I do not live a better homes and gardens postcard life. I live a postcard covered in peanut butter that is being used as a dust pan, because the real dust pan is out in the dirt pile being used as a shovel, and the only reason I need a dust pan in the first place is because a glass is broken on the floor and my baby needs a place to crawl, so that I can put her down, so that I can seperate two of my kids to keep them from killing eachother because one of them is wearing the other ones clothes, post card kind of life.
Last night I was laying in bed. I had this totally indulgent thought. What if I just stayed here. What if I moved a tv and vcr and all of my books in to my bedroom. What if I only eat chocolate, and never ever again, ever take care of anyone or anything. What if I didn't believe in consequences, rules, moral values, or a judgement day. What if I just quit and never felt anything ever again? I let myself indulge in the delightful thought for a while and fell soundly asleep. I tried not to think of any of the negative side effects of living a secluded hermit lifestyle. Of course there are many.
This morning when I got up to take Hubbin to work, I saw our neighbor taking her two pre-teens girls to school. I asked Hubbin, wouldn't it be easy to only have two? Of course, he was a little nervous by this thought. Thinking that maybe I regretted our decision to have 5 or that I was thinking of not having anymore. None of this, of course, is true. It is just some times fun to indulge in thoughts of ease.
I don't think raising a family is meant to be easy.
I just showed this picture to #1 and he said, "Hey that looks like our house."
Some times people think that because I have 5 kids I may have a lot of good advice for them. My house looks like this picture more often than not. See the cheese grater up there on top of the cabinets? It is up there because even if the kids could climb that high, She probably would be there in time to stop them, before they got it. See the fruit on the counter? She bought that in hopes that her kids would make healthy food choices. See the apple jacks and the cake and the jello- those were all bought during a mercy plea "I will buy these if you promise to stay with me in the store for the rest of the trip." Now the dog eating the spaghetti, that is just good home management(not waisting scraps and saving on dog food expenses). The children feeding themselves are all signs of ingenuity, self management, and independence. And, in case you didn't notice, Momma is also getting a hot cocoa break.
One of my friends was having a problem keeping her children from teasing. What advice did I give her? It is going to be OK, Compliment them when they do well, help them understand the importance of serving, and read them Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. And don't worry that they are not getting enough attention- It sounds like they are giving each other plenty of attention!
Another one of my friends was worried that she might not have her baby (10month old) weaned by the magic age of 18 months. What did I tell her? Enjoy your baby, he will be grown up before you know it. a 10 month old is very different from an 18 month old. And, there is no way your baby will be taking a bottle to work when he is 22.
My advice comes from practical experience. The kind that some would call the school of hard knocks. Here I am writting my advice to you, while my lawn is full of dandilions gone to seed, and my baby is sucking on a crayon by my feet. And, I should be packing my family for our trip, and cleaning my house. Those of us that may seem like we can manage it all, or those of us that seem like we have our hands full, probably can and do. And so can you.
Keep up the good work. It is good work!