A Real Day in the Life of a Large Family Mom

A few moments ago, my six-year old was burping repeatedly and loudly after finishing her last bite of cookie from an impromptu tea party with her siblings. I stopped long enough to shove in the mandatory three cookie minimum. My 17 year old was repeatedly tapping my foot under the table with her shoe clobbering my brand new, first- time worn, gray suede, low-cut boots that were helping me hold on to the last shred of feeling like a hot, groovy Momma in my mind. My 23 year old was spontaneously singing the cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Sleeping at Last. I was trying to read a blog post aloud by another mom of a large family explaining why moms with large families never share what it is really like to have a large family.
I felt inspired to write my own blog post about the topic. So here I am with my fingers typing away while my six-year old is melting down and being far to hard on herself as she constructs paper snowflakes for the front window. Don’t worry we have offered numerous times to help her. She is having none of it. The same two previously mentioned children are singing loudly to other select cover songs they choose as they click their iPods back and forth, back and forth. My 20 year old just flew out the door to rock climb. My 10 year old son left the tea party with cookie crumbs on his face which I am sure I may find later on his shirt sleeve to join his 12 year old brother who is recovering from a night of vomiting while still feeling chilled, feverish, coughing, stuffy and just in general miserable. That’s just the ones that are living here.
I spoke last night during dinner to my 24 year old son who is a new dad. Our dinnertime is when it works for him right now. ┬áHe calls while driving home from work so when he gets home he can give his attention to his own family. Time was spent both last night and today on the phone with the lets call him 28 year old son ( his birthday is in a few days) coordinating plans for his family’s stateside visit for the first time in three years. And my 26 year old called about the dentist and to get dates to ask off from work for his brother’s visit. Of course, my adorable baby-making husband called somewhere in the middle of all of this chaos to chat and share a friendly hello and a grumble from his work day. Some of you may be envisioning me complete with air traffic control headset saying to yourselves, “Houston, we have a problem.” But here is the thing…
I. Wouldn’t. Change. A. Minute. Of. It
Sure, I don’t usually dissect or describe my day to the degree I just did. For one, it is simply just my incredibly, wonderful day in the life. Secondly, maybe if I did, I would become like an Eeyore or allow myself to constantly be overwhelmed in the constant stimulation of my life.
Most of you do not often hear me complain about the intricate balance of being a mom to a large family. And you probably won’t. Sometimes we large family moms feel like we aren’t allowed to share the difficult days. And so often, when we do open up our hearts, we are either greeted with comments of ” Well if you didn’t have so many children…” or “Oh thank God you aren’t really superwoman-you’re human.” Of course I’m human and if you ever did see me with a cape on, it would only be because I was trying to hide under it or because my dental bib had shifted to my back and was flapping in the wind as I escaped the chair of doom in panic ( but that’s a story for another post).
On the flip side, when we share our triumphs, we have to be VERY careful. Let me say this clearly- it is never the desire of a large family mom to make another mom feel inferior or less than. No one is trying to look like we have it all together. But seriously, it does take a tremendous amount of emotional, physical and financial energy to be a mom. And we come in all shapes and sizes as moms to kids in all shapes and sizes with all different kinds of needs and demands. It’s apples and oranges folks. So why are we constantly playing the comparison game?
Sure I like to think I am a fun, cool, hip, patient, loving mother. And I am pretty sure I am- let’s just go with that definition. But I am not perfect- I am human. I take great comfort in being perfectly imperfect while resting in the only Perfect One who created me.
So let’s just all celebrate one another in whatever stage or season of motherhood we find ourselves. Let’s commit to breathe words of encouragement into one another’s lives. Let’s be glad for our triumphs, laugh at our messes, and cry for our sorrows and defeats- together. Friends, let’s be gracious.
Well, I just got my cue to go. One teenager, not the sick one, is yelling down the stairs, ” The Tylenol are not there.” And I shouted back, “Oh my God ( yep, that’s what I said) if I have to come up there. They are exactly where I said they are in the clear box on top of my little bookshelf in my room!” To which she replied, “Oh there.”

Plus the dog is now eating the paper snowflakes.
To all you moms, I salute you, we are in this together!

Lydia’s snowflakes she made on her own.