There's a reason that most of us are given our children one at a time. With each new addition, we experience a period of transition, then find our new normal. We become accustomed to the noise, the chaos. Perhaps we even come to embrace it.
I remember visiting my aunt and uncle and their five (delightful) children when I was a college student on break. Afterward, I would come home and tell my mom, "Now that was sensory overload." Ten years later and three little ones of my own, I don't even bat an eye.
The interesting part about going on vacation alone with your spouse is that your world abruptly changes. Suddenly you are able to do all of the things that you haven't done for years, things you once did. Like have long, sustained conversations that may or may not be child appropriate. Or enjoy slow, quiet meals where you can actually stay seated the whole time. Or spend an entire afternoon reading a book. Dan and I looked at each other and said, "Can you believe we used to be able to do this every weekend?" It's such a luxury now.
The first day home from our vacation, I commented to Jude's teacher, "I expected to come back feeling recharged and invigorated, but frankly, I feel a bit shell shocked. After slowing down, our life feels kind of crazy - three kids, a baby on the way. A puppy!" (Yes, you read that right, a puppy. But that's a story for another day.)
She replied, "Ah, re-entry. It's hard for everyone."
Re-entry. So that's what it's called. She tells me it's a near universal. I'm not alone. Good to know.
Acclimation to life as we know it took about three days. Now we're back to embracing the chaos.
Dan's doing Evie's hair.
I sewed a dress for Indigo this weekend.
Dan taught Jude how to ride a bike without training wheels.
And the chaos feels good. Well, most of the time.