I’m happy to report that our new little blessing has […]
I’m happy to report that our new little blessing has successfully completed his first week of life outside the womb. Not only that, but our whole family has successfully completed its first week as a family with five kids. We didn’t merely survive this first week, but we actually thrived in it, thanks to our team.
One of my favorite parts of the past week was watching my second oldest daughter (6 years old) become a little mama to her new little brother. As you can see in the photo, she absolutely LOVES to hold the baby. It is no exaggeration to say that she would hold him 10 hours a day if we let her. If there is even a brief moment when my wife is not feeding the baby, our daughter will ask to hold him. And when we hand him off to her, she will hold him until it’s time for the next feeding. My heart swells with joy as I see her taking such delight in her new little brother.
Many people asked us when we found out that we were pregnant with our fifth how we were going to manage with all those young children. At first, I wasn’t quite sure myself how we would do it. But as we have transitioned into this new reality, the answer has become clear: We must work as a team.
The common assumption is that more kids means more burden and more work and more challenges. To some degree, this is true, but it is not the whole story. The other reality is that more kids also means more helping hands. With some training and equipping from parents, young children can actually take on a pretty significant portion of the workload of caring for a newborn. Involving the older sisters in the care of the baby has brought considerable peace and calm to our home during a time that is usually quite turbulent and chaotic.
The other significant part of our team this week has been my wife’s parents. They are visiting us from the West coast for a few weeks. They have covered many bases for us, which has been super helpful. They have run to the store, washed laundry, cooked meals, played with their grandchildren, read books to kids, taken kids swimming, etc. Their contribution to our team during these newborn days has been invaluable.
To anyone who is expecting a new baby, I would offer this suggestion: Strategize now about who will be on your team and what they will do when your baby arrives. Rally your kids, friends and relatives together. Train them on things you need done to keep your family sane. Assign different jobs and roles to different people. Do this before the baby arrives. Don’t buy the lie that you should do childrearing on your own.
I heartily agree with the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Know who your village is, and don’t be shy about calling on them for help.