My husband and I welcomed our nieces to live with us for a while and adding two extra kids can be complex. Along with other changes in my life, it's felt like a whirlwind. Yet, I continue to be proud of us. My husband and I were never ace house-keepers, I mean it wasn't horrible but it wasn't great. We have been so good at staying on top of things, because 5 kids, the laundry alone is insane! We have been really organized and frugal too.
Each month, I make a family "activity" calendar. I check each child's individual school event calendar, look at community events, put in our times with our shared son K, and add in what we'll be doing throughout the month. As kids ask and want to do things, this has been surprisingly helpful, because I'm able to direct them to that so they can help in planning and the structure helps them all.
I'm betting all you "together" -parents who already use regular calendars think this is no big deal- but until I started making them in Micro-soft, I was only using my phone. This is growth. It's growth.
We still aren't perfect, life still gets tricky sometimes and stressful but we're doing okay. We are learning carefully how to parent children with needs like OCD, ADHD, and trauma. I'm really proud of how we are together and how we have come together as a family.
For me personally, it's been an exercise in stretching that inner growth. I have had things that threatened to knock me down. Things that used to send me deep down into that depression cavern. I am finding myself going "this isn't where I want to stay, no piety parties for me, let's get up and do something." When in the past, I would struggle to motivate myself to get up when my depression hit. I still have moments where I will feel sad or where things hit me, but I no longer stay in them.
I journal a lot, I have found supportive places and people, I write almost daily. I have filled three notebooks from October to November. From personal journals to things I have enjoyed studying. It's also been a great closeness for me and my husband, we share studying things together. Often I'll come home and share what I've written with him. We also listen to podcasts on these subjects together and that's been wonderful.
I'm still working on the novel I began in June. For a while, with all the changes in our household it was hard for me to find the motivation to keep working on it. I went through a spell of feeling blocked and frustrated. I haven't slowed down on writing, not by a long shot, but I wasn't putting as much into the novel itself. However, I still made progress and effort and from October-November I still got about 4000 words.
It can be hard to write when that lack of motivation hits. I also sometimes struggle to be excited about the story if I know too much about what's going to happen next. Yet, this is a work I remain passionate about. So, I sit down and will sometimes say: "okay, let's do 1 hour" and give what I can in that hour. Sometimes I'll sit and look at what I'm feeling and frustrated with or who i'm frustrated with, and find ways to put them and those feelings into the story. Finding music that fits the mood of the portion I'm writing helps a lot too.
I struggle with feelings of pride, because I still have that problem of perfection. "Why be proud if it's not perfect?" However, I need to acknowledge that I am proud of myself, what I have accomplished, and what my family is doing as a whole. Some of our hurdles have been large. We keep on keeping on and for that I'm incredibly grateful.