Almost 20 years ago, I thought I could master parenting with one kid, and the rest would follow suit:
Raising all my other kids would be an effortless, sweat-free cake walk and I could dust my hands off at the finish line (with plenty of stamina left) and say: Well, that was really something. I’m glad I was so focused on being a good parent straight out of the gate. Yay me!
(I’ll pause to allow you to collect yourself from laughing on the floor.)
To this day, I’m not sure why I thought it would be so easy.
But one thing is for sure: parenting seven kids isn’t like having a full time job. It’s like having SEVEN full time jobs. That I volunteer at, have cleaned a lot of poop at, and if it were considered a “real job” (ahem), I’d be logging complaints with HR all day, every day (You put the rings from my jewelry box on your WHAT?!? And this isn’t the first time???). You get the idea, I’m sure.
That’s why Back to School can be such a circus around here. If I’m not tearing out my hair trying to get my nearing adult teen on a path out of the house, I’m chasing down a school bus with MJ (or chasing after her with her lunch, her flute, her backpack, her anything), or answering my phone only to discover that the So-Called Baby’s first day of kindergarten was missed because I put the wrong day on my calendar. It was TODAY?? But my letter said the….oh….today. Yes, yes, he will be there tomorrow. Sorry about that!
So much for effortless & sweat-free!
Although every one of my kids needs something special, different or a certain way to ensure semi-success, and my calendar is impossible to nail down, and so is my timeliness and, well, brain–I somehow love it. I can juggle, I can multi-task, I can withstand kid-based torture like a Navy Seal on zero sleep–even though I’m always just slightly drowning in it all. I’m grateful they broke the mold after each kid arrived because there is no room for cut-and-paste parenting in this family. By fair means or foul, these kids keeps me going.