To the Tired Mom…

Being a mom is never easy.  Being a mom of littles is definitely not easy.  Being a mom of many littles can be downright exhausting.  So here is to all the tired moms out there just so you know that you are not alone.

I am in the midst of raising 7 children ages 12, 8, 5, 4, 2, 1, and just a week shy of 10 months.  Today, I want to crawl back in the bed, cover my head, and make today go away.  Today, I don’t feel like being a mom.  Today, I want to be selfish and wallow in my bad mood.  I want to hate the world with a vengeance and question God as to what his crazy plan is and why he thinks I am capable of this path.  Today, I want to pee by myself and maybe even take a shower.  I want to drink a cup of coffee completely alone and not share a drop.  I want to fix myself something to eat without having to then go through the process of fixing food for additional mouths which puts me in the kitchen for what feels like forever.

Today, I just want to be me.

And do you know why that is ok?  That is ok because I am human.  Albeit, a selfish human.

But instead, I get out of bed.  I say a prayer, plaster on a fake smile, and go through the morning rush to get the kids to school on time.  I run the taxi.  I turn on some music and dance with the kids because they want me to.  Today, I admit to God that I do not understand his plan but I will trust his heart, because his plan is bigger than me.  Today, I will pee with an audience while I answer questions and listen to stories and remind little ones to be kind again. I will share my coffee, my food, and my personal space.  I will spend hours in the kitchen today.  I will repeat the same warnings and give correction when needed.  I will listen to constant crying, giggling, screaming, playing…and just plain noise.

…and today, I will remind myself repeatedly that there will come a day that I will miss the crying and the fighting and the constant noise because all of that means they are here.   I will remind myself what a blessing it is to have children (and so many of them!) and what it means to truly be needed.  I will remind myself of all those men and women out there with empty arms.

and then… I will let go of the mommy guilt.  I will recognize that I am exhausted from many sleepless nights, the stress of what is our crazy busy lives, and the endless pile of laundry.  I will recognize that I am in dire need of a little break and that it is ok because when my tank is empty, it is impossible to fill the tanks of others.  I will remember that it is ok to admit to the world that I am tired because it does not make me a bad mom, it just makes me honest.  I will hold on to the fact that today is just a bad day and we all have them.

So, to the tired mommy… remember, you are not alone.  I am right here with you.

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Let me get on my soapbox…

****Disclaimer:  If you are only accessing this blog to hear stories about and see pictures of The Wynn Clan children then you will want to skip this post.  I am giving you fair warning…  this is going to be another entry straight from my heart and possibly straight from my angry fingers. ****

If I hear one more person refer to themselves as just a stay-at-home mom…. or one more person refer to being a stay-at-home mom as being less than what a woman is capable of… or one more person refer to being a stay-at-home mom as an easy job or not a job… I might explode or implode or hit somebody… or something very unpleasant.

My being a stay-at-home mom is not me settling for something less than I am capable of in any way, shape, form, or fashion.  I do not stay home with my children because I am not able to do something more.  I do not stay home with my children because I am unintelligent, uninformed, or less than the woman who chooses to pursue a career outside her home.  I do not stay home with my children because I am lazy.

I could work outside the home.  I hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science with an emphasis in programming.  I graduated magna cum laude with a 3.9 GPA(while working a full-time job, taking care of three children all under the age of 6, and maintaining a happy marriage).  I could most likely get a full-time job that pays well and is respected a great deal.  If I chose to, I could apply (and most likely be accepted) to a pharmacy school because I hold all the pre-requisites under my “belt”.  I am only two semesters shy of a nursing degree.  I have had enough science courses and math courses that I only lack the courses aimed specifically at education (and the proper state testing) before I would be qualified to teach math or science.  (For the sake of simplicity, I will not mention that I am self-educated in photography… and quite capable in that field)

I point all of that out not to “toot my own horn” but to simply point out that I could do lots of things… but I do not want to.  I stay home with my children because I choose to.

I stay home with my children because I feel my purpose in life is greater than myself.  I stay at home with my children because I feel empowered by empowering others (even if those others happen to be shorter than myself…and some of them occasionally smell bad).  I stay home with my children because I feel that sometimes it is better to work behind the scenes than hold center stage.  I stay at home with my children because I choose to sacrifice myself in that way.

We have messed up.  We have messed up big time.  We have taught our daughters that being a housewife and mom is less than a college degree and successful career.  We have taught our daughters that a career choice of mommy is wrong, shameful, or less than the girl who wants to be a doctor.  Somewhere along the lines we have taught generations of people to believe that stay-at-home moms are unintelligent, uneducated, and lazy.  Somehow people are led to believe that stay-at-home moms are just barefoot, possibly pregnant, poor souls who are popping out babies while watching soap operas and shoveling large quantities of junk food down their throats and are in desperate need of pity.

If any of my daughters told me tomorrow that their purpose in life was to discover the cure for cancer, I would be ecstatic.  I would beam with pride.  If tomorrow any of my daughters told me that their only purpose in life was to raise a clan of their own … I would be equally ecstatic and proud.  The only thing I want for my daughters is for them to find their purpose… the thing that they were made to do.  I know from personal experience the only way to find true contentment in life is to do exactly what God intends for you…anything else leaves you empty no matter how much money, fame, things, friends, or any other perceived benefit it may bring.

On the flip side of the coin… us stay-at-home moms often run the risk of making those mothers who work outside the home feel like less when we talk about our purpose.  I believe that all mothers need respect.  Working outside the home is equally challenging and deserves to be equally respected.  Just because a woman chooses to have a career beyond her children  and her home does not make her less of a mother (or less of a woman).  I placed emphasis on the beyond in that last sentence because a mother that works out of the home is not choosing a career in place of her home and children but beyond her home and children.  I do think a woman can do both and do them well.  Working outside the home requires a whole new set of sacrifices.

Most of the time when I encounter people who make the comments like I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post I am able to ignore them.  I know that the young college age girl who is just starting out in the real world has no clue what she is talking about and I can let it roll off my back and recognize her attitude or comments as simple ignorance.  For some reason, the last time I overheard someone make such a stupid comment it struck a nerve and felt the need to get it off my chest.  It is time that we all start looking around and appreciating what each individual has to offer.

I am not just a stay-at-home mom.  Yes, it is true that I am woman who is making the choice to stay at home and raise my children.  I deserve to be recognized for who I am and not to be belittled or cast aside because of my current career choice.  I am educated, intelligent, and empowered right where I am.

“I want my mommy!”

I thought about writing yesterday.  However, in true “Tiffany form” I chose to pretend that yesterday was not happening.  It has been fifteen years since my mom went to the other side and I still get anxious on the day of her passing every. single. year.  I still ache and hurt and cry.  So, I sat down today and decided that I wanted to write about my mom and that is when I came across a post that I had apparently written some time ago and never had the courage to click on the publish button.  Here is an excerpt from that post:

This was my family back in 1992.  I am the cute little one on the right. :)

This was my family back in 1992. I am the cute little one on the right. 🙂

“I always hesitate to make a post like this.  I am always afraid that somebody will mistake a post like this as a cry for attention when that is not at all what it is…

I still get angry.  It is thirteen years, 2 months, and 9 days since my mom left this Earth and I still get angry.  I find myself having to frequently pray for God’s forgiveness and his help because there are times I still do not get it.

Now, do not get my wrong.  My children have been immensely blessed with incredible grandparents despite my mother’s absence.  I have been blessed with an amazing Step-Mom who is always willing to be there for my kids and me however I need.  I also have a decent relationship with my mother-in-law.  However, I want my mom.

I am like a two-year-old stomping my foot and yelling, “I want my mommy!” but it is not going to happen.  It does not matter how loud I yell, how hard I stomp my feet, or how long I carry it on – she is not coming back to me on this Earth.

I keep expecting the pain to become less… I mean, I guess in some ways it has.  The pain is not as raw as it was the first few days or weeks or months after she left but the pain is still there.  I think it reaches a plateau and this is just the pain I will deal with for the rest of my life here on earth.  It ebbs and flows from one day to the next greatly affected by what is going on in my life.  However, there are just days that I want to hear her laugh…because it was always such an infectious laugh… or I want to meet her at waffle house at midnight because I have no doubt we would have done stuff like that.  Most of the time it is because I just want to talk to her…  I could always talk to her in a way I never felt I could talk to anyone else.  I never felt judgment or disappointment when I shared my heart with her…”

Although that post was written some time ago, it is still pretty accurate.  I have come to accept the fact that sometimes I do not understand God and I am ok with that.  I still ache wholeheartedly for my mother on a frequent basis.  I still wonder how different my life might be if she were here.  Not that my life is bad by any means…but there are things that I wish were different and feel like they probably would be if my mom were still on this earth.

When it is all said and done I am thankful that on January 9th of every year (or any other day that the pain is still just too raw) I can cling to God’s word

“Cast your burdens on the Lord, and he will sustain you.” – Psalm 55:22(ESV)

He has proven faithful over and over and it is true that no matter what burden I am dealing with my creator can and will sustain me!

What verse do you cling to when you are hurting?

It’s a New Year

I love the start of a new year.  It means a new start.  I don’t know about you, but I can always use a new start.  One day I hope to be perfect, but until then I will welcome a new start with open arms.

I have a huge list of things that I want to accomplish in 2013.  One of those things is to actually update this blog regularly.  I really would like to keep those that are interested up to date on what is going on around here.  I know that I will be glad that I updated this regularly years from now when I can look back on it and remember what was going on in our lives.  I also would like to use this space to share with you my heart on certain matters.  I want to be an encouragement to others!  Surely if God has revealed some truth to me there are others out there that would benefit from my sharing.

 

Some other things on my list for 2013:

Be more purpose minded in my parenting.

Teach my children scripture (my goal is 1 scripture/month)

Read to my children more.

Get more organized

Eat healthier/be more active

Build/rebuild meaningful relationships with family and friends

Thrive and not just survive!

 

That is most of my list.  I am excited to see what 2014 holds for the Wynn Clan!

What about you?  What are some of your goals for 2014?  Leave me a comment and let me know – I would love to be your cheerleader!

 

 

 

Never Again

We have decided that we never ever want to repeat the last few weeks as long as we live.  Life has been one big blur and poor Patrick did not get the warm welcome in to his new family that we feel he was entitled to!

However, he did get a wonderful first Christmas.  We had a lovely Christmas filled with lots of love and celebrating the birth of Jesus!  The kids were spoiled (of course!) and we got to see lots of family.  Against my instincts, we decided to participate fully in Christmas events although we had such a new little one.  I will NEVER make that mistake again.  Not only did the two super busy days wipe me out (being only 3 weeks out from giving birth) but apparently we contracted some lovely illness while we were out… which leads to the terrible next couple of weeks.

 

Any of you with children know that a young child with an illness is pitiful and exhausting.  The day after Christmas Izabella started feeling rough.  Then Elizabeth…then Emmelyn…then Joel…then Mom… and eventually Patrick.  William was somehow the only one among us that managed to stay almost completely healthy.  The little girls were first, starting with high fevers, coughing, congestion, headaches, and mild nausea (I highly suspect the flu…although we were never officially diagnosed), which resulted in ear infections for the little girls and bronchial pneumonia for Izabella (as a result of her doctor’s office telling me again and again not to bring her in …but I won’t go there.)  The rest of us, minus Patrick, started a couple of days later but symptoms were slightly different (low-grade fevers, congestion, headache, and cough).  Night time got so bad that we finally just pulled mattresses in to the living room and all slept there so I could keep an eye on everyone and actually get a bit of sleep myself (I was sick and still recovering from having a baby…sleep was a much-needed thing).  Just as everyone started to seem like they were starting to get better, Patrick started running a fever.  With a baby under 8 weeks you do not mess around with a fever.  His doctor’s office told me to go straight to the emergency room.  He was immediately admitted and they ran a plethora of tests on him.  It was horrifying and I am thankful that he will never remember it and wish that I could erase some of those images out of my head (the catheter was the WORST!  The spinal tap was not fun either!)  It was terrible to have to leave the rest of my family who were still recovering to stay with my new little one.  I am thankful that my kids have an amazing grandmother who would give them the world if she could.  I love knowing that they are very well taken care of even when they are sick.  It is nice to not worry at all when they are with her.  But I still hated not being with them and my little one being in the hospital.  I am also grateful that my husband works with family who completely understand that he needed to be with his son and wife at the hospital.  The hospital kept Patrick for 48 hours to be sure that the illness was not bacterial.  In the end, it was determined that it was a viral illness and had to run its course.  The result of our weekend stay was no sleep for me and a thrush infection for Patrick (and thus me) from the antibiotics.  We are still trying to get rid of that.

 

I think…maybe…. that we are finally finding normal around here and it is a good thing because I think I almost lost my mind a couple of times.

 

I also think it might be time to take down the Christmas tree or maybe I should just cut out paper hearts and hang them on the tree and claim it is a Valentine’s Day tree….hmmm….

 

SAMSUNG

Patrick is here!!!

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling a bit off but dove in to our busy day.  I had contractions off and on but nothing that I felt meant anything.  We had our busy day as usual.  Joel finished exams at school, we picked up the very last things needed for Patrick, and got some groceries. That evening after the kids were snug in bed I started having regular contractions and knew it was only a matter of time.  I paced the house from 9:30 pm until around 1:00 am when I knew it was time to head to the birthing center.  We packed the van, dropped all but Emmelyn off with Gran, and headed to the birthing center.  We got there around 2:00 am and I was already dilated to a 7.  I am so glad we got there when we did because the rest of the contractions would have been horrible if I were stuck in the van.  Patrick was still pretty high so I sat on a birthing ball hoping he would move down during contractions…but he had other plans. I was pleased to be able to utilize Bible verses and breathing to stay in control during contractions. After only just over an hour at the birthing center, my body insisted that it was time to push despite the fact that Patrick was still pretty high. With amazing coaching from my hubby and Amy (my awesome midwife) it took only 8 minutes of pushing to bring Patrick in to the world. He was born on December 5th at 3:38 am weighing 7lbs 6oz and 20 inches long. We are doing fantastic! He is doing great with nursing but is having a bit of trouble latching well; however, I feel confident he will get it down. Our first night went smoothly and his siblings are beyond in love. Emmelyn was excited to be at his birth. William constantly touches him and talks about how cute he is…William even ventured in to our room in the middle of the night to check on his little brother and give his cute head a gentle pat. Izabella is eager to help change his diapers, help burp him, and run to him with every little noise he makes. Elizabeth just grins and caresses him over and over saying “baby”. We are so in love!!

Here are a couple pics:

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You can see more pictures by going to the Blessed Births website found HERE.

I hope to do his newborn shoot in the next few days. Depends on when I am up to it.