|our wedding, 2006|
|a trip to chicago, 2008|
Which means it's becoming more and more difficult to recall what it was like to have an entire weekend with zero responsibilities. No obligations, no children to care for, no plans to tend to, nothing. Even weekdays weren't as demanding. Work, cook, clean, sleep, play. Those were about the gist of what we had to live up to and I chuckle when I recall days I was "exhausted" and complained about all the stress and pressure. I could never have imagined I'd be a mother to quadruplets just a few years later!
|our move to scotland, 2009|
We start off with what has to be done. Obviously, this would be taking care of the babies. Their schedule takes priority and I see to that most of the weekdays, while the husband fulfills his obligation at his very full-time job. Second on the list is provisions. I see to it that our groceries get picked up for the week and squeeze in any errands (dry cleaning, vet visits with pets, bank deposits, etc.) during the week as I'm able. Thirdly is my profession, which I do from home. I'm a freelance writer and have several clients that I currently maintain (from writing for a book publishing company to penning features for local bridal magazines) and this is all done whenever I find the ability, be it nap time or late night hours. Everything else gets squished into the schedule as time allows, although the husband and I do make date nights a priority for ourselves as much as possible. If a sitter just isn't available, then we create our own at-home movie nights or have dinner together at the dining room table with candlelight and wine. Whatever works!
|back in texas & buying our second home, 2010|
Never never ever ever.
Having come to that (slightly painful but admittedly obvious) realization, I can now focus on maintaining a healthy outlook as much as possible. Lately, the goal has been "me time." And I don't necessarily mean bubble-bath-and-a-book or pedicure-and-a-Starbucks run sort of time. I mean feeling good about myself because I completed a project or made it to the gym or stuck to a commitment I made to myself. It can be the littlest of things, like whitening my teeth for example. I purchased a box of Crest Whitestrips—love those things!—and had to wear them for 30 minutes once a day for 10 days. While most people wouldn't bat an eye at that sort of commitment, I had to pile the packets of strips directly by my bathroom sink so I would see them at least twice a day when I brushed my teeth and hoped to remember to apply them. I missed a day or two a couple times, but I feel really proud of myself for actually getting it done and enjoy my newly whitened smile!
|27 weeks prego with the quads, 2012|
No one is perfect and I remind myself of this often. I don't want to add extra stress to my life by constantly feeling like I've fallen short of my goals. They are meant to motivate me, not depress me. And thanks to Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, for example, it's easy to mistakenly think that so many other people have "it all" together and are just absolutely f'ing perfect! But they aren't! And simply reminding myself of this gives me the oomph I need to keep trying. Sometimes I have to give myself credit just for making an effort in the first place.
|first photo of the quads all together since birth (one month old), 2012|
For now, I'm trying a new approach to my day. Of course there's the basic requirements that must be met, like taking care of the babies and making sure we're all in good shape. If I have a deadline for work, than that can be my additional focus. Laundry and even dishes can wait. Or perhaps I need to simply spend time playing and goofing around with my kids for an extra 20 minutes and opt for PB&J for dinner instead of that roasted salmon I had planned. I also grabbed a big chunky notebook and have been using that as my one-stop-shop for grocery lists, to-do lists, note taking and so on. Instead of trying to keep track of the 82 different to-do lists or reminders I write all the time and then forget about or trying to remember what the hell was on that grocery list I started two days ago that accidentally got thrown away, I can simply flip through the pages that are all in one place and find what I need. I tear out the pages that need to travel with me, like a grocery list to the store, and then toss then when I'm done. Quite literally, I am trying not to sweat the small stuff and to be flexible with my day so that I can best accommodate what's good for me and what's good for the family. Happy wife, happy life, right??
|first photo as a family of six, 2012|
|the babies' first birthday, 2013|
|moving into our "forever home", 2013|
|first professional family photos, 2013|
|our family, 2014|