How can you possibly give each of the six children the attention, love, support, encouragement, discipline, and time that each deserves?
There are days when I am one "Mom!" away from a meltdown.
You know, something like this...multiplied by ten times a day...multiplied by six kids.
Thank you, Angela, for leading me to that video!
There are moments when I let the voices of doubt wiggle their way in and leave me completely unable to do anything but just get through. Thought leaves my head and pure emotion takes over. I get angry at the slightest things, but I don't stop to correct my mood. I don't have time. Before I can deal with the thing that set me off, something else has happened to tear me into another direction.
Usually, I can take things as they come and laugh about it. Sometimes, though, every once in a great while, I'm just not in the mood to be a good mom.
I started to get into that bad mood bad mom funk a few weeks ago. Lots of things have been going on, one fire after another that needs putting out. I swear, if one more person in my family breaks something, I am never letting another one of them play a sport again. (The tally since January 8 is now Hubby-broken foot, Giant-broken nose, Buttercup-broken finger, and Giant came home with a swollen and black and blue big toe after soccer on Sunday. We're keeping an eye on it.) Other things have been gong on that I just can't talk about, as it's not all about me. (You know if it was just me, it would be all over this blog in a hot second.)
Fortunately, I recognized the funk and had a three-day weekend to get those sour-puss voices of doubt out of my head.
In three short days, I
1. Nursed a sick Star. (Who is still sick and didn't go to school today.)
2. With Buttercup's help, got pounds and pounds and pounds of food cooked, bagged, and frozen for later use.
3. Played (and lost) lots of games of Scrabble and Rummy with Phoenix and Giant.
4. Went on a dinner date with Hubby. (We went to a new place, and holy deliciousness. I now think about the duck spring rolls every time I drive by the place.)
5. Went to Bloomington with Buttercup for a soccer practice/scrimmage in a huge, indoor IU facility.
6. Got 2 kids' eyes checked. (All good, for now.)
7. Played many rounds of The Sneaky Squirrel Game with the little boys.
8. Got Buttercup in for the haircut she's been dreaming of.
9. Went to Mass with the non-sick members of the family and got to actually pay attention and get some extra, much needed prayer time. (Hubby had the start of a migraine, so he stayed home with Star and Cuckoo.)
10. Went on a date with Phoenix to the antique mall. He's been wanting to go for a while, but there is no way I'm going with all six kids. We finally had a chance last night, so the two of us spent over two hours taking our time and perusing the entire place. We then went out for a pleasant dinner, where I didn't one time embarrass him by bringing up the subject of girls.
11. Got lots and lots of hugs and cuddles from all the kids.
I was able to kick the voices to the curb and get back on track. It's a good feeling.
And it's a feeling I can only have because I am not raising these children on my own.
While I was cooking, Hubby was playing plenty of games with the boys.
While I was in Bloomington, Hubby did a mess of laundry. (So much laundry that I didn't even get upset when he washed and dried my favorite, dry-clean only pants.)
While I was at the mall with Phoenix, Hubby made dinner and got the other kids to bed.
While he was home, Hubby kept the "Mom!" cries to a minimum.
To answer the question, I can't. I can't give them all the attention, love, support, encouragement, discipline, and time that they need.
I'm not supposed to.
When those doubts start creeping in, when I start to feel like I'm failing, I need to step back and name my problem.
My problem isn't too many needy children.
My problem isn't my inabilities and inadequacies.
My problem is my inflated ego, thinking that I am the only one influencing these children's lives.
My children are who they are, not just because of me, but because they have a wonderful father here on earth and a God in heaven who guides them and loves them better than I ever could.
Darn good thing.
Now, if only I could teach them to say, "Dad!" a little more often.