I’ve been getting lots of questions from moms of little ones. I keep hearing from you that you are overwhelmed and discouraged. I wish I could wrap my arms around each of you and tell you it will be OK. But since I can’t, I am so glad there is One that can.
It’s tough having a whole mess of little kids. No one can really help you and all day long you are trying to hang on to some sense of control, at least enough to get a decent meal on the table and not have any huge emergencies. The standards that you used to have….a clean house and relaxing evenings are gone and replaced with just wanting to be dressed and maybe have a thought that doesn’t involve poop or broken toys.So sorry for the grainy images…these were all taken before the amazing digital cameras we have now.
Grace, Hope, Patience (weeks old), Jacob & Faith
I’ve been there. I remember when I had Patience, baby number 5 in 7 years. My family and friends wondered what had happened to the old Lisa…the one that was organized and well groomed. She’s gone folks, never to be seen again. Oh sure, I may be able to get a shower these days, but something happens by the time you have your 7th child in 11 years. I’m convince part of my ability to memorize and learn came out with baby number 7, along with other yucky stuff.
Jacob, Grace, Noah (9 mos), Faith, Patience & Hope
But here’s the good news…..it gets better. I want to encourage you to let go of expectations and be yourself. Don’t look around at what others are doing and think you should be doing more. You are raising children and that’s enough for a while. There is time for service outside of the home when they are all big and capable.
Jacob, Faith, Noah, Adam, Patience, Hope, Grace and Elijah (days old)
I know it’s lonely. Try to make a friend or two (not 100) that you can spend time with a couple of days a month. Don’t worry too much about school. Sometimes it won’t get done. That’s OK. The kids are going to be fine and smart and amazing despite your shortcomings. Loving them and being patient and godly is far more important than math or grammar. And believe it or not, they still learn all of that.
The whole family right after Levi was born
Do little things to make it easy on yourself. Use paper plates, have everyone use the same cup all day, limit the amount of toys, do one tiny thing each day that makes you feel better…even if it’s just straightening a shelf. One little thing to make you feel normal. Some days just brushing your teeth will have to be that one thing.
I can’t stress enough the importance of training your children. Teach them to put away their toys when they are told, sit quietly at the dinner table, put their dirty clothes in the hamper, go to bed without trouble, etc. It requires constant reminding and creative discipline, but it pays off…..in their lives as well as yours. You are not only creating a more peaceful home, you are gifting them with self-control and joy.
Also, don’t let your children fool you. They don’t “need” you as much as they would like for you to believe. “Mommy! Mommy!” all day long isn’t necessary. Teach them to wait, get over little problems on their own and sometimes just leave you alone. A little hunger and thirst won’t kill them. If you need a quiet minute they should know, while you love them, you aren’t going to stop what you need to do for their every little whim.
Now that I am past those days of all little ones, I can see how precious those times were….kind of a blur, but precious nonetheless.
Take a breath, enjoy your babies, let your husband know what you need, tell God your troubles and ask Him to show you what you can change to make it better.
And remember…it passes by so quickly!
You can’t be perfect, your kids will have rough days, but the good news is…..you aren’t alone.