our church has a support group for foster and adoptive families. i actually love this group. everyone in it is so super duper amazing. what happens in group stays in group, but i think i am kinda allowed to talk about these people without naming names or being too specific… maybe? i’m just gonna.
there’s one family there that had FOUR little girls living with them for about a year. i believe they were 5 and under. then there’s this other family that has three biological high schoolers, and then they adopted twin 20 month olds and have a tiny little baby living with them too. then there’s this other family that has three foster kids aged 3 and under. then there’s this single mom who has one adopted almost-teenager and a school-age foster child. a single mom. the single women that i have met that feel called to be foster parents just make me want to bow down at their feet and yell ‘i am not worthy!’ these families are amazing.
and they make me feel awful.
they don’t MAKE me feel awful. i make myself feel awful. why? WHY????!!?!
when i was first married to my beautiful Chris almost a decade ago, i didn’t have a job, i was working on my Masters, and learning how to be an awesome wife, and also learning how to cook. cause i didn’t know how to cook. and even though i was home All the Time- i was a TERRIBLE cleaner. our house was not very clean- i am a maker of piles, and a mover of piles. i do not know how to not make piles. i hear some people throw things out. i try that, and yet the piles remain. i also happened to not finish my studies to get my Masters. sometimes i think about that year of my life and i wonder what the heck that was all really about…
then i quickly became a mama, and even more quickly i became a mama of two. having just Lily was actually not that hard. she was such a phenomenal baby, and everyone wanted to babysit her! it was awesome! and then Topher came and that was an ass-kicker. everyone else was starting to have kids and i had to start paying for babysitters to watch my two ridiculously young babes, When people would watch them, or I could just get out without them- i felt like i was high as a kite! but Chris and i didn’t date regularly for a year or two, nor did i grow much in my homemaking skills- i was just trying to keep these little kids alive!
then came Mia. i was terrified of the thought of three kids, and i didn’t think i was ever going to be able to leave my house, or clean it, or shower, or anything, but who knew- i was kind of an awesome mom of three! it helped that Lily and Topher were starting school, and Mia was also a phenomenal baby; and Chris and i decided we needed to date more regularly again. and somehow i found the time and energy to clean (lysol wipes!!!!), and still make lots of piles.
and then we added another kid. and there are so many moments when i don’t feel like an awesome mom, of anyone. but i feed these kids, and get them dressed, and send two of them to school- on time!, and i have a cleaner (tho maybe not neater- and part of that is the toddlers’ fault!) house than ever before, and Chris and i date more now than EVER before. what the heck!?!?!?! who would have thought that having four kids would not kill me, but is actually making me awesomer? i am awesome! and so are YOU! go look in the mirror. say that to yourself. You are awesome.
i don’t judge others who have less kids than me. i don’t think i am more awesome than them. everybody is called to something, and it is important for each person to fulfill that calling- with the support of LOTS of other people. when i was just a mama to Lily, i gave that 100%. and it was exhausting. as motherhood is. i gave being a mom of two 100%, a mom of three 100%, and the same is true being a mom of four. and i am tired, and i relish time by myself, or away from the kids, but i am getting those breaks much to my surprise and delight. and it makes giving 100% when i am with my kids a heck of a whole lot easier. my friends all give being moms, or working moms, or single moms, or a single Christian woman, or a wife, or whatever their lot in life is- 100% and i feel inspired and encouraged and rejuvenated when i hang out with each and every single one of them. i don’t judge you for being a working mom, or a homeschooling mom, or a mom who has seven foster kids, and two adopted kids and you dig wells in africa on your summer breaks. so if i don’t judge others that means i also can’t compare myself. to anyone. and you can’t compare yourself to me. nor should you (but as a bonus-i guarantee your house is neater than mine tho ;). i can only be the woman that God has called me to be, and that’s all you can be too. and that is pretty fantastic.