Letter to my family…
First of all, I love each and every one of you very, very much. I am writing this letter to give you some insight on what it is like to be a mom. Also, writing is probably my best form of communication second only to lecturing.
As a mom, I feel like it is my job to make sure you are all safe from harm. I try to make sure you are not physically injured by teaching you about safety (example: don’t touch that red hot glowing burner, stay away from moving vehicles, don’t run with scissors or other sharp objects ) and personal health (you are not allowed to have 6 energy drinks because I don’t want your heart to explode, you can’t eat candy for breakfast or drink soda because it is not good for your teeth, you have to eat fruits and vegetables so that you can grow strong and be able to play hard and think clearly, etc.) I try to be vigilant about what you watch, read, listen to, or are otherwise exposed to in this world. (Example: internet supervision, playstation time limits, filtered movie and TV options, and interactions with peers and friends.) These things are very important because these are the years that you are developing who you are as a person. It would be irresponsible of me to let you make all of your own decisions based on your limited knowledge and life experience. I was raised to be a responsible person, so you can thank your grandparents for that…Anyway, I would like to take a moment to report that I am very proud of the smart, caring, responsible kids you are and that each of you have unique, wonderful personalities that often make me smile with pride. I am honestly blown away by the genuine love you have for one another.
I am completely impressed by the way you look out for one another’s interests and safety and general well-being. Like when I see Kyler do his chores without being told or without complaining, and when I think I’m right about something and start to yell, Kyler just calmly discusses the issue and leaves it at that. That is a sign of maturity, an example of grace. Way to go, son.
I am also very humbled by Carson’s genuine caregiving to his younger siblings…it is a blessing to see that he has made oatmeal and fed Joely, cleaned up after her, and all the while maintains a loving attitude. I like to see him purposefully engage in activities with Harmonie, teach her how to do things, and when he bought her the Barbie house at a yard sale…it was his idea, his money, his gift to her because he thought she would like it. Beautiful generosity.
I consider myself very lucky to have such an energetic daughter with a helpful spirit. Being in the middle of big brothers and younger sisters has to be difficult, and I need to remember that Harmonie needs Mom-time to learn some of the more subtle ways to get along with others instead of having to be the loudest, or the best at something, or anything else that is not true to her loving, sweet, funny self. She is a whiz at organizing and cleaning her room in a hurry…she can do most things in a hurry, but that doesn’t mean we have to. I just like spending time with her, wish I had more opportunities for that.
Anyone else that is a mom knows it is an exhausting job taking care of a newborn…but you all are not moms, and so let me be a little more specific. The exhaustion comes from lack of good restorative sleep that you can only get by being able to achieve all stages of sleep without interruption. My sleep is interrupted by crying to be fed, or crying to be changed, or weird baby noises that sound like irregular breathing, gagging, etc. With each one of these things, I wake up and take care of whatever it is. This is all normal, and I had to do this with all of you. Dad even tries to help, but the reality is I am the only one who can nurse and I might as well change her and freak out about the other stuff all by myself, too. Nursing a baby is very draining (no pun intended). I have never been energetic, and when I’m nursing, there is even less energy to be had. Not to mention, I have to make sure my other children and husband are fed, bathed, have clean clothes, make sure food and supplies are maintained, keep the bills paid up to date, make sure our living environment is clean (enough) and the most important thing …which is to raise you right…back to my original point. I am responsible for raising you to be responsible, so you can raise your kids to be responsible, so they can raise their kids to be responsible, and so on, and so on. I am sure you have noticed I am sluggish sometimes; some things I am supposed to do don’t get done. You may not be able to help much with the newborn, or say, pay the bills, or go to the grocery, but you can help with the other stuff. If everyone would just consistently do ALL of their chores without complaining and without skipping the ones nobody likes.
I would like for you to know that you absolutely have permission to do anything that needs to be done even if it is not your chore. If there is a towel on the floor, hang it up, if there is a dirty glass on the table put it in the dishwasher or sink, if there is something sticky on the table, wipe it off. Here are some other “unwritten chores” that you should be doing anyway: put your shoes in the pantry or your room…not the bathroom, nor living room or the middle of any walking path, put your clean clothes away, put your dirty clothes down the chute, and take care of your dishes after you eat. If everyone did their part, our home would be pretty neat, and I would be a lot less stressed and grumpy. So, see, you have it within your power to make me a better mom. I love you guys!