This is me.
Our sixth child has needed more from me than all of my children combined. As I was trying to take a moment to breathe he came up to me needing even more.
How am I going to be able to do this again? Seven kids….. that’s a huge number to me just as much as it is to you.
Every single day I question if I’m doing the right thing.
Family members, friends and complete strangers criticize me for having so many kids.
The ones that really crawl under my skin are:
You know how this keeps happening right?
You know how to stop them coming right?
Get cable. (If you think cable is better than sex, your sex life sucks)
I could never do what you’re doing. (Newflash: neither can I half the time!)
You must have super powers. (That would be a hard NO!)
The list goes on.
I am often left wondering, “Are they right?”
Will I be able to love them enough?
Will I be able to give them each what they need?
– Just the other night my seven year old really wanted to visit with me before bed but our youngest wasn’t feeling well and needed me too. My husband went in and visited, but he needed his mom, and his mom was tending to someone else. Cue in the guilt.
Will they struggle for attention?
– our kids are good at fighting for attention, but why do they have to fight for it?! We take them out on one on one dates and take every opportunity to ask them how they are doing and about their days, but is it enough?
Will they feel lost in the numbers?
– They do love having lots of playmates, but there will be those moments… the moment when that one kid is just doing fine and doesn’t get as much attention as the ones who aren’t doing fine. I’m so afraid this will happen and someone will silently struggle, but I was too distracted to notice.
Maybe… maybe his will happen. But I think this could happen no matter how many children someone has, I only had two siblings and felt forgotten plenty of the time.
The truth is. I don’t always have what this takes. I struggle each day to give them each what they need. I fall short, I yell, I break down, I question myself.
I know this is a lot. I don’t really need everyone under the sun, moon and stars reminding me how full my hands are. Trust me, I know. I promise, no matter how hard things get, full hands are way better than empty ones.
I know it looks overwhelming on the outside, and even is on the inside from time to time. Surprisingly, it isn’t nearly as overwhelming as it seems. When you see me, I’m likely at the store, the doctor’s office or church…. the top three MOST STRESSFUL PLACES TO TAKE CHILDREN. You can’t make a judgement call based on that! I can’t tell you how many times someone exclaims how thy could never “have that many children,” when they see me at one of those three places.
Side note: at the Costco Food Court we always get complimented on how well behaved our children are…. because FOOD people! Kids are at their best when their bellies are full, and worst when thy are empty. Period.
What makes this all possible, is that I have the drive and determination to not allow self doubt to get the best of me (even if it brings me down sometimes).
No matter how many kids you have, no matter how full your life is, no matter how crazy things get, you can still bring your best to the table and it will ALWAYS be enough if you let GRACE take part in your life.
I couldn’t do this alone.
I DON’T do this alone.
I have my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ giving me strength beyond what I am capable. I have a supportive husband. I have helpful children, and good friends
So before you judge, or put me on some “rockstar mom” pedestal while you put yourself down for “not being able to do as much as me,” remember that we are all fighting for our best lives. And what you see me doing isn’t necessarily more than you, it’s just different. We are all overwhelmed sometimes, we all get a little crazy.
The second you start dividing yourself from others based on what you think you SEE, take a moment to pat yourself on the back and realize you’re giving it your best too!
All of us have full hands regardless of the amount of children we have, we all fill our plates and over-busy ourselves from time to time. We all rock at life and suck at life sometimes. Adulting is hard. Parenting is hard. Momming is hard. But it can also be wonderful and rewarding! No matter what it looks like!
Days of self doubt will come, don’t let it bring you down.
RISE UP! You’ve got what it takes.
I’ve got what it takes!