|Happy times for Joseph's birthday. Say "Cheese," Lucy!|
It comes up so often...maybe because we are all in our mid to late thirties, and it's on our minds (consciously and subconsciously) that our fertile days are coming to an end. The conversation always includes questions like, "Are you done now?" (usually directed at me), or statements like, "We're really thinking about number three, but we're just not sure!" Etc.
And, then it moves on to who is feeling "done" today and who still has the "itch" (understanding that these feelings are subject to change hour-by-hour). Luckily, I handed around my precious baby so that everyone got a "baby fix!"
One friend in particular is the loving mother of two absolutely adorable children. She said that she has to be done because motherhood is just TOO intense. To quote her, "I go from 0 to 10 in one second." Note: I'm not judging anyone's reasons or motives when it comes to family size as I simply do not know the whole story and it's between the couple and God. But, this particular reason made me laugh. And, I could totally relate!!!
People often tell me that I always appear calm and "put together." I'm not saying that it's true, but I truly appreciate it if God gives me the graces to present this face to the world. Because, I must agree with my friend that motherhood is INTENSE!
I feel like my life is broken up into two very different animals: night and day. By night, I feel so grateful and peaceful. I go in to check my babies as they sleep and my heart overflows with love. By day, sure there are many loving feelings and moments, but there are also so many blood boiling or "0 to 10" moments!
I took my four younger kids to Target this morning. I will not go with all six children, but I can manage four...kind of! After we RAN inside (with the wind chill, it feels below zero out there), the problems started immediately. There was a special cart with only two special seats...and three children (luckily, Teresa is old enough to protest!). Then, I made a rookie mommy mistake. I told them that if they were good, I would let them pick something out of the dollar bins (I won't get into all the whining that took place from this *nice* gesture). There were multiple trips to the bathroom, meltdowns, tantrums, etc. Ridiculous...comical really!
I had as many if not more intense feelings as my children, but I did not yell or lose my smile. I was exhausted by the time we left.
Maybe being in public is actually a blessing...the same mother does not live in their home! I go from "0 to 10" at home and I don't try to hide it...my children know when I'm upset. But, I find I'm very quick to ask forgiveness and I do my best to try to avoid triggers of bad behavior (putting a tired preschooler down for a nap is more loving than blowing up at him because he's being obstinate, snacks at regular intervals does wonders, etc.). I want to be better and I'm always striving to be better, and I think that might count for something.
I always remember the quote, "God does not call the equipped...He equips the called." So, I do not deserve my 6 children, and I'm not always as good a mother as I want to be...especially at home! But, God intensely blesses me and equips me with the graces to go forward...
The best part...one "10" moment (like a big smile from my baby) tends to erase all the "0" moments from my mind (at least for the moment...).