Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Large Families- Sometimes It Is Hard

Time is getting short as we await the arrival of our newest baby.  And even though this is the ninth child for us to welcome, it is just as exciting as the first. Sure, there are some very special memories that only the first can have that cannot be replaced, but this child is being waited for with just as much excitement and anticipation as all the others. I am 36 weeks pregnant and more than likely will be induced next week or the week after. And I know that for many, inductions are to be avoided, but they have worked for us, and there are many medical and extenuation circumstances at play. That all being said, after Wednesday, we should have an official count down!

Not withstanding all the joy in the house, the last few weeks have been very difficult on me, my husband, and consequently, the kids. Heath has been working seven days a week, many of those days being 10-12 hour days. I am physically spent. I have dealt with near constant contractions for days, have had so much to prep for the coming arrival, and with Heath absent, have shouldered the responsibility of the household squarely on my own. So there are many days, I spend on the couch, feet propped up, taking it very easy to keep contractions at bay, and depend on my kids to help out with all that needs doing. 

But really, I'm not complaining. At least not here. :) I have my support system (you are amazing Mom and Dad), and Heath has his (Terry and Sue, thank you). And when we need to vent a little or a lot, they are there to take it. I've been held through tears, hugged often, and been told of others horror stories of the day, that inevitably make me bust up laughing.  And, I get to read to the Littles WAY more than normal, play card games with my Bigs, and enjoy the interactions between my children that I so often miss in my busyness. They are finding new things to entertain themselves with, and seeing a new side to being grown-up; both the fun, and the not so fun. Here's the thing, though. There are plenty that would like to point the finger at our "irresponsibility" of having eight children. That my life would be so much easier if we were more responsible with our number of offspring. Well, you know what? I am 36 years old and 36 weeks pregnant. If I was pregnant with my first or tenth, I would be exhausted. In fact, I remember curling up in the floor of a dressing room once while shopping with my Mom when I was pregnant with my first to catch some sleep while she tried on clothes! Exhaustion just comes with the territory of growing a life inside you. But, I'm not pregnant with my first, I am pregnant with my ninth. And have eight others that we are raising and caring for. And it is a full time job. That takes more than just one pair of hands. That's why each one of them has responsibilities in our household. They have chores, they keep the house cleaned. They fix meals, Bigs bathe and dress Littles. It really is an oiled machine. And it is what we have been building ever since I kissed the newly born face of our oldest.

Yes, we are all a little more tired than normal. Attitudes are shaky. And we are yearning for "the norm". It won't come necessarily once the baby comes, but we know we will settle into a new normal. And we will be happy. Thrilled with new life, and with each other. Not one of us can imagine life without ALL the others. This is the blessing we have been given. We cherish it, and are thankful for it. Even in the disasters and the struggles, we are thankful.

So we wait with baited breath for the new babe. And give glory to God for the family that He has created for us!