I can’t tell you how often I feel overwhelmed since we’ve had four kids. How often I’m doing two or three things at once and it’s still not enough. Just this morning I was preparing the snack for Ben’s class (I’m snack mom this week) with a baby strapped to me in a carrier while trying to gulp down bites of breakfast at the same time. I was running late and the added time pressure did not help my attitude towards motherhood one bit.

Today I walked by an acquaintance, Leah, on my way to school. We stopped to chat. I always liked her, in fact I often admired her. I marveled how she never seemed to raise her voice, or seem stressed out when every thing around her was out of control. She would just repeat sweetly, calmly until it was done, “JD, put your shoes back on please”.

Secretly I wondered what she was on and if I should try to get some from my doctor as well.

She passed by me this morning while I was unloading the kids from the car. She had a baby in a bjorn, a kid in a stroller and two more kids holding nicely onto either side of the stroller. I was putting the twins into their own stroller and getting Ben out of the car to bring him to the same school as well.

We stopped to chat. I asked her how she was enjoying having her older two kids in school. She said it was kind of boring during the day. I couldn’t believe it! I was so enjoying the boring, peaceful mornings. Down to two kids was so nice. So much easier.

Seriously what is this woman on?!

“Did she get any calls from school about her kids behaving badly?” I asked.

“No.” She replied.

Damn, I guess it’s just me then.

I’m still out there struggling to figure out how to be a better parent. Most days I’m disappointed by my performance and wish I had the energy to do more, to be more.

Yesterday I received a video in the mail from Parenting Perspectives. It’s something my friend Lottie has been pushing me to do for a while. I also heard good things about it from another friend, Jenny. The video arrived in the mail yesterday and I bargained with Adam to get him to watch it. He agreed to sit through it if I agreed to sit through the Avengers movie with him.

My father, as kindly as one can suggest something like this, sent me an article today on spoiled children. Maybe this is the reason I find our kids so hard to handle?

Or perhaps I’m over thinking it all. Maybe I just need Leah’s perspective. That having the children around is a constant joy. That their messes, fighting and tantrums are not completely exasperating. Maybe Leah should write her own parenting books for us to read. She could title it: “How to have Four Kids and Keep your Sanity and Serenity.”

Now if you all will excuse me, I need to sign off so I can go pick Ben up from school. Apparently he was throwing things, bit his teacher again and is in the principal’s office.

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