Wednesday, December 17, 2014

the full picture.




As I pulled into the church parking lot someone who used to come to our church was walking by. We said our ‘hellos’ and had a nice little conversation. When I told him that me and the kids were there to shampoo the carpets at the church, he began to tell me how difficult it is to have small children. He has two. I told him I understood. 

But then he said that if he had older kids, he would use them to help out. It kind of struck a chord with me since this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. Comments from young mothers about how their situation is much harder (than mine) with their small children since I have older kids to help out-- they seem to think I have it easy. 

I’ve made it clear it wasn’t always like this. Before I had a 14, 11, 10, 9 and 7 year old, I had very small children back to back while pregnant almost every year with not one older helper.
Perhaps they think my older kids just arrived at my house one day, already fully trained and wanting to serve God. Able to work and do things independently and be a blessing. Perhaps they’re unaware that at one time, my children’s ages were 6, 3, 2, 1 and me pregnant. 
I was the helper, and the mommy, and the only one to do it all while my husband worked his full-time teaching job and went to night school getting his teaching credential, not to mention his position as a Pastor and building a church replant from scratch. 
When people see me now, they see how helpful my older ones are, how much they enjoy lending a hand with the littles, and the efficient flow of a family functioning on all cylinders. 
It is a much easier place that we are in now that one of the older kids can watch the baby who is having the wiggles in service, or stay with them in children’s church, or make a bottle, or whatever the need is. And I totally get that they never saw the ‘before’. But they don’t get it. All they see is the finished product. 
It’s kind of like our church. It might not be busting at the seams in numbers and it might not be the most beautiful building, but the people that come in now, haven’t seen all that’s taken place and they take things for granted. With a wrong heart, they pick at little things completely unaware of how far we’ve come. But that’s ok... I guess. 
What works for my family right now is because of hard work, tears, laboring, laughter, being consistent, family being first, molding right hearts and an extremely large amount of prayers. Jesus! 
I am only reaping the blessing of all the work that I put into my children from the time when even the oldest were all very little and I had no help. 

I didn’t have babysitters. Wherever I went, all my littles came with me. If that was to doctor’s appointments, on errands, to church, on outreach, at meetings, out shopping.....you name it-- they all came with me. I took them along all by myself while hubby was off slaying dragons for us. 
So when you see me or read my blog please don’t for one second think how easy it must be for me now that my kids are older. Cause I will be the first to say it wasn’t always like this. And some days it still isn’t.

4 comments:

STL inker said...

that makes me sad that they think you have built in babysitters and life is easy. no matter the age children are work at any age and most of all until they move from the home you are there minister to the children.
you are doing a great job..being involved in every area of their lives.

Jo said...

This was a really interesting post. We've definitely noticed since our wee bebe was born that other parents seem to enjoy outdoing each other with how hard done by they are: "oh I have it so much worse than you, my teenagers are DREADFUL", "oh no you have nothing on me, my toddler NEVER SLEEPS", "you think it's hard with a newborn, you have NO IDEA what you're in for". Some people just seem to enjoy being the victim (dare I say it). I think what I've learned in my brief six weeks as a parent is that every stage will have its tough times, and every age is really hard work. But the joy far outweights the hardships and I hope I never take a minute for granted.

Tesha Papik said...

You have done and are doing a wonderful job! Any benefit you reap is because of all the years you have put in ALONE! I pray others would see you and think it IS possible to have so many children and still serve in ministry ...and do it with joy! You are an excellent mommy and example to us all!

Nikki said...

All of us mamas with bigs and littles KNOW. There was a time we did not have help either and the truth is we are still the mom and have to shoulder most of the responsibility even with our "help." Just today I was telling my husband how it does amuse me when people act like our family was ALWAYS what it is today. It is funny really. :) I would not have it any other way!!!