Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Enjoying Surviving

When I was a new mom...Asia was probably only about 4 months old...I was sitting in a hospital room visiting my dear friend...her young daughter was fighting leukemia (she was fighting an infection @ the time due to having NO immune system).  She told me something I have never been able to forget..."Enjoy her(Asia)...don't dwell on the past or long for the future...enjoy the stage you are in."  I have thought of her words often in my almost 5 years of being a mom.  From her perspective...how important it is to ENJOY the time you have with your children.

Asia @ almost 11 months old.
A couple of months ago, I was able to see her again...and she said the same thing to me again.  I laughed and was able to tell her that I have often thought of her words to me. Her daughter is now doing incredibly well...and I believe after one last test later this year could be considered cancer-free.

The last few weeks I've been thinking about this concept of "Enjoying your kids" after reading two different blog posts online.  I think both of the following posts are worth a read for parents.

Counting the Hours
Don't Carpe Diem

Asia @ about 18 months and Leif & Slater only a few weeks old.
I was barely getting used to having a baby...when I got pregnant with the twins.  The pregnancy was pretty great...as far as twin pregnancies go. But I could barely walk @ the end & I was only sleeping about an hour a night...because I was sooo huge.  It didn't get any better after the boys were born...and honestly, I don't really remember much of the first 6 months of their life...frankly, it's just a huge blur.  I breastfed both of them...and honestly, didn't sleep much more than 3 or so hours in a 24 hour period for the first 3 months.

When I wasn't taking care of them...I was trying to take care of Asia...poor thing wasn't really much more than a baby herself.  I do remember one morning at about 2 AM--Brian was comforting one screaming boy, I was nursing the other one and Asia (who had somehow gotten out of her crib) was running around the house screaming and laughing her little head off...having a grand old time. And at that point, we just let her run.

This pretty much sums it up.
I wanted to ENJOY my kids...but honestly...I didn't even have time to think about it...all 3 of the kiddos needed to do have everything done for them...change diapers, feed them, give them baths, etc, etc...  I don't think I wasn't enjoying them...I just didn't have time to think about whether I was enjoying them or not.
We moved to the Philippines with all these babies...what were we thinking?!?
As if life wasn't crazy enough...we moved to the Philippines when the boys were 10 months old...and Asia not even 2 1/2.  
Leif & Slater's 1st Birthday
I just threw this picture in...cuz I love it...my little Thing 1 & Thing 2.  We had just moved into a new apartment and Brian & I started Tagalog language & culture study.  Life got even crazier! 
First family pic after Skye was born...Asia barely 3, Leif &  Slater were 21 months & Skye was a few weeks old.
Then, 11 months into our time here...God gave us our little Skye...  Life was just insane!!!  Still wanting to ENJOY my kids...but not having time to even think about it.

What life looks like now.

Now, with Asia turning 5 later this month, the boys almost 3 1/2 and Skye almost 20 months...my life is still completely insane...  We're studying yet another language...as fast as we can...and trying to take care of our precious kiddos. 
All my little darlings.
99% of all mornings...do you know what we wake up to?!?  I bet you're thinking crowing roosters or barking dogs...  Nope...we get woken up by the boys FIGHTING...they are screaming, crying, and carrying on...which in turn wakes up both of their sisters.  Did I mention that this is by 5:30 EVERY morning? 

We spend the rest of the day...doing language study, breaking up fights between the kids, making meals, buying food, breaking up more fights between the kids, and, up until last Saturday...changing 3 of 4 kids diapers, (Thank the Lord...Potty training the boys is going well) then giving baths, noticing a new bite mark one one child courtesy of an annoyed sibling, reading stories, more language study, oh wait, there's more fighting...ok, ok...you get the point.
Us - March 2012
I am not complaining...I LOVE being a mom and I LOVE my kids.  But reading those articles just got me thinking... In the midst of all the insanity of keeping my little fab four alive and not hitting each other with hockey sticks, am I really enjoying these moments with them that will be gone forever really freakishly soon?

For now, all I can say is I really think I do ENJOY my kids...they make me laugh (and each other cry) on a daily basis...I just don't always have the time to think about whether I'm enjoying them or not...I'm just trying to SURVIVE.  Does that make sense?!? 

Anyway...my plan is to seize the moments in the day that my kids make me crack up, the moments when I get sweet hugs and kisses from little boys who probably won't be giving me hugs and kisses willingly for much longer...to not count how few hours of sleep I got due to the little Miss sleeping in our bed, to not count how many hours there are until naptime or bedtime...too often anyway.  :)  TO MAKE AN EFFORT...to THINK about how much I really, really do ENJOY my kiddos.


june said...

Oh, Brooke, I've found myself thinking along these lines so often lately...and my kids are all grown and grandparents. I posted to Heather T.Swinehart how I find myself reliving those days through you mommies. We had four under five yrs. (and no disposable diapers!) I remember when your dad was finally out of diapers I felt like celebrating. Most of my evenings were spent folding a basket full of laundered diapers. Well, I could go on and on. Like you, I'm sure I was enjoying them, but didn't have time to think about it. It is all kind of a blur. Now I ask Jesus to help me remember times. Gran'pa & I often sit and recall times and events.

Dennis and Valerie said...

Brooke, you are an encouragement to me... sometimes I think about you and feel inspired to do a craft or go visit a new place in the city just because I know you would do it. :) Maybe if you can enjoy even one little moment every once in awhile that is enough. Blogging is a nice way to remember. That way the day to day craziness is never forgotten but it just makes us smile to look back on it instead of pulling our hair out. :)