Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The HARDEST number of kids to parent...a real formula to see if you measure up!

I want you to read this post VERY carefully. Every.Single.Word. Because I am about to make history. I can feel it in my bones. Or perhaps that’s one of my kids crawling up my leg again. Either way, I just know that I am about to shatter your dreams.

Officially, according to The World of Me (Sheryl Turner), I have discovered the hardest number of children you can have. Stay with me here because this may just change the world as you know it. I know that many of us have seen Nineteen Kids and Counting and wonder how does Michelle Duggar do it all? And, then we have friends with one kid who are struggling to take a shower each day. So, I set to work to discover what the TRUTH behind the number of kids and losing one’s sanity might be.

And, I found it. Yep, I did. You can send your thank you notes straight to my mailbox because well, I like to get mail. And my kids fight over who earns the privilege of retrieving the mail each day. They always think there’s something in there for them…I toss them a catalog and they are happy. And then there’s the college recruitment doo-higgies that I toss in the garbage because I want to live in denial that my 17 year old only has another year at home. But, I digress.

Let me preface this life altering information with this little bit of insight. I am a numbers person. Always have been. I “get” math and I don’t have to work at it. You can hate, and I don’t mind. When a boy was kidnapped and it garnered national attention (when I was like 8 or 9), I began to memorize the license plate numbers of cars parked on either side of us wherever we went. I know it’s quirky but it’s a habit. I don’t do it as much anymore mainly because I’m counting heads of my own kids and I think that’s more important. I can remember phone numbers and birthdays over names. I can also tell you how many times people mentioned a certain topic in their conversation (often the one they say that they don’t care about but if you mention it 22 times in a matter of thirteen minutes, then I think you do care about it). I have counted the tiles in many funeral parlors, churches and waiting rooms. I know the distance between places but can’t tell you how to get there. I can, however, tell you down to the minute, exactly how long it will take you to get there. And I can pick up a piece of luggage and guess the weight within a pound or two. So, maybe it’s a curse. Now that I read all of that about myself, I think I need counseling.

So, I’ve crunched all these numbers, and I have come up with a formula that has produced the HARDEST number of kids that you can have. Some of you might not want to know because perhaps you think you won’t measure up. Others have more kids and hope that you are the perfect number. SPOILER ALERT….THE HARDEST NUMBER OF KIDS TO HAVE IS….

(You have to keep scrolling because I don’t anyone to go further if they truly need to stop now)


Yep, that’s the hardest number of kids you can have. Do you have kids? Nope. Then, that’s the hardest number. With friends who have struggled with infertility, you long for the day that you will be a mommy. And your heart hurts when people post about morning sickness or complain about how their baby won’t stop crying. You want that…someone to call you Momma. Or maybe your child lives somewhere else right now, and your heart feels like it’s beating out of your chest in anticipation of meeting him or her. You are in THE hardest place!

And if you have one child at home, guess what? That’s the HARDEST NUMBER of kids to have. Because you ARE the entertainment, the caregiver, the only one responsible for this little life. And, since you’ve never done this before, you are scared to death that you are gonna mess this child up. Try timing a shower or eating or reading anything (besides a shampoo bottle) while your first born sleeps is a guessing game sure to change at any given moment. You have it rough.

Or maybe you have two kids and you haven’t had a shower in a few days. You are scared to leave the room with a toddler who likes to play rough with the baby, and you bide your time waiting for your spouse to get home so you can go to the bathroom alone. Those days are tiring and you are eager for your kids to grow up…or at least wipe their own bottoms.

Three? You only have two hands and now, they outnumber the adults in the house. It’s a different ballgame, and you have to learn new plays. When one is crying and needs your attention, the other two are carving I Love You into the walls of the living room. You are tired…all the time…and you just need a nap.

Four or more…people wonder how you do it, and you want to scream “By the grace of God..that’s how!” You are not superwoman although you probably keep a cape or two handy at all times. Someone is constantly needing you and calling your name. You just want to cover your ears and change your name. It is HARD.

So there it is…the HARDEST number of kids to have. We all struggle. But, God’s mercies are NEW every morning, and I am so grateful. Without His strength and faithfulness, I would fail miserably every day. As I sit here now, one child is singing to the top of her lungs while her sister is busy finishing a school project. I hear three other sets of legs running in the hallways pretending to be the Avengers. And I’m grateful for the noise as it reminds me that He is good. And, He will provide exactly what I need to raise my kids to His ultimate glory. He will be here and be with me when I think that I can’t carry on.

To all of you mommas out there, march on. You are doing the most important thing…raising a human being (or two or seven or twenty three) who will learn how to praise Jesus from you. You are investing in a child who will grow up and worship the Almighty God of Heaven. You are critical in God’s plan. Thank you for how you will give Him the glory today in spite of the hard times. Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love this Sheryl and loved talking to you last night! Funny that we were just talking about this exact thing!!!

See you soon!
Jen Prier