Thursday, August 15, 2013

Nine children or One. Which is harder?

Recently, our lovely student minister's wife brought a meal to our house.  While only a few minutes late, she was profusely apologetic. It mattered not to me; I mean seriously. Free food already cooked for us? Like I care what time it comes! She was telling me about the daily shuffle we all know that includes a child(ren), work, car rides and schedule juggling. Then suddenly she looked at me funny and said, "I feel so dumb complaining to you. You have to be laughing at me as I only have one child and you have nine". And that's when my brain started turning.

We live a life of comparison. From the moment we are born, we are compared. Where does your height and weight compare on the national percentages? Who do you look like? As you get older, we compare when you start sitting, crawling, walking, talking; all the milestones are compared. Then school hits and when we start reading, how we learn, what we wear or eat, who we are friends with, and where we live are all compared.

I guess it's only natural as adults we continue to compare. Houses, jobs, vacations, they are all open for comparison. And as women, we are queen of the measuring game. How much we weigh, what we say, our domestic skills, even how crafty or uncrafty we are get compared to someone else. It kind of gets ridiculous. And can be detrimental to each of us.

So, as a mom of many, let me stand up and tell you. You are no less a Mom than I just because you have "only" one child. Did you hear that? I am NOT Superwoman because I have nine children. We are caped heroes because we grow new life inside us, and continue to nourish and raise them for the rest of our lives. The numbers do not matter.  I may have more laundry to wash, more noses to wipe, but it's just what I do. Just as you are doing what you do. You are your child's sole source of entertainment, the playmate extraordinaire.

In my moments of craziness, it's not because we have so many. It's because the moment is CRAZY.  And in your times of stress and chaos, it is not because you just have one child. It's because life is chaotic and stressful at times. And your moment is no less than mine. So please, don't feel bad any longer for flipping out in the check-out line because your child dropped a jar of jelly all over the floor while singing at the top of his lungs and pooping in his pants, just as you figured out you left your wallet at home. We have all been there, and we ALL flip out at that moment!

I pray that I said something coherent and encouraging to Jen that day.  Something like, "You are doing as you should, and right where you are supposed to be. It's not easier because you only have one child. It's all you know, and your whole life. Trust God and continue on your path following to the best of your abilities. And let Him take care of the rest". 

Moms, don't compare. You don't have it easier or harder because of your circumstance. Instead, encourage someone near you. As you lift others up, your life begins to lift up as well.