1. Before birth I read stories of “Churching” in which women in the old Church lay-low and stay in, do not go to church or anywhere for 40 days after birth. They just bond with their baby. Then after 40 days the baby is baptized and the mother is blessed and life begins again. So I had visions of taking it really easy the first week after child birth. I was hoping it would be filled with a lot of sitting and drinking water, eating soup—like I had the flu. I thought I would not cook or do dishes or any household chores. Of course, women of the old church had family in close proximity.
2. Reality is that on the day I came home from hospital life was just waiting there for me. My son’s asthma deserved a trip to the doctor and I was the only one who could take him that day. My daughter really needed some cuddling. And somehow, dinner had to happen. The next day laundry had to be done. Wednesday the kids were begging to get out of the house. Fortunately, I have had help from my dear friend, Anne (does that name sound familiar?). I have been afforded a nap each day. But life does not cease because I want it to, and I have quickly realized that my visions of taking it easy for 40 days are unrealistic. The Queen of the house cannot afford a vacation at present. Her responsibilities are too great. (I love it. I wouldn’t change it.)
3. Actually, I am grateful that I have been able to carry on so well. I have been tired and sore, but doing well. I even forced myself to get up at my usual time for the past couple of days to help habituate myself back my life and schedule. And of course, other friends have made generous offers of their time and resources.
4. My Angels have all been demanding of my love and attention. That has been the hardest part of this all. Kristiana in particular wants me to carry her around the house and that really hurts my body. I am not supposed to be carrying her. But she gets really hurt when I will not pick her up. I offer to sit down with her, but she does not want that. So I have carried her at least a few times a day. That’s what they make pain reliever for, right?
5. Family helpers – Alex and Kristiana are not at all jealous of the new baby. They LOVE her. They love to hug and kiss her. They bring her clean diapers and throw away the dirty ones. Kristiana loves to pick up the baby, carry around and tackle her, which is impressive because Annie is a little under half her weight. She does not quite understand how to be gentle.
6. All by myself – Next week I will mostly be all by myself with our three little ones. I anticipate it will be hard. I hope we can find peace and rhythm. I am sure I will be praying for grace and patience again throughout my days. Say a little prayer for me and all mommies with little ones.
7. So far, so good – Annie is a perfect baby. She does not cry or fuss. She has not had bad gas. She is a champion at nursing. She sleeps in long stints giving me a chance to rest and care for the other children. She does not tax my resources. Hopefully she is my laid back child.