The last couple of months have brought such change for both Stacey and I, that our little blog here has been quite neglected. It is not because of lack of desire or ideas, but simply because life brought so much change for both of us that something had to be put on hold. We’ve both found that with the changes that have taken place, that we can’t do everything. We have both had to ask for help.
Last September life was simple. I had 4 young kids. They were all in the same preschool 4 hours a morning, Monday through Friday.
This September looked just a bit different…
- Vera started Chinese 1st grade which means a new school, different schedule, and homework.
- Eden is in Chinese kindergarten, but instead of half-day as we have always done, we decided that this year full-day kindergarten was a better fit for her.
- Tobey and Kai are still in Chinese preschool four hours a morning.
- And of course there is our sweet foster daughter, 1 1/2 years old with special needs that requires therapy at home and outside of the home.
So yes, now I have 5 kids and 4 different schedules. (Sorry, I’m unable to post pics of the littlest munchkin.)
It took all of…hmm…A DAY for me to realize that I couldn’t do everything as I have in the past. How have I simplified my life to make time for a special needs child and 5 kids on 4 different schedules?
I asked for help!
In the mornings I was trying to feed the baby, get 4 kids dressed, the girls’ hair done, breakfast and devotions for everyone, and make myself presentable enough to walk out the door by 7:30am, 30 minutes earlier than we had been used to. I couldn’t do it without feeling huge amounts of stress. I asked my wonderful husband to step in and take care of breakfast and the 3 going to preschool/kindergarten. It wasn’t that he didn’t help with these things at all in the past, but he would always default to me, “What’s for breakfast?” Now, he just does it so that I don’t have to!
The afternoons were CRAZY! Take out the 3 youngest at 4:20 to pick up Vera from school, then take those 4 to the kindergarten, climb 3 flights of stairs carrying a baby with 3 others in tow at the same time as 200 other parents to pick up Eden from her class. It was my highest anxiety time of the day! We were home by 5:00 at the earliest and the kids needed time to run around outside. I wasn’t getting home until at least 5:30 and still had to get dinner on the table. I tried quick one dish meals, but it was still too much.
Again, I had to ask for help. I couldn’t do it all and I somehow needed to simplify my afternoon routine. But I couldn’t just NOT do something! All of my responsibilities were things that had to be done.
While I had some house help during the afternoon, we didn’t have any help into the evening. We asked out house helper to quit her evening job and work longer hours for us, or to quit working for us and we’d have her train someone new. We were so thankful that she choose the longer hours in our home, so starting this month, I will be able to leave the littles at home during school pick-up, still take everyone outside to play, and come home to dinner on the table!
Some of these challenges I have faced are unique to living overseas. Having help from our house helper is definitely not something that is available to most of our readers. However, we all have other people involved in our lives. Sometimes, all we have to do is ask for help, like I did with my husband to help us get through the mornings with less stress. The help we need is going to look different for everyone, but as much as we as moms wish we could do everything, sometimes we just can’t.
Have you had to simplify what you are doing by asking others for help?