Four children has, to be honest, been a bit of chaos. At times real “what do I do next?” type chaos, but increasingly beautiful chaos.
In the later stages of pregnancy, when I’m literally bursting to have the baby, I brace myself a bit for the tiredness and pace that will be involved in adding to our tribe. I try to prepare myself that I will be exhausted and that things will be busy, and I will be a bit clueless as to how to handle it all for a while. But the important thing, I remind myself, is that it will get better!
Which of course, I generally forget about three to four months in, when sleep deprivation has kicked in and messiness, in all forms, is all around.
I’ll be honest, its been hard. Up until baby #4 I had been blessed to avoid too much trouble postpartum with babies, relatively easy births and recovery, a wee bit of baby blues but not too much, and while I had my ups and downs it went relatively smoothly. With help from a great husband, family and friends we got through.
This time round has been much tougher and taken longer for me to ‘wake up’ from having a baby. It all just seems to be getting better now actually, despite my sleep deprivation (my little boy doesn’t like sleeping for long periods too much). Without great family and friends around, who give me and my family so much, I don’t think I would have survived as well as I have. Coffee (after many long years off it with pregnancies etc) seems to be helping with my recovery also!
The ‘chaos’ has been hard. Its been about survival. Just getting through each day, ensuring each child survives and my mental sanity remains in check. I tried many things to show I was avoiding postnatal depression, steps that were good in helping keep things going well I suppose – joining a gym for time out and fitness, getting more help from family, sending my girls off to a great kindergarten a few days a week. All of these things had their ups and downs. I’ve been anxious, full of self doubt and trying to keep my head above water. But I think some of it is just getting through until baby is a bit bigger.
And what I reminded myself before I had my baby is true – you do get through it. Months have seemed a blur and I’ve wondered how I survived those days and what I did. But now the chaos seems more beautiful. My children are building great relationships, they say funnier and wiser things as they age, they love so well and cuddle so readily, they are becoming easier to do cool activities with, they can help out much more practically and their noise and mess brings life to our home.
Now I can more readily enjoy the noise of my children and somehow manage to fit everything in with time to spare for both myself, my husband and children, where before it seemed an endless battle. The noise that seemed to close in around me, now becomes more of a happy chatter. And I hope that despite knowing that there are more ups and downs in front of me, it will get easier again.
The hard times are worth it for these four beautiful children. After all, my blog is named for the song: “From the ashes of disaster, grow the roses of success”.