Holy crap, I am a mom of four! I am fourteen months into being a mom of four, but I feel like it is really sinking in once again. For the past week, illness has been ripping through our home. There is nothing like having five members of your family to drop like flies. I am the last one standing.
Let’s back up a week. I had been feeling a little stressed. I don’t have any childcare until November, and the weight of trying to get everything done each day was making me feel like I couldn’t catch a break. Although I had successfully calmed the anxiety I had been feeling, but I was starting to pity myself a little too much. This was kindly pointed out to me by Mike, the day after we went out on a date, and I complained the entire time. He told me very nicely that I need to stop complaining and start being more proactive, especially about getting out with the kids so that I am not as isolated.
After being ticked, because he dared to tell me I could change my own situation, it sunk in a little and I decided to yank myself out of my pity spiral and take control. I put plans in place for a week of outings with the kids, a lunch with some friends and a date night with Mike. Monday rolled around and I packed all of the kids up to go pick up pumpkins for our Thanksgiving (we are in Canada) dinner we were going to be hosting. We had a really fun time, and I felt pretty great that I was getting out with everyone. But on the drive home Beau started to complain that she didn’t feel well. And a couple hours later she was violently ill and could barely move.
Little did I know that this was just the beginning of two separate illnesses bouncing around our home for a week. A stomach flu and a bad cold. It went from Beau, to Mia, back to Beau, to Mike, to Everly and then Holden. There were even a couple days that Beau had been fine, so I sent her to school, only to be called 30 minutes later because I had to pick her up because she had been sick. Ugh!
Having one or two sick twins that share a room throws a wrench into everything. You worry about them waking their sibling and we eventually found that we had to remove the sick, crying twin to let the other fall asleep. Eventually we were able to put the sick twin back into their crib without a melt-down. But this would be a long process.
Everly and Mia each had us pull all-nighters, and because we are not spring chickens anymore like our college years, this sleep deprivation hit us hard!
This is what 3 a.m. in our home looks like, just in case you were wondering.
By Wednesday afternoon I was so tired, so frustrated and so isolated, that I started to unravel. In fact, I believe the words I uttered to my mother when help finally arrived were “I never signed up for this! I went from two kids to four and never got to experience having three kids. I am done!” Obviously I love my family very much and wouldn’t change a thing, but mentally and emotionally I needed a break.
I was able to still make it out for my lunch with my friends because Mike could see that I was cracking and took some time off of work. We also made it out for a quick date night. Both of these outings were just enough to regain my sanity, recharge and be there for my family.
What happened to our Thanksgiving dinner? We pulled the plug and cancelled. Our family was very understanding and decided to move it to a restaurant. Holden, Beau and I were able to join in as well. Every once and a while, I get a wake-up call that I do, indeed have four children. This was one of those times. I am learning that especially while everyone is so young, to embrace survival mode when necessary, and to also be very protective of any breaks I can grab.
The clouds are finally parting and everyone is starting to sleep more and we are able to re-enter life again. We are back to our daily to-do lists, play time and giggles. I have come out on the other side of this week, being humbled by the enormous responsibility of caring for these precious four children, but also feeling stronger and more confident as a mother.