I love the reaction when someone asks how many kids I have and I respond 4....and I pick their bottom jaw off the floor.
I don't think 4 is a lot. I know lots of families with more than 4. And although going from 3 to 4 has been the hardest jump, it's been my most favorite. Don't get me wrong....it's been crazy....insane....daily surviving sometimes, but there's also the joy of each unique child that is all yours. Their individual smiles, laughs, ways of loving, funny sayings. And it's fun to see just how different they each are and watch them interact with one another.
I had no idea how hard parenting was going to be. And I really had no clue how taxing 4 children going in different directions would be. But I wouldn't change it for the world! The craziness is part of the fun. And there are those days where everyone gets dressed on their own without me asking, they get their homework done quickly, there's no whining or crying and everyone gets along. And it's on those days that I gently sigh and smile at my life.
Then there are those time I'm dragging kids out of bed, someone's screaming because the other one is looking at them, Asher is whining because some food spilled and he can't stand a mess, Dallas is having one of his meltdowns, the baby is crying because she's teething and Boston is giving me an attitude about going over his spelling words. It's on these days the I sigh for a totally different reason. I sigh a DEEP sigh so I don't explode the inner monologue in my mind. And after I sigh (1, 2 or many times) I can sit back and look at the madness running around my house (and it's not even 7:30am) and it's amusing. 10 years from now I will wish I could be right back here at this moment. This moment where my kids need me to wipe up the spill they made, wipe their butt, or wipe the toothpaste they got all over their shirt.
And being a woman who's love language is Words of Affirmation I strive to hear "Wow you did a good job!" But when you are a mommy you probably aren't going to hear those words so often. And sometimes, even though you are trying your hardest to be the best mom you can be, and innocent bystander judges your parenting even though they don't know the situation. This happens to any parent but especially to those parents of children with Aspergers. But I try to remember that God sees it all. He sees the pee that I'm cleaning off the carpet when my 3 year old didn't make it to the potty in time. He sees the patience I exuded when my son is having a meltdown because he can't play a video game. He sees it all and He says "You've done a good job today Cricket." It's the unseen that matters. I exalt Him when I do these unseen things because this is where he wants me right now in my life. This is what's most important. THIS is my mission field! And He's teaching me that pride is no good. That I don't need other's approval or affirmation. All I need is Him. HE is enough.
So hold your head high mamas. You ARE doing an outstanding job. You are because you are trying. And HIS grace is sufficient to cover the areas you aren't so good in. Rest in Him and enjoy the precious little chicks that need you in the here and now.
(And you just can't help but laugh at this picture and Dallas face, Boston with his blank look, Asher clueless and Sydney more interested in my necklace. Hey - at least Sean and I are smiling! :-)