I had five kids in four years. When our twins were born our oldest child had just turned four.
I was a little crazy. And by a little, I mean a lot.
I took them all to the store by myself for the first time a little over a month after the twins were born. I went armed with my double stroller. I didn't have any of those super nifty baby wearing devices that most moms use now...I had my double stroller.
I'm pretty sure that at several points in my early mothering, there were angels holdingthat double stroller up.
Anyway, it was Michael's birthday and I needed to get some things to make his birthday dessert. So I took all of my five wild indians to the local Walmart. It seemed a fitting choice.
I got Lilla and the babies into the stroller (a very wise mama had schooled me in the art of getting THREE wild indians into a stroller with only two seats...bless her!) and the two oldest walked holding onto the stroller while I pushed it.
About a third of the way into the store, one of the babies started screaming bloody. murder. (as a side note, please allow me to remind you that I was not quite six weeks postpartum...so...HORMONES)
Let me tell you, I was on a mission. If I didn't get my business taken care of, it wasn't going to GET taken care of so I was DETERMINED to make it through (what felt like) the ultimate mothering championship.
I picked up the screaming baby.
And um, pushing a double stroller with one hand is, well, difficult. After a few steps I realized I was going to have to rethink. And while I was rethinking, the other baby started crying. So I picked that baby up too.
Long story short, I stuck Caleb in the back seat of the stroller, I put Lilla in the front seat and Nathaniel in the basket underneath the stroller.
I was literally pushing over a hundred pounds of kid through the grocery store, while holding two babies and shopping for groceries in Supermarket Sweep fashion.
It's a good memory. It was not good at the time.
It was hard, but we all made it through.
I got my groceries, annoyed other customers as little as possible and made it out in one piece.
I'm pretty sure I cried.
Since then there have been many grocery store experiences. A lot of stressful moments and feeling like I'm going to snap if one more kid picks up one more thing.
Today I was just thinking about how much my life has changed.
We went for toilet paper today. There was no crying, no stroller and no baby to hold. Now they trail behind me like little baby ducks. There is pleasant conversation and...I just enjoy being with them. They're fun. They're weird, too. But they're fun.
I'm sure I'm making a million mistakes in my mothering. They will have sins and struggles to deal with and I'm sure a good portion of them will be because of MY sins and struggles. But if I can just get one thing right, I hope that I can point them to Jesus.
Because really, how I feed them, the diapers they wear and how clean my house is matters very little in the long term. What will matter most in the long term is that they know Jesus. And how I made them feel.
So let yourself off the hook. Let the things that matter take precedence and let go of the things that you won't think about in a few years.
Focus on pointing them to Jesus and smiling at them more!