I just stumbled upon this blog called Raising Five (you guessed it, this lucky mom is “A Christian woman, wife and chaos manager for five kids, from preschool to high school.”) She looks good for a mother of five, doesn’t she??
Among many reasons to love her (she’s funny, she makes baby blankets, she gardens, and she admits, like most of us, that she has OFFICIALLY become her mother) is the fact that although she really does seem to have her act together, she struggles and gets that out of control feeling, like the rest of us parents:
As usual, I went back and read some of my journal from the years when I had three preschoolers. Would you like to know some of the topics? Oh, there were the usual cute antics that made for some of my fondest memories.
But in there were also headings like this: “I’m exhausted.” “Frustrated. ” “ Frustrated, again.” “I’m losing it. ” The preschool years were some of the greatest years (certainly the cutest!), but they were also some of the absolute hardest times of our marriage and parenting. You are NOT crazy for feeling this way.
One of my most out-of-control times (there have been many!) was when I was pregnant with our third child. I was on bedrest for sixteen weeks (almost four whole months!). My body was wanting to go into labor constantly. I was not able to work (I had a part-time job at the time), so we had financial strain. Thankfully, some kind friends helped me with housework, but I was so embarrassed that someone would have to fold my underwear and clean my toilets!
And some words of wisdom:
I spent much of my early years trying to do everything perfectly. Somehow I got the idea that if I did everything right – if I love my kids enough, use just the right discipline techniques, if I train them well enough in how to behave – I would never have to struggle in parenting them.
My delusion even somehow included the idea that conflict would even disappear from my home, because I was doing everything properly... It was a delusion, alright.… If only I had known it is not so much about being perfect – and the guilt and exhaustion that inevitably accompany it – as it is about not giving up.
Looking at this picture makes you want to go have a few more kids yourself, doesn’t it?? They’re just one big happy family!