Monday, June 1, 2015

Mothering 8: Learning as I Go

Well, I'm doing it. I'm being a mom to eight children.

And they've just come home for the summer.

I thought this image was perfect! (No, I don't really know why either.)
Perhaps this is how I see myself. Shiny, happy pink piggy. :)

I'm learning a lot these days...

I'm learning to not be as annoyed with the extra weight I'm carrying around from the stress of 4 rapid fire adoptions. I'm working on it, but I now know it has no impact on my value. I'm working on eating healthy and getting exercise in. The weight can take care of itself and I don't have to internally punish myself for it. (Yes, this is huge for me!)

I'm learning that not everyone has to be smiling in a picture. That's just too hard. Actually, they don't even have to be facing the camera. Just proof that they were there.

Yes, if you count, this is more than 8...these are our virtual cousins we hang with almost daily!
I'm learning that sit down meals are NOT over-rated and we will fight to keep a family dinner time. 
This is the extra large picnic table my AWESOME husband made in one Saturday. HE ROCKS!
I'm learning that I don't really need to worry about injuries. It used to be, "are you bleeding?" now it's "are you bleeding profusely?" ;) Haha, kidding...sort of!

I'm learning that I absolutely MUST continue to do art. It restores my sense of self and joy. Currently, all I'm getting in is watering my porch flowers. That's a crazy lame definition of art, I know. But it actually really helps.

Routine things that need done can meet this art need cutting hair and decorating cakes.

I'm learning that my hardwiring of dealing with things EXTERNALLY is actually a blessing. I am not one of those people who you don't know what I'm thinking. I process aloud. I have to journal to even get to the bottom of what I'm feeling. Honestly, it's annoying. I wish I could sit inside my head and work through stuff, but for some reason I need to speak it out loud to have any clue what's going on. I've been bothered that I'm dependent upon others to help me through this...until recently I learned (as I listened to myself talk!) that it's TRULY A BLESSING the way God has wired me. For if I could mentally hold all in my state of awareness that's is weighing on my heart I would go belly up. The burdens I'm carrying during the month of June are so many and so heavy that I cried my eyes out silly when I realized it all. 

Wow, what a blessing I live in the moment and can't remember it all at once!!

I am learning that planning is the path to peace. With this many people home during the summer days, we cannot let things just go to chance. We had our first of many family team meetings this morning. (Today is day 1 of the summer!) We brainstormed a list of lunches and who will be responsible for making the meal, serving it and cleaning up. It helps with groceries and I actually got some of my volunteer work for Children's Lantern done while the whole lunch thing was going down!! WHAT!?!?!? Yes! How awesome is THAT? BooYah! (Tomorrow we will assign these chores. Today I said, "pick something and surprise me when I get home with what you did! Yes, it worked! And why am I gone you ask? We had therapy appointments, grocery and library run and baseball practice. Thank God for babysitting teenagers!)

Special Order Friday: because nobody wants to be a short order cook every day!
I am learning to relax. Not the kind of relax that you may think of...I don't mean sit on the couch and let the world go by...but more like the kind where I don't have to get all uptight that there are wet towels on the bathroom floor (well that's what washing machines are for) and toys are strewn everywhere (that's why we [will] have tidy hour each day). When I'm less tense as I'm going through the day, EVERYONE is more relaxed. Truly, my attitude spreads around like cold germs in November. No pressure, but really? Let's choose to be happy.

I'm KEENLY aware how fast childhood flies. My oldest is now a sophomore in high school. Fortunate for me, I also have a 2 year old. I am learning to just sit and snuggle more. What precious days these are.
And I celebrate his thumb sucking. 
I'm learning to laugh at what comes out of my mouth. Lately I've said things like, "take the bacon out of my neck!" (wearing Gable on my back while cooking and handing him samples) and "Don't poop in the living room" when he takes off his diaper and feels free to potty anywhere. My children love to savor the time I had to instruct them, "Don't throw cheese in the van!" because they were sharing a package of American cheese slices and were "delivering" them to everyone.

Now I have to straighten them to look sane.
I'm learning that sometimes my impromptu things may turn around to bite me. This is my face the day after I reached for the hair cutting scissors 10 seconds after I decided to cut my bangs. (We were going out the door...and I noticed they were long! Who needs more planning than that?!?!) I didn't factor in the fact that I had straightened my hair that morning. So when I took a shower the next day and they dried naturally...and shrunk half way up my forehead to Canada...I realized maybe I should at least take a breath's worth of time to ask myself: "Am I SURE I want to do this right now?"

And I'm also remembering that "Hair does grow!" (famous words after my BFF highlighted my hair for the first time back in 1997. She got it a bit light!) And really, who cares!

I think that if I can major in the things that matter: teaching my kids to love one another, be kind
("absorb the unkindness and be an example of love," is my current mantra with all of them) and to pray about their problems and love Jesus... then we can show up places without our hair combed and even missing shoes. 

'Cuz the OTHER thing I learned: those rules about "no shirt, no shoes, no service" only apply if you are alone. If you are in a big group, they don't even notice! Bahahahahaha! TRUE STORY!
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