Wow, I am certain one year has never gone this fast....
After Patience birth last year I really struggled with some post partum depression so honestly the first 6 weeks after her birth are kind of a blur. That stuff if for real though.... Nothing to be taken lightly. I'm incredibly grateful for those who stood with me and helped me through and my dear midwife who not only emotionally walked me through but nutritionally too. I'm happy to say that one yet after Patience birth I feel better than I have felt in years.. Emotionally and physically and I'm down 55 pounds. That would make anyone feel better!
Having five children has been a huge adjustment for us. We even needed a new car to adjust to our size.
We have over the past year though learned how to eat out with five little people... And mostly eat out peacefully.
We've become quite good at not only grocery shopping efficiently but actually enjoying a rather calm stroll through Central Market on Friday nights. (Yea, that's considered a wild night out for us... Five kids and us at a specialty foods store).
We've learned to smile at those who randomly make rude comments about the size of our family and we've enjoyed engaging those who randomly come up and tell us how much they enjoyed seeing our family interact at a restaurant or the grocery store and love hearing their stories of their own large families or the ones they wished they'd had.
We've learned to settle for a cup of coffee on the back porch as a "date" while the kids play in the backyard... It seems finding a sitter for five kids is a bit tough. :(
We've learned to get five kids dressed,(with shoes), in the car, belted in and driving away in new record times... The shoes are the single factor that can add large amounts of time to our getaway. :)
We've learned many many things about "doing" this job of parenting five kids... We've also discovered that having five kids brings out every personal character flaw you ever had! :( If you ever had even a minor yelling problem.....yep, five kids will make that glaringly obvious. Ever had perfectionist tendencies? Five kids will test you to your limits on that one. Have a tendency toward getting easily frustrated? I think that one speaks for itself. Ha!!
At the end of the day though it's those very things that make this job so fulfilling. I'm learning to adapt and change and give grace to myself over and over and learn and grow and change and anything that leads me to a life that's less about me and more about becoming like Christ is what really counts. I love this job more than I could ever ever express and I feel so blessed to do it everyday. It's hard though... So hard. Some days I think, I'm getting a live in nanny and maid and calling it quits. :) But who am I kidding, I can barely stand to be away from these kiddos for a few hours cause I just adore each one so much and find their presence so enjoyable!! So, even through the hard days and the many many adjustments over this first year of having five kids I find myself dropping... Literally crashing into bed at night with a heart so full it could literally burst. Some nights my personal nighttime prayer is "Lord, just get me through tomorrow".... But most nights it's "thank you Lord, how in the world did I get this blessed..,.. Oh and please get me through tomorrow!!".. :)