Today, I will ramble about various illusions that I think people have about my family! Yes, I say ramble! I will touch several points that the outside world has expressed to me as their view of my family.
“You must be organized”
If only they looked at the pictures I post of Facebook! There are usually piles of something in the background! I envy those moms that hire out laundry. I have a love hate relationship with it. I love it to be free of wrinkles and smell fresh from the dryer. I HATE putting it up!!! I will wash, dry, fold and hang all day, but putting it up…..That HAS to be the magic bunny’s job! Oh that is right, we don’t have one! =(
There is nothing farther than the truth on “organized” in my office. Yes, I have an idea of where things are and how many we have. BUT really finding them, that could be an entire morning adventure! :o(
“You are so patient” HA
Did you see me at 8am when we are trying to get finished with breakfast, brush teeth and be at a 9am specialist on the OTHER side of town with over half the littles and no nanny???? That means that all 6 were 100% on mom time! Plus lining out the teenagers!
You would have choked on your words!!! I was barking out orders like a heartless drill Sargent!
*Find your shoes!
*No, not those! The red ones! through clinched lips!
*Toothbrushes are ready, why are you not?
*Your shirt is on BACKWARDS again today, really?
*10 minute warning!
*Seriously child, chew your food so that you stomach can do something with it! There are no teeth in your tummy, you have to use the ones in your mouth.
*Why are you still sitting in your underroos?
*4 yr old melts down because a sibling, age 2, moved his toothbrush from HIS spot. This goes on for over 10 precious minutes and no reassuring or deep pressure in the world will help resolve the melt down till he is mentally ready to let this act just die! sigh!!!
*5 minutes and we are van bound. Finish up and let me know where I can help. As I search for the last med log, print a behavior sheet, brush my own teeth, make sure I have deodorant on for the A/C could be out in those tiny rooms with 8 of us in them.
*check a diaper on a screaming 2 yr old that thinks she should get to pee in the big potty that she is SCARED of!
Tell me where you saw Jesus in me????
“I could never do that you do with so many kids”
The honest and hateful part of me think, You are right! Yours are self centered brats! Yes, that also describes 2 of my children! My joke has always been that “I have NINE ONLY children”. For when hell breaks loose, they all think they are the only child in momma’s world! And rightly so, to an extent!
The mom heart of me says, “God really has high hopes and a great sense of humor about the task He has assigned to me!”
I have learned there are a lot of things I can not do with this many kids! BUT I have also learned there are a ton of things I can do with this many! Like group teach, my dream. Group dog piles! (Yes, we did these with just 3 kids too) It makes me use my time better, most days. No more just hours spent chatting on the phone with friends. NOW, we invite them over friends for a chat and playdate in the playyard! 🙂 EVEN BETTER!
No more single hotel rooms. I was the weirdo that always wanted to know what was on the other side of the adjourning door? Now it is my 2 teen boys and their 3 little brothers! Hopefully sleeping! 😉
No more $200 quick trips to Six Flags! That is pure fuel money this day in time. 😦
But I do have lots of littles to laugh at the smallest of things. Older kids that can run off with dad and enjoy big kid rides. We can finally get our money out of the endless soda refills! You know those $15 cups that come with ENDLESS refills all day and the soda only costs about $.20 a cup. We make them loose money on those now. 🙂 Eleven people getting a drink, it is GONE in one pass!
One of my biggest illusions that I would like to dispel is:
“You must be RICH with all those kids”
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I WOULD BE!
According to this website:
We live right in the poverty level for our family size! 😦
Yet, we do do many things with our children that families 1/3 our size & 3-4 times our income can do.
We make choices that trim out fat when we want to do things and we then we enjoy them while we are adventuring!
I am HUGE on living through my kids! Having them gives me a great excuse to go, see and do! They get the great benefits and so do I! 😀
This one is a pet peeve of mine:
“You have it all under CONTROL!”
Honey, do you REALLY think I have control over TEN (including the awesome husband) precious & very different personalities that God entrusted to me???? REALLY! SERIOUSLY! Have you ever been married?? Had children? That is a mere ILLUSION! Sometimes even the best magician fails to provide a good illusion!
I learned this about 4 1/2 yrs ago when I had 7 under age 3. Only one was potty training and that was questionable on bio family visit days!
I have ALWAYS struggle with this flesh desire anyway.
One day, my nanny was sick, I was trying to line out the older 2 on school and get the younger ones ready for the day.
The older two were feeding on the chaos and took the reigns! So, no school for them. I sent them off to their rooms so that I could get the littles changed, fed and ready…So I thought.
It was in the middle of the poop fest that I realized, “I have no control over the kids, but my reactions”. Yes, I can get all the diapers lined up and wipes ready. Clothes neatly ready for the assembly line. Toothbrushes pasted and set up. But I could not make the children cooperate or even be quiet!
So I had to focus on what I knew I could do. I could quietly (not my first instinct) get each child, one by one, through the process. We could snuggle and enjoy the moment or I could drill sargent through.
My square personality says, “It must stay in this box! It can not touch the sides and has to be this exact color.”
God often tells me there is life outside that box that I put around myself. That day, He showed me the illusion I had created for myself!
Some illusions are good to lift our spirits, but I had fallen into the illusion that I must be perfect! So not what God wanted for me! HE wanted me to enjoy my children! He wanted me to enjoy the life He so freely gave.
Now that was 4 1/2 yrs ago and I still struggle with control. Most days, I can catch myself when I start reeling like the fishing pole that is losing to the big fish on the other end. Sometimes, I just throw the damn pole in the water and change tasks! 😀 Yes, I said give up! Not my best moments, but God KNOWS exactly how many tasks I must let go of control so that I can learn to lean on HIM and not my EVER failing flesh.
To many, this is what they see when my WONDERFUL and AWESOME family gets out of my van (with the dent in the fender from a low blood sugar, bad space judgement call made by mom on a therapy day). I can so see how they “think” I have “control”.
One wonderfully dressed dad with a smile on his face getting the double stroller out of the back or a cart from cart land while mom, semi put together, gets youngest kids unbuckled and lined up at the inside of door. Mom is giving out her normal pre-teaching.
“We will not ask for things. We will not touch things. You will be in >>> (buggy, stroller, cart, walking, chair by XXX, what ever the circumstance). We will only use our inside voice. We will keep our not so nice words to ourselves. It might hurt someone’s feelings. Wait till we get back to the van and the doors are closed before you say something not nice. Chew with your mouth closed. No double dipping unless it is on your plate. Use your napkin, not your clothes.” and on and on per situation.
Then dad opens the door, mom jumps out with orders going. She is attempting this in a soft voice but it is drill orders, none the less.
“Stand on the yellow line please. You in the buggy.
We are are walking this way!
Can I have your eyes watching where those feet are taking you???”
The older boys come out. They grab a little to be a helper.
We shop or dine while others stare and make comments. Some are very encouraging! Others are just hateful. 😦
We look like a well organized family to the outside, but they did not see the above scenario about getting ready.
They see that God is capable of taking the mere sin filled human (me and my husband) to show HIS love, mercy and grace!
(They did not see dad getting upset because mom is CONSTANTLY talking and guiding children. He thinks they should know after the 42nd time today we have done this!)
They see kids that behave, most of the time. They see kids well dressed and semi-clean. Parents that are doing the best they can to allow them experiences they may have never been given.
They see older kids doing awesome with younger kids. They can see their love and compassion to these desperate and different little people.
(I have to go off on a mom heart moment here– There is nothing like being states away from home and having a little one melt down while parents are attempting to go to the bathroom and coming out and seeing your older boys doing deep pressure and using kind words to try to right a melting down sibling. That shows me we are doing something right in all that we do wrong!)
The above is the earthly illusion that they/man sees. “A well ran family”. Most days suck! Those that know us well, know I struggle trying to keep up with the illusion the world wants to see from us! Those that only see us for brief moments are sometimes intimidated by us. Sorry for them!
Contrary to many, I am not rich, patient, or in control of anything other than my own mind. Even my mind is questionable most days! 🙂
I am good at showing God’s fruits most days!
So the next time you see my family out or ANY large and adoptive family, remember, we are a family full of mistakes and doing the best we can at the moment.
We more than likely are late and someone had an accident while in route because they jumped out of the potty line and mom didn’t hear that part!
These were just some ramblings I have had locked in my head the last week!
Tell me what you are “tossing” this Tuesday!
Make it a good one!