Over the past year and half, I have felt out of place. A decision was made and there will be no more babies in our house. All of the blogs that I have followed about letting God have complete control of the size of our family leave me feeling inadequate as a wife and mother. I still love reading them, because I learn some many neat things to help raise a small army. But, it also leaves me with an empty feeling, because I know I will never again have the experience of holding my newborn in my arms for the first time. I do enjoy each stage that the kiddos are in, but I also miss not having a precious little one around the house. I have all of these "if only's" running through my mind about the decision that was made: "if only I had not been so stressed," "if only I had been a better wife," "if only I had been a better housekeeper." About the time I think I'm overing it, the thoughts return and I'm back to feeling inadequate. I get the question all the time, "Isn't it time for another baby?" Yes, we probably would've had another one by now. Jonathan turned 2 years old yesterday. Can you believe that?! I try to keep the feelings inside, because there really aren't many people around who understand, especially in this area. There just aren't many large families around here. So, I feel out of place. When I am asked how many kids I have, other moms look at me like I have a second head when I tell them 7. I just don't fit into their world.
Then there is the homeschooling world... another feeling of being inadequate. Talk about making me feel like a failure! I put my kids back in school. I wasn't able to juggle all the levels plus life. I miss my Hillians terribly. But, I do rejoice in knowing that they are doing well. Emi's reading has improved tremendously. I know I made the right decision, but it still doesn't take away the sting of knowing I wasn't good enough to do it all. I have read the books and blogs about how "moms of many" were able to juggle it all, and I wasn't able to do it. They had help, either by a spouse, other family member, or tutor. I didn't have that option. Yes, there is a co-op around, but I have too many little ones to try to chase after to keep up with what they are doing. I can't run here and there for this class or that class. It just drove up my stress levels thinking about it. There were videos they could've watched for classes, but my kids would have been bored to tears sitting through them. I lost my motivation and was overwhelmed. I tried to juggle things a lot longer than I should've. So now, I'm out of place in the homeschool world.
Where does a wife of 18 years who is an ex-homeschooling mom of seven w/ three little ones still at home fit in?! My days are filled with chasing little ones that can destroy something about as fast as you can fix it, not going to this play group or that. By the end of the day, I'm exhausted and feel defeated by my lack of progress. I know that I should be stronger and more disciplined. I know my strength comes from God, all I have to do it ask for it. I know all I have to do it go to the cross for answers. But my "follow through" falls aparts, and the doubt creeps in. Why can't I be stronger?! Why can't I be a better wife and mother?! Why can't I shake the feeling of being out of place?! All I can do is pray that God will show me His ways and give me understanding of these days.
You wanted honesty, and you got it. I have the "dark" days just like all other moms, no matter how big or small the family. I know one day I will look back, and my kids will be grown. I pray that I can become the wife and mother that God wants me to be, and I will finally enjoy the feeling of NOT being out of place.