Motherhood teaches you patience


I just don’t know how you do it with all those kids!
My two just drive me crazy! How do you do it?
Wow, you must have a ton of patience!

If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me…I wouldn’t get disconnect notices from the utility company on a regular basis.

The fact of the matter is…I don’t have a lot of patience. And every night, as I am on the threshold of blissful sleep, I wonder just how I survived the day with six children under the age of eleven.

How will I be able to meet their needs?
Am I teaching them everything they need to know?
Am I making the best decisions for them?
How can I get them to do the laundry without me?

It’s a wonder that I even get any sleep at all.

And then when I wake up to the sound of birds chirping and my neighbor paying to get his lawn trimmed down 1/4 of an inch every Thursday, I am confronted with the thought once again. How am I going to survive the day with six chil’rens under the age of eleven today?

Because yesterday I just made it by the skin of my teeth.

The thing is…I was once just like that mama with two children. I had two boys, fifteen months apart. Then every other weekend and on summer vacation, I had my stepson with me. I was like every other mama in the world, tearing my hair out because they would get into everything (like the chili powder–which they proceeded to dump all over the sofa…on the coffee table and down the hallway to the bathroom). They would strip themselves naked every night while “sleeping” in their crib. I never got to shower in peace–I always imagined them burning down the house or swallowing something poisonous in the 3.5 minutes it took me to shower. I endured making dinner amidst screaming toddlers slapping my thighs behind me. I planned any and all excursions around nap time/lunch time/dirty diaper time. I went to bed every night like someone beat me over the head with a sledgehammer.

It was rough.

To go from the carefree, single person life to that was mind-boggling, to say the least. No one is fully prepared for what motherhood brings. I just knew I wasn’t cut out for this motherhood thing. I started to think about contributing to our struggling household, about how I should utilize that as-of-yet-unpaid-for college education and get a career…that I should stick their butts in daycare like all the other normal kids.

Then I got pregnant with my third son, and all those plans went out the window. That’s when I started to embrace this life as my life. And whether or not I believed I was cut out for this motherhood gig…I was gonna fake it til I make it.

The fact of the matter is, with each child you learn to have more patience. I didn’t just wake up one morning with six children and unlimited patience. No, as the years went by and each child was added to our family, I was growing as much as they were. In patience, humility, grace, kindness, love, mercy and a sense of humor.

Not to mention hip width and butt size.

So, this whole motherhood thing isn’t something I was miraculously born with. I struggle just like the next mother. If you spent a few days with me, you’d know. Most people who knew me from before I had children are astounded that I have as many as I do because I was one of those people who just didn’t want kids. And yet, here they are….all six of them. I like to think I am a better person now because of my children then I was when I was that single, carefree gal who slept until noon and let her grandmother wash her laundry. I’ve learned valuable life skills I don’t think I would have picked up anywhere else.

I love my life.

It may not seem like it sometimes. Really, I do. I realize some people shape their character going through far easier channels than I have chosen. Me, I’m one of those knuckle-headed people. I needed to push out six giant-sized heads through my quivering loins to really learn something. To be a better person.

To value life.



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Motherhood teaches you patience

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Motherhood teaches you patience

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There are 7 comments

  1. - Sarah :-)

    How awesome – I wonder sometimes how someone like me could have children: how I’ll treat them, how I’ll love them, how I’ll make it through the lack of my precious precious sleep. And I try to convince myself that it all comes out with the baby. That it’s in there, somewhere, waiting to be pushed out with that big ol’ head.

    When we do have kids, I’ll let you know how that goes. For now? I’m still stuck in the middle of – “I want one now!” and “Good Lord, I don’t think I could ever handle all that SCREAMING!”

    But who knows – God knows the timing better than us, right?! I just have no idea where I’ll get all that compassion, because Lord knows I have a hard enough time mustering it up now!

    Any advice?! I know that no one is ever “ready” for kids, but I do think that there comes a time where you’re ready to be ready… does that make ANY sense??

  2. His-Follower

    First, that is the most beautiful picture that doesn’t have my daughter in it.

    Next, you are so right on and God’s been dealing with me on it; when I read “embrace this life as my life” it once again became clear.

    This is HOME. I *have* found where I belong.

    You are SO good for us mommas. Keep writing it REAL.

    Love ya, Cristy

  3. Tiffany

    I hear ya, sistah!! Been there, still doing that! I live in the land where two children is considered a big family. And the very few with three, it’s only cause they ended up with a set of twins (like my stepsister!)

    I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way!

  4. Lisa.....

    Thanks for that. It’s nice to know other people struggle with motherhood. Because I am one of those two kid (with stepchild) people and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING. When they were little, I was stellar. I played, read and colored like crazy. I make an excellent PB & J. Now? 5th and 8th grade. One on the verge of middle school and one headed for high school. I am terrified. But I guess we’re all kind of faking it til we make it.

  5. Anonymous

    so i just found out we are pregnant with our fourth. a surprise-at least having it at this point is. i thought i wanted one more, but it was in SEVERAL years. when i felt like i could breathe again. and to my shock and dismay i am having a very tough time adjusting it. i didn’t think i wanted any kids either way back when! and now i am wondering what could possibly be left of me when i have 4 under the age of 6. thanks for being such an inspiration/encouragement.

  6. Angela

    LOVED THIS DENISE! Your writing inspires me so deeply. I love it…Love it. Love it! Thanks for the encouragement. Your realness is just what does it. LOVE this pic of your boys when they were little! #4 for me is coming soon….excited!

  7. Gombojav Tribe

    I love this. So much.

    I have seven and I feel the same way. Sometimes I wonder how in the world I do it. And I always hear from people, “You must be super mom” (Um….I have gum in my hair. What are you talking about?) or “I could never do it. You are so laid back.” (Um….I had a total meltdown this morning and had to apologize to the whole family.) or “Your kids are so well-behaved.” (You didn’t hear the lecture I gave them the whole 15 minutes it took to get from home to church!)

    Supermom is such a myth. We are all just doing the best we can and limping along a day at a time–whether you have two kids or ten.

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