Loving but Struggling

It’s an odd thing to be filled with so much love for so many people but at the same time feeling so very frustrated with those very people.
I love my kids so much it makes me feel like I’m going to cry. But taking care of all of them by myself also makes me feel like I’m going to cry. And not happy tears. ha

At the end of the day I always look back and have so many regrets. Why didn’t I read them another book? Why didn’t I look into Sierra’s eyes more? Why didn’t I smile at Brooklyn that one time she was rubbing Ember’s head? Why did I give Payson a timeout that one time when I should’ve just hugged him instead?

It’s painful for me to be a mother. I have such high expectations of myself and I can never meet them.
But I try very hard.

I really am giving myself a hard time when I’ve been doing a good job all considering. I find myself being in the moment much more than I ever was before. Having a high maintenance baby (who wants to nurse ALL day and be held the entire time she sleeps) is aggravating when I need to make the older kids food or change Payson’s diaper, but besides that it’s caused me to REALLY slow down.

I spend a lot of time on the couch with all the kids. The older three gravitate to me and Ember. I find us just sitting and talking. It’s weird that I never really just sat and talked with the kids. It was always chatting while eating or drawing or reading or walking or whatever. There is something so much more connecting about just sitting and talking. The eye contact, the focus on the other person… it’s a good thing.

I took the kids to the arboretum today. They’ve been begging to go for a long time. And I’ve been feeling desperate for a little more activity so I figured why not? (I’m so looking forward to exercising next month!)

I was really hoping to snap a cute picture for a new header. I got a couple that are cute but they’re uploading SO pixelated that it’s driving me crazy! I’ll mess around with it some more when I have time, I guess.

This morning just before the arboretum, Sierra helped me out by holding Ember while I got breakfast ready.

I remembered to use the timer to take a couple pictures of all of us.

I sat down five minutes into our trip to nurse Ember. I’d just nursed her before we left but, well, that didn’t matter. lol

Payson examined everything with such interest. It was so cute to watch him.

He knocked my bag off the stroller just before this picture. Ember’s blanket and my wrap got covered in dirt and ants so I had to hold Ember in my arms the rest of the trip. I had no idea such a light baby could cause my back so much pain by walking while holding her for an hour.

Cutie pie:

Ember loaded her diaper and was very unhappy when I change her on this bench.
We got home and watched the movie Babies together while Ember nursed (we all loved the movie!) and then we went outside so the kids could ride their bigwheels.

Except Ember hung out with me on my chair. Nursing again. She likes to take her time breastfeeding. She drinks steadily for five minutes and then slooooows down to barely drinking while falling asleep. She likes that part to last 45 minutes or so. Or forever. Yeah, forever attached to mommy with a steady slow stream of milk… that’s Ember’s idea of heaven.

It is really sweet to feel her body relax when she latches on and watch her eyes glaze over in happiness after drinking for a while and then to see her fluttering eyelashes as she falls to sleep in perfect contentment 🙂

I set up the camera timer to take a group picture but the girls weren’t really interested. Instead I get to show off my stylish (*cough*) mommy outfit.

Payson LOVES timer pictures and was running over to be in it with me. But he was too late. lol

Here are the two pictures I got at the arboretum that I liked for a header:

To get them to laugh I sang the itsy bitsy spider but instead of the regular lyrics when I got to “washed the spider out” I’d say, “hit mommy on the head!” and of course I’d hit myself on the head when I did it and then fake wince and say, “OWWW!”

Payson sang that new version of the song for the next hour or so and would laugh and laugh when he’d hit himself on the head. lol

3 thoughts on “Loving but Struggling

  • I can almost hear a newborn cry in that diaper changing picture. And I love her dress, your kiddos are always dressed in such cute outfits!

    You are very hard on yourself! Mommy guilt is horrible, and I know I do the same thing. What you said about sitting and talking with your kids really struck home, I need to work on that. You took 4 kids and very young ages on such a fun trip, that's huge!

    Relax and enjoy the ride, you wouldn't want to be perfect because then your children would try to model that. Being as good as you can and open about making mistakes is a gift! 🙂

    And I hear you on the getting out part, sometimes a different view is all it takes. Throw in some physical activity and it's an instant mood booster, even if it makes you dead tired!

  • Oh I can so relate to this post! Sometimes as moms we can be so hard on ourselves when we give more of ourselves than we knew we had and yet feel bad for not giving all we would like. It is obvious from your writing that you are a great mom!

    Those are great pictures! Where is that arboretum? You found a great spot there for a photo shoot!

  • I think you are doing a great job. Your kids always look happy, well fed, and clean! That's all they need. 🙂 My youngest was exactly like Ember wanting to be nursed all the time for the first few months or so. Thankfully for my sanity she was finished in about 15 mins. nothing near 45! Hang in there!

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