This is a post from Rachael DeBruin of Diamonds in the Rough
It’s been said that God never gives you more than you can handle…I always believed that, until I had five children!!
That was tongue in cheek…but seriously, if it wasn’t for HIS grace, there would be no way I could keep up with it all.
I have received all the comments you probably have…
The eye rolls. The stares. You certainly must keep busy, hmmm….
On the other hand, the smiles from the elderly grandmother types that are reminiscing about their pre-war era (when birth control wasn’t even really an option…) & their own family recollections are generally positive.
Negative or positive, for better or worse, having a whole gaggle of children will bring some thoughts from others to the forefront. It seems many of them simply cannot hold themselves back in our presence…
I am currently raising five children, ages ranging from 14 years old, down to 8 months. I am definitely NOT an expert by any means, but I encourage myself regularly with thoughts like the ones below. Read on Mama of a large family, and always remember – you are NOT alone!
Thoughts For Mama Who Is Raising A LARGE(R) Family
1) Children should NOT be considered a burden
[Tweet “Children should NOT be considered a burden!”]
I’m assuming you already were thinking that or you wouldn’t have such a large family…but we can get so overwhelmed at times that I know I sometimes need that outside reminder. Yes, there will be stress. Yes, they will ‘cost’ you in many, many ways as in sacrificing & dying to self…but Mama, we have been SO blessed with these precious lives! Take courage in those tougher seasons (from the colicky newborn to the wayward teen) that He has blessed you with these little ones. He will give you sufficient grace for each day. Continue to draw strength from Him. Ask Him for help each & everyday!
[Tweet “Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127: 3”]
2) They are an investment and our future
My favorite comment at the grocery store seems to be, “my, your hands are full!!!”, to which I smile & nod (and move along). Yes, they are full. But it is with ‘arrows’ that will one day be poised to inflict change in their generation. I am praying, as I hope you are too, that our children will make an impact (positive) and not simply take up space. That they will be involved. That they will work hard. That they will bless others, and thrive in their respective fields. These precious children will one day grow up to be (hopefully) well-rounded adults. We may feel overwhelmed with the daunting responsibility that we face. We may make mistakes. But God’s grace gives us the courage to continue holding steadfast!
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Psalm 127: 4
3) Mama, Hold Your Head Up High
I have to give myself this constant reminder on those days when I am out in public covered in who knows what, wearing whatever I was able to put together last minute, and feeling like ‘less than’ because I don’t have a ‘real’ job. Actually, we ARE working. We ARE in ministry, so to speak. Our children are a full-time job that those without children may have a hard time relating to. That’s not to say their occupations or callings aren’t important, however I personally have the conviction that raising our children is one of the BEST uses of my time. At least in this season. I don’t look down on anyone working or in school with kidlets in care (I myself was in this boat as a single mother), and I do work from home occasionally, but I am actually thankful that we have this opportunity with our children. Not everyone does, so hold your head up high when you’re out in public. You’re doing IMPORTANT work here.
4) Even If (When) You Face Challenges With Your Family, Don’t Allow Others To Peg It On ‘Having Too Many Children’
I hear this one a lot. “Well, I could never have so many kids…they’d end up all messed up, and I couldn’t handle them all!” While I am in agreement that we should be responsible with all of our life choices (use wisdom, seek God as He leads us), I personally believe that most/all larger families learn to live life MORE efficiently than less. Also, it`s true that challenging kids/teens/young adults can show up in ANY family, of ANY size. I know small, large, one child, and ten child families…and guess what? They ALL go through rough patches, hard seasons, and have their stress points. Blended, adopted, biological, foster…same thing. In whatever manner you were blessed with children, and whatever challenges you face, go with them knowing that Mamas of all sorts of families are facing these very SAME challenges around the world. Use the resources available. Get your supports surrounding you. Move forward with that head still held high Mama. Yes, with more children (or children in general) life will be different and perhaps one could argue more challenging. But so is being the CEO of a growing company. So is being the pastor of a thriving church. So are many choices & callings in life. Challenges can make us stronger, if we allow them to.
5) At The End Of The Day, Remember This–> We Will One Day Only Stand Before One
Often, when I’m about to enter into certain social situations, I feel like I have to have my ‘arguments’ ready. And remember all the great & amazing things my children have done in the past year. Be ready to explain WHY I have five children. WHY I am a stay-at-home Mama. What I actually do with my time. Well, no one likes to be put down for their choices.
I’ll discuss them with you, listen and learn something from you, but I don’t want to be criticized for what I believe is one of the most important callings of my life. I understand the concerns…I hear you out, but then between my husband, Him, and I, we will all sort this out, this child rearing thing. Let’s stand strong Mamas for the calling that we have on our lives!
I love my children, I love my family.
Some days are, well, yes, they’re DARN tough!
But others are rewarding. Much more than the ‘tough’ ones.
I’d say that’s a good reminder in my books, any day.