I've been a mom for almost 15 years. Wow. That's a long time doing something that I never, even in my wildest, most vivid, most lofty imaginings, ever thought I'd be doing. I want to let you all in on the things that are EASIER about motherhood than I thought they'd be, and the things that are HARDER about motherhood than I thought they'd be. Here goes:
The Easier things:
- Childbirth. Yeah, I said it, and I've never even had an epidural either! I'm too scared of the needle to get one. Without doubt or question, each and every one of my labors have been off-the-charts easy. Yet, I still fear labor and delivery, every time. I know, I'm mental. The labor and delivery part is easy-peasy. It's the aftermath that nearly kills me. I'm a bleeder. Near catastrophic bleeder. I almost died after I had Samantha, back in 1998. Yet I chose to do it again. After that near-catastrophy, Dr W made extensive notes on my chart, and we knew what to expect ever after that. So I never worried again about afterwards. It still stinks to lose nearly half of your blood in a matter of minutes though....But I'll do labor and delivery any time of day, any time God wants me to.
- Nursing. With the exception of the fiasco with trying to nurse Russell, nursing has been easy-breezy for me. And the reason I think this is is because I have prayed about nursing each time. I pray that it would go easy for me, and that Baby is born nursing well. This has been the case 6 out of 7 times for me. Hannah, my first born girl, was born trying desperately to shove her little paws in her mouth. She knew what to do from the get go. I feel incredibly blessed, and I do recognize how blessed I am with nursing. I'd love to help other mamas in that area some day.
- Having more than three kids. Having more than three kids has been soooo much easier than everyone thinks it is! The reason is that my husband and I have worked hard to try and train each child up to have discipline and a helpful nature. That is the key if you are going to have kids! And another reason it's easy to have more than three is because the first kids grow up and get older and put into practice all that we've taught them all these years!
- Living in a small house. Living in a small house with a very large family is lots easier than I ever thought it would be. I like our small quarters because it forces us to be creative and hardnosed about what we keep and where we keep it. We presently have 9 people, including two adults, one teenager, two pre-teens, and several young children, in a 1296 square foot space. All the girls sleep in one room, with the exception of Lucie, and she sleeps in our room in her crib. Russell has his own room. We love always knowing where each other is, and we love our cozy space. Though some well meaning individuals think we need a bigger house, and in theory, it sounds good, we would sure miss our small space!
- Homeschooling older kids. Homeschooling older kids is so much easier because they are self taught, and they actually want to help teach the younger kids! Even Hannah wants to get in on the teaching. I told my two older girls that they could pick two days a week which they wanted me to teach the younger girls, then they could teach the rest of the time. I think Samantha, girl number two, particularly likes it. Get your older kids in on teaching the younger ones! Give them a rough outline on what you'd like done, then let them go. You'll be pleasantly surprised at their resourcefulness and at the turn around they will make in other areas that were once maybe quite difficult as your older ones get a feeling of increased responsibility and importance.
- Finding enough energy to meet the demands of each day. This is my eternal struggle. I never seem to have enough energy to keep up with my day. I have some physical issues that we aren't sure what they are yet, and just the sheer activity that goes on in this house day to day, truthfully, I have not the faintest, foggiest, slightest notion of how I've been able to keep up! Oh. Wait. Yes I do! I know How! It's Jesus Christ, and the utter faithfulness of my Father, which gets me through. He is my strength. He is my reason for doing what I do. He is everything to me. Praise You, Father!
- Having a Boy. There. I said it. I absolutely adore my Boy. He is above and beyond, without question, one of the most fabulous young men I know. But he's, well, he's a B O Y. Are you following me here?? I'm not sure how to DO a boy. But praise God, I have his dad to lean on. My boy is not hard, by any stretch of the imagination. He is just different than me. Different personality. Different make up. With the wisdom from God, I'm learning how to parent a Boy Teenager.
- Having this much love in my heart. It sounds weird, but I kid you not, some days, my heart is so full that it nearly bursts. I am an intensely emotive person, and I have such deep feelings for these kids! Nobody told me it was going to be like this. It's both good and bad. I sometimes cry over silly stuff, and the fact that they're growing up way too fast for me is almost my undoing. I am having a hard time letting go and letting them experience things. I have never. EVER. Experienced feelings like this. And they just get stronger with every baby that God gives us. God is all wise and He knew that I needed to be a mama, even if I didn't know. He is my Help, and my soother.