Friday, July 10, 2009

Closing Down the Zoo Update

Wow! Where do I begin?

Here are some thoughts on my life this week:

*I've been doing some prioritizing and planning that will hopefully free up more of my time during this incredibly tiring stage of parenting 3 littles. I'll write more on this very soon.

*No matter how simple I try to make life, it will not be "simple" in the sense of totally soul-satisfying/refreshing/peaceful/easy until Heaven. No matter how much I try to "cut stuff out" of my life, my life is going to be full of very hard work because of the 3 little blessings I am caring for and training.

*These last couple of months have definitely felt like the TOUGHEST stretch of having 3 Four and Under thus far. Why?

-Baby making messes in his highchair

-Baby now napping only 1-2 hours a day instead of 3-4

-Baby crawling and exploring

-The kids playing outside all day requiring me to spend more time out of the house, which means I have less time indoors for doing chores

-The kids eating like elephants with all the calories they burn running and swimming all day! I shop all the time only to see a bare refrigerator most of the time. I feel like my life revolves around searching for yet another snack for the kids. (Of course the bare fridge is also due to the fact that my hubby eats a 5,000 calorie-per-day diet too and seems to have the world's fastest metabolism.)

-The heat sapping my strength. It hasn't been terribly hot here and we haven't even put in our air conditioning unit yet but the hotter days do have an effect on energy levels.

-My kids being "extra-regular." Though two are potty-trained, none can wipe themselves (and Jer sometimes still has poopy accidents). Due to my kids regularity, I wipe poopy bottoms 7 times per day!

-The kids not wanting to go to sleep until it's dark so with the longer days of summer they require lots of extra discipline for an hour or two after they've been put to bed. Because of the sunrise and Daddy's alarm clock, they are up early most days. So, our kid-free zone has shrunk from 12 hours (in the wintertime) per day to 9 hours per day (most of which are spent sleeping).

-Sometimes all 3 kids nap at the same time but most often I have one kid who is up when the other two are napping. Jer naps the most, still logging about 3 hours a day of naps. Justus only naps 1 or 2 hours a day now and Ali only naps if she's really worn out from going to the park or swimming. So, even my "Mommy-break" time involves supervising Ali or Justus or both.

*Three is the number that officially has CHALLENGED me. And while I somehow still would like another kid or two in the future, I feel like 3 is the big number that pushed me to my knees. I don't remember ever feeling so over-worked or challenged with only one or two children in the house.

*I love my role and my family but I am continually tempted to hate my life because of the endless demands and the un-doing of everything I work at. Day in and day out I am being tested, refined, stretched, and compelled to either lose it or to let go and trust God. Day after day I'm faced with whether I will believe God's truth or the lies that I can't handle this, that my weary body is going to crumble into a heap and die, that it's too much responsibility, that the work is menial, that kids are not a blessing, etc. Fighting for joy truly feels like being in a war most days.

*I need to give myself more grace. God has gifted me with infinite grace. It's time I follow in His footsteps and stop requiring more of myself than I can possibly do. Shortcuts or help in my homemaking tasks, even if they cost money, can help save one's sanity. In the spiritual realm, trying to change my sin patterns by myself doesn't work. I absolutely cannot do it without the Holy Spirit's transforming power.

*I absolutely NEED God's Word. God's Word can lift my spirits and infuse me with hope and truth, something I need every day as much as I need air or water if I'm going to succeed as a mother. Though I've always needed God and His Word, I feel like I'm at a new level of needing His words as I seek to train these little ones for Him.

*I've been praying desperate, heart-wrenching prayers for a dishwasher if that would be His will. Because I cook a lot from scratch and dirty a LOT of dishes, a dishwasher would save me around 8 hours of labor per week.

*Daddy took all 3 kids on special, separate Daddy-Dates this week (and it was his idea, he hadn't read Natalie's post on how they did this too when they "closed down the zoo.") Alathia and Jeremiah LOVED this one-on-one time at McDonalds with Daddy and felt so special! Justus got to go on a stroller walk. And the older kid who ended up staying home had more personal attention from Mommy!


Momma Bear said...

This is exactly how i feel with my 3 under 4 bunch. The 15 month old has been taking only 1 nap a day (2hours) for like 6 months. The 4 year old does not nap and hasn't for about 1 year. My daughter, almost 3, will take a short nap on the couch...I'm beat. Yes the darkness not arriving until 9:30 pm is rough on my husband and I. And then they wake up, like clockwork, at 6:30am every single day. So tired and cranky, can't quite get perspective most days of the week. I should probably ask some friends to pray for me. But I'm definitely going consider your thoughts and suggestions. Thanks for sharing, it's very relevent and encouraging. take care!

Momma Bear said...

btw, is there a way I can email you? I want to chat about your desire for a dishwasher.
take care!My email is -beth

The Three 22nds said...

I wish we could sit down and have a chat!

My youngest is down to only napping every other other 2 have been done napping for years.

And like you we are having an hour to 2 after bedtime of keeping them in bed. It is very wearing and stressful and I am not getting anything done. Mostly because I do almost all my housework etc after they are in bed.

3 was definitely the hardest when the babe started crawling. Then it got better, and now that he is 2 we are having trouble again, because he is hitting the 2s hardcore.

But the seasons pass...the good doesn't last forever, but neither does the bad...take care!

Nikki said...

I hope that you get everything figured out on how to manage three children under four because my third is due in February, and my oldest will just be three and a half. Please get it all figured out so that you can share it with the rest of us!

My three year old does not nap, and has not napped for a few months now. Regardless, she still has to play in her room for a while during her brother's naptime so I can have some time to get a shower, fold clothes, mop the floor, etc..

Stacy E. said...

I am so thankful for everyone's comments. I thought I was alone in the whole bedtime thing. Mine don't settle down until it's dark either. Sometimes not even then! My 17mo old suddenly hates his bedroom & starts screaming as soon as he realizes we're headed that direction! I end up laying down with him in my bed til he goes to sleep which also puts me to sleep, when I wanted to read before I went to bed. I look forward to bedtime, thinking I'll have a little peace time, but I hate bedtime because I don't get any peace time. Yes, I'm am realizing that I need to just let go of my "need" for peace time & give myself up and let God give me what I truly need. I sure am not getting it by doing things my way!

All in a Day said...

It gets easier after #3. :)

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