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Life after baby number four from her perspective

Life after baby number four from her perspective


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This week on Bear Essentials: 

Our fourth child was born. We're learning how to adjust expectations, trust more deeply in God, and ask the other children to help more often. 

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Charlie: I am Charlie Matz, and I'm sitting next to my beautiful wife Kristina, and we're here to share our journey with you. We have four children, ages nine, five, two and six weeks, so we're in the trenches. You know, we deeply care about our children, and we care about your children.

We hope that by sharing our journey through parenting, it might shed light on what God's doing in your journey. So this week, we're gonna talk about life after baby number four. So Kristina, tell us a little bit about what life's been like over the past six-plus weeks.

Kristina: It's gone by really fast, it's hard to imagine that he's gonna be seven weeks soon. It's been good it's been hard, the hard parts are just kind of even outside of having a newborn. I've been sick for almost the entire time. So, I'm doing better and have more energy these last couple of weeks but I think the sickness has definitely added having made things difficult, but he is just a sweet little bundle, it's an adjustment.

I in my pride thought that it would just be an easy transition because our girls were just easy babies. Our oldest is our first son, and he definitely was a fussier baby and didn't sleep very long and ate a lot. And then we had these two little girls who just... I mean, gosh, our third, she slept eight hours night one. And so it had been about eight years since we've had a little one who just doesn't sleep at ton and who eats a lot. And so God humbly reminded me that I am not any special fairy dust that makes my kids magically sleep, that it has nothing to do with your parental experience.

So that has been a surprise to kind of get back into just really sleepless nights, but God is so faithful to always sustain me. So, that's been amazing actually to see and be really mindful of the fact that God is still sovereign over everything and he gifted us with this sweet boy who didn't sleep a lot, even in the midst of being really sick and being able to see through that.

Charlie: So real quick on that, from my perspective, you do a good job at not complaining outwardly. I'm sure it's a struggle inside at times, but how do you do that?

Kristina: Not complain?

Charlie: Yeah.

Kristina: I have to remember that the Bible is true and there is nothing that God's Word says that isn't true and I can see God's character all throughout scripture, and that he is good. And I have seen him be good in my life many times, so it's just a matter of being mindful of that, being mindful of how kind God is in finding the kindness.

I think that we do a disservice to ourselves when we are not looking for it because it's not that there are days where God withholds. There are days when we blind ourselves by our own selfishness and our own grumbling and so, if we are mindful of who God truly is and how good he really is, then we see it, and we live in the joy of seeing those things.

So, there's definitely days where it was harder, and you have to get back in the Word, and that's been a struggle just... Your mind is fried, and it's hard to concentrate on something so important like God's Word...

Charlie: Yeah, we couldn't even really do this podcast for six weeks, because you couldn't think.

Kristina: I have struggled. I mean, I couldn't even remember what to call my wrist like three weeks ago, and I remember asking you like I really believed there was a special name for that part of the body.

Charlie: It's called wrist.

Kristina: I couldn't remember, but yeah, which is just as scary because, you know, we do homeschool, so it's a good thing we took about a month and a half off because it's taken me that long to get my brain cells rubbing together again.

Charlie: Is it easier not to complain with the fourth than it was... I mean, is that something, a muscle you strengthen over time?

Kristina: Yes, I think that not only are children just a blessing in and of themselves, but one of the greatest gifts of having multiple children and continuing to have more is that each child, like our marriage, is an extremely sanctifying gift from the Lord. So the more children we have, actually yes, the easier it becomes for me to not complain and to be joyful.

Charlie: Is that because you're... I think that it probably coincides with just as you grow in the Lord because you trust him more?

Kristina: Yeah, absolutely. Like you said, it's a muscle that has to be built, so you build the muscle of trusting in God and of learning to see His character in your life. God is a good God. He's not mean or harsh. He's good, and He's faithful, and He is true to His word. And so the more I trust that as an individual, the better I become as a wife and as a mother, not on any strength or merit of my own but because in God's goodness, he sanctifies me and he grows me and builds that muscle for me.

Charlie: And I think it goes the other way too. You gain momentum one way or the other, you can gain momentum not complaining and being sanctified and grown in the Lord, or you can gain momentum as a complainer. And that's why I think it's clear that God says, "Do all things without complaining." Because it really does take on an energy of its own. What else has been something... What is maybe one thing you learned through these last six weeks that you hadn't learned before?

Kristina: I've learned that my children are far more capable than I give them credit for.

Charlie: You're talking about David?

Kristina: And I was gonna say I'm not talking about our six-week old.

Charlie: Yeah, he can do nothing.

Kristina: He's amazing, but he's not doing much of anything. Yeah, our nine-year-old, he's amazing, and there's still that thing in me, even now, like two days ago, J.R. was crying, and David said, "Mommy, can I hold him?" And I said, "No, no, just give me a minute." And then I thought, "Why am I saying no to him? He's perfectly capable of going and getting him." And so, 30 seconds later I said, "You know buddy, yes can you please get him for me?" And I've seen our nine-year-old son carry him around and rock him and pick him up for me and care for him so sweetly, and he loves it, you know, it kind of broke my heart.

We did start school two weeks ago, so I really just gave my brain a month, but it was a good month of rest. But he was writing sentences for me for his new spelling words, and one of the spelling words was "rarely," and the sentences he wrote was that "I rarely get to hold my baby brother." And I just thought, "Man, that needs to not be the case, he's nine."

Charlie: Surely loves it...

Kristina: He does.

Charlie: And their crying affects them actually less than it affects me, so it's pretty remarkable. I think the other thing too that you did that I want to share about is that you started having David make breakfast for us every morning.

So David literally is chopping potatoes and making eggs and putting them on the burner and doing the whole thing and delivering a pretty amazing breakfast every morning. And that's been incredible to watch because I think it's important to remember that when you start having more kids, and we're certainly not at the capacity that some people are with as many kids as they have. But obviously adding a fourth is you get strange looks when you go everywhere.

But I think realizing that your older ones, you can start to teach them real world things that can actually start to reduce the impact of having so many kids in your home. And I think that's a good lesson for anyone even if you're listening and you have only one child or zero children, that's about relying on others to help you, not being so prideful to think that I'm the only one who can do something, even as a mom.

Kristina: Absolutely.

Charlie: You said to yourself and talked to me about it to show with giving David the baby, I'm not the only one who can care for this baby, and that's a testament to the fact that you don't look at that baby as your own, he's a loan from the Lord, and our job is to raise him into a young man.

So this has been part one of talking about what it's like post baby being born, number four, and the last six weeks. Part two is Kristina asking me a few questions. And so...

Kristina: I can't wait for that.

Charlie: Yeah, it's been quite the journey for me as well, and exciting one but definitely something that's been growing me, so we'll see you next week when we talk about that.

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