The last post was hard. Truly. And as I wrote that post, I felt frazzled and like I was missing a key piece of parenting and failing my family. But I took my own advice and listened. And I took Dave’s advice and stopped trying to get thorough the to-do’s during family time. And I took mom’s advice and handled some poor behavior with quality time instead of punishment. And you know what? We had a MAGICAL TRANSFORMATION. If that’s not a holiday miracle, I don’t know what is.
Within 24 hours, we were snuggling instead of screeching, giggling our way through dinner over ridiculously silly cow jokes, and hearing about our kids’ days instead of yelling to stop yelling. We’d slid back into school morning battles, but the following morning the kids started getting themselves dressed on their own, including our family slowpoke. I was so elated I broke out the trashy cereal to thank everyone and blew their minds.
All of that to say, sometimes parenting five kids feels like parenting five kids: overwhelming, impossible, and as hard as everyone thinks it is. And sometimes it’s grinning while everybody hugs each other, takes care of each other, and bonds in this glorious, big family way that’s inexplicable unless you’ve lived a life with many siblings. Tomorrow might be hard again, but I hope I keep days like these in mind and remember how beautiful our life is. And that adage about “presence over presents”? That’s the best holiday advice out there. So take it from me – snuggling wins over dishes, storytime beats out that last work email, and Amazon Prime delivers milk. Order it after bedtime. (Feel free to remind me of this post at least once a month.)
That said, we had a wonderful, family-filled Christmas exploding with books, barbies, superheroes and laughter. We know it’s the magic Christmas window, and we reveled. So happy new year from a renewed family.