Thursday, September 6, 2007

7 kids + 2 parents = DOUBT


Please don't say "I told you so." This is difficult and humbling enough.

Seven kids is A LOT of kids. It's overwhelming. It's busy. It's tough.

Don't get me wrong, we do have a lot of fun. But, often, it's just plain difficult!

We gave the womb to God back when we were expecting our second child. Up until that point, most people I knew had a baby about every other year. Which means that our seventh child "should" have been born when our oldest was 14. But, our seventh was born when our oldest wasn't quite ten. That's a lot of kids in a short period of time.

We love each one of our children. We wouldn't send any of them back (well, depending on the day - we may send them on vacation). But, having so many so close together makes it very difficult to train them properly. One of the reasons we home-school is because "foolishness is bound in the heart of a child" and we know that putting 20 five year olds in the same room will just breed more foolishness. However, we have seven children living together 24 hours a day. I have a bunch of court jesters!

Our hearts were right. We weren't out to set a record in how many children we had. We just wanted to please God. However, we feel we're losing control. That is probably a sin on our part. We should be able to live peaceably with 20 kids. But, we're struggling and, dare I say, failing. Oh, we haven't drowned, but should we just be keeping our heads above water?

Maybe I'm a control freak. But, I like to know what my children are doing and where they are. I like to have them looking neat and presentable. I like to know how they are doing with their school. I like to feed them healthy meals. The more little ones pulling me in different directions, the more difficult it is to fulfill all these obligations. Somedays, it's almost impossible.
I believe the Bible tells me to keep my home, to raise godly and sober children. I am to provide for them (read Proverbs 31). I am to love, honor, and reverence my husband. If I have so many children that I can't keep up with the house, don't have the strength to train my children in obedience (which is a command that I am responsible in helping them keep), and am to exhausted to show "due benevolence" to the one I married, am I really following God properly?

I do believe GOD gave us these children in the time He wanted us to have them. I struggle with these doubts that I now have. Am I trusting God less? At the same time, is it really a command to have a lot of children? Am I in danger of judgment if we prevent another baby? Do I serve a God such as this? Am I pleasing Him while I have more children yet have less time to spend with each one to make sure they're trained in His ways or am so tired that my patience with them is limited?

These are just thoughts my beloved and I are having. We're questioning and don't have the answer. Maybe we're just tired. Maybe our faith is weak. Maybe we'll be stronger tomorrow. Maybe God is trying to tell us something in His love and mercy.

Maybe someone else just needs to know we're struggling.

6 comments:

elianna said...

I love you guys! And I will pray for you more...
elianna
:)

peggy randall said...

Yes, it is tough to be parents, and it is quite a responsibility. I think you are doing a great job but don't be hard on yourself. I think God is with you, and we will keep you in our prayers. The results of parenting is a great reward.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog with interest, especially todays. I have 3 children and i feel like you... And thats with 3.
You sound like a good mother, who's thoughts are always her family.
I pray that you have strength,and love from god always.
Lorraine uk

Rebecca said...

You know what? I feel like an idiot commenting on this particular post because, while I too have opened up my heart to as many children as the Lord will give us-it is SLOW going for me. Only TWO babies later, I think maybe, my plans might not be his.

But I feel so BADLY that YOU feel badly. I am sorry that you are having a hard time.

Victoria~I think that this season of your life has made you just a bit weak and that you need to draw strength to get 'refilled'. That doesn't mean that you are sinning, that you are trusting God less, or that you will be receiving judgement for it!! EVERY mother, whether of one or seven, has thoughts about "Have I done the right thing?" or better yet: "WHAT have I done!"

I am not going to tell you what to do. I don't have that right, and even if I did, I wouldn't know what to say because (lord willing) I may have so many children that I become weak as well someday. I will say this-TOTALLY in my opinion, so take it or leave it-it's up to you.

First of all-NO one is saying I told you so.

Second of all~you CAN do this. Each child, (again-IMO)in their lives have plateaus and mountains. The mountains arise as your children get more mature and have different needs-things that they do that they need to be taught NOT to do. Then, after a while, the plateau comes as the child has learned his lessons and becomes downright pleasant, trying to please and knowing what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for their little minds to expand further and realize things they 'could' do that they don't really know is too terrible to do. These 'seasons' usually last a few weeks/months. The problem is, you have so many children, that those mountains are occuring simultaneously.

Eventually, your children will get to the age where that mountains are fewer and further between. Some of them seem already to be old enough to be at that point! So, look FORWARD To that. Know that THIS season of your life is NOT forever. Understand (and utilize) the help that is available to you in your older children. I see FAR too many people just let their kids 'monkey around' without responsibility. It ISN'T child slave labor-it is teaching your children how to honor you, how to sacrifice of themselves for others, it readies them for their own adult life, and encourages them to work. Good work brings glory to God.

Have you ever heard of Nancy and Doug Wilson? They have FABULOUS books that have encouraged me TIME and TIME again...AND they have BLOGS, so I can be challenged and refreshed each DAY.

This is Nancy's: http://femina.reformedblogs.com/

She deals directly with all issues of a woman. Go to her site, her past articles are all categorized. Here is one recent one that touched me as a Mama to two babies-and I am sure might touch you, as well.

http://femina.reformedblogs.com/2007/08/15/more-grace-for-mothers/

Again-it is entirely your opinion what to do in the future. I don't think you are out of line thinking that you would like to serve your husband and your household better, and to do that would mean no more kids. But, perhaps those things can happen regardless of babies. Maybe those changes can be made RIGHT now.

I have written a book, and don't feel like I have helped you at all. I am not so elegant a communicator that I can share perfectly what is on my heart.

Just know I am thinking of you and praying for you to be strengthened in your task, for wisdom in your decision-making, and for more GRACE that your heavy load might be lifted off of your shoulders and that you might be refreshed!

becky said...

I think you are doing a great job with your kids. I can only imagine how tough it is...I have a tough time with just the puppy right now. But I have to say that you have raised some wonderful children and I love them all. I enjoy being around them! When I mention you too people and talk about my "nieces and nephews" they look at me like...that's crazy. I have to always say that they are the most well behaved children you would want to be around...for the most part as I know kids will be kids (I remember Seth's screaming stage LOL) (I know you probably giggled then). But there are times when I can't handle being around someones one child because they are out of control. I find it refreshing to be around your family. So, that is that. Miss you all!
Love you too!

Victoria said...

Sis,
You know me sooo well - I did giggle when I read about the Seth-thing! :0) Thanks for the encouragement - EVERYONE!!!!! Love you all!