4 to 5, How Will We Jive?
So with our newest little addition I got to thinking; here we are about to embark on the journey of life with one more in tow and I haven’t really given much thought about what it will be like to be a family of 5.
When we had our first child DNet and I were in awe of our LittleBear and obsessed with her and in love, but we handled first time parenthood like most. We had the pretty nursery, went through all the steps that you are told, like sleep training and pumping and stressed over latching problems. We also spent the first three years of her life doing outings and fun amusement park trips and as she grew so did our awareness of the type of world we were releasing her into. As school approached and LittleBear became an eager learner I embraced homeschooling preschool and was so proud of how fast she picked up what we were teaching.
When 4 years after LB was born we were expecting again, my word seemed to reach a vortex of speed. My pregnancy flew by shrouded by a sadness fog that I couldn’t shake for some reason, and I would have never made it through if it weren’t for the timely relocation of my childhood BFF back to the neighborhood, she got me through to the end of my Pregnancy so that I didn’t have to feel alone. Then the unthinkable hit, within the year of giving birth to our son, LittleMonkey my overworked, overstressed, killing-himself-for-the-job Husband was laid off. This was a huge hit to his ego and a huge knock down to our life plan. We were in a transition year of financial changes to better ourselves, and our lease at our sweet little house (conveniently situated across the way from my mothers house) was suddenly no longer an option for renewal, the job market was dried up and the strain of the work ethic he showed had taken its toll. LB was starting 2nd grade and we didn’t know where we would be living. Luckily with the help of a few family and friends we got through to where we are today, but we regressed and grew lazy with our parenting styles and beliefs and as a result LM didn’t get the tender and carefully thought out parenting style that LB received. Also LB seemed to align all the changes and struggles in her mind with the birth of LM. It’s been a hard road since then to recover from.
We are working on rectifying these mistakes. And now that we have LittleSweets in the mix it is ever more important to make the changes, and refocus. With that in mind I know that my husband’s biggest challenge is communicating, with me about our life, with the kids about his expectations, with himself about what he needs and wants and what the difference is between both. My biggest challenge has been consistency, commitment to things that may not always be easy, and focus. I need to focus on the things that really matter at the appropriate times. LB’s biggest challenge is also focus, she gets so wrapped up in trying to be one of the parenting adults that she often neglects her own responsibilities like her room or homework or just having kid fun. LM’s biggest challenge is going to be no longer being the baby, which for him means he won’t get away with as much, and will be expected to be able to function within the family unit, he can still have fun and be his exciting sweet self, but he will need to begin to display more self control. (something we have been reminding him of all year)
I can already see all the beautiful aspects of being a family of 5 too. The kids love their little sister, they kiss and hug her and hold her hand and comfort her when she cries and coo and talk to her all day long. I can imagine the coming holidays with our three Littles and my heart is ready to burst. The sleepless nights and spit-up soaked clothes are no match for the images that come to mind when I say Christmas, Halloween, Family Camping and Beach Trips. I can’t wait for it all, but the best way to make those times happen are to put our best feet forward as a family.
So the plan for going from a 4 person family to a 5 person family will have to be as flexible as we all are, and as firm as necessary to accomplish our goals. We are grateful and happy to have the chance to learn how to jive together as a family of 5.