This past Saturday night Brian and I went on a double date with some sweet friends, and we actually left Molly at home with the babysitter. For the first time. It was actually my first time to leave her at all. Ever. In the past I have just taken her with me grocery shopping or running errands or wherever because it was easier to have her with me because of her nursing schedule. And what mom of six kids has time to pump?? I'd like to know. Plus, it was easier on Brian or whomever was watching my other 5 kids. Leaving 6 kids (including a baby and a mischievous 23 month old!) with someone is pretty overwhelming, and Molly is just easy to have out and about. So she has gone with us on all our dates. Up until now.
Just a couple of days ago, I finally put her on a good schedule and started letting her fall asleep on her own instead of me getting her to sleep and then laying her down. I think it has taken me this long just because I wanted to soak up every bit of her "newborn"-ness as long as I could. And I didn't have the heart to hear her cry it out.
Thankfully the longest she has ever cried since letting her fall asleep on her own has been about 3 or 4 minutes. :) (She had actually been crying longer if I put her in her swing to sleep....she is not a fan of the swing). So after I feed her around 6 or 7 pm, she is down for the night until I wake her up to feed her right before I go to bed. So that means I have more freedom in the evenings now. And she has been sleeping about 6-7 hour stretches at night. Little thing has taken longer to do this than my other boys, but she's just so little and still hasn't reached her "12 pound magic number," which according to Dr. Morrison is when they can start sleeping through the night.
So tonight Brian watched all six kids (for the first time) and let me have a girls night with some sweet friends. He put her down with no problem, and she was still asleep when I got home! I think we have arrived at the "easier" baby stage. Her naps are going better during the day, although she rarely sleeps longer than 45 minutes. Baby steps. :)
Sweet Molly is a joy. I just want to soak up her smiles all day long. She is so happy and reminds me so much of her big brothers at this age...happy and content. lots of coos and smiles. But definitely happiest when she is being held. :) She's come out of her fussy moments...Brian was starting to get a little hurt that she would cry every time he held her, but that has thankfully past. Her brothers adore her...she is kissed and hugged and squeezed all day long.
So the baby fog is slowly being lifted, and I just may start to be able to function again. Any organization or keeping up with the school calendar or laundry or meal planning has gone out the window since she was born. If Brian hadn't taken over getting up with and taking the kids to school in the mornings, I never would have survived. :) I feel like I'm just now starting over and trying to figure out how to do life with six in tow. :) Just reminding myself that my children are my priority...keeping them alive and fed and loved is my job. The rest can wait. As long as I remember that, then I am content...which is not often enough. The minute I start thinking about my piles of laundry or dirty dishes or the messy stack of bills and school papers on my desk I never have time to look through or my dirty kitchen floor or even school field trips that I just can't commit to right now, I start to feel like I'm failing. And those feelings of anxiety and frustration set in. I become the "mean" mom. I don't want that. I want my kids to feel more important than my tasks. A clean and organized home has become one of my biggest idols. Praying that I can die to self and be okay with a chaotic house (and not apologize for it when people drop by) and be so thankful that it's full of 6 treasured blessings...full of energy and joy...and wanting them to know that they are treasured and loved by their mom and dad. And not burdens who complain and argue and make messes all day. And I want to remember this first thing when I wake up in the morning. It's easy to remember this at night when everyone is asleep, but the real test is in the midst of the craziness.
Today was a good day to be reminded of our "hands being full" of good things. Brian had the day off, and we spent the afternoon at the park after picking the boys up from school... picnicking, exploring, and playing. It was so refreshing to be a part of their fun, not being distracted by chores or responsibilities. Just enjoying our kids. I needed this afternoon. Being together as a family away from distractions. Just the eight of us. :)