March 02, 2013

A myth put to rest

Since having the quads many people comment that I am supermom. It feels great when reading this but at the same time I laugh because I am not even close to a supermom. There are days that I definitely feel like I am wearing a cape only because I don't feel like I slow down from sun up til my feet hit my bed at night. If I was a supermom I would wake up at 5am and get to the gym, have time to play with each of my kiddos individually, have better lunches and dinners other than "taco" quesadilla (which is so much more gourmet than cheese quesadilla!). I would have time to work with the girls each day on their sight words. I would join them in their art projects instead of allowing them to play with paint and play-doh only so I can get things done while they are occupied. I would never have to tell my kids "just a second" and I would listen intently to everything they told me. I am not supermom but thank you to all of you who have said it because it sure makes me chuckle to read it!

Drew reading to his brother and sister to avoid napping!
 I love being a mom. Never thought "I" would be a mom to seven kids but I love it. I am even saddened many days knowing we will not be having a baby again. I know most will say I am crazy when I say Paul and I both regret having my tubes tied. I guess I should have known it was the big man upstairs questioning me when I had three different doctors try to talk me out of it! If my tubal fails neither Paul nor I will be sad. Many people question how we go about our day to day with so many young kids. My answer is we just do. I truly believe that anyone could do it if they had to. Paul does not agree with me on this subject but this is my blog so I get to state my opinion! I think if Sally down the street found herself pregnant with four babies she would find a way to take care of them; she may not be as organized and life may seem more chaotic than ours but those babies needs would be met. That said I do think Paul and I make a great team in caring for our family. We have been together since we were 16. We know each other very well and are able to tell when one of us needs to get out of the house without kids. We take turns letting each other sleep in a little longer, allowing one to go out with just the big kids, both help in loading and unloading the dishwasher twice a day, and we share the task of folding the multiple loads of laaundry we have daily. If we did not work as a team you would have two crazy, stressed out people who were constantly feeling they drew the short end of the stick. Over the years we have certainly had our trials and those moments that I wasn't sure if our marriage would work but I can tell you I am more in love with my husband now than I have ever been. The journey of bringing four babies into our family did the opposite of what I thought it would do; it brought us closer together.


As many of you know I am a very Type A personality. It doesn't take long for one to figure that out about me. This has its good side and its bad side. As far as running a house with seven kids it is great. I am very good at completing task and can keep things very orderly which helps maintain a household. I remember when I was pregnant with the twins and people would tell me that I was going to have to let things go because there was no way with two little ones I would be able to keep things as put together. I proved those people wrong because everynight when I went to bed the house was picked up, the dishes were done, and the toys would all find their home for the night. We even accomplish this with seven little ones. Now if I was supermom I would tell you I also clean my own bathrooms and dust but remember people I am not supermom so I pay someone twice a month to do this for me! The problem I have with being so type A is that I get a lot of anxiety if certain tasks are not done or if things do not find their proper home. Paul and I do not have much free time during the day because we are always busy either with babies or tasks. If there is time it is in the evening after everyone is tucked in, given the 3,657 drink that the kids had to have, and us saying goodnight a million times over. We then enjoy some television while folding the above mentioned laundry. I have been type A ever since I was a little girl. I remember the anxiety I would have if my mom was only ten minutes early getting me to practice instead of fifteeen minutes early. This "anxiety" is a part of my everyday life but having quads has made the tasky part of my life more amplified. Which means that if the tasks don't get done I get a panicky feeling until they are done. Paul knows when I get home from work to just let me have my 30 minutes to get everything in order the way I like it and all will be right in the world. Sometimes the anxiety of these tasks get in the way of me being the mom I want to be and my older kids are always the ones that suffer. A supermom would be able to get everything done, never raise their voice, always have time to sit and play make-up when the occasion arises. And because I know other moms are reading this I will be honest. I am not a person that likes to use medicine to fix things. I hardly take Tylenol but I actually called my ob the other day to see if there was anything safe to take while nursing that would help to take the edge off. When I talked to the nurse she asked if a glass of wine would help and I informed her that I do not drink even after having seven kids. I don't need much just something to not give me the panic feeling if something is 15 minutes late in getting done. Of course I already knew the answer to this question but once I am done nursing I do plan to go on something to help with this anxiety. I want my kids to remember a mom that could let the dishes sit for an extra hour to go play outside instead of having a mom that wigs out if the table is not cleared right after breakfast. I am writing about this only to say that us mom's have a lot on our plates and sometimes its okay to face it if we need something to help us whether it is with anxiety, postpartum depression or the struggles with juggling a family and a career.


I love being a mom but even before having the quadsI have never been a mom that enjoys getting down on the floor to play make believe. Again not supermom. Tell me to bake with the kids, take them on an outing, read to them and I am all on it. But building farms out of blocks and racing cars are just not my thing. I sometimes get frustrated with my older girls because they are not toy kids. I have a feeling though that my girls take after me because if it didn't involve playing house (where I was Ms. Hannigan and then the nice adoptive mom and my brother was always the dog and his food was smarties) or school (were I was Ms. Salk, who was my favorite 4th grade teacher, and had my brother and sister my students pull pink slips if they were naughty) I wasn't interested. So even as a grown woman I still do not like having to pretend. A supermom would have no problem building legos and having tea parties with stuffed animals.
My little man under the weather with his first cold.


If I had my fancy cape on whenever I left the house I could handle all the stares and comments we get with a)our large family & b)quadruplets but I tend to leave all capes at home. It has been harder on me than I ever thought it would be. I have no problems loading up the babies and all their gear. Paul and I have actually gotten really good at it and we do it a couple times a week when we have to go get the big girls from school. The problem I have is feeling like a freak show every time we go out. I know I would be fascinated with seeing quadruplets too and I have no problem with those that stop say something to the line of "you are so blessed" and move on. It's those people that run through the typical scenario; "Are there four babies? Really, are you sure? Are they all yours? Those are yours too? Are they natural? Oh my gosh you have you hands full. I can't even imagine. I had twins and that was more than enough for me." This is all while we walk past someone without making eye contact. It is our norm now to not make eye contact with people because if we do people think we are giving them permission to ask whatever idiotic question they can blurt out. Lately when we have gone out we have had more of the genuine "you are lucky" comments than the ones that make us want to hide in our house. We try to be nice because we have 6 little ears that listen to everything we say to others. It is hard to sometimes keep it nice when someone tells you that quadruplets only happen on Oprah not in our town.


Germs, Germs, Germs. If I was supermom I would fend these little critters off with my magical powers but I lack such forces so I use antibacterial hand sanitizer by the gallons. I have never been a germaphobe. My kids drop something on the floor; no problem, pick it up fast and blow it off and you are good to put it in your mouth. I use to say expose them to germs and build up their immunity. This is so not the case with me anymore. I was good until the influenza pandemic hit  then this momma found everything dirty. Even going out to my own garage I feel like I am opening the flood gates when I step back into my house. I hate this feeling but I am so worried about my little ones getting sick. First I really can't imagine all nine of us with a cold all at one time and Lord help me if we all come down with the flu. I think I will be running far, far away. I am scared that my little 31 week preemies will come down with something that their immature lungs would not be able to handle which would then land them back in the hospital. I just don't know if I could handle it. I am worried once our "lockdown" is over how I will handle going out again. Anytime we go out the babies are always covered in their car seats which really helps keep people from touching them. With our new quad stroller this does not work as well and really I can't keep them covered until they are four. I know it is totally fine having people look at my beautiful kiddos but I feel like I am always defending them and they are only 6 months old. I know the more viewing opportunities people have the more comments we will be getting. I guess I need to look on Craigslist for a cape!

...and down she goes!
With this fear of germs also means limiting visitors to our home. Having seven young kiddos (& don't forget that anxiety with not getting daily task done) leads to very few outings to meet with girlfriends. There is no time for the gym and though I love going to all the Matilda Jane, Pampered Chef and Tastefully Simple parties my girlfriends have by six o'clock in the evening I am just too tired to go. So besides going to work I have little interaction with girlfriends anymore. It's sad to say but it is hard to find time and I sometimes feel bad for them because life with quads gets a little mundane and I don't have the most exciting life to talk about these days unless you are interested in sleep training, starting solids, or get as thrilled with new milestones met. There are two groups of women that I do spend lots of time chatting with though and these ladies make me feel completely normal. One of these groups I have talked about before and they are the other momma of quadlings. I love being able to run things by those that have older quads and I love walking hand in hand with the group of us that had 20 babies within 6 weeks! I also belong to a group of 180 moms that were all due with twins in October of 2012. We all meet up multiple times a day on facebook usually while we are feeding babies or pumping. I may be the only one with quads but we are all going through the same things; sleepless nights, rolling over, making baby food, twin skin, & the lovely comments we all get. There are days that I feel everyone understands what it is  like to have multiples because most of the people I "talk" to during the day have multiples. Talking to all these other SUPERMOMS makes me feel like my life is totally the norm.

Chubby little toes!!
So as you see I am far from a supermom but again thank you to all those that were fouled. I think as moms we all do the best we can and there is nothing sweeter than an "I love you " said randomly by our children during the day. It is in that moment we are all supermoms.




11 comments:

  1. I <3 you Krista! Tell me again why we don't live in the same town. You do a fantastic job even if you aren't quite the "supermom" you aspire to be. You and I are so alike with out type A personalities and need to declutter every night it's actually funny. At the end of the day, we do our best and it will always be good enough won't it? If you do stumble upon a cape, please let me know where to find one!

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  2. Krista, you take 7 kids on outings and to the park by YOURSELF! You are positive even when run down, you are in love with your large family and give them everything you've got. Whether it's one kid or ten, that is what makes you supermom. We all give up so much to nurture and grow our families and I take pride in our ability to handle multiples. And yes, thank God for our Facebook group!! One of my favorite moments was messaging with you while I was sitting in the Starbucks drive-thru. Only someone like you could understand what those moments were really like for me!

    I hate that I don't get to see girlfriends or go out with buddies hardly ever anymore. It takes an act of congress to work out a night on the town or just a dinner for us without kids, but I try to remind myself it's all temporary. In a few years, the quads will be in school and we'll begin to have a small semblance of normal life with more flexibility.

    I can understand the anxiety thing. It's tough. I had a really tough time with people in my house 24/7 in the beginning but I learned to cope. Had to let a LOT of things go. And now it makes me anxious to look around and see our house in shambles, with stuff thrown everywhere, dirty floors (even though I just cleaned them!) and dust. I look forward to having a maid again when we move to a bigger place. We stopped using the one we had because we had too much stuff in our house to allow for cleaning!!

    You are doing a phenomenal job and encourage others, like me, on days I'm feeling worn down and I hope I"m able to do the same for you. Keep up the wonderful work!!!

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  3. I so understand being exhausted by 6pm and not wanting to do ANYTHING other than lay in your bed...but not possible with all these littles! Thanks for keeping it real :D

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  4. Great blog post, Krista! I laugh because I can TOTALLY relate. For example, I would have loved to check this post earlier but after getting the kids in bed I had to "pick up" all the toys & gadgets and also felt the desire to handwash the plastic toys, put the jingly washable toys in the washer with the spitty play mat, and I also tried to nurse a plant back to life. All the while wishing I could "relax" but knew I "had" to do those things! And bummer, I still "need" to ajax the sink. Supermom? People call me that and I laugh because I just do what I can... but I think we all deserve a cape! Huge hugs to you!!! And FYI, in my phone I have you labeled "Krista Lesnau Quad Supermom". No joke. :-)

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  5. You may not be "supermom" (probably because she doesn't exist), but you sound like a pretty super mom. Period.

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  6. Great post. Thank you for sharing and being real. It's something we all experience but seems no one talks about. Keep up the good work momma!!

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  7. Love ur blog even though I only have one baby :) I know u must love hand sanitizer with all those little ones I use it all the time and my little one still picked up rsv at 8 weeks :( scared me so much. But back to the sanitizer it kills my hands but I found that goldbond makes this lotion called hand sanitizer moisturizer it's awesome !! Kind if hard to find except at Walgreens thought I'd share just in case you haven't seen it before.

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  8. I just found your blog and love it! I don't have quads but I'm so intrigued by people who do. I do have identical twins (#3 and #4) and 5 children (ALL BOYS). I can completely relate to feeling like a freak show when you go out. 5 Children gets stares alone and then add in identical twins and all boys. We've been getting stares since our twins were born 5 years ago. I was honestly hoping #5 (almost 8 months now) would be a girl more so that I would stop getting the stares/comments. However, I'm sure even with that, I would still have had comments like, "you finally got your girl". I've come to realize that you get comments from people no matter what. I can get comments when I'm out with just 2 of the boys. I think perhaps the only scenario that would probably get the least comments is if you had one boy and one girl that were "perfectly" spaced apart. I DO feel like this is refining me. I've always cared too much about what people think. God has blessed us greatly and our main goal is to please God and our family. Everyone else is secondary. Seriously, when I sit back and think about it, I really do have to laugh at myself when I put so much weight in what complete strangers think.

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  9. I did want to mention something else. While I am learning to shake off what strangers think, I struggle more with how family perceives it. While my children are very well behaved, we do have a few very close family members who just aren't as in love with children as we are. This is going to require a little more refining for me but God is working in big ways in this area of my life. I hope that you have a loving, supportive family that accepts you no matter what life brings. In your case, 7 little blessings.

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  10. I would love love love to know where you purchased those floor mirrors on the colorful block things!!! Maybe if you have a minute (hahaha, that's a dumb thing of me to say, sorry!) you could shoot me an email and let me know? my email is aejambaathotmail.com

    You are the perfect mom for your children. That doesn't mean a perfect mom, just means a perfect mom for what your family needs! My husband recently wrote me a sweet letter explaining that I'm the perfect mom to our 3yr old and 9 month old twin girls...not because I do everything perfectly, etc etc, but simply because I'm exactly what they need and no one could be a better mom for them than me. And the same goes for you! :)

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  11. No one is perfect and all the things you mentioned about not being top notch at are things I believe all moms experience. Regardless of that, I still think you are super. You are doing things that most of the rest of us will never have the opportunity of doing. Don't forget that you are indeed amazing. Sure, if people were faced with a similar situation as you, they'd adapt and figure it out, but it takes someone special to be entrusted with the responsibility you have. You do a wonderful job.

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