When you've got a bunch of little ones running underfoot, people assume you've got your act together. I mean, why else would you have more children unless you did have your ducks in a row? We're all more enlightened now. We have birth control. We can control the madness and stop it if we want to. So having a lot of children nowadays is definitely a choice. And most people assume it's a choice that is made by people who are "good" at kids or who are really organized. Because if you're not, then why keep going?? Plus it's safer that way...and easier right? Less waste-less risk. Children are messy. They're work. They're LOUD. They're difficult to figure out and they require many external resources-especially cash. And God knows, I like keeping my cash in my pocket. We all do. I'm just sayin'...
But here's the thing, I now have five kids. But, *GASP* we don't have our act together. We don't have all of our ducks in a row. We sit in the back at church because one of our boys talks constantly through the service no matter what we do and everyone else is squirming, going to the bathroom, moving hymnals all over the place all the while participating whenever they can-definitely NOT the "model" family. Daily I find myself buried underneath mounds of laundry that never ends and I constantly feel under the gun about what's going to be for dinner.
Obedience is a high priority in our home. But our kids still don't listen all the time. They give other people problems sometimes and they embarrass us on a regular basis (they also make us super proud much more often!!). Some people might conclude, by the sheer fact that I have a lot of children, that I know what I'm doing and that I have it all figured out. But newsflash, my kids are not perfect and guess what...neither are we. In fact, Steve and I often have to ask forgiveness too for attitudes, being angry and being unfair. We're in relationship with each other and that requires all of us to confess our sins to one another and seek forgiveness. That's living life together.
No I don't have it all figured out. I simply don't. I'm not a super mama. I'm not even an amazing mama. I'm just average. I'm just like everyone else. Like you, I'm trying to stay one step ahead. I'm simply trying to stay afloat while keeping a smile on my face. And I have come to believe, over the years, that if I can just keep my head above water with a good attitude, well then I've succeeded at something.
Having a newborn around always brings me back to the basics. And I'll lay it all out for you-I have no idea what I'm doing. You'd think, that after four other newborns, I'd have this part figured out piece of cake. But I am reminded daily that I don't. Not only do I find myself scratching my head constantly trying to read Nathan's sleep cues and such like a first time mom, but I also keep wondering why it still hurts at times to nurse him when he's over three weeks old! Isn't that part supposed to be over by now? (Those lactation consultants LIE when they say nursing isn't supposed to hurt if you're doing it right. It hurts every.single.time in the beginning until your body figures it out again. It just does. LIARS! But anyhoo...)
And I'm trying to figure him out a midst everyone else and their needs. It's an intricate web I'm weaving and every strand affects another strand. I simply have to weave in such a way as to make it all a cohesive piece of art that functions to serve everyone, not just one. Plus every child is different and has different likes/dislikes. They are a little person, not another cog in the wheel. So what worked last time won't necessarily work this time. And once I figure Nathan out for a time, he'll switch it up again.
Aahhh...the beauty of learning. It can be painful and stretching. Not to mention all the other parts that are hurting and healing, spinning and changing. Life trudges on with everyone else around here while my body and brain try to catch up.
Seems easy right? Yet it's not and every time I feel like I'm "getting it" with the brood, the stakes get higher and more complicated. That's what learning is-getting better at what you do and then learning to take on more. That's growth and it's necessary for living. Without it, we're just robots that do the same thing over and over again.
But we're not robots. We're people who are made to be in relationship with others. And relationships are built on sacrifice. Without sacrifice, there is no love. For love is laying down your life for another.
So don't believe the lie-I don't have it all together. I'd like to but it's impossible. I'm simply living day by day, moment by moment hoping that I can lay my head down at night (for a few hours at a time) having loved someone more than myself. And that's because that's what God tells me to do, not even because I really want to all the time.
So there you have it...a jumble of words not quite fit for a neatly tied blog post from the new mom to five littles who is still trying to figure it all out...
And realizing more each day, that the learning never ends. But neither does the loving and frankly, that's the best part.
I am Nikki Dauphin, wife to Steve since July 2002, and mom to four boys and one little girl. Currently my husband is pursuing his PhD in mathematics, so as you can imagine, with five kids in tow, there are many adventures to behold! I'm learning how to raise a brood of boys and one precious princess, be a homemaker, how to be a lovely wife to my handsome and dashing husband and how to love those around me. Stop and stay awhile. Family stories, recipes, musings on life and lessons I'm learning are all a part of this blog. I love the life I've been given and thank God for His many blessings.
Steve-My amazing, fix-it, brilliant, math-loving, puzzle-solving husband is a Math PhD student pursuing his graduate degree through Colorado State University. He is also a Year Round Graduate Intern for Sandia National Labs researching and working on projects related to national security and preparing for his dissertation. We met at Cal Poly, SLO and were married in 2002. Seriously, he's my best friend.
Isaac-Laughter. My precious firstborn. Blue-eyed, blondie, logical, lefty. Particular, orderly, courageous, funny, and intelligent. Sees the world in patterns, numbers, colors and shapes. My first son. My joy.
Caleb-Brave. My mischevious secondborn. Brown-haired, coal-eyed, soldier. Needs explanations about how the world works. "Mathy", inquisitive, architectural and mechanical. Silly, passionate, tough, long-suffering and smart. My second son. My love.
Joshua-Saved by the Lord. My irreplaceable thirdborn. Bubbly, gregarious, social and playful. Loves to be surrounded by his family. Cuddly, kissable, chubby and charming. Life of the party, full of joy, overflowing with humor and laughter. My third son. My light.
Elliana-The Lord Has Heard. My long-awaited daughter. Petite, dark-eyed, beauty. Strong, coordinated, cheeky and spunky. Sharp as a tack and a flitting socialite. Loved by every member of her family. My fourth born. My only daughter. My treasure.
Nathan-God Has Given. My fourth son. Yet, it never gets old. My youngest little gift. Gentle, strong, sweet, angelic. Blonde and light-eyed. Littlest of them all but full of life and love. My fifth born. My littlest man. God's given. My gift.
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