My day: Wake up, take shower and brush teeth (if I’m lucky), get dressed, change Judah, feed Judah, get girls up, change girls, feed kids breakfast, COFFEE, eat breakfast myself, clean up kids from breakfast, clean up, play with kids, feed Judah, naps, read my Bible, run a load of dishes and laundry, sweep floors, get kids up from nap, feed kids, COFFEE, change kids, laundry, nap, change, feed, laundry, feed, diapers…….get the point yet?
Then, throw in today’s adventure of chasing two children in opposite directions both with coins in their mouth (I cannot figure out for the life of me where they are getting them), my infant Judah screams on the floor because he was in the middle of nursing when this game of coin eating began, and my four year old is saying repeatedly to his screaming brother, in the most annoying decibal, “Judah, Juuuudah, Judah, Jooo–duh, Jude, Jooodah!”
I wish I could say that these events happen one time every week or maybe one time every day, but they are pretty regular.
I’ve become the mom in the grocery store whose kids are crying and throwing fits, because no matter how hard I “plan” by the time we’ve eaten, changed, driven and are half way through shopping, it is indeed nap time again.
Strangers are constantly raising eyebrows of disdain, and making comments. I received one recently, “you should’ve stopped after your twins” or my all-time favorite, “wow, haven’t you heard of adoption?” I’m not lying, I have been told these things. Even Oren, my 4 year old has said, “Oh, so…we don’t have a dog because there’s just to many kids right?” (I must say I find his to be more funny-than a stranger’s insult)
I am not reading to my kids the recommended minutes per day, nor am I doing all those arts and crafts that develop fine motor and gross motor control. I don’t review flashcards on a regular basis. My 4 year old does not write his name yet, nor has he learned to ride his bike with or without training wheels because we don’t have the time or energy to teach him but for a few minutes here and there. I have to admit, I didn’t throw a BIG 1st birthday party for my twins. To be more honest, I barely remembered it and then we threw a small party a month later. My kids rarely get baths nightly. Sometimes, I’m lucky to get them in 2-3 times a week.
But, somedays and more often than not, when I look at these things and the fact that were just simply in survival mode I have to wonder if I’m doing a good job as a mom because these things seem like failures.
Even as I type these thing there is a slight twinge of guilt and a little voice in my head says, “Don’t type that..your just inviting judgement”.
Thankfully, there’s a stronger voice, the one that is not tame but full of love, tells me that my thoughts aren’t His.
He points out that although I’m not being the “World’s Greatest Mom” because I don’t have what the “world” claims is the greatest, that the title I’m earning is better. That first and foremost, I am his child and that’s the most important. And second, that I’m teaching my kids God’s ways and caring for my kids out of love.
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—” Deuteronomy 4:9-10
When people make mean comments, I can graciously respond (while holding back tears) that, “My kids are my miracle babies. God entrusted them to me. That although its overwhelming and appears impossible, that they are my gifts, and I cherish them.” My kids hear that often (unfortunately), and they know I believe it.
When I think about Oren not being able to ride his bike, I also have to remember the moment recently he walked into the kitchen because after he realized that Annie (the movie he was watching) was an orphan and he said (through tears), “Mom, that little girl is looking for her parents. She doesn’t have any. That’s so sad, we would help her wouldn’t we? We would invite her into our family right mom?” He grieves what God grieves, orphans and the lonely people in the world, some people (while being bike-ridders) miss that altogether.
Or that despite the lack of arts and crafts, he comes downstairs crying after having colored on the walls during bedtime worried that lying or hiding it would hurt his heart. He knows that bad choices hurt our inner soul and eventually will change us. My husband and I taught him that through our household conversations and no amount of motor skills can replace that.
I might not be giving my kids all the baths or showers or birthday parties they should have, but I’ve got to remember that my lap is always open, I’m excited to see them grow, I love them each for who God created them to be, I encourage their independence and uniqueness. I’m teaching them respect and taking pride in work. Because, we show them love by serving them daily without feeling obligated, it’s a privilege. Even if it looks like were “barely surviving” by the worlds standards.
Realistically, the things I’m seeing as failures are really first world problems,I only have them because I am educated, and have wealth and can read what the “world’s greatest” should be and what scientific research says the right amount of reading or what arts and crafts provide. They really are secondary.
My kids are happy and content and all their needs are taken care of. They don’t know they are missing out on anything, because they have everything important. And, while I might not be the “World’s Greatest” Mom I’m being “Oren, Cadie, Addie and Judah’s favorite most bestest mom” (as Oren says).
Now, that title -I’ll take it!
And the rest? Well, I’ll have to trust that God has got it under control, that my kids forgive me for not showing them flash cards or throwing a huge first birthday party. And, that when these days of having so many kids in diapers who need so much care are lifted — we will more than make up for it.
“Would you believe that I’m the very woman who was standing before you at this very spot, praying to God? I prayed for this child, and God gave me what I asked for. And now I have dedicated him to God. He’s dedicated to God for life.”-1 Samuel 1:26-28