Monday, February 5, 2007
"before they had brains"
I was watching TLC the other night (awhile back) and it was a special called "Kids by the Dozen". This particular special was on a family that had 14 children - the Arndt Family, I believe. Here's a website on them: http://www.famteam.com/
One comment that particularly struck me was made by the mother. Even with her crazy life with 14 children, she said the hardest time in her life was when the oldest five were little - when she had 5 littles.
I have been having a difficult time of it lately. I feel very tired at the end of this, my fourth, pregnancy. There are times when my children are wonderful in their behavior. I am awed by how well they play together, how well they listen and obey, how quickly they are learning and discovering life. Yet there are other times, more often it seems, when I feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work I have to do. This is especially true these last few weeks/months.
So when the mother of these children says "the hardest time in my life was when I just had the oldest 5. When they were all 5 or younger - you know, before they had brains!" - I just burst out laughing!! How true is that statement?! This has been the hardest part of my life thus far. I feel inadequate and quite out of my league often. I feel overwhelmed and stressed. I feel as though I yell at my children too often (would rather not yell at all, simply handle things in a better way than raising my voice). I feel like I'm failing.
Yet to hear this woman share from her heart - share the truth that this part of life is HARD. Really hard. But it does get better. The children *do* get older. If I can just keep it up, enlist help, continue with training, keep love in the forefront of my parenting and PRAY (lots of prayer), it *will* get better. I *will* feel human again and I *will* remember that these children are a blessing.
I love my babies - you know that. You love your babies. But this time in our lives is really hard. It's okay to say that. It's even okay to say it's hard and then allow God to have control of how many children He blesses you with. The Lord never said 'Follow Me and you will have no troubles'. Nope. Instead He reminds us that He will be with us always - even in our struggles.
So there ya go. I hope another mom will read this, one who may be struggling with many littles and be encouraged. Yes, it's hard. No, I don't have all the practical answers to *fix* it. But I do have assurance from older, Titus 2 mothers that I am not crazy nor a terrible parent. I am simply going through a difficult time.
I pray I will allow the Lord to mold me through this time. That I will pray, yes. But that I will also LISTEN. That through these blessings, He will make me more like His Son.
God bless you, young mothers.
God bless you, older moms.
Thank you, Lord, for these children~