homeschooling, large family, lifestyle, Motherhood

Motherhood ( Breathe )

imageI love the motherly closeness depicted in this piece of art that I bought from my friend over at rugged infinity (posted with permission). I think she did a really great job showing exactly how a momma feels as she draws a young one close. Even as they grow large and don’t exactly fit under our chins like they once used to we still hold them as close as possible, even just in our minds sometimes. So why do we feel like they are driving us crazy sometimes? Well because we are normal and because they can be so frustrating sometimes. Can you say potty training? Can you say baking powder instead of flour in the cake batter;and smashing a Pyrex dish 2 minutes later? Can you say toddler siblings trying to beat each other up over a dinky car? The list is endless really. No matter how many children you have there are moments where you want to hide in the bathroom and call your bestie while you sneak chocolate into your system. Listen, motherhood is a tough gig and it’s important to remember that no Mom is perfect. So cut yourself a break.

I made a vow to myself about a dozen years ago. That vow was to do my best every day and go to bed happy, knowing that I had accomplished my goal. I still repeat this vow to myself all the time. I know that I have signed up for a huge task with homeschooling and MommyHood, and being a helpmeet but I just do my best every day. I make sure that everyone in my family, hubby included, has had one on one time with me, and that I have taken the time to slow down and stop and stare into each persons eyes. I make sure that I have had a conversation with each one because I know that they are growing before my eyes.

When things start to feel tense and overwhelming I try to take a deep breath before responding, so that I am not responding in anger. I could almost repost this and add more information about homeschooling with boys, which I may do one day soon. Boys can make things quite tense, my boys anyway. I have met the odd Mom that says she has an angel boy or two but I find that mine are very high energy and so they just have different needs than my girls who are quite easy to manage.

I want to encourage all you large (and small) family Moms (especially you homeschooling Mommas) to just slow down, even put the school books aside and work on relationships and Training instead of going so hard at the curriculum all the time. Take a hike in the woods, play a board game, do art all day, teach them a new craft, snuggle them close and do a read aloud together, tell them you love them often, and remember to breathe.

 

 

homeschooling, large family, Motherhood

Break From My White Straitjacket

img_0208-e1516065291649.jpgI meet the end of fall dreading winter and snow and endless grey days shut in with nowhere to go and a pile of kids with energy to burn. I don’t know when exactly it got really bad but it did and every winter I  start thinking about how I can escape and feel alive again. I want to feel like I’m going to make it to spring where there will  be  beautiful pops of color and warm sunshine and beach days, park picnics with friends.

Every inch of snow seems to tighten the strait jacket in my mind and it feels like weeks are endless with toddlers and myself shut inside because of freezing temperatures. Getting outside requires tremendous effort but is totally worth it if I can get outside for more than five minutes before little people scream that they’re cold and want to go back in.

I fight the urge to sell my home and run away in an RV with my kids and just live on the road. I also pray🙏 like crazy. I also take vitamin D daily thanks to my dear friend Tami from Kentucky.

God is such a good father too because he knows I need to be released and have a time of refreshment.  I am so grateful to have escaped my jacket and be blogging from Orlando!!! We enjoy long sun-drenched pool days once our schooling is complete for the day. We play and laugh and walk and swim and workout in the gym and feel so connected and amazing that going back to a home covered in snow is very hard.

For a few blessed weeks our lives are tapped into a state of living that all Floridians experience as normal. I have to admit that every time the fall season rolls around I feel completely abnormal that I will soon be living in a snow filled land that I could not survive in without the mod cons of today.

So we run. Actually,  we pack our van huge and renew passports and we drive a loooooong time for several days until we are finally in the sunshine state. We bring our school books, our sandals, and our wonder and we enjoy each other ,Gods creation and our freedom. We enjoy the American flags, the pretty palm trees, the outdoor basketball court and fire pit at a new-to-us hotel in Columbia and the friendly generous souls we have encountered here. We enjoy the pools and the beaches and the large condo with laundry machines in the garage so I can spend time sorting stinky socks in fresh air and ☀️ , and the fun food and drink chains that we don’t have in 🇨🇦.Its all such a soothing balm to my soul . Praise the Lord 🙌🏽

large family, lifestyle, miscarriage, Motherhood

Due Dates

Due Dates come and go around here all the time, yet they mostly go by unnoticed by everyone except myself, my sweet hubby, and maybe a dear friend that I mention it to. I hurt.

I hurt because of my child gone, a dream interrupted, a vision altered by yet another miscarriage. 9 miscarriages have left me scarred a little. 8 in the last 8 years alone. It’s mostly a silent, lonely place to be as I have tried to let people in but few understand especially because I have children. I shouldn’t hurt because I am blessed. I get it, I am blessed. 7 kids total, 6 in 10 years given as gifts to me from the Lord above. Did it happen to you at this very second? Did you lose your empathy for me as most do? Well I’m here for the hurting souls that don’t have anyone that gets it.

Two years ago and a few miscarriages ago my husband and I had just found out that I was carrying another dead baby but my body had not figured it out yet. My womb was not letting go of the pregnancy and so I walked around dreadfully anticipating when my body would purge everything it has been growing  for almost 3 months.  We decided to take our children to a peaceful place on the water and walk around on the paths surrounding the lake and just enjoy some peace. However, a couple approached us with a young girl  and started to chat  with us about the size of our family. (Really Lord? Am I strong enough?) They spoke about their loss of 4 babies in a row since they’re only child was born. They had given up  hope and were so upset over their losses they didn’t know what to do. It was such a painful moment for me holding my belly and telling them that there could still be hope.  My four-year-old is a rainbow baby so is my seven-year-old and my two-year-old . My four year old was  a gift to me after four miscarriages in a row. I had just about lost hope too but not enough to not try again and then there he was.  I didn’t realize how scarred  I was at the time , until we walked out of the hospital with him snuggled in  his car seat, and at the very moment that I heard his seat click into the holder my soul jolted to attention  and I started to cry because I realized it was all real and he was going  home with me.

I get it friend , you losses and mine are soooo REAL. Those babies were real, and it just sucks that most of us have nothing more than a date on our calendar or in our journals to remind us that they were alive once within us.  Some ladies wear special necklaces with charms symbolizing their babies, some people named their babies. My dream is to one day have a piece of jewellery with a stone for each baby I carried. Each stone symbolizing the love my husband and I share for each other and for each soul that has gone on to be with the Lord until we get there.

Let only select people in. The ones who understand your heart and your loss. I believe that I’ve been given a gift from the losses. The gift of being able to cry and mourn with a stranger in a Walmart who has also lost. The gift of empathy. The gift of being able to say I understand. image

 

large family, Large Family Logistics, Motherhood

Do you have kids?Lose Yourself.

IMG_8526 (2)Lets get REAL.

Over the course of the Holidays I found myself in stores more than usual, which is pretty understandable. While buying gifts for my kids and husband, certain topics seemed to arise between myself and whoever the sales clerk happened  to be that day. They would often ask leading questions to see if they could better understand my needs as  a buyer such as “who is this for ….and how old are they, etc. I was asked if I had children and how many etc. So I asked the question back. The sales clerk looked me in the eye and said” no, I never want kids.”  I asked her if she didn’t want them because she didn’t like kids. She said “My reason is bigger than that. I feel like I would lose myself” She seemed pretty proud of herself in the way she responded . In a way she is right , you do lose yourself some what.

I spoke the truth that day. I’m not always so bold but  I replied ” yes, you will lose yourself but you will find a new self”. She was shocked and said nothing further so neither did I.

I am not my old self , I am a person called Mama who loves with a mama bear love I never knew before I had a child. I put my little tribe before myself and their needs before mine continuously. I care deeply that they feel loved and secure and that they  have all their needs met by a Mama and Daddy that love them sacrificially. I am a better person than I was because I learned what it takes to be a Mom, and what it takes to have to stay up all night with sick kids, how to be by their side as they learn how to read, how to plead with God as they have an emergency operation, how to comfort a teen that’s really down on himself, teach them about the Jesus and countless other things. Lose yourself dear Mother and be glad that you are not lost but changed into somethIng beautiful.