I have 4 little boys, ages 8, 7, 4 and 1. It's not like I have 15 kids. I have 4 boys. And I have to say, for the most part they are well behaved. They ARE boys though, so to push them to be "good" and not be running around for 3 hours is asking too much. They have energy to spare, and I know that sometimes you just can't contain that energy for too long. It's going to come out.
So, I go to the grocery with 4 boys in tow. They all know their places: Koen in the cart seat, Deklyn on one side, Austin on the other, and Caden rotates depending on which boys is being more tolerant at the time. They DO migrate from their places though on occasion, and find their way to the lobster tank or to stare longingly at a display of cookies, but I give them a second and call them back.
But often, people give me different looks. Here are some that I get: The "Are You CRAZY?" look, the "Awww, that poor woman" look, and the "WOW, You have your hands full" look.
The "Are you crazy look", is also accompanied by some grumpy looking eye brows, and pinched lips or a frown of disapproval. These often come from the "children should be seen and not heard" people, who are more times then not, older people.
The "Awww, that poor woman" look is accompanied by a head tilts and often a half smile, as they scan all of my kids, trying to figure out what is going on! Sometimes this look is followed by...
The "Wow, you have your hands full" look. This look can consist of almost a look of shock, and comments like "Wow, you have your hands full!" or "Are these all YOURS?".
I often follow up any comments with a "Yes, I am blessed!" Then all of the people revert to the "Are you crazy?" look....
To start off, I really am NOT crazy! I am a completely sane (according to medical standards) woman in my lower 30's, happily married, Christian. I am not a woman who is held under the thumb of her husband. My husband values me and I value him tremendously as well.
I say that I am not crazy, but I WILL say that I could be a little nutty! The difference, well... there may not be MUCH difference. But I say that to be nutty is to NOT be stuffy or uptight, I definitely have a sense of humor (I have to!), and I have learned which things are important in life, and which aren't!
How do I keep from going completely grey? Well, THAT one is easy. My sister is a beautician, and she colors my hair for me. How do I keep from screaming at the top of my lungs? This one is easy too. I actually DO scream at the top of my lungs, and sometimes that is the only way I can be heard over the top of all of the fighting...
So, I how do I stay sain, and nutty?
Well, first I give my boys responsibilities. They have a chore chart of things they do in the morning and things they do after dinner. Each day they have different jobs, and yes, sometimes I have to oversee and make sure things are done correctly. Jobs consist of: weeding the garden for 30 minutes, trash out, table cleared, dirty clothes to the basement for washing, sweeping the kitchen floor after dinner (broom), feeding our animals (dogs, cats, chickens, ducks), dusting, etc. I am NOT super woman, and I WILL NOT clean up after everyone leaving behind messes all of the time. I think it has been an eye-opener for them to see that a mess left behind always gets cleaned up by someone, and MAYBE I shouldn't leave behind a mess!
I also hold them to a higher standard. I EXPECT them to be able to sit for a little while, or to store that energy for at least a little bit! And if they don't they get in trouble. I want to show people it IS OK to have many children. I want to be an encouragement to others, not an argument of why we should limit the number of children to 1 per married couple... So to hold your children to a higher standard is OK!!! As long as you ALSO understand that they ARE kids! They DO need to get that energy out! So give them adequate opportunities to do that.
NUTTY IS GOOD! To be nutty is to be able to have fun, to laugh at their silly kid humor, to be able to not get too upset at them wearing their underware outside or for peeing in your flower beds. Being Nutty, allows you to live, love and laugh! A lot of people have heard that saying but don't really KNOW what it means.
So, go ahead. Allow yourself to be nutty! But also keep you sanity by letting those kids help! And set some boundaries! Then watch those beautiful babies of yours blossom and grow!
Are you sain and nutty?
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