Dear Mom of Many

mom of many

Dear Mom of Many (Or, you know, more than 2),

Well done.

No, seriously. That’s what I want to tell you: well done.

You have decided to swim against current cultural expectations for what size a family should be.

You have given up some of your own expectations of what your life might look like.

(You probably have spit-up on your shoulder right now, don’t you? And is that a smudge of peanut butter on your neck from when your toddler kissed you “goodnight” at naptime?)

You may be wearing yoga pants. (No judgment here. I say: well done for getting pants on today before lunch.)

You might have pushed a grocery cart full to the brim of groceries today just so your family can eat for the next couple of days. (And when the teenage cashier smirked, “Stocking up?” You just laughed.)

You probably didn’t get enough sleep last night, what with the baby nursing and the toddler who has apparently installed some sort of intricate ejection system from his bed and the tween who needed to talk late at night when everything got quiet and your husband who wanted to show you a funny video on the internet but then you ended up researching what it will cost you both to go to dinner and a movie sometime in the next couple of months, with a real babysitter for the kids because: REASONS.

Your workouts probably consist of running up and down your stairs carrying laundry baskets and your diet probably consists of eating whatever the kids left on their plates. (Which you probably ate while you were cleaning up from lunch.)

You have probably learned how to plan a family outing that would put Eisenhower’s D-Day preparations to shame.

You have figured out how to fit all those car seats into your vehicle, including the complicated metric of who can sit next to each other without causing WW3 and who can buckle their own five point full body harness and who cannot. You have learned how to pack complete changes of clothing for every family member into one tiny backpack, with room leftover for the loveys that insure your toddler won’t have a meltdown before you reach the first gas station stop.

And you are willing to sound like a crazy person if one of those loveys gets lost. (“Has anyone here seen Mr. Pricklepants?” or “I’m looking for a small, ragged blanket that has blue polka dots and a stain that kind of looks like Texas, have you seen it?”)

You can’t remember the last time you drove a sports car or something with only two doors. The only thing you think when you see one of those little smart cars is, “But how do they get their groceries home in that?”

You juggle multiple schedules for dentist, orthodontist, eye doctor, and pediatrician check-ups with aplomb.

You rarely take the wrong kid to the wrong appointment. (I say rarely, because, let’s be honest, it’s happened at least once.)

You, fellow homeschool mom of many, switch between teaching phonics and handing out counting cubes to discussing The Epic of Gilgamesh or the Pythagorean theorem with barely a hiccup.

You move between “Go Dog, Go” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” as easily as your toddler pushes play on the next game on his Leap Pad. (Oops. But let’s confess, fellow mom of many, we do appreciate those ubiquitous screen devices when we need them.)

You may have spent more hours than anyone other than another mom can imagine praying for your children.

You’ve prayed for their hurts, for their futures, for their dreams, and also, once or twice, for the courage not to throw up your hands and despair of them ever growing up or acting maturely. Your favorite prayers may be only one word. (“HELP.” “Please?” “Thanks.” are the prayers I’m thinking of, with apologies toAnne Lamott)

Well done, Mom of Many.

Earth needs you. We need you. Your children need you.

It’s not unnoticed.

And yes, you know what causes it. Yes, your hands are full. Yes, it probably is better you than them. (If we can just be honest for a minute.) Yes, it is a lot to handle.

You’re handling it.

Well done.


A mom of many (six in this case)

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