"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Too Many Kids

Today was a long day but a good one. I watched my friend, Nutmeg's kids while she had all her wisdom teeth extracted and then spent a little recovery time coming out of anesthesia and icing her jaw. There were six children here all day and just one me. They were actually well behaved and there were no major fights or object breakages or rule violations...and I was still pooped.

I feel so dumb about it. I grew up with six kids. My mom did it without any breaks, no personal painting time, no date nights, no blogging to fire her mind. Just her, and six kids and a giant flock of chickens and no indoor plumbing.

People area CONSTANTLY saying astoundingly admiring things to me in public about my supposed patience and grit and organization (etc. etc.) because I have and astonishing four kids. I always feel kind of silly about that. I'm not that organized (although I'm improving and I do aspire in that direction), I'm not astoundingly patient (although having four kids has been very helpful for developing patience) and I have grit but not enough to make me feel any kind of invincible. I still meltdown and feel like a terrible parent and get overwhelmed and get to my last straw. And honestly, maybe its growing up with six kids but I feel like its not that big of a deal to have four children. I realize its increasingly unusual culturally but its not a superhuman activity. There's nothing beyond the scope about it. Its just four.

And yet, there I was today with six in the house....thinking...."How. How in the how did my mom do this?????" Six kids feels like a lot!!! And I know its only two more and I know that it actually worked logistically today and I know that people do it....but I just felt beyond my edge. For one day it doesn't matter, you can do almost anything for one day. But in regular life? I just kept thinking just the same things people always say to me in line at the thrift store or the grocery store check-out. "Oh my. You six kid people are busy!! How do you do it all?"

How can I feel so self-assured and yet so knocked over a few steps away? Am both humbled and embarrassed. The thing that worries me is, there's no shame in knowing your limits and making careful calls for your own life but there is danger in selling yourself short, and not living up to the challenges thrown in your path. We grow when we climb over the walls we never thought we'd scale not by doing all the things we knew we could all along.

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