Operating in pure survival mode here.
So, number 7 is here. Craziness.
How did this happen? A little over two years ago, we only had 4 kids. Now we are up to seven. I've barely had time to keep up with all the changes.
Growing up I thought maybe 3 kids ...4 max. Never 5. I grew up with 5 siblings. I knew better. Lol
Seven. Not even on the radar,
But, here we are. Beautiful, messy, nutty of a family of 9.
I get asked so many times when people find out how many kids I have...
"Wow, you must really like children?" Hmm.
I really prefer the company of adults.
Seriously, do you understand what insane behavior I deal with on a daily basis from 3 little people? When your 4 year old tries to push his 4 year old sister off the toilet mid stream because he cannot wait 2 minutes for his turn. Blood curdling screams come from the bathroom. When you gently tell him to wait his turn, he then runs to his room, slams his door and screams at the top of his lungs. Then, his sister politely comes to tell him she is done, and he responds with "Oh thanks" and acts like nothing transpired. Hmm. Most adults do not behave this way. I like adults
The other question I get asked often is "You must be a really good Mother?" Um...No. God always chooses the broken and the incapable to do such things. I would fit that bill.
Trust me, when I only had 2 kids, I thought this parenting gig was really hard. I am absolutely no more capable of Motherhood than any other Mom out there. Do you learn wisdom with having this many kids?….Sure. But, this wisdom is more like…
Don't ever attempt a Pinterest inspired birthday party unless you want to spend days stressed and yelling at your children
Keep food in the kitchen
Make kids clean up their messes.
And, yes...four year olds are capable of chores. You just have to really lower your standards.
Sorry, no magic "fix your kids" wisdom here. I do damage control.
One thing I have learned is we definitely don't live in a society that is accepting of big families. Dealing with people's negative reactions is always a cross you bear when you have say more than 3 kids. Even 3 kids makes people uncomfortable these days. Especially, the overpopulation people. Those people are just plain angry at you. The best response is to just confirm their suspicion and tell them that these children really are part of my plan to take over the world.
Sometimes after you get over the shock and awe, sometimes you hear confessions that are very heart wrenching and you just want to give the person a hug. The "I really wished we had more kids type confession." Like you are finally a safe person to understand why they would have wanted to have more. You are the one person who wouldn't have judged them if they went for three. BTW, these confessions come mostly from men.
There are also those lovely people who make beautiful comments about our family. They lift you up. Thank you for what you are doing. Those people rock.
But don't go thinking we have things beautifully under control.
While I was bracing myself for a big negative reaction from Jude and Gia...due to obvious loss of Mommy time. I have been in shock and awe with their unexpected transformation. After Michael's arrival, people would ask me how they were doing and I would answer "good." But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized, "No actually, they are doing better....much better."
Who knew having a baby sibling would be exactly what they needed?
I have a few theories about why this is. It could be one, all, or none of the following...
Theory 1: They are now a big brother and a big sister to a new baby in the family. This gives them a new title and role...solidifying their place in the family.
Theory 2: The mere presence of a baby has had a healing affect on them. Mickey's presence is calming.
Theory 3: Watching me take care of Michael is allowing them to attach to me. It makes my role as Mother more approachable.
Theory 4: All that oxytocin from breastfeeding is making me solfter. Lol. However, I think the lack of sleep and inability to drink coffee (makes Michael colicky) negates any benefit of oxytocin.
Theory 5: They both have a warped sense of what the beginning stages of infant care looks like from living in an institution (in their subconscious), and watching me with Michael has reversed that.
I do know that all my kids embrace the big family. They are already asking for more...just like after the adoption.
The whole pregnancy and birth of Michael has brought up many questions from Jude and Gia and has opened the doors for talks about their birth parents.
"Yes Jude, you grew in her tummy."
Jude:"But, what happened to me. Where did I live?"
"You lived in the orphanage and then with a foster mom until we were able to bring you and Gia home."
Jude:"But, mom. If you weren't there, who protected us? Who protected me?"
This of course broke my heart. Hearing the concern in his voice, and I could really sense he understood how vulnerable he once was.
So, we keep trying.
Joel had the sweetest reaction to his new brother. At the hospital, he had tears in his eyes when he saw Michael for the first time. When I asked him if he wanted to hold him, he said no. He was the only one who did not want a turn holding the baby, Then, when we brought him home for the first time, he told me he was ready. I asked him why he didn't want to hold him in the hospital. He explained it was because he was a afraid he would hurt him.... which is very sweet coming from rough and tumble Joel.
While he was holding Michael he asked me ... "Mom, when I get older, will I have a baby like Michael... Except the girl I will marry will have the baby?"
"Yes Joel, you can be a Dad one day."
"Mom, having a baby like Michael would make me really happy."
Michael is our little angel.... mending all these hearts.