“You have FOUR girls?!? Wow! How do you DO it?!?”
I hear these words more frequently than any others out of the mouths of strangers and new acquaintances alike. When I am out with all 4 of them myself I spend a good portion of my time fielding questions and making small awkward conversations in passing with strangers about my girls. They are NOT shy, usually, and they all have very friendly, bold personalities so they certainly encourage the conversations and questions and random remarks from friends, family, and strangers in every aisle at the store too. [Don’t get me wrong, they all have been taught “Stranger Danger” and practice good safety measures in public and their comfort level in these circumstances is a direct result of my hovering them in public settings. Take me out of the equation and their natural panic sets in].
Sometimes, I swear these girls think they have a camera crew following us to film us for a reality show we have not been cast for yet. I listen to the questions that come in from strangers daily regarding my ability to parent these 4 sweet girls and, even though the answers roll right off my tongue proud and confidently in how beautifully well-rounded and compassionate my girls have become, I always feel in the back of my mind that they wound up this way despite me. Spouting “Thank you” and “How sweet of you to say” in reply with genuine appreciation that they would say such kind things, but all the while feeling somewhat like a fraud.
I love my family and every one of my girls to the moon and round and round and back again, but the truth is, I never wanted children of my own. I had big dreams of living in a city after graduation, attending an Art & Design College and soaking in the culture and freedom this world has to offer a starving artist soul like mine. Back then in my plans for my life after graduation, I would graduate from college with some kind of degree in art and a secondary major in Creative writing or Publishing and the world would be my playground.
You see I come from a very large family, my mother is one of 12 children and 10 of them are girls! Makes my 4 seem like a breeze, but that’s a topic for another post!! This meant I had young children around my whole life and though I loved playing with them and what not, I had insecurities in my ability to parent and, so many dreams that I couldn’t see past them to the stage where children would fit in………Oh but alas, God hijacked my dream and decided to plop me right in the middle of the dream HE had for me…..as if it was ever my plan that mattered anyway, laughable.
Now let’s fast forward to the day my first child was born, suddenly I was more in love with this little bundle that I grew inside me than I ever knew was possible before, and like the cliché goes, she became my life. I couldn’t even see my dreams anymore past her eyes. Everything I would do from that moment on would be for this little one, to give her the ability, the possibility, and the choice to do anything she could want. My new dream was whatever her dream would be…..
Don’t get me wrong I still had things that I enjoyed, hobbies that I would push into the backseat while I navigated parenting. This season was for me to be a mom, I would worry about myself once my kids were grown up, right? That’s what we moms do, right? Over the next 8 years, my husband and I would add 2 additional bundles to our parenting tour and it was at that time that I began to drown in the life of “MOM”. With the news that #3 was on the way I had to begin making necessary preparations to leave my traditional job to begin the role of a SAHM and with that decision, my complete & full selfless immersion into parenting 24/7 began. It was almost a year after we brought baby girl #3 home from the hospital that I realized I needed to take care of me and myself again. I had completely pushed “myself” out of me and was a fully devoted wife & mommy. I needed reminding that I still needed my own dreams because that would help me be a friendlier, happier and altogether better mommy. My mental sanity needed my own “happy place” to rest again, besides just my bible studies (because truth be told sometimes that just felt like an added pressure to me when I was drowning). That is when I let the bug to write bite me again. That is when this blog originated.
I have continued to write ever since, though not actively on this blog at the time. As new to me as blogging was, the “new” me became incredibly overwhelmed with the idea of running a blog shortly after publishing my first post on here. I decided to go back to the beginning of my love of writing and I just started typing words to begin a plot outline for a novel. A novel of which I began and the words just poured out creating 300 some pages of a journey, that one day maybe I will try to publish. The list of writing to do’s just keeps growing as God has urged me to continue with a few “assignments” of his own. This blog is one of those “assignments”. He has shown me that my dreams were always a part of His, I just needed some molding before I was ready to chase them. Now I get to strive for my own dreams with a new measure of success and an understanding of what defines success. The addition of sweet girl #4 came a year and a half ago and she has only added to the chaos, the storytelling and the utter joy in our days. With her addition came the desire to begin again with my blogging endeavor, because the world wants to know,……“You have FOUR girls?!? Wow! How do you DO it?!?”
I always say there are no coincidences because God has a plan for each of us, there are only God instances and if we stop & look we will not only see them but see how beautifully orchestrated these God instances are. I love the quote above by Walt Disney, “If you dream it you can do it” because it is a motto of sorts that I have tried to encourage in my girls and in the ever increasingly complicated society that we live in. I want them to remember they can do anything and they can strive to be anything, BUT I don’t EVER want them to let their dreams be so big they squeeze out God and His plans because if I had kept a straight & narrow on my own personal dreams, I would have cheated this world 4 of the most incredibly amazing, God-loving little girls just because I didn’t think I could do the impossible, parent flawlessly, as if that is even attainable. I am forever thankful that God didn’t just hijack my dreams, but also that I was receptive to His redirect for me, that I heard Him knocking in my soul…………….because His plan so far has been way more rewarding than any life alone as a starving artist could have been and now I have anecdotes forever to use for my writing thanks to my 4 Sweet Girls!