I am crossing my fingers and hoping that by saying we are finding our routine does not jinx it. I am so happy we made the decision to put River in public school (which I will write more about in detail some other time). It has forced a rhythm upon our day and everything else falls into place. We all wake up at about 7:30 and he leaves for school at 8:30. It's just me and the girls until 3:30 when we pick him up from the bus stop (Austen nick-named his school bus "Buster"). We usually arrive back home before 3:45, where we then complete homework, have a snack and read books aloud for 20 to 30 minutes. River is allowed 30 minutes of media time before dinner, which varies in time -- the success of my day is usually measured on what time dinner is ready and how clean the kitchen is. Right now dinner is keeping warm in the crock pot and the kitchen's so clean you could lick the floors, so I'd say we've had a pretty successful day.
Not every day is like this; most days, I'd say, are a bit more hectic. But that is the ebb and flow of having a new baby, and also attempting to be a well-organized, time-managed mama, two things which I am not. Our bed time routine is, well... let's just say I use the word "routine" loosely here. And the events during the weekends don't resemble any kind of pattern at all; as long as the kids are fed and well rested for Monday morning, that's really all I care about. We are working our way to better days, and I am loving every minutes of motherhood! Okay, okay. Not every minute. John could tell you that based on Halloween afternoon, as I was frantically trying to get Austen's costume done and freaking out about every loud and unnecessary noise, crying about how grumpy Chase was being and how often she was wanting to nurse, and just acting like a jumpy, emotional maniac in general. But most days, I feel like I'm living a dream.
I love my life. I love my kids, I love my husband, I love our comfy, crappy little apartment, all our used furniture and our holey comforters and our linoleum floors and our messy closets and our bookshelves and our coffee mugs and our early mornings and our pumpkins everywhere and my new Ikea dishes and our throw pillows and our baby things that are taking over the laundry. I'm glad I have laundry to do. I'm glad we can afford things like new Ikea dishes. I'm thankful that our apartment is so inexpensive. I'm thankful we are fed, clothed, warm, and happy.
John asked me a question that popped up on Reddit last week. Ten years ago, if you could have looked ahead to what your life is now, what would make you say WTF? And when I thought about it, I couldn't come up with much. To be perfectly honest, I told him I probably would assume we'd have more money. Not that we are living in poverty or anything, but with all the little things in life like student loans and health insurance and what not, it can be a struggle. I said I'd probably be shocked by my public-schooled kindergartener, as I had always been very stubborn in saying I absolutely would homeschool my children someday. I also assumed I'd have a degree by now, so that would probably surprise me. But everything about my life right now is what I wanted ten years ago.
When I was 16 -- or really, as soon as I was old enough to play with dolls -- I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to be a wife. I've always wanted five kids, and I've got three down. Three really amazing, beautiful children. I feel very, very lucky that I can say that. It opened my eyes to just how thankful I am, how thankful I should be amid the stresses and little disappointments of daily life. Maybe we're nowhere near to upgrading to a nicer car, or owning a home, or having the garden I've always wanted, and maybe I don't know when I'll be able to go back to school and get that degree... but my life makes me incredibly happy. Like, fuzzy-feelings in my heart happy.