My best friend said yesterday that she isn't considering having three kids because I make it look terrifying (to be fair to her, it was about 10 minutes after I referred to her as a 'little crazy') But the comment made me think a lot about my attitude, my comments on raising kids, my attitude WITH the kids, etc.
This is what I've come up with after a really late night with not a lot of sleep
1. I'm an open book. I always have been. With God's help, I've changed a little since my days in high school when I was a bit more volatile. But I'm still an emotional person. When I'm up, I'm up, and when I'm down, I'm pretty down. I know some women are made a little more stable than this, but it's just not how I'm made.
2. I don't think it helps anyone if I pretend like life is always perfect. I think there's a lot of damage being done by women (unintentionally) putting on a good face and pretending that they have everything under control. I'm not perfect, my husband isn't perfect, my kids aren't perfect, but we all love each other and keep trying! I do think there's value in honesty. An example: I have a friend that recently shared with me a struggle she was having with her boys. It REALLY Encouraged me because I had always thought she was this "perfect mom" who never raised her voice, or lost her temper! Knowing she had bad days, and how she got through them, helped me tremendously.
3. I do think I need to try to change my attitude at home. I think the kids need to know how much I value being able to raise them myself. How lucky we are to have someone who can provide well enough for us that it's possible for me to stay home. I need to change my attitude about Gibbs "always working" and try to teach the kids more about the value of hard work.
4. My final point (And most important) Raising three kids IS terrifying! Shouldn't it be? I think if it's not, then you aren't realizing what a HUGE responsibility raising children should be! You are shaping lives. It's no less terrifying than being a doctor, or running a huge corporation. Lives are in your hands, decisions have to be made instantly, small choices in the moment can turn into unforseen consequences in the future... I take my job as a mom incredibly seriously. I love my kids. I fall down sometimes (ok, a lot of times) but God always takes the time to stand me back up on my feet. I don't see a need to downplay the scary, hard, exhausting times. These just highlight God's grace and provision all the more in our lives.
I think my kids would all attest to the fact that we are doing ok. Today, D and K ran around our church gym while C hung in my hubby's arms clapping and cheering the two older kids on. They all had big smiles. On our way home D told us "you are the best mommy and the best daddy. I sure had fun today" That's a good enough endorsement for me