It's always amazing to me how hard it is being a mom. When I think I have it under control and capable of handling it all I am completely blindsided by a new full bodied set of dynamics.
Ironically as a mom you need a strong network of faith-filled women, especially other moms to surround and support you. The irony being that just because a woman is blessed to be a women and mom, she may not be the asset to your support network.
I have loved being a mom. Did I say loved, I mean LOVED! Motherhood has transformed me in so many ways. From the time when I felt our first child growing inside me I have been fiercely protective of my little blessings, each and every one; and to date four and with God's grace and timing hopefully more to grow our family through adoption. However when I am put into situations where I have to explain what life is like with four small children ages 7 1/2 to 24 mo. Living in a small 3 bedroom household on a budget I can't help but feel the temptation to withdrawal from the Divine MaMa Sisterhood. These questions, assumptions and judgements from these women make me feel deeply sad for a variety of reasons. I find myself thinking “Don't they cherish their gift of motherhood?”, don't they have moments where their hair is on fire and all the seams are coming undone? Don't their carefully scripted dreams, plans and schedules get derailed more often than not? What is it about women who have a smaller number of children, that they can look on another mom with her children as The Dirty Old Women in the Shoe? Can they not have a gentle compassion to not put moms of larger families under scrutiny as if we were a rare disease that's anomaly or a circus side show? Just as it would be horrible for larger families to turn their nose down on families who are smaller. No one knows what another's story is no matter the number in the family. We all need each other for a variety of reasons.
These women who find it a natural extension to be snide and critical, have no idea of what blessed looks like. It's not in neat organized bins 24/7, nor is it in a rigid nap time nor is it in the freedom to be able to indulge our children whenever and with each thing that catches their eye. No blessed is in the abundant chatter, a king sized bed where there is no room for Mom & Dad, Legos in places where we thought we had cleaned and organized, in shared and worn toys and clothes, in the lack of quiet, in endless questions, in the challenge and joy of teaching manners, grace and courtesies, the mess, the unfinished laundry, the pile of dishes in the sink. I could go on and on with my blessings, none of which I would have if I didn't have all “those” children.
So if you see a family where there is an abundance of blessings running in every direction, struggling to listen, accidentally spilling their drink, while mom is sweating as if running a marathon with tears on the brink of gushing over; please don't put them on the stand nor under a microscope. Instead raise them up in prayer and thanksgiving for openly accepting the Divine Gift of Motherhood with faith, endurance, courage, creativity, laughter and at times tears. Mothers need mothers and their prayers no matter what the family size, there are more than enough blessings to be had by all.