Today the growing pains in our family felt really real. It wouldn't be honest to sugar coat this experience, I haven't before and I am not going to start now. Even though a part of me wishes there wasn't anything to sugar coat. Like any major change in a family, we are feeling the effects of our family's growing pains. That feels like the best description for all of us.
Andy is back at work and very busy. He has a lot to catch up on after being gone for over a week. His work is so demanding and yet he is also trying to be as present as he can here at home. The boys are all showing different effects of our long absence and our new addition. It seems like whatever negative behavior was present before has been magnified 10 fold! Jack Jack is still strong-willed 3 year old. He is now the big brother, but at moments would like to be the baby at times. One moment he is being a big boy, and proud of his new status as big brother and then next he is sucking his thumb and holding a blanket....like Tessa. This seems normal enough to me. Judson and Drew are both so excited about Tessa being home, but I think it was hard for us to come home and have another child to focus on. They are all craving attention and at times are seeking it through negative means. Tessa is doing really well. I think she has an amazing ability to take all of this in and still seem happy. Gosh, I hope she is.
This morning was sooooo hard. It was one of those awful Mommy mornings. I just didn't have any tools left to use in my Mommy tool box when all the kids around me both needed me and were defying me. My saving grace right now during this transition is that I have my parents visiting...more like rescuing us from eachother. Their presence is giving me the time and space to figure this transition out....it isn't an easy one. We will get there, but it is going to take some time.
There are moments when my worst fears creep up on me. Is Tessa o.k. with everything here and who we are? Will she love me? Am I hurting my boys? What did I do? I can answer each one of these questions in different ways depending on the moment. This really isn't unlike moments in the past when we brought home a new baby, but this time the kids are older, more complicated and there are just more of them.
I am exhausted. I am grateful. I am trying to stay afloat. I will stay afloat. But it isn't without support from my family, my friends helping me find the new normal. I know the new normal has the potential to be amazing....this is everything we have worked so hard for and hope for. It is just going to take some time, love and extra patience.