But now, slowly but surely, we've been reclaiming our old lifestyle. We've been getting the kids out to play and we're having fun together each weekend. We've been eating two meals each day at the table as a family. We've been working a lot harder to be more understanding as parents, to be less reactive to the negative and more attentive to the positive. We have been doing well as a family of five. We're always running and we've screwed up a lot of stuff, but really, we're doing well. We're patting ourselves on the back, because hey, sometimes it's healthy to be your own biggest cheerleader.
Do we have our birth announcements out yet? Nope. Have we loosened our hold over some of the household rules? Yes. Do we walk out the door looking a mess and smelling like sour milk and vomit? Sometimes.
But we're making progress. Each week, we've been working towards doing something. I cleaned out my cupboards. We've cleared out a closet here, a drawer there. We're doing something in the yard. As part of our "moving forward" plan, every day our goal is to (at a minimum!) run a load of laundry or dishes. Because even when everybody is crying and he hit me tell him to stop being naughty! I can climb into bed at night and say, well, at least I did something today. Even if it was only folding a load of towels. That still counts as something!
The more we do, the better we get. Everybody has been pitching in and learning his/her place in our newly expanded family. It doesn't feel like this huge endeavor just to get the 5 of us out of the house anymore. Eating a meal in a restaurant all together doesn't cause us anxiety. Our laundry mountains have been tamed into regular, acceptable-sized laundry hills.
We are winning! Every day is a little bit of forward progress. Each completed task is a mini victory. The more we win, the more momentum we gain. All of these things that at first seemed like so much work are becoming our new normal, a regular habit. This is the first time in a long time where I am heading into the holiday season feeling more like saying, "Yes! I've got this" instead of, "Wow. I am so overwhelmed."
Each night Jared and I get ready for bed and discuss what we're going to do the next day, the next week, the next year. One of the reasons I love Jared is because he is a nonstop dreamer and/or schemer. He is always chasing after something better, but he's still grateful for what we've got. His favorite saying is, "Don't let a good thing get in the way of a great thing."
What we've got now is good, but where we're heading is great. And we'll get there one load of laundry at a time.
All five of us.
|A day at the park.|
|Waiting for lunch.|
|Watching the solar eclipse.|
|"What does the cow say?" "Neigh." "Are you teasing me?" "Yes."|
|Big Moo, Little Moo, and the one who wrangles them both.|