Our New Normal

3.12.10: Finally getting the hang of things

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Maybe I’m just in a good mood today. Or, maybe I’m just kidding myself. And, maybe I’m going to completely jinx myself by uttering these words, but: I feel like things are finally starting to gel. I feel like we’re getting out of the weeds. It’s like we’ve all suddenly settled into a new routine—our family-of-five routine—that while certainly isn’t back to "normal," is starting to feel like some kind of new normal.

I think I’m finally hitting my stride. I’m no longer terrified at the thought of Will leaving me on my own to deal with the morning chaos of getting three kids dressed, fed, nursed, changed, and out the door in time for the bus and school. I no longer feel a pit in my stomach when Will calls to say that he has to work late, and I’m left to get three kids fed, bathed, into pj’s, with teeth brushed, stories read, lights out, and hugs and kisses, all at a reasonable hour, all without losing my mind. I’m no longer panicked at the thought of Will having to take a business trip, or of the thought of venturing out into the world by myself with three kids in tow.

I think I’m finally getting the hang of this three-kid thing. Everything is starting to feel a little more do-able. Maybe it’s because the baby is getting a little older. Maybe it’s because the sun is finally starting to shine. Maybe it’s because my old clothes are starting to fit, and I’m starting to feel a little more like my old self—albeit an older, flabbier version of my old self. It’s definitely not because I’m starting to get some sleep at night. Still, things are slowly starting to come together: the paperwork that piled up after Jack’s birth has finally been filed; I’ve finally figured out how to incorporate another human being’s laundry into our already overwhelming mountain of laundry; I’m finally figuring out how to carve out some time for myself again. Most importantly, I’m finally finding ways to spend some quality time with each of my kids, every day, in a way that feels relaxed, and real, and fun. Things are starting to hum.

Our neighor, a father of three, told Will and me: "You lose six months of your life every time you have a new child." And he’s right--it takes a good six months to get back into a groove every time you have a baby. Now that I’ve had three kids myself, I’ve gained enough foresight to know that, as with most things kid-related—it’s one step forward, two steps back. So, I’m guessing this week is probably an anomaly. I’m enjoying it while it lasts, and I’m bracing myself for what’s to come. Because after having three kids, I’ve also learned enough to know that as soon as you start getting the hang of things…things change.

Next Week: Things change...