As Mom to a large family, it can be an interesting perspective. I've received so many double takes when asked if our two month old is my first, and I answer honestly, "No, he's number six."
Add in homeschooling, and it seems that the average person is now convinced that you've bought a one way ticket to Freakville. And sentenced your children to a lifetime of poverty, to be followed up with therapy as adults. I've had strangers comment on it being a 'religious thing', as if that's the only possible reason someone would have a large family, or choose home education. No completely sane person would choose such a thing. Cause, you know, people who have faith, who live their faith, can't be all there.
Here's what the general population doesn't seem to understand.
While so many in my area are gearing up to send their kids back to school, some already having started, I'm relieved not to be joining their ranks.
My children are genuinely some of my favourite people. To be honest, aside from their Dad, they *are* my favourite people, and I consider it a privilege, a blessing, and a humbling responsibility to be their Mother, their teacher, their guide, their role model.
They are wonderful, loving, frustrating to the point of tears. They make me laugh, cry, think, re-examine what I've thought would and could be. Being their mother has seen me turn to prayer more than anything else ever could...both in thanksgiving, and begging for patience, guidance, forgiveness.
|(Boo, 18 mths, comparing bellies)|
Being their mother has taught me humility. I look back over my life, the mistakes I've made as a mother crop up in big, flashing neon lights. The pronouncements I made in ignorance, "My child will NEVER..." have echoed through my ears, time and again. Instead of curling up in the fetal position under my desk, or having the urge to bang my head against the wall in remorse for my own arrogance and ignorance, I've learned to laugh at how ridiculous I was. And be grateful for my growth since.
Oh, being a parent isn't a cake walk. I'm of the firm belief that anything worth doing usually isn't easy. We're not the 'perfect' family in any regard. No unicorns gamboling on our lush acreage, where we grow every morsel of food that goes into our mouths, hand spin wool from our own lambs, weave our own cloth, sew our own clothes. Frankly, I call it good when the kids are wearing *clean* clothes, and find myself having to inspect all of them, including the teen age girl before we go anywhere, to ensure that yes, clothes are clean, without stains (is it just *my* kids, or does anyone else have that kids argue about stains? "It was just washed yesterday, so it's CLEAN!") and without any holes. And fit. My kids are also inclined to develop a favourite outfit, shirt or dress, and will attempt to wear it long after it's ceased to fit. I find myself having to employ a method of stealth that would make any spy agency proud to sneak such clothing out of rotation, because it's not worth the protesting...or discovering the outfit in question has been snuck out of the donation or rag bag.
We don't even eat organic!
My kids squabble. They tattle. They whine. They beg. My husband and I, when confronted with a child interrupting the few minutes of alone time we've managed to get together, have been known to ask, "Are you on fire?"
But...as crazy as this ride can get, there's nothing better. I love my kids, my husband, the family we are. I love watching my kids grow and thrive, and learn. I love the person I've become, and continue to grow into.
So, when someone asks me, "Why do you have so many kids?" I grin. And answer, "Because I am incredibly lucky."
They really are my favourite people.
Melissa hails from the frozen north, aka Canada. Married to 'Wolf', and homeschooling five children still at home, she describes her blogstyle as 'Erma Bombeck with an edge'. In her spare time, she likes to sleep. For updates on her house of chaos, follow her at Not A Stepford Life http://notastepfordlife.