I think most mothers of four would feel the same way. Or just most mothers in general. I have started this ridiculous habit of taking a 15 minute nap around 10:30pm. Then I wake up and have a little energy to read and do things on 'my time' that I am loath to give up. Then I go to sleep for real around 12:30. I barely register Steve leaving at 6, and when the alarm goes off at 7am, I am often surprised to find Fortune in bed with me. Did he just get there? Was he there most of the night? It is hard to reinforce him sleeping in his bed all night when I can't wake up to put him back!
My coffee intake has tripled. I have the disgusting habit of making a pot of coffee and drinking it all day. Although I admit that I still have a glimmer of the glamorous notion that artists subsist on coffee to fuel their creative fire. I am hoping to reawaken my creative fire one day!
I swore I would never complain about laundry. Because after living for years and years lugging the laundry to a laundromat, it seems an absolute luxury to have your own washer and dryer. And there is the ease of being able to throw in a load of laundry at any time of the day. My only issue is now I am throwing in laundry at EVERY time of the day! The Sisyphean task awaits me every moment I am home. Obviously there is more to managing 4 kids than laundry and groceries. So I wonder, why - in light of all the freaking work that having four ADJUSTED kids entails- did we ever wish to adopt an older child, one that would undoubtedly have issues and would rock our stable if busy little world?
Steve and I grew up in big families- I grew up with five siblings and Steve is one of 8. And we loved it, though we never imagined having such a brood of our own. We always talked of adopting some day, but looking back, we spoke of it in the way you dream about owning a home- not really thinking about the realities of repairing the roof or replacing a furnace. But intellectually and emotionally it has always appealed to us. It just seemed like the RIGHT thing to do- we wanted children, and all those kids wanted parents. Then we started to see friends going through the process - the ongoing piles of paperwork, the endless waiting. Really? Who wants to do all that WORK? And the waiting lists for a young child made it seem so commercial. And no matter how you looked at it, adoption was expensive.
Then life happened. I had a career as a singer & dancer, Steve was in the long road to become a doctor. Finally, we moved to Ohio for Steve to start his own medical practice and for us to have kids. We both wanted that, and the Midwest gave me the luxury to be a stay-at-home mom. I left my sometimes glamourous life in the theatre and traded the sequins for Cheerios. We had things we never had before in our student/actor life. We had a new car, a house & extra cash. Steve and I were both in our 30s, and we were ready for a family. Then in 17 months we had 3 children; a daughter and then boy-girl twins. It was overwhelming and exhausting and any thoughts of adoption were long gone. But time moves on, you forget your exhaustion and suddenly on New Years Eve 2009, when the twins were 3, we brought it up again. We were both excited about the idea. Excited to research it and find a toddler- maybe a 2 year old who would be close in age to the twins. We would find where the need was- and look for a child that there wasn't a wait list for- any race, any place. Share the wealth and the love that we had. We had a loud, fun house, and we had finally gotten to the point where I could manage our kids plus a few extra. We were a social house & I loved having friends with their kids over for dinners, play dates or "lunch parties" - often 5-10 moms and their accompanying children. I was tired of needing help from everyone and thrilled that I had gotten to the point where I could reciprocate. I had more to give. And adopting would do that in an extreme way. Little did I know how extreme.
When I think about the path that we took to get where we are, how impossible that first year of twins was, and how difficult this first year of adopting is too, I am comforted by time. Time marches on. And while I feel the sleeplessness and the stress more, while I feel worn thinner, and older, I know "this too shall pass". I hope that this will balance out- that I'll give less and get more. And that once again, I'll have more to give.