Ho Ho… Nah

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.  😉




10 thoughts on “Ho Ho… Nah

  1. Hi
    I’ve never commented before but I love your blog. I’m at home with my 3 kids( 2,4,7& one on the way in January) we homeschool and cook and craft and are hunkering down to get ready for a long winter. I just wanted to say a couple things my kids love for indoor winter activities. We love our mini trampoline (“who can do 100 jumping jacks?! 🙂 ) also our chin up bar that’s installed low enough in the door that the kids can swing and hang from it. Oh! Also a Bilibo the kids love topspin and spin in that thing. Good luck and congratulations on that new little one.


    • Thanks Caitlin! Good ideas! We had a mini trampoline but we took it outside and the weather ruined it. It’s tricky to find a place to put it but perhaps I can warm up the basement playroom enough (and organize it enough!) to do it down there or maybe put it in the boys’ room. The chin up bar sounds really fun too. My little climbers would love that. 🙂


  2. Goodness, you sound like you are doing a fantastic job to me! But I understand those feelings of failure…I feel that way sometimes and I only have 2 kids to keep up with! Finding balance is hard, no doubt about it. It’s kind of like laundry, it’s never “done.” The moment you find one kind of balance, things change again and you have to readjust.

    If it makes you feel any better, your blog has always been an inspiration to me! It was one of the first ones I found when I was considering taking my kids out of public school. When I saw all the great stuff your kids were doing, I knew I wanted that kind of life for my kids.

    Also, having a clean house is overrated! Cleaning is for empty-nesters, it gives them something to do! 🙂


  3. Aw, thanks Sparklee! And I know a clean house is overrated (and out of the question for us!) but I suspect that having a much more orderly home would really help with the stress/overwhelm level. I think it might be better for Alex and his tendency to be so overstimulated and overstimulating, KWIM?

    I’m a woman who is slowly wallpapering my dining room ceiling with children’s art though, so it’s not like we’re ever going to have a traditional, tidy home. 🙂


  4. Parenting is the tughes job out there. Becasue we love our kids so much “good enough for now” doesn’t feel likes it is good enough! When I feel like I’m dropping all the balls I try and keep a list of all the things I did manage to do. That always makes me feel better – and helps me get a more balanced perspective. Sendig you hugs (((())))


  5. HUGS Alicia. Give yourself a break – you have so much on your plate atm. I don’t have any advice (I have one child so I wouldn’t even presume to offer any!!!), but I’m thinking of you.


  6. Hi Alicia, I’ve been reading your blogs for awhile now and I just want to say what an inspiration you and your family have been to me and my little family of 4. I think you are an amazing woman and a wonderful fun mum. Whenever I am having a day where I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by it all, I usually just read one of your blogs – they’re so full of inspiration, encouragement and positive energy! Obviously reading your own work might not work for you 🙂 but I just wanted to let you know what a wonderful person I think you are. Kia Kaha Alicia


  7. I like that you share all of the inspirational along with the challenging. Reading some blogs makes me feel that I can never really live up to what others are doing. It is a breath of fresh air to hear that someone admits to not always having everything magically work out. I love your blog and how you are willing and able to share so much of your life.

    I think that you must have an amazing attitude towards life to keep smiling through it all. Keep up the good work!


  8. It’s amazing that no matter how great we are at being mothers, we all still feel like we are failing at some point or another! I have nothing but empathy for you, for this season in life is short & will be over before you know it!


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