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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who put the "crazy" in the Crazy 8?

Going about my day, I'm sometimes approached by friends {and strangers alike} who comment "I don't know how you do it?"  I'm not sure specifically what they're referring to, or even if they are really looking for an answer.  And to ask might be construed as disingenuous.

The mammoth pile of laundry?
The never ending supply of goldfish between the seats of the car?
Keeping gallons upon gallons of milk on hand?
The unwanted facial hair?
The quantity of kids?  Oh THAT!

Truth be told, I don't think 6 kids is really that many.  But after talking to other mamas of large broods, I find this to be a very common response when folks learn you have more than the average 2.3 kiddos.  I mean, it's not all that odd to have this knee-jerk question when you hear we have 6 children.  But when I hear it so many times, it takes me off guard about how to respond.  Like my blessings, my bliss, are someone's source of consternation and stress!  I don't know how you do it? and You're crazy! are the two standard responses I hear time and time again.  No one has ever heard my # 6 and replied, "Oh MY!  How wonderful to be so very blessed with 6 children!  You must have so much fun in your home!"

Hmmmmmm... how do I do it?
When we were pregnant with #1 the joy was palpable.  
When we were pregnant with #2 there were smiles all around.  A brother or sister!  Perfect!
When we were pregnant with #3 the questions/concerns started but all were happy.  Are you gonna have any more?  It was at this time that I first heard, You know they have a cure for that now!
When we were pregnant with #4 sometimes the celebration came to an stop, and the I don't know how you do its started.  Was it an accident?
When we adopted #5 and #6  the You're Crazy! factor was thrust upon us, and rather than fight it, I just decided to adopt it.  Just crazy to follow our dreams and the Lord.  And PS- Our dreams were never the same after we walked into an orphanage half-way across the world and saw the hundreds of children who would never know the security of unconditional parental love.  Those who are the "least of these."

Hmmmmmm... so how do I do it?
  • With prayer every morning before I get up.  Help me Lord be the best that you'd have me be
  • With the consolation that I'll never do it perfectly.  And to me that means that my temper may be short at times, I may holler more than I prefer, there will be times I will not do my best, and surely I will forget something important soon.  Simultaneously trying my best and laying the rest at His feet.
  • With the consolation that I can only do the best that I know how to do on this day.  Maybe tomorrow I'll know better, and then I'll do it better tomorrow.  But for today, my best is all I can do.
  • Knowing that He perfectly picked me 6 times to be my children's mama, complete with my shortcomings, {and MAN is my floor dirty today!}
It doesn't matter if I were to have 1 child or 2 or 4 or 6 or 10.  I would do it the same way.  Nothing really different from the way mamas all over do it.  

That's how I do it.  Same as everyone else.  I've found no magic pill that creates an extra 2 hours per day, but there are days that I'd sure like to!  Most days I love doing it.  Some days I don't.  Most days, doing it is a pleasure.  Most times someone does something that makes me laugh out loud.  Some days not so much.

I guess I do it just like everybody else.  


  1. The "how do you do it?" question I have is: How do you get a 3-year old to grip a pencil so nicely? Pretty amazing.

    I'm one of 5. My mother, one of 9 and a daughter of two parents each one of 13, always said that having any number beyond 2 children was a different category than those with 3 or more, and that after 3, it doesn't matter how many you add. You're outnumbered, pure and simple, and, if you didn't start out being a person of faith and trust in God, you'd better start being one at that point! Your family looks like a whole lot of life, love, and fun from my angle.
    ~Michelle F.

  2. "if you didn't start out being a person of faith and trust in God, you'd better start being one at that point!"
    THAT'S FUNNY! And so true!
    That pencil grip is a remnant of my teaching days. Gotta love that he has the paper turned upside down!
    Michelle-I always love your wisdom! Thx,

  3. I have found that becoming a first-time mom at the age of 48 really humbled me. There is no perfect parent but I still do wonder how you do it!! :)

  4. What a beautiful articulation of my life! I've gotten so many questions since we decided to add three to our family. Now with 5 people wonder often "how I do it" and way too often tend to put me on some kind of pedestal - as if I am somehow doing something that they could NEVER do:). But, just like you, I do it just like them, sometimes well and sometimes not and always with a lot of prayer and a healthy dose of daily grace.

    And for the record, "How wonderful to be so very blessed with 6 children! You must have so much fun in your home!"

  5. I love your philosophy expressed so beautifully here. If I may tentatively raise my hand as someone who's been guilty of asking a question like that before, I think people may sometimes mean, "How do you do it while maintaining your sanity, while some days I struggle to stay calm with just three?" Because we don't get to see the moments when that mom-of-six falters or falls apart. I guess we tend to put other folks on pedestals too much ...

  6. preach it. learning to accept that i can't ever be enough.

    it sucks.

    and i am desperately in need of those extra two hours. or two more arms. today i wanted to fee jesse and johnny and myself at the same time. two arms could have really made it work. ;)

    you are my hero.

  7. Hannah-I don't maintain my sanity. It's real easy to look like you have it all together when someone is watching you/when someone else is there! We all struggle no matter how many kiddos we have. Yep, you got it... too many pedestals. I certainly don't deserve one!

  8. Staci- You didn't tell me you needed more arms! That I CAN do! I'll send you the pills in the mail.

  9. I love this, I get, "I don't know how you do it" alot too. But I must tell you, not too long ago in a store in line I got to talking with the woman in line behind me, and she was the first and the ONLY to say, "good for you,what a joy and a blessing!? That will carry with me forever :o) Thank you random store lady :o) I would agree, I like our four, I don't think it is ALOT either. I was sad when our 3rd/4th wasn't celebrated by some family and friends the way the first 2 were, as each one is a gift and just as joyful as the last one! It's funny, as we added to our family, some of the ones we loved kind of dropped away too-but fulfilling God's purpose isn't always easy on earth, but it is worth it. I am so proud of you. Insanity and all!

  10. Auntie S-
    Oh YES, thank you random store lady!!!!
    And thank you for cruising down the path with me! Your sister-in-canning,


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