Since adding our fourth child to our family a couple of weeks ago (you did hear about my unintentional home birth, right?), life has become scarily more complicated. I'd like to smack the person who has perpetuated the myth of how easy it is to add another kid once you get past three.
I forcefully disagree.
I realize I'm riding high, or low, really, on a pretty strong hormonal cocktail, but managing four kids under 6 is kicking my ass. Even with my husband home for the last few weeks, my mom visiting from out of town, and my babysitter back on her regular schedule, I'm struggling.
It used to be that I could grab the baby, snuggle up in my bed with a Real Housewives marathon, and escape while my husband managed the other two children. Or lock myself in an office in front of a computer and work.
But it's a little more difficult to do that when he's dealing with three kids alone.
Sadly, I don't even have the energy to giggle at his gripes, considering I've spent much of the last two years dealing with three kids alone. No matter how many times I've been the sometimes single mom, I don't like to see anyone suffer, particularly at the hands of a just turned 2-year-old, one heck of a challenging 3-year-old, and a suddenly sassy 6-year-old.
And, not surprisingly, the kids are extra whiny and seem to only want mommy to do everything.
Part of me wants to put the baby down and dive into bath and bedtime now that I'm not lugging around a gigantic belly. The other part just wants to run and hide.
I've got a much shorter fuse, blowing up at even the smallest offenses by my children. Everything seems magnified 200 percent and I lack the self-control to hold it together.
They cry. I cry. And then I inevitably apologize for being mean.
Given that this is my fourth child, I should know what to expect. And really, I do. That's why I enjoyed the 48 hours I spent in the hospital alone -- my food being served, my baby being changed by someone else.
But no matter how many times I've done it before, the stark reality of being a postpartum mom always seems to hit me out of nowhere. And I haven't even thought about what it's going to be like when he goes back to work.
Image via Kristen Chase