I wish I could say that adjusting to six has been a piece of cake. It really hasn't. Clearly, it's easier in that we don't pull over anxiously when a newborn wails. I don't panic when the little man spits up, blows out, or grows baby acne. I've seen it all before. Nothing new here.
And yet...I wake up everyday to the reality that I have six young boys to care for! Troy and I have never felt as outnumbered and overwhelmed as we do now. There is continual running in and out of the house...and constant yelling, laughing, wrestling, sword-fighting, arguing, whining, and crying. I'm sure it's no different at your house. There is a two year old conveniently pitching a temper tantrum over the slightest thing while I nurse the baby, unable to attend to the correction and training that is needed. There's the trying to teach three older boys while three little ones wreak havoc. Work outside of the home is demanding, as is the work inside the home. The house requires attention as do all the members who live within it. That's the story of my life...and of yours, I'm sure.
And we, as parents, are so aware of our shortcomings and limitations. I'm so aware of how little time I have in relation to how great the need for my attention.
But still...we are reminded, all the more, of how quickly it's flying by...the sixth who is a month old and the first, who's already 11. The housework and the daily routine won't let up, but this...this time with our youngest mancub will pass. He will not always fit perfectly within the cradle of my arms or the curve of my neck. He will not always need me the way he does now.
And our gracious God doesn't mean for us to bustle about, stressing, obsessing, and shouldering unnecessary burdens. We are meant to only carry what he's given us to carry...and sometimes, that's simply not more than a 10-12 lb. baby for a time.
The meals will need fixing and the laundry folding, but I will be pausing, more eagerly, more willingly, more expectantly.
It's not the falling behind on home and responsibilities that this girl's got to be concerned about...it's the getting too far ahead to notice what I've left behind.
Mother, oh mother, come shake out your cloth! Empty the dustpan, poison the moth, Hang out the washing and butter the bread, Sew on a button and make up a bed. Where is the mother whose house is so shocking? She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking!
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue Dishes are waiting and bills are past due. The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo. Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?
Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, But children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby. Babies don't keep.
-Ruth Hulburt Hamilton (1958)