Saturday, September 7, 2013
Public: I wish you knew...
I get frustrated that I allow other people and their responses, looks, etc... dictate how I feel about my family. Why can't I can't just keep my eyes on the Lord and His will for my life?
I have been thinking a lot about why the comment, "You have your hands full" bothers me so much.
I think it insinuates that my hands are so full that I don't know what I am doing. Or that I am in chaos or that I have too much, more than I can handle. That somehow along the way we gathered these children together and I must have realized my mistake about the whole thing. How careless of me.
I get that it is a common response when people don't know what else to say. It is a blanket way of acknowledging our family with out knowing how all the kids came into my family. But I don't think it is kind, I can't think of anyone who has enjoyed hearing the comment.
I have to admit that I NEVER thought I would have a large family. It was not something I dreamt about as a child but I am SO HAPPY God brought me to the place in my life. God shaped my family, I didn't. I believe with all of my heart that God has a purpose for me and each of the children. They do not suffer because we have a literal handful of children.
I would rather not hear comments when I hold a newborn at a party that I shouldn't hold the baby because I might want another one. As if there is some kind of magical power or I have no control over my decisions. As if it is anyones business if I have more children.
Getting asked if I am done, like, you are done right? No more kids? Yeah that feels great.
I understand the wow factor when the typical family has 2 kids so yeah 5+ kids sounds like a lot. I get that the concern is that I will neglect someone or have the older children raising the younger ones so I don't have to.
So let me set the story straight.
My oldest daughter is currently 6 years old. That is compared the the other kids who are 4, 3, 3, and 2. So yes even though she is the oldest it doesn't mean she will lose her childhood and act as their Mother. So she doesn't need to be told about how you think she must be a wonderful helper to her Mommy. Her role is not to be Mommy's helper, she is a child.
I often get comments about how our oldest daughter is always the last one to load up in our vehicle. Well lets see, yes she is the last one to get in. I have to get the littles in first to buckle them up and I know that she won't run out into the street like they would. I don't think that being the last one to load into the van will send her to therapy so please stop bringing attention to it.
Tired of hearing how many kids we have. Do you think our children need to be reminded about it, soon they will be old enough and more aware of your comments. It is hurtful and I wish rather you would say something kind about my children instead of sharing how they stand out.
I have to take a minute to acknowledge a few things....toot my own horn.
I have joy. We are happy as a family. God has blessed us beyond our dreams and frankly, I do this large family thing really well. We are not perfect by any means but we are organized and we play and we have fun and we do things typical sized families do. We are able to support and provide for our children, God is faithful and always provides. We take time to go on dates with each child and spend one on one time with them. I kick butt when it comes to organization and I go the extra mile to make sure they are in sports, not that it is a necessary event. We laugh and have fun and enjoy each other. No, just because we are a large family doesn't mean I am bitter about my house work or drained and exhausted from all the work that comes with running a house hold. I love my kids and I love folding their laundry and cooking their meals and watching them play in the backyard. They are best friends with each other and I can't wait to watch them grow up.
So when you approach a family try to use some grace and kindness. They have heard the comments before, many many times. Your words are not going to magically change their outlook on life just as you wouldn't want them judging you and your family.
Maybe you could assume they are all our children unless I tell you other wise. There is nothing offensive about saying what cute children we have or what little blessings they are. Don't be afraid, your comments won't encourage us to have more. We don't make our decisions based on what you say or the looks we get from you. All children need to hear more praises about how well behaved they are or how beautiful they all are.
Even if a family is in a place of financial struggle or overwhelmed by the trials they are currently in and consumed by their overflowing schedule do you think they want to you to draw attention to it?
Just because we have a lot of kids doesn't mean that I am going to be a neglectful Mother. There are many people with one or two children that neglect their kids plenty. I am purposeful in my parenting and lean on our Lord as a Mother.
Just because something bad happens or we are in the midst of a trial does not automatically mean, "Oh well, that is what happens when you have five kids." Trials happen to every single family out there and the scapegoat does not need to be the number of kids we have.
Now of course their are adjustments to our budget and routine to care for our kids but my husband and I want the best for our kids and your best may not be our best. Sometimes it is that we choose not to have certain material things or traditions because that is what we choose for our family. It has nothing to do with the kids we have. Our priorities are our choice and we do not choose to live of the world. So put yourself at ease because you do not need to worry about the welfare of our children.
I am content with who I am as a Mother. I pray that I will let your negative looks and comments bounce off of me and not interfere with what God is doing for my family. I love my family so much and would love for you to love them and see the kids for who they are.