet without Meme here this year. Seems like just yesterday we were throwing the football in the front yard and listening to her tell us what pesticides were in the dressing Mom made. But dang those pesticides taste good!

Pumpkins have been stowed away and replaced with green garland. Stockings hung and even our elf ‘Lou’ has reappeared. The faster we can usher in the new year the better!

Thankful via grateful simplicity

 

Thankful via grateful simplicity

Thankful via grateful simplicity

 

Thankful via grateful simplicity

 

 

Thankful via grateful simplicity

Thankful via grateful simplicity

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Thankful via grateful simplicity

 

Thankful via grateful simplicity

 

Marco Polo

A beautiful, if not slightly warm, day for the annual Polo match. Great time visiting with Aunts, Uncles, cousins, second cousins, and now co-workers and friends. The first year we went Raynes was a tiny thing– now he runs all around (luckily with enough common sense to not run on the 300 yards-long field anymore). Getting trampled by a horse would definitely put a damper on our Sunday fun day.

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Marco Polo

Marco Polo via grateful simplicity

Marco Polo via grateful simplicity

 

Marco Polo via grateful simplicity

Marco Polo via grateful simplicity

Until next year…..

Boo!

Boo!

Raynes recently pointed out that we needed a pumpkin for Halloween. Apparently my $3.99 Trader Jo’s pumpkin wasn’t cutting it.  So, we may have had to run to The Pumpkin Patch yesterday during lunch to grab ourselves a last minute prime pumpkin. And by “we” I mean Mike. Clearly, pumpkin patch photos are not in the cards for us this year. I’ll just have to remember the ol’ Monticello pumpkin patch and prego patch visits.  All three kids dressed up today, although I’m still not exactly sure what Britton was– something to do with a Riverside show and I ‘think’ K is a “nerd” (although the glasses she ordered look just like mine. Not sure what that’s saying).

Boo! via grateful simplicity 10.31.17

 

Boo! via grateful simplicity 10.31.17

That’s some serious pumpkin carvin’ right there. Those Michaels do not mess around.

Boo! via grateful simplicity 10.31.17

In hindsight, Tucker Mae needed a costume. Overlook the dog for Halloween? What kind of mom am I?

Boo! via grateful simplicity 10.31.17

 

October Round Up

 

October Round Up

For 11  years (11 years!) I’ve sat down at my computer to upload photos to this blog. Clearly, it has been harder to find the time to ‘sit’ much less try to upload the scare photos I manage to take with my Canon. Isn’t there an app for that?! um, hello Garrett. Yes- finally I can upload photos from my camera directly to this tiny little corner of the world. That may be both a curse and a blessing to my tween/teen girls. Sorry Britton and Kenley!

I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulder- a weight commonly known as Mom Guilt.

Seriously working on trying to let some of that go– and have been making tiny steps in the right direction. Now if I could only learn to say “no” to obligations making more whitespace in my life– I may actually regain flush colored skin under my eyes as opposed to the gray ash that permanently circles under my eyes. Pray, pray, pray my stress, anxiety and worry away.

Looking back, it’s no wonder I’m so flipping tired all the time. As October winds down, I was able to recap some of what has been filling our days this month.

Raynes turned 6 this month and for his birthday we took him on a trip- all by himself. He played the part of only child (which may have been a gift by itself). Had almost forgotten what it was like to have just one child– and the joy of being able to witness a child’s excitement as they experience things for the first time.

FSU Football season is in full swing. Don’t even get me started.

Mom was one of the distinguished story tellers at the annual Dove Tales event benefitting Lee’s Place which provides counseling to children and families who have experienced loss or trauma.  Not surprisingly, Mom knocked it out of the park with his Meme-isms.

 

My friend snapped this gem at the lower school pep rally yesterday. That’s my boy! We are so proud.

 

More Dove Tales with this sass-o-frass sister of mine.

 

It’s not very often almost every day that I get a snapshot of me and my boy. Homecoming Parade – Alumni float.

Cheerleading for football season has wrapped of but I first forced her to let me take one last photo. Kenley will likely make me pull this off once she catches wind of it– hopefully she thinks blogs passé and won’t notice.

 

This month Raynes learned to read and how to ride his bike without training wheels. All in the same week!

 

 

This may be my favorite. Britton really wanted to have her hair “done” at the salon for the Homecoming dance. Priceless.

 

 

October is crazy busy. I had to check to see what the date was on this photo- this seems like forever ago. Just posin’ in the kitchen- you know, hanging out with my too young off the shoulder top on.

 

Life may be crazy but a sense of humor goes a long way. Luckily my third born seems to have one. Good thing, since this was the only candle we could find for his cake.