How Do You Do It? (A Series of Questions for a Mom of Quads)
As many of you know, our daughter Libby (who is a twin) gave birth to quadruplets last fall. When they (one girl and three boys, all fraternal) were born, her oldest daughter, Grey, was not quite two. Suddenly this 31-year-old was the mother of five children under the age of two! Yes, life has changed forever!
Now that the quads have turned six months old, Libby and I thought it would be fun to bring you up-to-date on how things are going by answering a series of questions others often ask.
How do you do “it?” What’s “it” like?
I’ve learned to take one day at a time. I have to wake up every morning and think, today is a fresh morning. I get to start all over. This perspective helps.
I’ve also learned to accept help. This has been hard because I know I can never pay folks back — like the friend who has already cooked five complete meals for me and another who just made 200 ounces of organic baby food. Receiving is hard for me when I know I can’t do something for them in return. But what I’ve seen is that permitting them to be involved with our family is a blessing to them. I have to hope they are helping us because they want to, and I have to trust they are blessed by it. I have to choose to believe people want to help and let them be a part of our family. In the process, we have gotten to know some wonderful people we otherwise would not have known. And we have a wonderful nanny, Kiersten, who helps me during the weekdays.
I’ve also had to recognize my limits and learn what I need to make it through the day. For example, exercise is crucial for me, and I listen to worship CDs as I exercise. And a brief time (even as I pump!) in devotional time is crucial.
I’ve learned to listen to and accept crying as a part of the normal sounds of my house! I have had to get used to it! It’s actually harder for Grey (age two-and-a-half), who often rushes to comfort a crying baby.
What fears did you have before they were born and how have you seen those allayed?
Of course I was most afraid for the babies’ health. I know and appreciate the miracle of their birth and their health.
I was afraid I would not know how to love each one as much as I love Grey. I’m still in process with this. There are so many of them, and with different folks helping, I don’t have the time to focus on each one as I did Grey. So bonding naturally takes longer.
I was concerned about how this would impact our marriage. But I’ve seen that McLean and I have a better partnership than we ever imagined. I could not do this with anyone else, so we see even more now why God put us together.
Another fear was that I couldn’t spend enough time with each child. And I can’t! Instead, I have to remember that God will provide what each child needs. The children get lots of attention from others, but they will also learn to be dependent on each other. I’ve assigned each child one day of the week. That day, I try to spend extra bonding time with that child, and I try to pray more throughout the day for that particular child. So Grey is my Monday child, Mimi is Tuesday, and so forth.
Editor’s Note: We asked Libby to answer six questions, so we’ll be sharing her answers in a series of posts over the next two weeks.