The birth and beginning of a year brings so much renewal into my psyche, something I have been desperate for throughout the past few months. Evangeline was born, Zoe turned 6, Beau turned 3, the holidays steamrolled through and now Jack is approaching 8 with a quickness that feels like a chokehold around my heart, tightening steadily. This part of the year always seems to catch me off-guard, and yet watching my oldest reach a new milestone is just the kind of thing I anticipate, like all the bells in my clock tower are at full tilt, suspended and waiting to gong.
I have been determined to go into 2015 with a greater sense of myself and with that comes a greater sense of my children, my parenting, these moments that fill up our days, weeks, months, eventually years.
I’ve subtracted a regular childcare helper from the weekly equation, and have added in walks with Evvie and Theo while the big kids are in school, acupuncture appointments, vitamins and even bi-monthly pedicures. It’s been tricky, timing wise, but if I can manage to care for myself as well as being with the kids nearly full time, I feel so much better and function at an overall higher level. One thing that living in New York City during Justin’s dental school taught me was to always rely on myself primarily and I’d never have the anxiety of not being in control, especially of my family.
And really, I just feel better when I’m with them.
After Evangeline was born, I faltered a bit and found myself entwined and tangled in the postpartum net of hormones and the emotional and physical enormity of three children and a newborn.
I was consumed in every way. I still am, but at least now I have a sense of ownership of my feelings and have put myself on the priority list, too. The circle was only widened more so that I could embrace and enjoy so much more, rather than simply getting lost and somewhat blinded by all of the very real, and very valid feelings of it all.
Part of my journey through motherhood has meant, for me, dipping my toes and sometimes falling deep into the abyss of this spinning wheel of parenting little people who are constantly changing greatly, watching, listening, learning from everything that happens around them.
I more or less just have a raft and a couple oars to help guide me now.