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.