Apparently, we have a large family.
The local newspaper interviewed us because of it. They asked us to share our secrets for managing such a large household. It made us front page news.
But, I didn’t tell them the truth.
I didn’t tell them that before I left the house I had three little boys standing with their noses against the wall because they had jumped on the furniture…again. I didn’t tell them that I had to put extra eye makeup on because I haven’t slept more than 3 hours at a whack for months. I didn’t tell them that there are days when I dread the thought of morning sickness, and nights when I wish someone else would put the toddlers to bed. I didn’t tell them that sometimes I plug my ears, hide in the garage, or lock the door to my bedroom just so I can get away from the noise.
I didn’t tell them what it is really like being a large family mom.
There is this misnomer that large family moms have it all together. They are personified as SUPER MOMS, equipped with nerves of steel, endless energy, and otherworldly patience. But, the truth is we are just like any other mom on the planet.
Except for one small difference…
We won’t tell you what it’s really like to be us.
Ever notice how moms with one or two kids feel free to share their struggles? They don’t mind people knowing they’ve had a difficult day, and some are even so bold as to tell you how rotten their kids are.
Large family moms won’t do that. They never feel comfortable being vulnerable. They never feel comfortable telling you just how tough this mothering a large family really is. You might think that is deceptive, but let me explain a few reasons why we don’t share freely.
1. We don’t want you to blame the children or the husband.
We would love to be able to cry on your shoulder and share the difficulty of our day with you, but we are terrified you will blame the children or our husbands for our tears. We’ve had unsolicited harsh words thrown at us by strangers (and not-so-strangers), so we really don’t care to intentionally tell you about our rotten days which will unintentionally throw our husbands and children under the bus in the process. No. Thank. You.
2. We don’t want your condemnation.
We don’t share our struggles because we don’t want you to say (or even think) how we wouldn’t be in such a pickle if we hadn’t had so many children. If we even remotely suspect you think we brought this upon ourselves, we will hide every ounce of vulnerability from you. We’d rather run naked down the interstate than hear you say, “I told you so,” or catch that look of judgement in your eye. It’s called self-preservation, honey.
3. We don’t want to scare you.
We love our kids and we love how many we have, and we’d love for you to see your own children as a blessing, so rather than share our struggles up front, we try to be upbeat and share the good stuff…because there are so many many blessings that come from being a large family mom! We don’t feel like clouding the truth with a bunch of Negative Nelly talk. It doesn’t benefit either of us, so rather than air our dirty laundry, we choose to hand you the clean laundry with a smile and an offer of encouragement.
4. We want you to know we love our big family.
At the end of the day, we are madly in love with the kiddos that turned us into large family moms. No amount of sympathy can override our desire for you to know just how awesome they are and how blessed we feel.
It is not easy being a mom – large family or not. But God handed us a mission field and asked us to tend and care for it for His glory. I am to love this family I’ve been given, and in the process, others see Christ through me. That is a big job, and sometimes big jobs are painful and difficult.
Most of my days aren’t stellar super mom days. They aren’t supposed to be. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
There are times when I want to give up. I want to run away. I want five seconds of silence.
But who am I?
I’m not hiding who I really am. I’m simply choosing to live as gracefully as possible. I hope you do see the real me, but more than that, I hope you see the real Christ who is in me.
Are you homeschooling a growing family? This book is for you! You’re welcome!