Someday, I’ll look back and wonder how I survived these years.
Five kids in 8 years.
Working more than part-time, but less than full-time from home writing.
Cooking more meals a day than I ever imagined possible to eat.
Running errands, making it on time to activities, hosting playdates, and refereeing sibling wrestling matches.
I honestly do no know how it all happens.
I do know that I collapse onto the couch or into my bed each night and understand just how different this stage of adulthood is than I had ever dreamt. While I am exhausted, touched-out, burned-out, and aching with pregnancy pains, my mind reviews the day and the to-do list still to come. The house is quiet, even John is asleep, and I have tiny limbs draped across my expanding belly. I breathe it all in because, even through the craziness, I love this.
I have struggled for months with accepting this last baby, this relocation, and this new way of life out here. I have doubted my abilities, and in turn, I have doubted the foundation that John and I have solidified through 13 years and raising 4 babies alone. This move rocked me hard. We were too far away from an ocean, too far away from friends, too far away from family. I imagined myself drowning without any help.
But then the peace came. It hit me harder than a bag of bricks. We haven’t lived closer than a 10-12 hour drive to our families in years. We have started over in new cities and states many times. And John and I have done a damn good job so far.
The wind was blowing the tree limbs, making them cast dancing shadows throughout the backyard. The kids were running around chasing said shadows, laughing together. John and I sat with wine in hand and discussed the renovations we have planned for this gorgeous home we purchased. Music was playing, and we were happy. It wasn’t hard to realize just how far we have come – and what an amazing future we have. But this moment? This one right here is our time to grow together. We have been raising these babies without regular help. We have supported ourselves. We have figured it out and had a blast along the way.
This calmness and peace that washed over me has made me see where we are in a whole new light. We are together. We are in love. We are lucky.
The friendships will come, a mother’s helper will be found, and many, many road trips will be taken.
Sometimes you need to panic before you realize that you already know how to swim.