Content Amidst the Chaos

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The good days January 4, 2011

Filed under: babies,family size — jps23 @ 6:10 pm

While we have tried to embrace a life leaving our womb open to God’s plan, no matter how many kids that may include, there are days that are tough.  Real tough.  But then there are the good days.  Perspective affects how you measure that day, and I could have very well found today to be a bad day if I judged by the looks of the mess my house is hanging onto.  However, I saw today as a good day, and these are a few reasons why…

  • I’m making major progress in our laundry area, which is piled high with out-of-season/outgrown clothes.
  • The kids played oh so nicely together today.
  • Anna and Addison prepared lunch together without quarrel, managing to cover all of the food groups!
  • I didn’t feel guilty about them taking on that responsibility while I was working in the laundry area.
  • I have more than enough clothes, so many that I can spare some for a family in need after suffering through a fire.  Yet, I only had to buy a tiny portion of those myself.  My laundry mess reminded me of the great provision God has offered us in this arena, especially through three families at our church who always think of us while cleaning out their children’s closets.
  • We haven’t started school back up yet, but I got to listen to my kids playing together, creating a garden with their costumes, which included a flower, a ladybug, a butterfly, and a caterpillar, all made complete by a blanket with clouds on it held up by Gillian as the backdrop.  Learning through play.  Such a forgotten art these days.
  • Adam sent me an email just to let me know he loves me and he’s thinking about me.  Now, before you go on and on about how amazing he is, this area has been a tough one for him.  He is an amazing father, but that often replaces his role as husband.  He is working to create a balance with those hats and the many other he wears, and I’m noticing and grateful.
  • Gillian allowed the little boys in her room without flipping out over them invading her “area” (the space under the girls’ loft beds is their special area, and she is very protective of hers).  No meltdowns today.  I think she is getting back to “normal” after the holidays.  We’ve been melting down on a daily basis around here, so this was a fantastic day for her.
  • Coleman has had two really great days.  He is very impulsive and has struggled with self-control a bit lately, but we have had two days without incident, which is big for him right now.

All around for me, it was a wonderful day.  Should I have doubted at all, based on the state of my house and its contents, then the two posts listed first in my Google reader would have redirected me, and the beauty of that is that they are by to girls I know in real life, so I know if they are real or fluff.  Two moms like me just living life.  One that seems odd and ridiculous to most, but for us is very real and our “normal”.  Check my girls out at Hello Out There and Audaciter Matris.  And then there’s this email I got from a mommy friend of mine today, saying that the last line made her think of us, when really, almost all of the lines are us!  Read below…

You know you’re a big family when…
…people count the number of your children out loud when you’re in public

…people ask, “Are they all yours?”

…you start counting your children when you’re out in public

…you have at least three bunk beds set up in your home

…almost everyone you know has less children than you do

…people say, “Wow! How do you manage?”

…people ask you, out of the blue, if you are Mormon or Catholic.

…you buy your pots and pans in the restaurant supply store

…supposed “family size” food portions seem awfully small

…you complain, “Doesn’t anyone make large dining tables anymore?”

…you outgrow your mini-van

…you’ve heard “Don’t you know what causes that?” more times than you’d care to remember

…you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be alone anywhere else but in the bathroom

…your children never run out of playmates among their siblings

…everything you buy is in bulk

…people ask, “Don’t you get overwhelmed?”

…you and your husband can no longer hold each child’s hand while crossing the street

…it takes a wonderfully long time to hug and kiss everybody

…one of your children looks wistfully at the newborn and asks you, “Can’t you have another baby really soon? I hardly get to hold this one because everybody else is taking turns.”

…you realize that few houses are designed with your family in mind

…people ask you if you’ve ever accidentally left any of your children behind

…life around your family never seems boring or dull

…your tent is the largest one in any campground

…you feel sorry for people with only two children

…you sometimes wonder what on earth mothers with only two children do with all their spare time

…whenever you set your dining table, it looks like it used to look when you were expecting lots of company

…you read a cookbook and joke, “They call these meals? Sounds like a little snack to me.”

…your gratitude at the abundance of God’s blessing moves you to tears unexpectedly

…you start thinking of yourself as “rich in children”

…you secretly think that life in your family might possibly be a much more joyous adventure than life in smaller families

…you are vastly amused at much modern parenting advice, realizing that it is unnecessary, impossible, impractical, or simply silly to try to apply it in a large family setting

…it seems as if you pack more stuff going on a short trip than some people pack when moving their entire household

…you and your husband laugh, “And to think that when we got married, we wanted only four children!”

…your husband sighs happily, “I’ve finally got my dream car”–and it’s a used 15- passenger van.

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