Wednesday, February 13, 2008

She Had So Many Kids She Didn't Know What To Do

"Oh, how cute!"- One baby

"Aren't you lucky to be a big sister?"- Two babies

"My, you have your hands full!"- Three babies

"Are they all yours?"- Four babies

"Congratulations... I hope." (With a concerned look that says the only reason I would have #5 is if it were a big mistake that I'm now regretting)- Pregnant with fifth baby.

I have often laughed at the way things change in my life with each and every baby.

With #1 I was confident and all knowing. Giving advice to any that would listen, I tried to share my wisdom with everyone.

With #2 I was so confused when suddenly none of my great wisdom was working. I had a mini nervous breakdown and learned that I had been much too judgemental about a lot of things. But still, I tried to do everything right.

#3 came along and suddenly it was all about survival. I couldn't care less if he knew his alphabet, and I didn't try to teach him every song a preschooler should know. Everyday was devoted to keeping him alive and trying to prevent him from becoming a serial killer when he was older (if he lived long enough to be older).

#4 was an unexpected surprise. I figured that since I didn't ask for her I didn't need to be so uptight with her (I'm not saying I was in anyway reasonable at this point). She was a breath of sweet, fresh air after #3 and I have just been enjoying the ride. Forget about potty training, who cares about learning to use a pencil. I am just enjoying as much of her cuteness as I can. Call it therapy if you will.

Now, my thoughts have turned to #5. What kind of mother will I be this time? Will I find myself so worn out that I barely function as a mother and instead leave my children to raise this child? Can I muster up enough evergy, by reminding myself that this is the last one, to do the best job ever? Will I finally know everything about parenting that I don't make any mistakes, or have the last 4 kids confused me enough that I will make nothing but mistakes? Will I spoil this child because I'm scared of not having anymore "babies" in the house or will I barely even know he is there because I'm too busy with his older siblings? I don't know. I hope that I will finally be able to be the consistent, happy, fun, educational, inspirational mommy that I want to be without having to turn into psycho-tired pregnant mom every couple of years. I look forward to the day when I can play hard with my kids and take them to places that I love because I'm no longer pregnant or holding a baby. I am excited to focus solely on the raising instead of on the producing =).

*NOTE: Don't worry, I'm fine. I had one of those days yesterday where I wondered why I ever thought I could handle being a mother of so many. Luckily those days are few and far between, but they always leave me rather introspective, and hopeful. Everytime I ask myself if I'm doing the right thing I feel peaceful and know that I am. I just pray everyday that I won't damage these wonderful kids too much with my craziness =p

P.S. One of these days I am finally going to make my dream Halloween costume and go out as the old woman who lived in a shoe. I already have the kids, just gotta come up with the shoe =)


Tama said...

I love your blog!! Yes, I would love to make you some "leg warmers"--knee socks without feet. You just need to e-mail me ( with your favoite color(s) and tell me if you prefer to hand-wash your leg warmers or have something machine washable(HA HA HA HA HA! I am rolling around on the floor laughing because I know you really do not want to have something to hand wash). Leg warmers are actually making a come-back. Don't know how excited everyone will be about that, but leg warmers followed ponchos the last time around too.

PS: I quit at Child #3 because somehow going from 2 to 3 more than doubled the stress and work. I firmly believe "Two's company, three's a crowd". Good luck, you're more Mommy-fide than me :)

Erika said...

I've told you before but I LOVE your blogs. Thanks for the thoughts (and the future I have to look forward to). I'm on #1 still...and want 5 :-)

Tirzah said...

When we first talked about it, 7 sounded like a good number and now I don't know what we were thinking. Being pregnant with #3, we are taking it one at a time and seeing where we get. We may be done, or have one more. We'll see what is in the grand plan for us.

I enjoyed reading this post. It is interesting how we change as parents and how our children influence each other!

An Ordinary Mom said...

I love your optimistic, healthy and hopeful attitude! Going from no children to one and then to two has definitely been an adventure. I don't even think I can imagine what it would be like to be out numbered by the little ones.

You make it all look so easy ... seriously!

Family Adventure said...

This is a beautiful post. It's been such a thrill finding you, and following you through this pregnancy is a privilege. I know this little one will be born into a house full of love, with an amazing mommy (and daddy) to take care of him/her.


Cocoa said...

"Are they all yours?" That seems to be the typical question followed by "Do they all have the same dad?" That one really irks me! It's a sad commentary on what the world is like these days.

Motherhood does evolve with each child. I feel so sorry for my oldest (I was an oldest too). I try not to expect to much of her because I remember what it was like. My husband is the third of ten. So we try between the two of us not to make any fill lost in the shuffle.

Growing up I hated babysitting with a passion. HATED IT! And now here I am with my own brood and loving every minute of it.

You know you'll do fine, wonderful actually.

Mrs. Annie said...

Came across your blog today! How delightful!!!! We homeschoolers too. As to what kind of mother you will be...I hope it will the calm mother who takes all things in stride. I'd love for you to be that, because I'm certainly not!


Holly Homemaker said...

I'm one of 8 and I wonder how my mom made it through all of us! Don't think I could do it.

Congratulations on this one...Seriously!!

Sea Star said...

I take my three kids everywhere and I get comments all the time about how many children I have. I get the "You've got your hands full" A LOT! 3 doesn't even seem like that many. Some days it does feel like I am going crazy but luckily my kids make it through my craziness alright. As long as they feel loved, get food to eat and get a bath once in awhile, I feel good.

Keep up the good work and enjoy your baby.

The Journey Begins Here said...

I love your blog. It was mentioned in Maria's (mommy of four). I often ask how people do it with more than two children. I was told that it is just crowd control after that! I eat ice cream often and for the same reasons as you. It is my favorite thing in the world to eat and I had it for dinner on Monday. I can't wait to read more of your blog. Theresa

Becks said...

Two quotes come to mind regarding your post.

1: "Anyone who says you can't love the fifth child as much as you love the first has never had five childrnen."

2: "A mother is the only person who can divide her love five ways and each child have all her love."

Or something like that.

And I always love to hear moms with lots of kids talk about what matters and what doesn't. Good stuff.

Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

Ha ha.. hope everything goes well! My mom had 6 of yea...I have to admit i did get sick of people saying " Oh my gosh there are 6 of do you do it" Like we are scienfic marvel! GOod luck!

just jamie said...

I absolutely love your honesty and bravery.

Clearly, you are a fantastic mother (and mother-to-be).

Wish I had 5. Really, I do.

Oh yeah, and I love this: When someone says, "Looks like you have your hands full." The *best* response I know is: "Better full than empty." (smile)

Jen said...

I don't think my parenting style has changed all that much with the addition of my daughter. I've always tried to focus on each child's needs and we take it one step at a time. We never had a magic number of how many kids we wanted either. So far so good!

I think big families are sweet, and I love reading your blog. Ignore people's snide remarks. People who have to justify what they are doing by criticizing someone else are probably insecure of their own choices.

Kim said...

I am #5 of 5 kids. I love having so many siblings... if you are mad at one you have plenty of others to talk to. ;)

My cousin just told me she is pregnant again. It is #8 for her. Suddenly 5 doesn't sound like so many does it?

Kim @ TheBitterBall

Sherri said...

I think it's funny that I ran onto your blog. I was looking for my best friend from h. school, google found her comment on a Johnson blog(her maiden name) and they had your link there. Anyway, I'm expecting my fifth in 7 weeks and can't quite think about it too much cuz it scares me. We always said 5 or 6, now it's 5. And yes I feel like everyone is wondering if this was a surprise baby. All I have to say is 'no'. We're just crazy. And someday I do hope to feel like a well-put together mom who can actually have fun with all these kids she brought into the world. The funny thing is, An Ordinary Mom made a comment on your blog, she's good friends with my friend. Blogging sure makes this world a small place.