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Having a family of four is a strange thing. My friends with bigger families scoff when I refer to my family as large, and smaller families are shocked that I have so many. The most interesting part of my family (I think) is that I never thought I would ever have or want a big family. I was never particularly maternal. I never had the ‘clock’ ticking. Each child came naturally from a gentle nudge when it was time. I thought at one I was done, then I thought I could never handle more than two. As three and four came, I just realized my cup didn’t empty, it just got bigger. My girls bring me so much joy. My marriage has been strengthened so much by our roles changing and developing together. I think I have had the graces to become a better person throughout this journey.

One of the funny things are some of the things I constantly hear. People just seem to have the same standard responses. Normally they are:
“Are you done now?” – Not sure. For today I am, but I have had my heart changed in the past, so who knows…
“All girls?!?! Are you trying for a boy?” – Nope, I like girls. In fact, I had a priest once tell me he would pray that God blesses me with a boy and that he become a priest. Thank goodness that prayer hasn’t been answered yet. I don’t understand boys at all. Although my nephews are freaking fantastic!
“You must be busy!” – Nope. (I say as I flop down to fold ten loads of laundry while on the phone sorting volunteering hours, changing a diaper, kissing a boo boo, and cooking dinner)
“Your poor husband!” – Don’t even get me started on this one
“Better you than me” – I am never quite sure how to respond to this… ‘yes, I MUST be soooo much better at this than you??’ (which is ironic since I spend half the time trying to figure it out)

I am not thinking about joining the quiverfull movement anytime soon (www.quiverfull.com) I don’t quite fit the 2.5 children box.  I am just me.  Learning each day how to be a better wife and mom.  Learning that I can grow and that I can forgive myself when I screw up.  Learning that I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to love with all I have.

And because I love lists, I will end with this:

Things I would love my children to learn from being in our “big” family:

1. Love multiplies as numbers increase.
2. Extra kids mean extra opportunities to give.
3. Fighting is impossible to avoid, but easy to end.
4. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ are not only for guests.
5. Even mom and dad have to say I am sorry when they are wrong.
6. Easter and Christmas are about Christ, not candy.
7. What we DO is far more important than what we have.
8. We sometimes have to choose to love someone. If we rely only on our emotions, we are not going to make it very far in life.
9. Doing things to help others is not an option, it’s a requirement.
10. Big things can be done when one person starts small.
11. Ikea tables are made too small for real dinners.
12. A messy house is okay sometimes.
13. People are ALWAYS more important than things.
14. Being kind is contagious.
15. Our lives are an example to each other and the people around us.
16. Birthday cakes come in extra extra large.
18. It’s important to tell people what you need. Nobody is able to read your mind.
19. Sometimes people just need a hug. Always be ready to give one, and be grateful in accepting one.
20. Family is the absolute, number one, without a doubt, most precious gift you have ever been given.

Pray for me and my family as we pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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