Thursday, September 5, 2013
I'm convinced whoever coined the phrase, "after 3 it's just one more", never had more than 3 kids! Because let me tell you, it may seem to everyone else that it is "just one more", but to the parents raising, "just one more", one more is a lot! People say this to me all the time. And it's not usually woman of families with 5 or more kids saying it to me. It's just about always from moms or 2 or 3. So because I am asked this a lot, and I so don't feel that statement is accurate, I ponder on it quite a bit.I'm trying to find the accuracy in the statement as it relates to my life and I just can't. Let me tell you why...
First of all. If you have 1 child think about all the work, time, energy, effort that goes into raising that 1 child. Okay now multiply it by 2. I remember thinking how tough it was to juggle everything when I had my second. Figuring out schedules and nap times, etc. All my work was suddenly doubled. Okay, now put yourself in my shoes. All the work of raising 1 child and multiply that by 7. See how when you look at it from my perspective, it's not "just one more". It is the needs, wants, desires of one child multiplied 7 times. Seven behaviors to train and mold. The demands are never ending...and I seriously mean that. Don't misunderstand me. These are demands I cherish (most of the time) and that I consider to be blessings. This is not me complaining that there are so many needs to meet. While the needs are overwhelming and do get the best of me at times, I feel incredibly blessed that God has allowed me 7 little persons needs to meet. That being said...it's a lot and it definitely does not feel like, "just one more". A whole new person brings with it a whole new life of needs and wants that you have to meet. And with only one mom and one dad we are slightly outnumbered. A friend who has 5 teenagers once said to me a few years ago, "don't you feel like a vending machine". She went on to explain to me that is how she felt when her kids were younger. At the time I honestly didn't understand what she meant and could not relate to the analogy. Most likely because at the time the 4 I had were very young, most non-verbal. Now I completely understand and it's the most accurate analogy I can think of. Little people are constantly asking for something...I mean ALWAYS. My kids can attest to me saying at least once a day, "stop asking me for things!".
Those of you with 3 or less children, think of the times when you have to switch over closets and what a daunting task that is to do with even 1 child. Multiply it by 7. Think of school shopping. Supplies get expensive when you are buying for 1 or 2. Multiply that by 7. If you have 3 little mouths to feed and know your budget takes a hit due to the amount of food you have to buy...multiply that by 7. Don't even get me started on clothes shopping! You can
understand maybe why second-hand stores are our best friends! Think to the future...1 or 2 to put through college...multiply that by 7. I think I've made my point. None of this is to say that we are worried in any way about providing for these kids. We know God will provide and we also in no way ever complain that we have to feed, clothe and educate 7 kids. Truly if given the chance to do things differently we certainly would not. This is all to try and prove my point that the phrase, "its just one more", is not really that accurate.I'm not saying that raising 7 is harder than raising 3, I'm simply saying that it's not "just one more". Not to us anyway! And maybe that is because my kids are all still little. I'm sure once they are all teenagers I won't feel like a vending machine as much because they will be able to do most of these things on their own.
How do I attempt to not let the demands of raising so many little ones get the better of me. Well I cannot say I do this consistently...especially in the last few months but for me it comes down to perspective. Putting things into perspective has a way of clearing the fog and allowing me to focus on the things that matter. It's not always going to be like this. Like so many have reminded me lately...it goes by so quickly. Before you know it they are grown up! I already have a 9 year old and I can't tell you how it happened. It went by so fast! Taking the time to see the blessings in the demands helps me to not drown in the many tasks before me right now. This is a season and its a season God wants me to find joy in, which I do majority of the time. And my times of greatest clarity, perspective, and joy come when I've been faithful in spending time in Gods word. There is no denying the power it has to bring peace to my soul.
So there it is, my perspective on a phrase that has irked me lately! You may find a mom with a lot of kids who disagrees, actually I'm sure you can, but for us, "just one more" sounds more like, "ONE MORE!". But we always rejoice in our "ONE MORE!".