Before our babies even came home from the hospital, David and I had cleared our calendar of any activities that weren't absolutely required (read: gave us a paycheck). We knew we'd miss Church for a few weeks, so Dave arranged a replacement to cover running the sound. We had meals frozen. We pre-bought birthday gifts for the next month or two, knowing we wouldn't likely get a chance to do any shopping in the near future. We even pre-paid some of our bills.We planned to hunker down and get to know life as a family of four.
It was a good thing we prepared in such a way, because it ended up being completely necessary, albeit for much longer than the short amount of time we had "allowed" ourselves. We were so overwhelmed with two newborns and my recovering from surgery and trying to figure out breastfeeding and not having two minutes to sit and rest and think.
So, we backed off of a lot of our regular, pre-babies activities. For a long time.
We didn't attend family gatherings. We didn't go to celebrations. Or meetings. Or home groups. Or even out to eat.
We were just trying to manage things at home, and it was all consuming.
We've been slowly adding them back in over time, with conditions.
The Summer the babies were born, David did play on the softball team, but didn't arrive to games super early to warm up and practice. After about two months, I finally went back to Church, with our twins in tow.
Three months in, I went back to work, but only 15hours a week. Six months in we traveled a whole hour to a family gathering. =).
And with time, things have gotten easier. The twins are much more flexible when it comes to any sort of schedule. Handling the dinner/bath/bedtime routine is no longer daunting when running a zone defense. We all feel like a Family of Four living here, and less like two angry, tiny houseguests moved in with Dave and I and won't stop yelling at us!
But sometimes I get a little cocky, and I over commit. I start thinking...things are pretty smooth right now...it'd probably be okay if I committed my time/energy/emotion to this thing....
and most the time, it all works out just fine.
Momma's gone a little bit more, and a little bit more harried and stressed than usual, but we all survive and the house continues to run.
And then there's the other times.
The times were I get in WAY over my head with taking on too much, and everyone suffers. My kids are outta whack because I'm not around as much. I'm impatient with everyone.The laundry piles up so much that I'm forced to either stay up super late to complete it or run to the store and by everyone new underwear.
I try and avoid these situations, as my first place to serve is my home. This is not to say I don't have rights to get out and do other things, or that I am exempt of any obligation to do anything for anyone outside of our home. But simply put, if my patience is extended completely somewhere else, there is none left for my family.
So, I dip my toe in this activity over here, or that group over there, and I hang out and get involved until I feel the shift of patience. And then I pull back.
And we hunker down for a bit, and find our rhythm again.