It’s come to my attention that I am different mother today than I was when Meg was born 7 years ago. Let me explain.
When Meg was little and say, drooled on her clothes or got them messy from lunch/snack/spitting up, I immediately changed her. If Meg got even the TINIEST bit of anything from her diaper on her onesies, I immediately changed her. I put diapers in the diaper genie after changing her ON HER CHANGING TABLE IN HER ROOM. I vacuumed all the time for fear she’d put something in her mouth and choke. I always had a spare set of clothes for her with me in case of accidents. I was a new mother.
Now that I’ve had 4 children, a few things have changed. I will not change a child unless said child has 1) fallen into a mud or rain puddle and gotten totally drenched/filthy, 2) completely soiled themselves straight thru all layers of clothes, or 3) has thrown up all over themselves (I cannot tolerate the smell of vomit). A little bit of food on the clothes isn’t a big deal (ok, really, it drives me nuts but PUHLEASE! I do too much laundry as it is). I change the twins’ diapers on my lap, in my living room, because in all honesty, I am too lazy to climb up the flight of stairs to change them in their room, then come back downstairs to get the other one to repeat the job. And, I gave my neighbor who just had twins the changing pad from their changing table, so there is no need to go up there anymore. The diaper genie sits in the dining room, lonely for a diaper. It needs a refill and honestly, that’s an expense I can do without right now. I chuck diapers near the trash can, and pick them up when I have a moment. I actually made that Drew’s chore~if he sees a diaper on the floor, he needs to put it in the trash for me. Vacuuming? Oh come on now. The twins are the best vacuum anyone needs. Piece of lint on the floor? Yell “mamamamamamamamama” and hand it to me. Fuzz on the floor? Lather, rinse, repeat. And I love to vacuum, but that means cleaning up all toys/shoes/books, etc. and that isn’t always in the cards. So I made do with that I have. I never have a spare set of clothes for any of the kids in the car or diaper bag. I just hope for the best.
As I’ve added more children to our family (I mean “we”) life has become more hectic, more crazed, less sane. I spend much of my day playing zone defense, especially when the older kids are home. Days go something like this: ” No Drew, don’t hit Annie. No Meg, please don’t dance in the living room covered with toys; you’ll knock over a baby. Drew, stopping taking those toys away from the girls. Meg, please don’t pick up the girls because then Drew will pick up the girls and then Mama will LOSE HER MIND!” I’m not saying I crave a Father Knows Best life, but a little more sanity would be swell. I feel like the big yelling monster about 95% of the time, and that is NOT how I envisioned things would be. Going on an outing (as Mary Poppins would say. Sorry, we’re listening to the soundtrack in the car these days) fills me with morbid dread. It’s such a production to get everyone ready, make sure we have diaper/wipes/juice, instruct the older children on the proper behavior and consequences of bad behavior, and remember to get everyone in the car (Doug was left somewhere once as a child and I fear that the most).
I wouldn’t trade this life for anything in the world. My children are beautiful, healthy and happy most of the time. I am trying, slowly, to adjust my way of thinking from what I thought things would be, to the reality of what they are and enjoy what I created. It’s not always easy, but I’m doing my best.