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FranklyStein: Life with four kids is all about the logistics

Do you have a chaotic life with kids who drive you crazy but who you love passionately anyway? Then you might want to visit FranklyStein often so we can laugh together and commiserate.

I’m the new face here at Chesapeake Family. For the past 10 years, I was the editor of Maryland Family magazine and that’s where I began blogging.

I’m a middle-aged mom of four with rapidly graying hair. My kids are growing up so fast sometimes I look at them and wonder where in the world my babies went.

Maggie just turned 13. Her full name is Margaret Hope because after three miscarriages, we really Hoped she would stick. Now she’s smart, athletic, sweet and texting all the time.

When Maggie turned 1, we thought we should start working on baby No. 2 since it took so long the first time around, but before we knew it, we had Lilly and Adam. There’s just 20 months between the twins and Maggie and life was out of control for a while with nursing, diapers, naps and a car full of car seats. Now that the twins are 11, it’s tough in a different way with homework, hormones and arguments over who sits where in the car. We’re also dealing with a dose of ADHD and anxiety to keep us on our toes.

But back when they were 3 and 4, life didn’t seem complete (or crazy enough since school and sports hadn’t kicked in yet), so we had Jonah. He was the baby I had time to hold, cuddle and spoil half rotten. So now, at age 7, he’s half the sweetest thing in the world and half cranky stinker. Sometimes I’ll refer to him as Permacrank in my blog. But I love him to death. I love that he still hugs me, tells me he loves me and calls me Mama.

These days, life for my husband, Chris, and I is just a long list of logistics. Most of the time all we talk about is who is taking whom where, when and who’s picking whom up. It’s not the life we envisioned when we fell in love, but it’s a life well worth living.

When we get five seconds to ourselves – we run, literally. Sometimes together but most of the time not. Running is my Prozac. It also allows me to eat ice cream every night when the kids are in bed.

Every day in this crazy life, I try to enjoy each moment because I know one day it’ll all be over. They’ll be on their own, and I’ll be wondering where the time went.

And then all I will have to remember these days by will be this blog.


family1-1-23FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 13, Lilly, 11, Adam, 11, and Jonah, 7.

Photo by Dawn Kearney

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