Still talking about the babies here. I used to feel the need to shake things up so that other people didn’t think having kids meant that that’s all there is to you, but if I’m honest, it is a huge part of who I am, which I don’t really mind. I believe in the idea that life is made up of seasons, and the one I am in now requires a lot of attention to my family and their needs. They won’t always be this little and need me this much, and I’m sure I will miss the days that they did. That doesn’t mean I want to endure the sleepless nights, endless diaper changes, and potty training circuses all over again, but I will yearn for the days they were little and would crawl up in my lap (or climb all over me) just to tell me “I love you”.
I said in the beginning of this journey that it would be a walk through our thoughts and concerns regarding what happens next, after this eighth baby, and fifth baby boy, is born into our lives. Two c-sections in a row does raise an issue I never had to consider before. Five boys in a row wears on me differently than my first three girls did. I was younger and had fewer kids, but I think boys are just MORE when they are little. I don’t love them any less and I don’t think of my job as a burden that I must endure and survive. However, I am tired. So, so tired. I remember being pregnant with Addison like it was yesterday. Adam worked for an accounting firm, commuting to banks all over the state for audits, usually not arriving home until about 8:00 at night. I taught third grade, on the downstairs hall, and I was the teacher that the janitor had to kick out of the building each evening around 6:00. I would come home and crash. I’d take naps on the weekends. I would sleep late on Saturday mornings. If I was tired, I would plant it somewhere and enjoy the stillness.
Obviously, those days are LOOOONG gone! However, while I am pregnant tired, I am also mommy to seven tired (and yes, while I am the first to say that mothering one, two, or more can be just as exhausting, it’s a little different when there are seven), I’m homeschooling mother tired, I’m loving and attentive wife tired, I’m church volunteer tired, and I’m housecleaning tired (which I say lastly because that’s where it falls on my priority list). Today, I just wanted to crawl up in bed or in the recliner and doze throughout the day, but I had to take Addison to ballet (which we were late for and wound up missing), take the girls shopping for their special Daddy/Daughter date night outfit, run into JoAnn’s for some supplies for Adam’s Valentine’s Day gifts, and come home and keep the kids out from under Adam’s feet while he finished building our mega-cubby/locker unit for the back door and priming the room that will one day be MY craft room. WHEW! Typing that made me tired! Now, some people would say (but surely not you) that we signed up for this. If we didn’t want this much work, we shouldn’t have had this many kids. Well, I can tell you what I’d like to say to that, and then I can tell you what Jesus would want me to say to that. Or, scratch both and let me say this- all we signed up for was joyfully submitting to His will for our lives and for our family. We didn’t know that would mean eight kids (or more), and while I love each child He gives us and I can’t imagine our life without them, I could do without all the stuff that comes with it! I don’t love the diaper changes (and I greatly admire all you cloth diaper mommas), the running around to extra-curriculars (which we limit to one per child, only after they’ve turned five years old), and the loss of running errands child-free.
What I do love, though, is hearing the girls compliment one another in the dressing room today, even though their tastes are COMPLETELY different. I love the way Joseph runs to get his “Woody Buzz” (Pull-ups have them on their product, so that’s what he calls them) when it is time to change him. I love watching Gillian ride a horse taller than me, or Addison move as if she’s been dancing since before she was born, or Anna bouncing, cartwheeling, and balancing across a bar, just like the girls she saw during the last winter Olympics, when she said, “Mommy, THAT’S what I want to do!” So I endure. I persevere. I enjoy. I may be tired through it all, but I always say, “If I weren’t tired doing this for my kids, I’d be tired after staying in my classroom until 6:00 pm for someone else’s kids.” And as rewarding as it is to teach a child and inspire them to believe they are capable of more than they ever imagined, it’s even more rewarding to me when those kids are your own.
So, while the thought of doing this again, being pregnant with FIVE little boys running around the house, one more extra-curricular to deliver someone to (and wait the hour for completion, as I don’t leave my kids anywhere without a designated adult to watch them), the moodiness of the pre-teen years, more homeschooling, more laundry, more…you get the idea, can simply overwhelm me some days, it also means more of the good stuff. It just isn’t enough to make me think it wouldn’t be worth it.
Now, let me say this…I have days where I say, “I just can’t do this again!” I will try to be more honest about those days. They’ve been hidden in the days where I was telling the back story of it all, which I was grateful for in all honesty! But those days aren’t nearly as frequent as the days like today. And I guess knowing that, even on that bad day, keeps me optimistic. But it isn’t fair to you for both sides to not be painted. So, my next post will be a bad day post, just to assure you that you aren’t the only one that has them! It might be about this past Thursday, which was a bad day for me, or it might be about the day that I am sure will happen somewhere in the next two weeks. I want to be real, and while all that I have shared thus far has been real, there are days that I haven’t shared because they were hard to survive in the first place! Rehashing them on here with you doesn’t always seem appealing! For now, I will sit with my feet up, waiting for Adam and the girls to return from their date and tell me all about it, ’cause I’m tired.