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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal


Week 37
~ Am I Really on the Other Side?

I know that many times this is just as much as a parenting journal as it is a pregnancy journal, but that comes with the territory, I guess. With 50 little fingers getting into things and 50 little toes running around, it's easy for me to concentrate on them than on Little One. Not that the Little One lets me get away with that. Oh no! This child is going to be just as active as her/his siblings. In fact, I think they're trying to get a head start! Have I mentioned this is a very active baby?

I was talking with my mother-in-law this morning and she mentioned that my youngest sister-in-law is struggling with her two children. Not their behaviors, but with getting everything done. Her children are 2 1/2 and 10 months, so they are still in the stage where they need Mama a lot. And do I remember those struggles! Being organized, having my house clean and orderly have always been important to me. But when you add little children to that, it's near impossible to keep up with everything. Unless, of course, you can hire someone to clean for you or you desire to kill yourself. I remember so many times how much of a failure I felt. It was all self imposed though, for Adam never complained that the floor was sticky or that there were dishes in the sink or that you could barely walk on the floor for the toys. He's not one of the guys that care, but he has a wife that does!

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While I was thinking on these things and remembering, it occurred to me that I don't fret about it anymore. There are many reasons for that, I think. I'm older and my expectations have become far more realistic, especially when we add another child to our family every 18 months or so. My children are older, so they are far more help to me than they used to be. But I think the most important thing that has changed is my attitude. If someone comes over and my house is not good enough to be on the cover of "House and Gardens," I'm not freaking out. If I go to bed and there are dishes in the sink or laundry in the washer/dryer/not put away, I'm not panicking. If I wake up in the morning and there are crumbs on the floor and there are more sticky spots than not, I don't lose my cool. I've learned to let those things go and I think my household is much happier because of it. My older sister-in-law has told memories of her mother and they are not real pleasant ones. She wasn't a bad mother or anything. She was just a "clean freak," if you will, and that doesn't bode well with three children. She doesn't remember her mother ever reading to her, playing with her or her siblings, doing crafts with them or any such activity. What she does remember is her mother making everyone take their shoes off before coming into the house. Her mother would literally run to get a wet and dry rag if something were to spill on the floor. While the children were outside playing, her mother would be inside cleaning the house from top to bottom daily. I'm not exaggerating either. Her windows shined, her floor was clean enough to eat off of, the house was immaculate, and she re-decorated every six months or so. I don't want my children to have those memories of me or their childhood. I certainly don't want them to remember living in a pig sty, but I want them to remember I played with them, I took time for them, that I chose them over having my house spit shined and very organized.

So here I am, on the other side of that struggle (for the most part). I've relaxed enough that while my children help me clean the house, and they don't do everything as well as I would, I still can honestly praise them for their effort. And I'm grateful that I don't have to do it! This is just an encouragement to any mother who is struggling with similar issues. Our children are not children very long and we will always have house work to do. Truly, truly, take the time out with your child(ren). It's time well spent more so than having a clean house!

It's also amazing to me that I'm on the other side of this pregnancy. Am I really the next "baby story"? Wow, has time gone by fast! My body is still getting ready, for the braxton hicks haven't let up any. In fact, they have gotten more frequent and more intense. But I am bound and determined not to be the mental basket case that I have been with the other pregnancies. It is helping that school is still going on and that helps to keep my mind occupied these last few weeks when historically, I've mentally gone down hill. I have also conditioned myself through out the whole 37 weeks thus far, this pregnancy will go past the due date. I'm not paying attention to the due date(s) and I'm telling myself that it will probably we around October 17 (that's also what I'm telling other people, so that is helping as well). But it's still amazing to me that I'm already at 37 weeks and even if I do go over, it's about 4 weeks away or so. I am ready, for sure! But I also have a peace and calmness within me that is new and boy! is that a good feeling!!

Blessings to everyone this week/end!
~ Jennifer

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