the end of the fourth trimester

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To celebrate the end of the fourth trimester, Marigold has started rolling – and squawking and squealing and giggling.

I’m not sure how we got here so fast – birth, newborn, six weeks, three months; a beautiful blur.

This stage is always a bit tricky for me and these past few days have been an exhausting, slightly depleted mess of juggling and planning.

Because when the fourth trimester ends you’re essentially in the depths of new motherhood without the newborn lifeboat to save you.

Life is well and truly back to normal – except it’s a new kind of normal. Everything is leaping forward for me and Marigold’s ready to get going; she’s a little more wakeful, she’s moving and demanding attention.

This new stage requires a new rhythm and I’m still trying to figure it out. A decent sleep would help in this department but sleep is not in abundance at the moment. Ironically, Marigold is the only one sleeping. Last night we were calming a child who had dreams of giraffes looking in the window and explaining to a toddler that 3am is not a good time to paint his bed. Tonight? Lavender oil, happy bedtime stories, lullabies.

As spring creeps towards summer and the calendar fills with rehearsals, concerts, deadlines and end-of-year celebrations, I’m wary of establishing some semblance of rhythm to carry me through the days. Creating fluid boundaries will make sure I don’t fall apart.

So what does this rhythm look like?

Well, it’s…

  • a load of washing on by 7am (I can load the machine and set the timer the night before)
  • ideally washing out before the school run but this is unlikely to happen every day
  • a morning activity for Percy – park, beach, cafe, library, op-shop
  • lunch at home
  • dishes done and dinner started before school pick-up
  • afternoon tidy-up + washing folded and put away
  • witching hour (I go somewhat batty)
  • everyone into bed
  • dinner dishes done and school lunches packed (a significant time saver come the morning!)

In between these chores there’s work to complete, nappies to change, a divine little baby to feed, a toddler to read to and many questions to ask and answer.

I wouldn’t have it any other way but my goodness my days are full!

So tell me, what’s your one thing that you do every day to ensure there’s some semblance of calm (despite the chaos)?

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Showing 9 comments
  • Kirstin
    Reply

    Love this post! Wow you must be so tired by end of day! Trying to find my own rythm to the day with a 2 year old and 5 month old… how do you manage nap times, do you have set times? Morning tea outside/ coffee break is a must in my day haha, i look foward to that minute of calm everyday xx

    • Jodi
      Reply

      I do spend a significant chunk of time at home to ensure Marigold has a good day sleep but there’s no set times yet..it’s hard with school pick-up etc x

  • Elizabeth
    Reply

    I love that you shared all this! I’m a mama of only one child (hopefully more one day soon!) and I often wonder how I’ll get everything done with more than one child. I’m amazed and delighted by all you do with and for your kiddos! I love to wake up before my daughter to have a bit of time to myself, look over the day, have a cup of tea–although I don’t know if I could swing the rising early during the overtired newborn days. Best to you!

  • Elizabeth
    Reply

    Also, your images and photography are just lovely!!

  • Rachel
    Reply

    My girls are older – 10 and 8 – but there is still so much to do to keep the family home ticking along. I work outside the home since they are in school full time and can walk to and from on their own, and our evenings are busy with activities and practices and people needing to be somewhere at a certain time (we’ve never been so busy as we are this autumn). The two things I must do to keep the chaos from overwhelming me is to have the next night’s dinner planned the night before, and I have to do a load of laundry every night. Then things seem to tick along okay….though there are still moments when I am convinced that this is all utter madness.

  • Gerlinde
    Reply

    Ah, she is so lovely and that time went by very fast indeed, thought she should be around a month now!

    My kids are 9, 8, 4 and almost 2 and now the youngest two are 2 – 3 days a week in ‘kindergarten’, which here in Norway means a lot of time outside, also when it rains and snows and playing. I thought I would have a little more time if they were away sometimes, but I easily fill that up with some mealprepping, some errands and other stuff I do not do when the kids are at home.

    My friends who have 6 and 7 children both told me that with four kids, you officially have a large family and everything becomes huge. Your car, your laundry, grocery hauls… and yes, they are so right 😉

    What keeps me calm is holding on to my routines. I really can not relax with overflowing laundrybaskets, dishes in the sink and unmade beds. So i threw the baby in the sling, did my round through the house instead of ‘relaxing’. Because I can’t when I know I have so much to do! Or I did it when the baby slept, even though people say rest when your baby rests…

    My days are still full, but it gets easier… 😉

  • Reply

    Man I remember this so well when our fourth was born last year. At the time she was born we had a 6year old, just turned 4yo and just turned 2yo. Definitely a rollercoaster, a different kind of normal but also worth it. We’re now. Just over a year from that now and it’s always teaching me something new everyday. In a good way but after 7years and four kids it’s only now I’m realising that I need to practice self care (something I’ve let slip and not practised at all… and wonder why those times I feel it really intense is because yes kids and babies can be hard work but even more so when my cup is constantly empty, sleep deprived and extremely painful feeding. But like the four of them, we persevered and I am still part feeding her so we overcame that…. still not getting sleep though but hey! Lol

    Lovely photo, and yes to lavender oil!!

  • Amanda
    Reply

    end of the fourth trimester already!? how is that possible? i’m 37 weeks with my 4th baby and following along your journey with great interest. still amazed at how beautiful that baby is!

  • Cynthia
    Reply

    My child rearing days are long over but I remember the feeling and you are amazing, J. What worked for me was to set my alarm and coffeemaker for 5 am and I hopped right into the shower no matter what. Dressed and ready for work by 5:30, I could enjoy the peaceful kitchen while I sipped coffee, made lunches, started a cooked breakfast. Usually the aroma woke the boys and they could enjoy a leisurely breakfast in their pjs. Then I could focus on helping us all get out the door for school carpool so no one felt rushed. It was a gift to do the morning carpool duty so that my boys could be dropped off at home by others in the afternoon. My laundry is in the basement so quiet enough to do at night. That saved me.

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