Monday, May 13, 2013

To Whom It May Concern... A Word On Large Families

To Whom It May Concern:

Yes, there are five children.  

Yes, they are all mine.  

No I did not give birth to one of them, but none-the-less, all five are mine.

Yes, I do know what "causes" "that" (the children)...  His name is God.

No, I do not feel like my hands are full.

No I don't think your questions are funny... I think they are sad.

No, I will not jump on your bandwagon and continue to further insult my children by condoning your jokes.

Yes, I will defend these angels.

Yes, I LOVE being a mom (even when they are misbehaving).

Yes, I know they look exactly like their father... and I LOVE it!!!  

No, I am not exhausted from being a mom- I'm exhausted from being a woman.

And no, I wouldn't rather be alone on Mother's Day...  I'd rather be with my babies, celebrating the fact that God gave me five little miracles to live with, to laugh with, to play with, to have sporadic dance parties with, to teach, to guide, to challenge, to be challenged by, to grow with, to snuggle, and to do life with.  

I wouldn't have it any other way.


The Real Life Mom...

Oh, and P.S., to the 5 of you, THIS WEEKEND who chose to make your comments OUT LOUD and in front of my babies (who were all behaving EXTREMELY WELL, mind you)...

Seriously...  let's talk about manners.  Even better, let's have a chat about the little people you are unknowingly insulting.

Because, you know, they ARE people.

Did you know that when you crack a joke about the number of children in our family, that we, as parents, have to continue to explain your lack of understanding, or your prejudice?  Whether or not you, personally, prefer large families should really be a thought you keep to yourself.  I dread the thought of my children thinking they were "accidents" or unwanted.  Yes, we were surprised by each of them, but that doesn't make us love them any less.

My heart has been on a tremendous roller coaster ride this past year, and as a result, several things have changed about the way I view families- my family, in particular.  I used to crack jokes all of the time about my weight as a sort of preemptive strike- my way of protecting myself from the thoughts of others.  In the same way, I made jokes about the number of children we have and how crazy life is with this many, and whatever other unintelligent comments came to mind.  I was protecting myself from hearing what I had heard so many times before- that large numbers of children are not normal, and not okay.

But that is a lie.  A horrific lie.  It was a lie that kept me dreading pregnancy each of the four times I got pregnant.  It was a lie perpetuated by Satan Himself to keep us from enjoying the amazing blessing of children.

I owned this lie for way too long, and was ashamed to be pregnant, even all the way to the end of my final pregnancy.  John 10:10 says "The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you may have life and have it to the full."  What kind of life have I been living???  Up until recently- certainly not a full one.

A friend taught me that putting myself down allows Satan to take those thoughts and make them truth in my mind.  In the same way, if I am constantly making comments about the size of my family, or taking away from the value of their little lives, then what message am I sending them?

I believe when I jump on that bandwagon, I'm telling my children that these are truths- there are just too many of us and I don't desperately love each of them.  I'm telling them that large families are a curse, which is the TOTAL OPPOSITE of the truth.  I'm telling them that they aren't valuable- another horrific lie.  I'm telling them that I agree with the ignorant, the rude, the selfish who insist on making comments IN FRONT of them.

Another lie.

Yesterday, I was celebrated as a mom.  By our church, by my family, by our friends... I was celebrated... because I'm a mom.  And I can think of no other job title I would rather hold, than "mom".  I'm filled with tremendous honor to think of the task I have been given, of the way God has entrusted their little lives to me. And I'm reminded, that without these five AMAZING gifts, I wouldn't be a mom at all, would I?

I have friends who would give ANYTHING to have even one child... just one.  I have friends who have lost children....  so of course I recognize the value of these precious gifts.

So when I hear someone comment, my first instinct is anger- that protective momma wants to let her claws out and defend this amazing family that has been through Hell and high water together... and come out stronger.  I wanted to scream and rant and put those "well meaning... people" in their places.  But somewhere deep inside, a small voice reminds me that these people are guided and molded by what society says.  Some of the people who comment (or worse those who just stare their ugly socialite judgmental stares) are hurting, because, perhaps they wanted a large family and never had one.  Or perhaps they really are ignorant to the truth that large families are a tremendous blessing.  (Who says ignorance is bliss??)  Or, more likely, they are prejudiced by what our world says about children:

In America, we are supposed to have 2.5 kids, a white house with a white picket fence, and a dog.  But "kids" are not "things" to be thrown in to a list of possessions.  I mean- have we completely forgotten that we were all kids at one point, too?!?

Children are people.  Children are extremely valuable.  They have hearts and minds, and tremendous amounts of potential.  These children that you are insulting- they could grow up to be world leaders, they could be teachers, or missionaries, or doctors fighting to save your life, or lawyers fighting to save your rear when you mouth off one too many times...  Just sayin'.

So perhaps, in the future, you can take a deep breath... and hold it until we walk by (I'm kidding... sort of.)  Or maybe you can try to view all of these kids from a different perspective- one grounded in truth- and maybe, just maybe you'll see these children as I do- gifts to be cherished, not possessions to be counted and ridiculed.

Just my two cents...

But thanks for noticing our larger than life, amazing, fun, goofy, loving, hilarious, PRECIOUS, wonderful family...

Happy Mother's Day!

The Real Life Mom