Wednesday, November 23, 2011

7 months, what's working?

**Periodically I try and post something about what's been working for us along this journey, in case it's helpful to others.

2 weeks old..... just yesterday, right?
Once again I realized that I'm late writing an update from 7 months about specifically how things are going and what's working for us. In just a few days they'll be 8 months! Ahhhhh! I say this every month, but "where is the time going???"

When I went back to see what was going on at 7 months, I noticed this list of 10 thoughts, that I wrote one very late night just as the boys turned 7 months. Earlier in the day someone had asked me for the 100th time, "How do you do it?" Sometimes I get bothered by that question only because sometimes it feels like people are implying that we are doing something extraordinary and really we're not. We simply received an unbelievable blessing and now we're doing our best to honor that each and every day. Some days are wonderful, some days are hard and messy and we just plow through.

But as I sat in bed that night, I thought about how I ask also that question of other people too. "How do you do it?" Like moms who have even more kids to care for, moms who manage to homeschool (can't imagine!!), moms who also work outside the home, single moms, moms who parent kids with medical issues or other special needs, moms who somehow overcome great tragedy and continue mothering with grace and joy. I wonder how they do it... which I suppose is part of the reason I love reading other blogs. Getting a sneak peak into the lives of other moms, gives me pause in my own life with my boys and often causes me to see things in a new light.

So before turning the light out, I couldn't get that, "How do you do it?" question out of my mind. So I raddled off ten pieces of advice in about three minutes. They are a few of the things I've learned through this experience of a high risk pregnancy and now parenting triplets plus one. They are the pieces of advice I'd go back and give myself one year ago, when I desperately wanted some insight into what to expect.

I never planned to share them on this blog, rather to keep them for myself to see how the lessons change as the boys age, but today I changed my mind. So here they are, raw, unedited and my thoughts 7 months out.

7 months: What I'd tell someone expecting triplets (if they asked!)

1. Learn to embrace chaos! Our home is rarely quiet, rarely clean, the laundry basket is never empty, it seems that somebody is always up. Although we set schedules and work harder than we ever have to get and stay organized, inevitably things come up and you just have to roll with it or else you'll go crazy.

2. Accept your own human limitations, you can only do what you can do!

3. Be kind to your spouse and forgive each other quickly and often. Everyone is over tired, everyone is overworked, everyone is trying. 

4. Laugh

5. Hire as much help as you can afford, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it and take help offered

6. Go out on a date night whenever someone offers to watch the kids for you!

7. Decide what your attitude is going to be- we made a very conscious choice early on to focus on the blessings and not the challenges of this situation. Whatever comes our way, we know that God will provide for us.

8. Focus on the journey, not the destination. I try hard to focus on today and not worry about how we'll manage tomorrow.

9. Let go of what you can't control and trust God's plan. What we've experienced, especially toward the end of the triplet's pregnancy, which I wrote a lot about here, made it all to clear that so much of life is out of our hands. Trusting in God's plan for us and choosing how we response are things in our control. 

10. Remember that what your kids need most to grow and thrive is a happy mommy. Be kind to yourself.

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