Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beautiful chaos


We watched this mama bird for a long time the other morning. She was working endlessly to feed her babies. Can you spot her in the tree? She searched the area around the tree for food and as soon as she had found something acceptable she would return and offer it to her babies. She had four little babies who would pop up and chirp ravenously as soon as she came back to the nest. She seemed to pause and contemplate each time she returned to her nest, I think she was trying to figure out which baby she fed last..most likely the one with the longest neck.
 I returned to the park on a walk just before dark almost 12 hours later and she was still at it. I wondered if she ever got a break, if she ever even slept at night. I felt so sorry for all mama birds and their lack of breasts to feed their babies with :(
I kind of feel like that mama bird lately, overwhelmed and outnumbered. There are times when all three of my children are demanding my attention at the same time and I simply can not keep up.
My husbands new job keeps him out of town all week so I am left to be a single parent until the weekend when he returns. 
The hardest part I have noticed, now that my eldest is out of school is that my children are all at very different stages of childhood, at 11 years, 4.5 years and 3 months old it is very hard to find activities that we can all do together. My two oldest children are constantly fighting with one another. My eldest is 11 but has been talking to me like a sassy teenager since she was about 8 and refuses to follow any of my rules. She really needs the structure of school, I think the endless unstructured days of summer is stressing her out. If we had the funds for day camps and summer classes it would be well spent on her.
My four year old is loving the new apartment( we just moved into the downstairs apartment of a duplex house we have lived in for 7 years). He mostly loves that fact that he can sneak outside when ever he wants to now that we are on the ground floor with a front and back door. It seems every time I sit down to nurse the baby or change her diaper he takes the opportunity to sneak out. This makes me very nervous.
Nalah is a very easy going baby, but she loves to be held and talked to constantly which is a lot harder for me this time around when I have to take care of the older two as well. She is super content for most of the day and doesn't really ever show any signs of discontent.... until right at dinnertime. As soon as my food is cooked and on my plate and I sit down to eat, she cries.I don't eat hot food until the weekends when her Papa is home and we eat in shifts.
I am really trying to live in the moment and not wish these times away. I know one day my little birds will no longer be in the nest and will not need me like they do now. I can't really tell you how often I get teary eyed advice from older women when I am out in the city with all the kids to "enjoy them while they are little, because it goes so fast".... 
I know it does. I cherish all of it, even the chaos.
It is hard but I am doing okay so far. There are times though where I just stare into my nest tying to figure out who I fed last.
We have been taking many walks in the park these days, that seems to be the one thing we can all do together without any  problems. We are lucky to have a huge park to escape into in our neighborhood. It is big enough so I can forget for a few moments that I am in the middle of a city. We seem to all get along very well with no arguing while we are strolling the trails. It is our sanctuary this summer, a place of peace. I think we will be spending a lot of time .






Mims said...

i'm so in love of the photo of your oldest in the middle of the field-- lovely.

Mama Gone Green said...

What a beautiful and heart-felt post. When we get home, let's plan some adventures. At least that way you can have company amidst your chaos!

April said...

That does sound chaotic, but beautiful as well. Glad you are taking the time to appreciate even the chaos in life! I'm so busy my little one and work I can't imagine adding two more to the mix. Great job, momma! :)