So far, this holiday season is not looking like it’s going down in our family history as one of the best.
Everything is just a little off…
We didn’t have snow until the first of December so it didn’t feel like Christmas until very recently. I’m busy with baby Fiona, so I have less time for holiday magic. We haven’t taken our holiday picture, finished our cards (we hand make around 50 every year!), written our annual letter, put up lights outside, decorated inside (other than the tree and Christmas lights in a couple of the kids’ rooms)…
Balancing my writing (which is really starting to be a good source of income) with homeschooling 4 kids at very different levels, cooking, cleaning and trying to meet the needs of 5 children (one of whom is a newborn!) is a challenge right now. It is very cold so we’ve been stuck inside, and the isolation of living in a small town is not helping.
Alex has been really bouncing off the walls and driving us all more than a little crazy. He’s a sensory seeker (he likes it loud, likes to move, barely feels touch unless he runs into a wall and then is likely to like it) and in a small house, that can lead to more than usual mayhem. I’m really brainstorming about how to meet his physical needs this winter, since there are no gyms nearby and it gets so bitterly cold outside.
I’m also trying to figure out more social interaction for the kids. They get plenty of “socialization” but the girls don’t have any friends nearby that they really click with and I know that’s hard. Jack has a new friend next door, but he’s not necessarily the best influence.
It’s funny — we have a newborn but it is the older kids and other responsibilities that are pulling me in all directions and making life challenging. Fiona is a fairy tale baby for the most part: she sleeps through the night next to me and she’s a very happy and easy-going baby (as long as she’s held most of the time, which isn’t really a problem in this house).
Trying to parent five children well is a bit tricky! I’m feeling like a bit of a failure at it all right now… Anna misses her friends, Jack wants more time with me to do things like cooking and crafts, Alex needs more time outside and direction, Victoria craves quiet and wishes she were closer to her friends, all of the kids want more one-on-one time with me, the boys need more read-alouds, we haven’t done fun homeschooling projects in far too long, Jack has been bored and stir crazy, Anna feels that she has too many responsibilities around the house, Alex seems to have a Omega-3 deficiency (he has “chicken skin” and “alligator skin,” plus hyperactive behavior), the kids are all getting on each other’s nerves and fighting, Jack wants me to start making green smoothies every day again, computers keep breaking, all of us need more exercise… and I have a two month old nursling, 4 columns to keep up with, a house that’s far too messy, daily migraines and chronic neck pain to deal with and things like cooking most foods from scratch.
Most days I feel pretty great about the life we’ve created together, but some days I feel as if there are just too many balls to keep in the air and I’m dropping most of them.
I have a full day ahead of me today, though, and I guess I’ll just do my best to be as fabulous as possible today. Or at least not suck. 😉