We all struggle with something. I know it’s easy to look at Miss Sally down the street and think since she wears heels every day and her hair always looks great that clearly her kids are fantastic because she has time to look great. But maybe she hates how often they order take out because she can’t seem to get the hang of meal planning and grocery shopping.
Have you ever been listening to a sermon and gotten knocked upside the head by the message? I hope so! Sometimes I listen to the sermon and while it’s great, it doesn’t penetrate deep. Other times? It’s like God took a 6×6 post (it can’t simply be a 2×4 for how hard I’ve been hit sometimes) and clobbered me so the message could sink in. But in a totally good way. Like it was exactly what has been on my heart but I couldn’t put into words.
She’s four years old today!
Eight years ago today I woke up from a late afternoon nap ready to get dinner started. I stood up from the couch and felt the *pop* and a *gush.* My water had broken and all the plans, dreams, and prayers of so many years was coming to be.
I’ve always wanted to be a mom. From way back when I imagined myself as a mom to three kids and sometimes the last two were twins. The twin dream disappeared after a while once I realized how much work babies are (God has a great sense of humor!) but I still knew that my future held kids.
Earlier this summer Anders and Cade both became interested in using the potty. All of our kids have shown a fairly early interest in the potty and all have been trained by the age of two. I don’t know how it has worked with five kids (even though the little ones aren’t fully trained yet) but if I figure out the secret and can bottle it for those of you sick of buying diapers I will be sure to do it. It may have something to do with using cloth diapers, or it could be because I was an early trainer, or it could be a total fluke.
It’s possible if we waiting until they were older we could bunker down and do one of the 3-day methods that you see floating around the internet but I don’t feel like hiding in my house for 3 days straight with naked kids. We let the kids take the lead and decide on their own readiness and this seems to work well for them. Training the older kids was pretty straight forward because there was one of them to train – they asked, we took them, all done. Training twins is double the work but quadruple the mess. Or at leastthat’s what I’ve come up with if I’ve done my math correctly, ha!
So what have I learned about training twins so far?
Take the struggle out of bedtime with an easy to follow bedtime routine! Bedtime routines help kids get in the mood for bed so start implementing yours tonight! #bedtime #toddlerbedtime #bedtimestruggles #fivekids #twins
Being a mom of five kids spaced over six years I’m used to my share of comments. Most people simply look on with a slight bit of shock as we pass but many will ask us about the kids. We get asked if the little guys are twins (yes), how many are boys vs. girls (4 vs. 1), told that our hands are full (duh), and so many other quips and notes. Occasionally we get a comment that makes us wonder if the person’s mama ever taught them manners or the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all” mantra.
I never planned on having a “big” family. Micah and I are both the oldest of three and we agreed that three is a great number. I said three or four kids when we did our pre-marital counseling and because I really like even numbers so I didn’t want to ignore the idea of a fourth kid. Micah said he would consider four but nothing higher (and then God laughed).
After Mercedes arrived I was immediately on board for number four… as in she popped out and I announced she was a girl and then I asked when I could do that again. I really liked labor and delivery with her! We knew we wanted to keep the kids close in age and we liked the age distance between Parker and Jamison (17 months) so we decided to shoot for that again.
We started trying when Mercedes was about six months old but it took us until after her first birthday to see those two pink lines. Obviously we are now super grateful for that spacing since at our eight week appointment we saw not one, but two little beans bopping around. Twins! And thus we became a family of five. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have five kids but now I know it was the surprise I didn’t know I needed.
These might not be mind blowing revelations but they are the lessons that have been important for me as a mom and for raising these five little humans that are spaced a mere six years apart. They are the lessons I need to remember when the chaos is building and I feel like I can’t handle being a mom. That while this is happening it will also pass, there is more than just the loud and the crazy.
A tribe: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect (yay for dictionaries!).
In my mind, moms need a tribe. Mothering isn’t meant to be done alone. Women need to come along side another, share stories, share hurts, share triumphs. They need to lift each other up in times of need and cheer each other on in times of success. Mothering can be so isolating but by finding a tribe we learn that we aren’t alone and that being together and learning from each other can be the most empowering part of parenting.
I want to say a huge thank you to my momma-tribe. Tribes, actually, I’ve been blessed enough to have four. I know that the support of these women is turning me into a significantly better mother than I could have been without them, so holla! And thanks.
Imagine yourself trying to finish up the breakfast dishes and get a few other items prepped for the rest of the day. You’ve got noodles on the stove, a sink full of soapy water, and a cast iron pan drying in the oven. Then the kids start yelling at each other. Again. In the last ten minutes you’ve broken up at least six fights. He’s sitting on her cushion. This one wants the Duplo that the other one has been stacking for a good twenty minutes. She’s tired of getting stinky boy feet stuck in her face. You don’t want to yell but inside you feel yourself screaming. The house needs a change of pace but you don’t have anything ready. What do you do?
This is exactly where I found myself last week. I don’t know what had gotten in to them but they were extra touchy about everything the others did. There were rarely any behaviors that were truly meant to cause hurt feelings but everyone seemed on edge. I knew something needed to pull them out of their funk so I searched the kitchen and found this: