I try to be the positive mom that has six children and can be upbeat about it. I get wound up and stressed, but I try to show in public, at least, that having six children is not outrageous, or weird. I try to show that having six children isn't a bad thing.
But, it does have it's disadvantages. We have four girls and two boys. The boys are close in age (just under three years apart) and they get into things. A lot. They sneak food and try to hide it. They jump off the top of the bunk bed. They hang things from their ceiling fan. They wet the bed, then don't tell me until bedtime the next night. They squirt water all over the bathroom, and smear toothpaste anywhere they can find room. They are a force to be reckoned with.
The girls aren't much better, though! They leave their shoes, cleats, backpacks, hoodies, books, you name it, all over the house. They eat and drink in their rooms and then spill all over. They brush their hair in weird places, and then loose the brush for the next person. When you have four girls with medium to long hair, this ones a biggie!
They are all involved in sports. This means I am toting four to six children to 3 soccer games, 3-6 softball games, and school, every week. I am preparing breakfast, lunch, and then ususally packing dinner to eat on the run 3-4 days a week, for 6 kids. My husband doesn't even eat dinner until after 8 most nights.
I'm really feeling the crunch these last several weeks of school. Field trips, field days, sports, school, finals, and first communion have been paying their toll. I have been making wrong turns while driving, forgetting things and wandering around listlessly all week. I just can't seem to focus on anything for longer than a few minutes, and I feel like I am pulling my hair out.
But I don't want people to think it's because I have six children that I am like this. It's because I am unorganized. I am stressed out because I don't exercise, and I eat poorly. I don't get enough sleep. I am frazzled because I let myself be. I worry about things that I have no control over. It's me, people!
Having six children has forced me to learn some things about myself. I can make decisions under fire and get the job done (when I apply myself!), maybe not perfectly, but adequately. I will never, ever be bored. Ever. I always have someone to talk to, even if they can't talk back, yet. I like to try new things, but I crave structure. I don't get that structure, but I'm learning to accept what I can't change. I am learning to let things go that would have really bothered me even just a few years ago. I am learning to accept that my plan isn't the one that matters. I am learning humility.
I am learning that pride really is a sin, and that I can't do it all on my own. I am learning that the mom my kids need isn't necessarily the one society thinks they need. That's a very freeing idea to me, and I'm glad I have been given the opportunity to learn that. But it's scary to go against the "norm" and not fall into the guilt trap. I'm trying.
So when you see me out in public, speaking too loudly (ok, yelling) to my kids to hurry up, or pulling the fourth bag of stuff out of the trunk just to get us through an hour long soccer game, or pushing a stroller through the parking lot, while holding three blankets, two tote bags, and holding three kids' hands, understand me. Don't judge. I have six children because I love children, and I believe they are a blessing. They are fed, loved, schooled, and lack for very little. I go without so they can have the things they need, and most of the things they want. Don't feel sorry for me, or look down on me, or think to yourself "what is she thinking?!"
Just look at me as another person, just getting through life the best way I know how. And for crying out loud, grab a tote bag and help me across the street!