Friday, March 14, 2014

Life as We Know It

Not fighting - they got something in their shoes
so they were cleaning them out
Sometimes life gets ahead of us.  Sometimes it does so in a really big way.  It has been this way for me of late.

Having children is an enormous joy and responsibility.  Having three is like living on a roller coaster, and I hate roller coasters.  Now before you start fussing about my attitude, understand that it isn't the children that are the issue.  The real problem for me is the amount of confusion and upheaval that comes with those same children.  And yes, I knew roughly what having children entailed.  I ought to seeing as I am the oldest of eleven.

When I was preparing to leave the hospital after my first, the nurse asked me if I had any questions about how to care for my baby.  I told her that I was the oldest of eleven children to which she responded, well then, you know everything.  I told her that I had a pretty good handle on things and that if I had any questions that I have a really good person to go to with those questions.

And I was right about having a fairly good idea of what was coming.  What I didn't know was how different my mother and I really are.  A couple of years later my mother and I were talking and she says that I am much more like my grandmother than I am like her.  My grandmother had a hard time with the amount of confusion that comes with more than one child.  I have had quite a few people ask me if I would have as many children as my mother.  I have a stock answer for that question now.  My answer is this, "My mother is an amazing woman.  I am not my mother."  And this is not to say that I feel that she is better than me, but she has a different temperament than I do.

I am also not saying that I don't like being in a large family.  There is nothing that can compare with a large family.  Believe me it gets a bit crazy when there are 18 grand kids running around my parents' property, but I also wouldn't trade it for anything.  Mind you I have 4 unmarried siblings, so those numbers will rise in the future.

I am saying that I have a very hard time dealing with the fighting and bickering that children will do from time to time.  Granted at this point in time, it sometimes seems like that is all that they do when they are together.  I have tried to teach them why this behavior is unacceptable.  Unfortunately, they don't seem to have taken these lessons to heart recently.

As a result of the recent attitude issues I am trying very hard to find things that I can praise them for since I am doing so much correction.  I find that it makes a big difference in the way that they respond to correction if it is balanced with praise for right behavior.  I think part of the reason for this is that they know that I am paying attention even when they are not as irritating.

So earlier this week, I was having a very busy day.  ( I started doing parties this year for the soap and body products part of my business.)  I had a party scheduled for the next day and a huge list of things to get accomplished.  I had stopped by my dad's shop, I don't even remember why at this point, but I was discussing a few things with his secretary.  It was a beautiful day so all three of my children were outside playing.  We looked out of the window and all three children were sitting on a curb, in age order no less.  They were sitting there pulling off their shoes and were not fighting or being hateful to each other.  I quickly pulled out my phone to take a picture.  (I love having that capability.)

I know that there will always be days when I just want to crawl in a hole and pull all of the dirt in after me, but I am grateful that there are also those days to let you know that you haven't lost the battle.  The ones that tell you that your lessons are not being completely ignored.  And right now those are the days that I live for.

So if you are a new parent or just one in need of a word of encouragement, don't give up.  Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your children be trained in a day.  Don't give up when it seems like your children will never learn what you want them to learn.  (They will always however learn the things that you would rather that they didn't, like the attitudes and actions that we display when we are frustrated or angry.)  Hang in there and live for the good days.  Remember that if you can maintain your sanity and be consistent then your hard work will pay off.

I am linking with the following blogs:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


  1. LOVE this! I too have 3 (all girls, can you say DRAMA??!!), and when they were smaller I literally thought I might be losing my mind, but I now know that was normal, haha. They are now 13, 10 and 7, so we're entering a different kind of crazy:)

    1. My oldest will be thirteen this fall. I am not looking forward to the teen years.

  2. My mama is the youngest of 11. I just don't think I have the temperament for it either. I really like structure and routine and do not like chaos. But with every kid you add the level of chaos grows exponentially. But isn't it just wonderful when you witness one of these picture moments?

    Thanks for sharing with us at The HomeAcre Hop!

    Please join us again Thursday at:


  3. I love the picture moments. Unfortunately they seem to be few and far between lately.

  4. My grandma was the oldest of 10 or 11 (I forget, lol!). But she lived on a ranch and had to cook for 50 ranch hands. She said she would cook with one baby in her arms and a toddler or two wrapped around her feet! She wasn't her mother either and said that she had raised many babies before she had her own, so she only had two.

    We had to be quiet at her house, and she didn't seem really comfortable with the noise or activities of busy children. I can't imagine how she managed living with all her brothers and sisters, lol! She always used to tell us that "children should be seen and not heard." So maybe her siblings were quiet......haha.

    When my kids were little there were times when I really had to be prayerful and intentional about catching them in something right, and praising them because I, too, felt like I was doing an awful lot of correcting! But they are adults now and well mannered and good kids so I'm glad I stayed the course! ;) Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

  5. I have two teen boys, two years apart, for years they would fight. In TN we had three floors, and I would separate them, didn't matter they would gravitate right back to each other. It hurt me to see my children fighting, but now at 17 & 15, they are very close, and do not fight half as much as they use to. Thanks for joining us again on Tuesdays With a Twist.

  6. Hello Lois! I love that's a prize, and you should put it on your fridge at their eye level!! help them see that it's nice when everyone is calm and quiet!!
    I raised two boys who fought every waking moment. When there was silence, I knew there was trouble brewing and would have to stop what I was doing to check on their activities. Now I come from a family of three kids, I was the oldest, and I THOUGHT I wanted a lot of kids. God gave me two, and that was plenty. God made me the way I am, and I had the hardest time raising those boys!!! It was necessary for them to share a room for a few years, and that was awful. They each had such different temperaments they always fought. Then when they were able to have their own rooms, one was always bugging the other!!! They were actually their own enemies and best friends, depending on what they were thinking up, playing, or fighting over. I think they were actually learning a lot, but I was pulling my hair out with their constant bickering.
    So, why was I such a terrible mother??? I WASN'T!!! I was being trained too!!!! God gave me those children with their personalities as sandpaper, and oh boy, it hurt!! I was constantly praying, for them and me, constantly in the WORD for wisdom, constantly trying to be better, to learn more, to do it right. See??? I WAS LEARNING to depend on HIM, not me.....
    So those moments, hours, days when things are going bad....sit back, take a breath, and lean on HIM.
    HA! I sound like I've finished mothering! But no, my sons are now through college, one is an RN loving his job, and the other graduated with a degree in Politcal Science and working a great job. Both still argue with each other!!!! They are in their mid 20's, and at times are each others best friend, but their personalities still spark off each other occasionally. I am not living where they do, thank you Lord!!, but I love them very much and they love me!! Even when I spanked them, put them in corners, took away their favorite toys, disciplined, put them on house arrest, etc., they love me. And I am proud of the men they have become. And I'm looking forward to grandchildren some day..........just not too soon!!
    Each day is a gift!! Take it as such. Your children will remember things you won't about these days. I'm so surprised at what my boys remember as being a good memory....something I don't hardly think worthwhile!! But they do, and they bring those moments up sometimes. Be aware too that they need to SEE you in the Word, SEE and HEAR you praying for them, and know that it hurts you when they misbehave... Tears are good. For you and for them.
    Praying for you,


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