Guys, four kids is bonkers. I don't know how else to say it. In fact, that's a good chunk of the reason why I wasn't writing here. I wanted to be able to say, "Hey, look at us! Four kids is a piece of cake! Everything is wonderful and harmonious and one giant Kumbaya sing-along around the campfire of life!" What I didn't want to say was, "HOLY CRAP, THIS IS SO HARD. WHY IS THIS SO HARD? DO KIDS NORMALLY FIGHT THIS MUCH? WHAT IS THAT SMELL? ARE ONE YEAR OLDS SUPPOSED TO TRY AND SCRATCH OUT THEIR BABY BROTHER'S EYES? WHY ISN'T ANYONE SLEEPING? WHO WON'T STOP CRYING NOW? OH THAT'S ME? THAT MAKES SENSE." (Obviously there's more yelling in the second scenario because CHILDREN.)
I didn't want to publicly admit that the transition from a family of five to a family of six has been anything but seamless. That it has been hard and tiring, and I don't know what I'm doing. Or that Dan and I look at each other at least twice a day, wondering what we got ourselves into, or how we'll survive it.
I didn't want to say all these things because when you decide to have kids, and certainly "a lot" of kids, it can feel like you lose your right to voice how hard it can be to actually have kids. So even when you're lost in the dense, and sometimes dark days of parenting, your pride will wrap itself around your vocal chords and prevent you from calling out for help. Because if there's anything worse than the struggle of not knowing what you're doing (but being absolutely sure you're not doing it right either way), it's wondering if everyone else already knew it would be too much for you to handle in the first place.
Listen, if you have four kids (or seven kids or three kids or even one kid) and your life is totally peaceful and copacetic, that is wonderful. I'm so happy for you. I'm also half convinced that you're either lying or a robot (or worse, a lying robot), but still--nothing but congratulatory happiness coming your way. I might need to step out of the room every once in a while to scream into a pillow about it, but that's my issue, not yours.
Because the Slater household right now? It's full of living, breathing, loud, messy, vibrant, semi-violent beings, who are depending on their slightly overwhelmed parents to survive. It's a task that is both beautiful and breathtakingly hard. Maybe someday it won't be, but these days it certainly is. The first step is admitting it.
|The first day of a new life.