How are you?
How are you doing with a new little one?
Has it been easy having seven?
These are all common questions I get on a daily basis - or at least any time I run an errand, go to church, pick something up at the store, step outside my door, answer my phone... basically get out of bed. The question is common enough, but the answer has a few more twists to it. Each of the following variations are true, in their own right, but each one focuses on a slightly different perspective beginning with an eagle-eye view, and spiraling all the way in to macro zoom.
Answer #1 - Total Stranger
I am doing great! Phoebe is such a blessing, we can't imagine our lives without her. The kids adore her, and it is so precious to watch them bond. Having seven doesn't seem that much different from having six. We already had the van, so throwing another car seat (which we already owned) into the mix, and setting the moses basket up really wasn't that big of a deal. It really does get easier as you go.
Answer #2 - Acquaintance
I am doing well. Phoebe sleeps great, so I really can't complain! Sure, she has some fussiness that we are trying to get to the root of, but I am confident we will figure it out before we send her off to college! *chuckle* The kids are a tremendous help, and without them adding her would definitely be harder.
Answer #3 - Friend
I am hanging in there. Phoebe is smiling, which makes all the discontentment easier to bear. She can be such a doll, and she smells so good. I am still amazed that God gave us another little one. I know we don't deserve her, but sometimes I wish the Lord didn't trust us quite so much. I am definitely getting older, and while my age and experience lend perspective that give me tools to cope with midnight feeds, and unexplained crying, I do find myself much more tired than every before. I wouldn't trade Phoebe for the world, but the transition of bringing her home has probably been one of our roughest to date.
Answer #4 - Prayer Partners/Spouse
I am really struggling. I just can't seem to get my feet under me! I have these sweeping highs, and dropping lows that render me incapable of normal thought. I think I might have post-partum depression. The restrictive diet for Phoebe's sensitivities has just about sent me through the roof! I can't bear the idea of weaning, and don't believe it is what God would have me do, but I certainly can not reconcile how this is supposed to be a, "light and easy burden." I feel like I am just treading water from one day, sometimes one moment, to the next. Will it ever even out, and seem doable to me?
Answer #5 - God
Please help me! I can't do this. I am falling apart. I don't know why you think I can handle 7 children, with all the weight of responsibility that comes along with them. I am so afraid of failing you... failing them. I know that your grace is sufficient, but I can't seem to find the way that your grace takes care of the dishes, while the baby screams, the toddler wails, the kids ask a million questions, the phone rings, and there is a knock at the door! Help me, God!
So if I seem a bit perplexed the next time you ask how I am doing it is because I am trying to sift through all the above answers to find the suitable one for the occasion. It isn't that I am lying, because all 5 answers are true! I am: great; overwhelmed; incredibly blessed; feeling the burden of of responsibility; irritable; in awe of how well the other children have taken to their new sister; falling in love with Phoebe; wondering when we will be out of this particular season with its specialized demands; confident in my motherhood; enjoying this newborn stage; missing Josiah as my baby; tired of whining, crying, wailing, and whimpering; certain that my frailty is nothing new to my Lord who sees me, and has compassion upon me.
How are you?