I know people look at me and my brood and think that surely I must know everything that I’m doing when it comes to my 5th child.
And of course I do, to a certain extent. But I’m still always learning.
I think Eloise, our fourth child and first girl, gave us so much to learn. After 3 boys, she has just been such a different experience. The being a ‘girl’ part has been interesting and enlightening for us. However, more for me was how attached she was to me. None of my boys were like that and it came as a super tiring shock to our family system.
For a year she would only sleep if I was right there with her. I co-slept with her, but she’d wake as soon as I left her side. It was frustrating...and stressful. The only other way she would sleep would be in the buggy, but the buggy had to be moving. My husband benefited health wise by going on many walks! Eloise also hated car rides for the first few months, they involved lots of screaming. Quite stressful if you have to use the car to get places.
This time around, with Piper, I’ve come a bit more prepared mentally. She does mostly just sleep with or on me, but she is already (almost 2 months old) having times of sleeping on her own, sometimes in the carseat/buggy or in her/our bed at night. She still loves being right next to me or sleeping between my legs, but I’m embracing it rather than getting stressed.
It also helps that my work situation has changed. 3 years ago it was a majority of me keeping all the things together. I now have a team who are awesome and mostly just don’t need me on a day to day basis at the moment. Yay?! It still feels weird, but I know I deserve the time and space at the moment.
So mostly I’m trying not to get stressed and learning to relax a bit more. I’m using this extra time to try to just be as a family and to also enjoy the new-ness of Piper. I am paying more attention to just observing her and trying to understand the little person she is (becoming).
And on top of Eloise and Piper there are my 3 boys. Our eldest ones are teenagers. That brings all sorts of challenges that we’ve never had to deal with as parents. Then Codie, the boy stuck in the middle, we think we know how to deal with him, but he’s such a different boy with a completely different experience of life to the others that really we feel we are just learning how to do things as we go.
So yeah, 5 kids in and we are still making things up as we go along.