Monday, November 12, 2012

Mothering Many (Just a Brain Purge. Move Along.)

So. We have a gas fireplace in our living room (see an earlier post with pictures of our living room). About 11 years ago, our oldest daughter, around 8 months old, put her hand against the glass and burned all the pads of her fingers and her palm. It was pretty bad, but not bad enough for professional medical intervention (thank goodness!). I kept her had wrapped and when it was time, I expertly and sanitarily drained her blisters. Because she was so young, she healed pretty fast.

Well, it was inevitable, but yesterday, baby burned himself on it, too. We had turned it off, but while it was cooling, he had crawled over there and just as my husband turned his head to see him, he laid his little forehead and nose against the glass. OUCH! His nose is already scabby (healing quickly), and I put a big bandage on his forehead. Poor guy! Coincidence: He's also 8 months old. Hmm. 

Anyway, regardless, we ordered a fire screen and I'm surprised we haven't done it in the last 10 years. Why haven't we? No idea. But considering our success rate in preventing burns, I'm not too upset about it. 

Baby also has four teeth now. FOUR! He doesn't bite me, though, and that is a great big batch of happiness right there.


Yesterday was crazy. Why are Sundays always crazy? I used to think it was because we were doing too much, but after a lesson on keeping the Sabbath day Holy in RS, I realize that it's simply because I'm a pretty much a lazy bum the rest of the week. On Sundays, I don't sit on FB all day, nor do I have the luxury of procrastination. From 8AM until 3-4PM, I am going, going, going... but in good ways.

So, now I'm sitting here, with sleeping/nursing baby in my arms, while #5 watches TV, blogging, and thinking: "Laundry, dishes, floors, bathrooms.... buy boots, gather garbages, take back trailer... clean dutch ovens, more laundry, write new essays, practice piano... " But I'm so tired, and there is no looming timeline, and so I continue in procrastinate.


FYI: I've said this before and I'm gonna say it again: The person who said "If you can have 3, you can have 10!" was an idiot. Pure, unadulterated idiot.

Going from 4 to 5 was really hard for me. But going from 5 to 6 has been ten times harder. The pregnancy was much more difficult (due to my age?) and I never imagined how difficult it would be to mother so many --and to mother them well. Frankly, I don't think I'm mothering them as well as I should/could/would/whatever, but at least I care about them, eh?

It's no surprise to you, dear reader, that I've kind of made it known amongst all the world that we are not done having children. I thought we were. When my midwife looked into my eyes as she handed me back newly born #6 and said, "It'll be better with #7!" I laughed. Seven? Yeah, right! We're finished! Done!

It only took a few months before the Spirit started whispering... and we've had confirmation after confirmation after confirmation...

I am to be a mother of many. The emotions of raising a large family is varied and long. I love my kids fiercely, but I'm so very, very tired. I'm humbled by God's trust in me. I love Him that He trusts me so much. But with it comes the reality that I'm not perfect and I'm going to mess up --a lot. I already do.

This past year --well, really, just the last 8 months since #6 joined our family --I have been in a purgatory of sorts. I've been in a rut. Locked into a place where I'm taking a rest from pretty much everything. I can see myself from the outside and the things I used to do well, and for the longest time, I feel as if the humility I've endured is due to necessity. It's been almost like a re-set button. But how to start again?

I'm not sure how. I wrote in my notebook these words: Exercise, scriptures, veggies. And if I can get those things in every day, then I'm good to go, eh? Three things. I can do three things, right? But why is it so hard? Why do I keep missing them? Forgetting to do them?

Some will say priorities. Some will say to give up because mothers of many can't possibly do anything for themselves. Others will tell me to suck it up and be grateful my life is so awesome-sauce. And others will tell me to just do it and stop being lazy. I know they will say these things because I have said them all to myself. Many times.

I'll be 34 in a few months. I was positive that I would be finished having children by the time I turned 30. Why not? My mother was. My sister is. And that way, the kids would be grown and gone by my 50's and then I could enjoy being a young grandmother and such.

But rarely, I've learned, does God work this way. Life doesn't go according to some plan we make in our high school journals. Curve balls are always around the corner. But you know what? For me? I always assumed that the curve balls were manifested in other ways --infertility, lack of marriage, natural disasters, chronic illness --not to have MORE kids. And so I feel conflicted. I'm happy that we'll have more children, but in the same breath, I'm terrified and depressed. Does that make sense? It's such a huge blessing to bring souls to Earth, but it's such a big responsibility!

Well. Whatever. Anyway. So. I need to get off my duff. Not only do I have exercise, scriptures, and veggies --I've got so much laundry! < /br>
Have a great Monday, dear reader!  


Amy said...

I was thinking a bit lately about how having lots of kids means that sometimes they might get slighted in some areas. Then I looked at my eighth, as she was being mauled with kisses by #5 and #6, and how #1, 2, and 3 were playing a game together and having a great time. And it reminded me that kids of Moms-Of-Many have soooo many blessings that kids with only one or two siblings will never understand. How lucky!

The Wright Family said...

We were going to be done when we were 30 too! Seven kids later, and all the same kinds of feelings you have had, we are discovering how much more difficult it can be to conceive after 35. It's really been a challenge, to know what God has asked of us, but to be struggling. And to go through all of that while still being a good mom to the other kids is taking more than I expected. I know that I should be patient and just let things take their course... but patience has never been my strength. Thanks for letting me vent. More than you will ever know I just needed someone who would "get it". I don't talk about it with anyone else- no one gets why it would be painful not to be able to get pregnant if you already have 7 kids. I'm rambling now.


Michelle said...

I was talking with one of my friends about how interesting it is to see how God works. It never ceases to amaze me at how personal personal revelation really ends up being. How different life can be from the plan we had for it. And how grueling that can be, even if it's full of blessings (like being able to bring spirits to earth). It's ok to say it's hard. You are doing the hardest, most important work there is. There is a reason we hear about motherhood so much, imo...because God knows it's hard!

Of course you know my trials on this score are different (wanting more but getting a 'no')...but all that does is just reinforce to me that there is no One Pat Answer even as we all know and share the belief in the doctrine...and so we lean hard on our God as He guides us in our individual parts in His grand plan.

Love you!

flip flop mama said...

I really want to be done but am not sure that's in the plan for us either. We never know what the future brings but I've learned if we listen to the spirit it will be for our good.

Cheryl said...

Amy, this is so true! Last night our kids were dancing and I had the same thoughts.

Jill, I understand. I do. Our first three came without any difficulty. The next came after trying, and trying, and a miscarriage. Our last two have taken longer to conceive, and it seems to be getting harder. People think I should just be happy with what I have, but when it was God that told us to have more...? It's a myriad of emotions, that's for sure!

Michelle, YES. Thank you. Yes, yes, yes. I love you, too!

Filp flop, I agree. If we listen, we'll be blessed, for sure.

Carin said...

Great post, Cheryl and I feel your struggle. I seem to be having the same one. I wanted to be finished having all of our children by the time I was 35. We were done, so I thought by the time I was 35. We had 8. That is plenty, right? Pregnancy and early childhood are most difficult for me. I absolutely adore teenagers and was just biding my time until my brood was old enough that I could do FUN things with my time, like teaching seminary, being in Young Women, attending Girls' Camp, Trek. I wanted some time to do some FUN things that I enjoyed instead of doing things that were so difficult and soul stretching for me (like raising children). Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a mother. I have a testimony of the work and the process. But I wanted some time, ANY time. Just as our youngest entered kindergarten, I found that I was expecting the unexpected. I know we have a couple more. It is hard for me to give up my PLANS to follow the Lord's plan for my life and to be where HE needs me to be doing what HE asks of me instead of what I WANT to be doing. I too feel conflicted because I should be grateful for the opportunity and blessings He is giving me. There are plenty of women who want what I have but cannot have it. I beat myself up sometimes for not having more gratitude. Some days I have it, other days I do not. I just find it so interesting that the Lord requires the heart, the whole heart of each and every one of us. And because our hearts our different, the requirements for each are different, yet the end result is the same. My heart, your heart, his heart, her heart....a whole heart. Just know you are not alone. The Lord knows each of our children and our ability/inability to meet their needs/wants/desires.....and He still sent them! Somewhere in the process, the picture includes what is best for each and every one, just in our own little view, it seems inadequate to us.

Raisin4Cookies said...

I've recently had to accept the idea that we WON'T have any more, and that the road towards menopause might just be paved with miscarriage, anyway. Personal revelation, indeed.

I'm reminded of a quote by C. S. Lewis that I need to get framed for my house:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

I don't know what form my mansion will take in the end, but God does, and that fills me with peace.

Blessings to you and yours. x