Life With Seven Kids

Four days it’s been this time since I did my daily writing. Every time I take a break, I feel like I should offer some kind of explanation as to why I’ve been gone from this space. I really do enjoy the practice of writing just a little each day. It’s something I do just for me, not for anybody else, and that’s a good feeling. Especially when you are in that season of life where it seems like your world revolves around caring for others and making sure they are dressed, bathed, fed, taught, loved, kept organized, and so on. It also forces me to think in a different way than I normally do when I’m at home all day taking care of my kids.

So, here’s my explanation this time — for the past two nights, we have been staying at my sister’s house and taking care of her kids along with our brood. Seven kids, ages 7 and under, altogether. Josh and Julie spent the week in the Galapagos, playing tour guides and translators to a group from the States, and we volunteered to keep the kids for two nights while they were gone (the kids spent the other two nights with their grandparents). It’s been fun, but crazy, leading me to wonder how people with lots of kids actually DO this all the time!

Of course, I know that it’s physically impossible for all these kids to be ours, considering their ages. And I also know, from experience that you “grow” into your family. God normally doesn’t dump seven kids in your lap all at once! You have one, and then awhile later, you have another one, and so on. I remember, when we just had Alex, I would look at people with two or more kids and wonder, “How do they do it?” I felt like I had my hands full with just my one, and couldn’t imagine adding a second one to the mix. And then we had our second, and we just — adjusted. We learned to make things work with two kids. And the same thing happened when we had our third. So, I know this principle would hold true if our family continued to grow.

At the same time, though, I am thankful we DON’T have seven kids right now. Before I had any children of my own, I used to think having a large family would be cool. And don’t get me wrong — I still think large families are awesome! I know there are lots of benefits to growing up in a large family, and I stand in awe of families like the Duggars with their 20+ kids. But the more years I put under my belt as a mother, the more I think that maybe I just wasn’t cut out to be the mother of lots of kids. And a smaller family is definitely more conducive, logistically speaking, to life on the mission field!

We have had lots of fun these past few days with seven kids. We made Valentine cards; we had pizza for dinner one night; we made and decorated Valentine cupcakes — and ate them of course! I read stories at night with a tangle of children all either sitting on my lap or pressed in against my sides or hanging over my shoulders. I brushed and braided my nieces hair. I walked them to school this morning, and they proudly showed me their classrooms. It’s been an enjoyable couple of days!

At the same time, I think I’ll be glad to go home tonight with just my 3 boys! These days, being a mom of three is enough for me!

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