A quote in Elaine’s post today really struck me:
“If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly…” ~Thomas S. Monson, “Finding Joy in the Journey,” Ensign, Nov. 2008
When Christian and I are rushing around at night trying to make dinner, clean up, get three kids in the bath, get jammies on everyone, etc., it’s sometimes hard to remember that.
Our nights are busy. Getting ready for bed is quite a process. After dinner, Christian takes the kids upstairs to start baths, while I clean up the kitchen. While they are still in the tub, I get the pajamas, diapers, lotion, etc. ready. I also pick out their clothes for the next day. Then we get them all out of the tub and lay them on our bed to get pajamas. Noah gets lotion, pajamas, and chapstick. Colin gets lotion, a onesie, and pajamas. Zoe has eczema, so she needs cortisone and them some thick nasty lotion. She also has longer hair, so she needs the anti-tangle spray and her hair brushed. Then we sit in bed together, watching a movie, reading books, or just hanging out for a while. Eventually one of us puts Noah and Zoe to bed (and deals with Noah’s stall tactics) while the other takes Colin downstairs for his last bottle. Somewhere in there I do a load of laundry and we pick up the family room and playroom, vacuum, pack lunches and backpacks, re-stock the diaper bag, etc.
When I went to the dentist after Zoe came home, and again after Colin came home, she told me I had been grinding my teeth and had the beginnings of TMJ (a painful jaw disorder). I was not surprised. My jaw began hurting at 7pm, like clockwork, just as our nightly routine began. As soon as I decided to change my attitude and try enjoy the kids at dinner, in the bath, and as we all piled on the bed after baths to get jammies on, the jaw aches and the teeth grinding stopped.
I won’t say that I enjoy it every night, but I really try to enjoy it most of the time. My favorite part of the day is that time when we are all on the bed together. Sometimes it’s hard to just live in that moment and not think about everything that still needs to be done, but these days I really try to. I’m working on taking it one step at a time, and enjoying it, rather than thinking about the whole process.
The thing about having Noah, Zoe, and Colin so close together is that they will all leave the house about the same time (I presume, anyway). I know I will miss them then, so I am doing my best not to “miss it” now.
By complete coincidence, I took these pictures last night, while trying to enjoy it.