When people see me walking with six kids in tow I often get unsolicited comments and advice. The most common is “Wow! Six? That must be sooooo hard.” “I could never do that many kids.” “I barely survive with 2.”
People…I started with ONE baby! I had no idea what motherhood was really going to be like. I didn’t realize how much it would change me. And then I had another one… and that was hard. And then a third… and that was hard too. And then we added two through foster care… and we had to adjust again. And finally we adopted another and that was hard.
Just over eight years ago I became a mommy. A tiny, red faced little baby boy was placed in my arms and a wave of emotions flooded my entire being. I was a MOMMY!!!!
Although I had a lot of experience having been a babysitter since the age of 13, becoming a mom and being solely responsible for this tiny human being was an entirely different affair! This baby was my responsibility of every moment of every day…And it was overwhelming.
The first few weeks after a new baby you feel a little like a zombie.
Your body is tired. Your mind is tired. And your emotions are all over the place. You are so happy and so overwhelmed. It is a strange combination which can result into bursting into tears over the most insignificant things. (Poor husbands… You thought our emotional pregnancy days were over. NOPE. Bring on postpartum!)
And so I adjusted to life with a baby.
Because before this, I did not have a baby.
It was just me.
And then me and my husband.
And then me, my husband and a baby.
It’s hard. Very hard to adjust to a new life sometimes. Of course, there are easy moments. And when lots of love is involved it is not much to ask to make sacrifices and make compromises for the good of the entire family. The longer you go in this motherhood journey the easier it becomes. And suddenly, one day you wake up and it isn’t as hard.
The children, of course, know this and have to go through a major growth spurt or get sick, or some other craziness has to happen to keep you on your toes… But it gets easier.
You will soon find that motherhood with one isn’t so bad after all… And you decide to add another one!
And THAT is where regret sets in! HA!
Okay. Maybe definitely NOT regret. But it certainly feels like deja vu. Weren’t we just here at this spot where motherhood was exhausting and my body was tired and my mind was tired and emotions were insane???
And once again, you begin the adjustment phase. It’s a hard phase. But you made it through this phase with the last one. You for SURE can make it through this phase again!
This time around you are handling a baby and a toddler. And while it is more challenging, it’s not necessarily harder.
Hard is figuring out how to adjust not matter what the situation.
There are different levels of hard but each level is still hard.
Let me explain…
When my first son learned to ride a tricycle at 3 years old it was hard to peddle and get his feet to work together to peddle and steer in the right direction while peddling. That was HARD! But he kept at it and figured it out and was soon speeding down the sidewalk in his three wheeler.
We then got him a big boy bike with two wheels and two tiny training wheels. This was HARD! He had to balance himself of this bike. The training wheels helped out a lot. But he had to work to adjust to the different type of bike it was, but he determined to figure it out and adjust and in no time, he was peddling as fast as his little legs could behind his daddy’s bike trying to keep up!
In a few months, he asked us to take off his training wheels. Oh boy! That was hard too! He had to learn that there was no little wheels to keep him upright. It was all on him to keep his balance. He almost threw in the towel. It was hard again! But we had thrown away the training wheels, there was no going back. The only choice he had was to adjust and learn to peddle and balance in a new way. And, you guessed it, he was riding around the block all on his own so quickly!
The other day his little brother, who is in the training wheel stage told me he will never let go of his training wheels because it was too hard to go without them and he could never ride like Jayden. But I reminded him how hard it was when he first got his training wheel bike and he moved up from the tricycle, but he did it! Each new level is hard. But you adjust. And with some work you will quickly make it look easy.
And that is how it is with motherhood.
Each time you add a child to the mix it becomes hard all over again. And then you adjust and life becomes a little more “normal” and it looks like you got this motherhood thing down!
Don’t get me wrong. It is NOT the same with six kids as it was with one baby. No, not at all. (A LOT Less laundry!) But it is not “Harder.”
Motherhood is hard. Whether it is with one child or ten children.
What it really comes down to is this…
Don’t compare yourself with me if you have one baby. I used to have one baby and it was hard! I remember those days well. Survive these days with one baby. Adjust. Figure out a schedule. Find what works for you.
Motherhood is hard. And we need all the love and support we can give one another.
You got this! You are a ROCKIN’ MOMMA!