Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our week thus far...

So Lee (my dear husband) returned to work on Monday after his fortnight spent settling in his new beautiful daughter. On the morning that he left it felt really quite strange being left at home with 6 children (although the teens are far from being children now). I think I had a sudden sense of greater responsibility.  Not only did I have my usual brood to care for, but once again there was a tiny little person reliant entirely on me to fulfil her needs and make the right choices.  No matter how many times it happens, I still have that 'gulp' moment.  It may soon pass, but it's always there as I hold the new addition in my arms and gaze into their wide oh so trusting eyes.    

Monday was really a test and see what happens day.  I had (with hindsight) a daft idea about finding a new routine to immediately settle into and everything being lovely and rosy.  In my head I allocated time slots - animals, laundry, household chores, etc.   I was still clinging on to that supermama status I guess, where life can throw just about anything at me and I just keep on rolling on.  I didn't factor into the equation that both Amara and Taisia would seemingly excel in the tag team stakes and work together to make sure that mama got very little sleep throughout the previous night time hours.   Yawn.  By early afternoon I was flagging.  Seriously flagging.  After seemingly doing not much else other than change a million nappies (exaggerate moi??) and feed feed feed little people, my energy levels hit an all time low, eyelids became incredibly heavy and tiredness headache loomed.  I plodded on as best I could but Supermama I was not.

On experiencing days like that I do my best to focus on the good stuff, on the things that I did ok with.  I know that I managed to find the time to listen to my babies.  I definitely focussed on their needs and did my best to ensure those needs were met to the best of my tired self abilities.  I managed to ensure that Taisia didn't feel pushed to one side to make way for the newborn.  I was able to offer her my time - to chat, to read to, and to hug on far more than one occasion throughout the day.  The housework didn't meet usual standards, the bathroom didn't get cleaned, the laundry didn't get put away.  But, my children felt loved by me and for that reason I did not fail.

Tuesday was try again day.  Having had a much better nights sleep than the previous, I felt altogether more human and was feeling more upbeat and positive about the day ahead.   The children were also feeling more settled or so it seemed and they spent a fair amount of the day working on their own things without my intervention.

Taisia and Callum have a great bond.  Right now they are the best of friends and are often seen to be role-playing together.  We have general stores set up in an instant, restaurants to rival anything that Gordon Ramsey could create, and even supermarket delivery services - far more reliable than the real thing it must be said.  Callum is really getting to grips with reading now and turns to a book at every spare opportunity when having time alone.  He completely bypassed the easy readers, finding them uninteresting and verging on the boring, choosing instead to go straight to the Harry Potter series.  I kid you not.  At 8 years of age, after no formal reading tuition whatsoever, he is reading sentences containing words such as 'Prime Minister' with no picture prompting.  I never cease to be amazed by self-taught readers.  Taisia is thoroughly enjoying having another being in the household that can and is willing to read to her.

Wednesday has been awesome.   We stayed at home.  We cleaned and tidied.  We rearranged furniture and sorted through toy-boxes.  We didn't leave the house, we didn't spend any money.  We spent the day together - the young people and I - working hard and making our living room a child-friendly and homely room.  We allocated a corner as a toy space, and popped a low table along one side for hama-beading, drawing and playdough usage.   I am happy to say that both areas have been put to good use already.  This evening Callum was 'teaching' Taisia using a map I placed on the wall of the toy corner...

Home-ed sibling existence at it's very best.

This afternoon the Health Visitor came to see us for the first time.  I have never been one for professional monitoring or intervention, but am usually happy to have a one-time meet.  In this instance the lady concerned was lovely, truly lovely.  As the youngest of 7 children herself she *got* the whole larger than average family thing (for first time readers, we have 6 children).  She loved our home - the location, the animals in our yard - goats reaching for branches, chickens chasing kittens, ducks grazing for grubs.  A genuine interest in home-ed was portrayed with wording such as "Oh wonderful!" and "What a fabulous learning experience."   Immunisations were enquired about but not forced upon, and it appeared that as a family we were genuinely liked.  Amara had her hearing test and passed with ease, has gained weight nicely and all other observations were box ticked nicely.  I got invited to a "New beginnings" group for either first time mothers or new to the area with new babies people - it's run over 7 weeks starting in November and each week has a different focus subject such as first aid.  Primarily it's a social friendship building group and as I'm lacking in the friendship department over in this area of Devon, it will be good for me to go along I think.  Just need to put my reclusive head away and be brave.

I really can't believe that Amara is celebrating her 2 week birth day already.  Time has really passed quickly by, it truly only feels like yesterday that I was lying in my bed with her at my breast after birthing at home.  We have been blessed by many sending gifts and cards.  Items of clothing, beautiful handmade blankets and shawls, and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers...

I have also been doing a bit of knitting of my own.  I currently have a cardigan for Amara on my needles...

and a blanket I'm in love with...

I'll leave you with this picture of Taisia, enjoying a warm cuppa by the fire - anyone else finding the need for an extra heat source yet?


  1. Anonymous6:49 am

    Wowsers I am in awe of how much you have on your plate! It sounds like a wonderfully rich life though :)

  2. Welcome to the world Amara Rose. Sending you and mummy lots of love and hugs. Congratulation Julia, with love, Sue x

  3. Love, love, love this blog! I am in total awe of you. When I had my little one I barely got out of bed for four weeks - you are a super mama indeed. xxx

  4. Hi! I'm visiting from LetsHomeschoolHighSchool. Your babies are precious!
    You mention making time for walks. I can't imagine, just after bringing home a newborn, making time for exercise. Good for you!

    I just wanted to invite you back to the November Letshomeschoolhighschool blog roll: