Recently I’ve been feeling antsy about the summer coming and having all of the kids home for three long, fun (?) months. I have friends who cannot wait for school to be done and relish the thought of spending every minute with their children… I’m not one of those people. I was never one of those women who could find joy in pouring every ounce of their being into mothering. I know motherhood is a high and noble calling, one of the highest and noblest, but the Proverbs 31 woman is not just a mother. She is a wife, a mother, an employer, a business woman and a trader among other things. I know she sounds like a really tired woman but the point is, her resume boasts of more than just “mother.” I’ve always envied those moms who seem to absolutely love everything about motherhood and every moment with their children is such a blessed time together. Honestly, when I finally give in and play a game with the kids or do a craft, or spend a little bit of time with them, my mind is usually on the 100 other things I should be doing in the moment. Or, I’ll often do something active with them, like a soccer game or an intense baseball game, and then call that my workout for the day. I don’t’ know if that’s cheating or just really smart parenting?
Lately, I’ve been saying to the Lord, “really??? you thought I’d be a good mom for seven kids, huh?” I have a background with this issue that may shed some light on my struggles. I grew up as the oldest child of 12. I was the oldest natural born child of 8, and I had four adopted siblings. I have never felt the urge to adopt because I wasn’t sure that I would be able to love an adopted child the same as I would love my own children. Ironically, Tate, Mya, and Jada don’t feel like my adopted children, they just feel like my kids. I don’t know if this is normal with all adoptions but it’s a blessing for me and for them. That was my first set of baggage with seven kids; secondly, I really, really enjoy doing my own thing. I have a bit of a selfish streak that resents the fact that I hardly ever have time for writing or crafting, or gardening, or even just gathering my thoughts together into a coherent pattern before I hear that word, “mom” for the one thousandth time in a day. But, for some reason, in the grand scheme of it all, the Lord thought differently than I did about it and gave me these 7 wonderful, little human beings to raise. And truth be told, it’s usually about changing my attitude; I can focus on the positives of a big family, or I can focus on the exhaustion part of a big family, in the end, it’s my choice.
The transition process for our two families has gone fairly well. In my old life, I had one child who made my introspective, introverted self sort of sit up and go, “Wow, this is quite the personality, not real sure what to do with it but thank goodness it’s only one and my other three are more like me.” God must have thought that was kind of funny because one of my new kids is also just like that. Very extroverted, talkative, joyful, full of life, don’t really think before they act, don’t really get anything accomplished without a whole lot of encouragement and prodding, life of the party, crack you up, please don’t talk to me until I have a cup of coffee in my veins sort of kid. God is teaching, showing, guiding, and being patient with me on a daily basis as I navigate these uncharted territories of a new life. In essence, He’s doing for me what I need to do for the seven of them. I need to teach, show, guide, and be ever so patient with them and myself as we walk this new highway together.
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