On having 4

 

i am now officially a mother of four.

the name of our newest addition is Narra Imanuele and she’s now a month old. so far, adjustments to her arrival have been somewhat minimal. a bit of change with the daily routine, waking up 2-3 times at night to feed and burp and the third’s need to cuddle more. other than these, it’s like she’s been with us ever since. 

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see how she just fits in? :)

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to my surprise, having 4 kids is not as hard as having only 1. the hardest was when we only had Alab, our first. in fact, it just got easier as we added more to the tribe. ok, ‘easier’ might not be the right word. maybe ‘manageable’? or much more ‘tolerable’? :)

i remember clearly how i feared the thought of going out in public when the eldest was still in his "terrible twos". i saw how strangers would stare and make me feel like i was an awful mom because my son would scream his lungs out in the store or while we ate at a restaurant. and so, for a period, i thought i would not have a social life nor see the light of day for at least 3 more years. some friends have told me not to worry. “this too shall pass”, they said. it was hard to believe at first. but it actually did!

i eventually learned how to handle the terrible twos. i resorted to an expression of being unaffected and used a very calm voice, despite the fact that i was boiling inside. it seemed to work!… at least, most of the time :)

but i couldn’t take my gloves off just yet. like perfect clockwork (we had a baby every 2 years), once the eldest was done with the screaming stage, the 2nd one was just about starting with it! by the time the 3rd entered ’The’ phase, dear husband and I became ‘experts' at shutting off various levels of noise/screaming and on not minding the strangers that stared :)

with this new parenting skill, we figured, why not a fourth? :) 

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almost 7 years and 4 babies after, i am yet again affirmed that i was meant to do this ‘mothering’ thing. it has stretched me beyond what i thought i was capable of - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. it has given me an opportunity to serve day in and day out, which dramatically changed how i now view most things. many things that seemed to matter before, no longer do. 

clearly, i was meant to do this. i love it. 

 

thank You.

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***

 

now that i have 4 kids and living in a culture that depends a lot on nannies, i’m often asked how we do it without a yaya. in my head, i just think of all the other moms (all my mom friends back in the Bay Area! *i miss you all*) who have little children, with no nanny nor any help in the house, but are still sane, happy and functional. this gives me no reason to complain. in fact, i feel pampered as it is, with someone helping us clean the house and prepare food for us. in our 6 years in the US, what seems to be a simple task of preparing breakfast can really be such a chore. but now, imagine, hot breakfast ready every morning when we wake up!? i couldn’t ask for more :)

but the real help and reason why i can still put lip gloss on most days is because of my dear husband. i don’t even know where to start. he has the heart of a servant; always ready to give way and make things easier for me. he gives them a bath, plays with them every time he’s free, preps their food, makes them laugh and actually laughs with them. tucks them to bed. he’s just always ready to sweep away the kids right when there is little energy left in me. grateful that we have him. best tatay. best sinta.


 

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