My friend and I sat and talked under an umbrella a few nights ago. Rain was dripping over our heads and the swim meet we were waiting on had been delayed. This good old friend is in the thick of raising 7 children and we share so many of the same feelings about families.
Our discussion came to the humongous difficulty of planning and taking breaks from motherhood. Dates, little trips with your husband, a full night of sleep, a bathroom stop by yourself. Lets face it, sometimes when you are in the trenches, once in a while you need to climb out and catch your breath. But it feels like an impossible task, even when you have a huge extended family. Most people think "big family" equals "big help" but it actually just means more needs and more concerns. It can also mean more love and more fun but you learn quickly in a big family that your needs are not the only needs. We talked about the unique demands on Mothers in this day and in this time. Unique is the nice way of saying--crushing, momentous, unspeakable weight of it all.
Her and I have similar situations, lots of kids, busy husbands and 2 sets of grandparents that are already stretched thin with loads of other grand kids, church callings, health problems, jobs and a variety of other things. We shared our similar feelings of "going it alone."
"How will I take two nursing infants and a potty training toddler to run 4 errands in 115 degree weather?"
"How will I prepare my Relief Society Lesson with interruptions every 5 minutes?"
"How will I pick up him, drop off her, get the homework done, cook dinner and put the baby down for a nap all at the same time?"
"How will I take care of my kids while I am hunched over with the flu?"
"How will I function for another day after another night of no sleep?"
"How will I get the housework and the laundry done again?"
"How will I get the scout ready for his campout, take care of a feverish baby, referee the 200th fight and call the doctor back all before 3?"
How? I don't know.
But somehow we do. Somehow, the strength to manage it all comes from somewhere and then in the thick of it, tender mercies arrive, like that sprinkling of soft rain just when you need it most. Even if that tender mercy is just the quiet reassurance that I am not really going it alone. That Heaven is right here beside me, lifting when I cant, keeping me going when I am spent, reminding me that I am known even when I feel invisible and making up for my weaknesses.
My most recent tender mercy was getting to watch Kaden and Brylee's swim meet. They cheered eachother on and Kaden took a few disappointments like a true champ. (He swam some amazing times the week before at prelims though!) Brylee came home with 3 golds and Kaden took a tough 2nd, 3rd and 6th. All the while congratulating the winners and making goals for next time.
It felt so good to be there.
Tender mercy number two, by this time of summer I have simply run out of fun things to do and we have spent a lot of our days staying in pajamas and bed heads until way past a civilized time of day. But today, I woke up early to finish up a relief society assignment. I was able to shower and dress and do the chores, I even got all my children clean and decent by 9. A summer miracle. Then my Mom, who I have seen only a few times in this whole past year came by for a few hours. My Mom had only seen my house one other time and so it felt good to claim her as my own for a brief visit. (Albeit, I had to share her with a few sibling phone calls...back off boys, back off).
Number three comes in the form of that handsome, gentle, completely fun-loving man around here. Who I might add went through a hilarious lamination phase as a teenager. We laughed so hard about this the other night I nearly passed out. I mean, hide your belongings type phase or you might find them in a warm sheet of lamination. But, I am certain that there exists no where in the world another man so dedicated and bent on making his family comfortable and happy. He has been hard at work these last months renovating and selling our old house and finishing things up in the new house. After months of getting quotes and estimates he hired a pool company and work on our barren back yard has begun. I can not think of the comforts in my life with out feeling an infinite amount of gratitude for Scott.
And since school starts on Monday (sniff, sniff) I may get back to regular blogging. Even Ella... I have exactly 3 days left of her all to myself.
So sad, but she is thrilled and excited as can be.
So I will be too...I guess.