Sunday, June 28, 2009

No child left behind

As many of my regular blog followers know in just a few short (I hope) weeks Tim and I will welcome our 5th child. I am at the point in my pregnancy where I am tired. Really tired. The Florida summer heat is getting to me, my big belly is slowing me down, and the four children who are already here are wearing me out. In my exhaustion, and the guilt I feel over it, I am starting to worry that I may not have what it takes to parent five children and give them each what they need from me.
Both Tim and I came from fairly big families ourselves. I was the third child in a family of four children. Tim was second in a family of five children. My mother has told me repeatedly that she still remembers how hard it was to be there for each of us. Tim has often said he felt a little lost in the shuffle at his house growing up. I worry my own children may be feeling something similar- especially these days when I feel I have so much less to give. I know things will not get easier for quite a while as I have never juggled a newborn and home schooling at the same time. Not to mention the fact that I'm pretty sure I still have not mastered mothering four children!
So, what is a mother of five to do? Well, as a Catholic mother of five, I know that each and every one of my children is truly a gift from God. I know He has blessed Tim and I with the responsibility of raising each of them. Yes, our responsibility to our children is a blessing! God has entrusted us with an amazing gift in our growing family. With that responsibility, He, thankfully, also blesses us with an amazing amount of grace to become the family He created us to be, but only if we turn to Him. If I try to do it all and be all things to my children I will surely fail. If I pray and trust in God to lead me, to guide me, to inspire me, and to strengthen me than I know He will help me to do all that I can to raise my children in love.
I worry only because I know it will not be easy. I hope and pray my children never feel lost in the shuffle or just a part of the crowd at our house. I know that finding the time to spend with each of them will never be easy. I know that meeting each of their individual needs and knowing their individual personalities well enough to meet those needs in the right way will require a lot of patience and self-sacrifice on my part. Though I may never master parenting (does anyone?), I have learned that like St. Francis of Assissi said, "it is in giving that we receive." And so, I am willing to give more because I trust I will continue receiving even more than I already have!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful reflection! I'm a former teacher, so I appreciate the title :) Thanks for the thought-provoking post!



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