A few days ago, I took my kids to Walmart to pick up a few things. It was after school, late in the afternoon, everyone was a little keyed up, and really, I probably shouldn’t have risked it. But we were there and we needed milk, and well, sometimes we have to do hard things. Shopping with children isn’t easy. Shopping with five children along is a little like parental suicide. I felt it keenly after I lost one of the five, then had him returned to me by a friend who happened to find him at the jewelry counter and was nice enough to stay with him until they’d tracked me down. And of course, it didn’t make it any easier when, while speaking to the friend who’d just saved my 8 year old from a sure to happen Walmart abduction, my children attacked a wrapping paper display, chose their weapons, and started sword fighting.
Yesterday afternoon, I jumped between Jordan who needed help with his Social Studies homework and Lucy who wanted a piano lesson, to the computer where I was trying to fix Jordan’s flash drive so he wouldn’t lose an entire semester’s worth of work, to the kitchen where dinner was cooking, to Henry who needed help with his game, to Sam who couldn’t find his missing worksheet, all with Ivy on my hip…
I don’t have a problem admitting it. Big families are hard. My laundry is never finished. My floors are in constant need of cleaning. The house is always noisy, bustling, busy. My grocery bill is ridiculous. Back to school shopping can break the bank. My patience is constantly tried, tested, pushed to the limit. Many days, I fall into bed and wonder if it’s worth it. Many days, I feel like there simply isn’t enough – enough time, enough money, enough energy, enough of me to go around. Many days, it’s hard to walk through the store with five kids, pregnant with another and constantly field the looks and stares and exclamations, while trying to keep the sword fighting to a minimum and the bickering at bay. Many days, it’s just hard.
Every day, even the hard days, it is always worth it. Worth it because my children are incredible, wonderful little people that love each other and love me. Yes, they bicker. Yes, they whine and complain and act ridiculous in the isles of Walmart. But they also teach me patience. They teach me love and compassion and generosity and they teach me to recognize God’s goodness in every single aspect of my life. They are pure and good and oh, so much fun. And you know what else? I think they teach each other love and patience and compassion. They teach each other to be generous and kind and thoughtful. If anything is certain, you can’t grow up in a family of six children and think you’re the center of the universe.
|Makes my mother heart happy, this one…|
I know that in many ways, this life Josh and I have chosen will be more difficult because we’ve chosen to have six kids. But I’m certain, it will be more of the good too – more full, more rich, more entertaining.
|Walking downtown, enjoying Christmas lights and ‘open late’ shopping… I have no idea what Henry is doing… and yes, Jordan does look a little angry. I don’t have a reason for that either.|
|Notice the baby bump… determined to not let this pregnancy pass undocumented like all the others… even though I look like a goof and have soup in my mouth and Sam is… um, being Sam.|
How do you feel about big families? Comments have been oh, so very meager lately. So, let’s discuss. I draw the line at six – for my health, both mental and physical. What about you? And also, I’ve linked this post with Chatting at the Sky’s Tuesdays Unwrapped, because sometimes I have to unwrap the chaos of my life to find the joy always hidden on the inside.