On days like today I wonder what in the world I am doing! What have I gotten myself into? I realize that being a mother always has it's challenges. I knew that going into it and for the last 10 years it has been reinforced into my mind on a regular basis. Most days it's okay. It's just part of life. Some days though...days like today... I don't even know how to describe what I mean or what exactly makes this day different from others but I think that all you other moms out there can relate to what I am feeling and saying. On days like today though, I can hear all those things that were said and hinted to me as I was in the process of bringing all these lovely spirits into the world. After all, in six and a half years I gave birth to six children adn had a miscarriage. I was busy. I can hear the rude comments, see the rolling eyes, and remember all the feelings of hurt from days gone by. Comments about the number of children or the silent (and sometimes not so silent) counting of my family as we walk by rubs me the wrong way and adds to the frustration I feel. I think that if all those people who have made all those comments and expressed all those doubts about my sanity and purpose in life could see me today they would be so thrilled to see that they were right! That also adds to the emotions I carry with me. Really, it's no one's business but my own (and Michael's). But, just as little old ladies can't keep from patting a pregnant belly, so well meaning (haha) people can't keep opinions to themselves. As I said, most days I am fine and I am confident in what I am doing and where I am at. I know that the children I have, I was supposed to have. I know the time frame in which I had them was the time frame I was supposed to use. I knew with each child, when they were supposed to come. I knew when I was done and I never questioned any of the process. I had warnings of over doing it, getting to overwhelmed and then it being too late, of hurting my body, of financial stress and even told that my miscarriage was my fault, but I always knew. These decisions I made (we made) about having children wasn't because I hated using birth control and liked having sex (sorry). It came through prayer, lots and lots of prayer. It came through spiritual promptings and comfort. I fully believe that God is one hundred percent involved in bringing His children to this earth (as long as we allow Him to be). After all, they are His children. I fully believe that through God I would know when to and not to have a child. He knows me and He knows my capabilities. He knows my life and the home I would be able to create for His children. So I turned to Him. That gave me the strength and comfort to withstand all the other things and go on doing what I knew I should be doing. But on days like today, I get shaken. I do get overwhelmed. I do struggle and those comments and looks come back and haunt me. So, what do I do? I go into survival mode! I think all you moms know that mode. We go to McDonalds with an indoor playland for lunch and I read my kindle while the kids play. I eat chocolate and drink Dr. Pepper. I wear comfy clothes and let the kids watch TV. I make the most of what I am that day and then hope that tomorrow the cloud has passed and I can step it up a notch. A day like today, as frustrating as it is, helps me. It reminds me that I'm not alone. I didn't get into this all by myself and I don't have to go through it all by myself. It also reminds me that I don't have to be perfect. My kids will survive if they have to eat cold cereal for supper and they watch four hours of TV before bedtime. I will survive and though some days I handle motherhood more gracefully than others, it will all be okay. I won't ruin my children with one bad day. I won't ruin my status as mother with one bad day. I don't have to be perfect and I don't have to make all those people think that I am perfect. When I was younger, I felt that overwhelming need to prove something to everyone - strangers in the grocery store, people at church, family and friends. I thought if they saw my weaknesses, my bad days, they too would believe what had been said. I tried so hard to do everything right - meaning perfect. Then I would be torn apart as I realized I couldn't live up to what I thought they thought I should be. Over the years, I have given that up. Thank goodness! And I encourage those around me to do the same. If we all would admit how imperfect we are, if we all admitted to days like today, think of the help and support we could offer each other! Think of how much happier we would be and how much easier it would be to get over days like today! So to all of you reading this - I am having one of those days! We went to McDonalds for lunch (twice - once just me and the kids and then we went back and met Michael a few hours later). After our healthy lunch of fast food, I am going to feed them a healthy supper of hotdogs and chips, no vegetables. We are going to watch a movie tonight, maybe more than one. We aren't going to bath before bedtime and we probably won't do the dishes either. My comfy clothes aren't really going to match and I may finish off my bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs with a nice Dr. Pepper. I may even drink one with caffeine! (I know rebellious aren't I?) Then, after the kids go to bed, I am going to sit on the couch, snuggled in a blanket and read until Michael gets home. I won't fold the laundry or anything else a proper mother and wife would do before going to bed. And I will be just fine with all of it! I hope that when you all have one of those days like today that you will do the same!