In case you are interested, I’ve started a new blog. The Beer Drinking Angel is going to be a lot of my personal life journey. Particularly my struggles with faith and religion. I hope you will stop by and engage over there as well. I will still be writing faithfully about my crazy life day to day on Your Crazy Mom.
Top Ten Things Not To Say to a Mother of Five
There are a lot of “lists” out there detailing sound advice on matters of what not to say to your children or what not to say in a job interview… I’m going to give you a top ten list that could Save. Your. Life. When you get married, the buzz question from well-meaning family and [...]
“Yes, they are funny, but we don’t touch other people’s nipples.” We’ve all had those moments of being engaged in dialogue when, as the speaker, you receive an unforeseen blow of conversational whiplash. Those times when you mentally take a step back and wonder, Did I actually just say that out loud?? As the matriarch of [...]
It’s Not Fair!
We have a fun new rule in the Crazy Mom home. It’s called the “It’s not fair!” rule. After much hair-pulling and name-calling over the last two potato skins at dinner last night, every child that dares to utter the phrase, “It’s not fair!” gets to assume the position on the dreaded wall. Note the [...]
The Night Night Song
Before we all moved in together, my greatest fear was bedtime. How on Earth can you get 5 siblings to all settle down and go to bed at night? I had disturbing fantasies of never-ending Nerf gun wars and waking up to bedrooms painted with finger paint and gorilla glue. Oddly, bedtime has been the [...]
A Fighting Father
A Co-Blog with Mr. eL. We’ve all seen posts on Facebook asking for prayer. If we are lucky there are a select few that take our deepest requests to heart and actually bring them before the Father diligently on our behalf. The majority of our friends, though, not out of ill-intent, recognize our request with [...]
There are a lot of “lists” out there detailing sound advice on matters of what not to say to your children or what not to say in a job interview… I’m going to give you a top ten list that could Save. Your. Life.
When you get married, the buzz question from well-meaning family and friends automatically is, “When are you going to have kids?” When the baby finally comes along, the hype is a little less, but everyone now wants to know the ETA of baby number two. After your second child, people sometimes ask if you want to have more, but two is an acceptable number of offspring and the masses, generally, leave the issue alone.
But when you have four, five, or more kids – EVERYONE has questions or commentary on the matter.
The Top Ten Things to NEVER Say to a Stressed-Out, Crazy Mom of Five:
10. “Are they ALL yours?”
Why does it matter if each child attached to my hip was also once attached to my uterus? Must I have stretch marks and a loose cervix for them to all qualify as mine? This question is particularly tacky in front of my children. Here’s why: I shouldn’t have to label and distinguish them to you, particularly in their presence. It makes me… and them uncomfortable. I feed them, I sing them to sleep, and I am dragging them around the grocery store, suffering your inquisition. Yes, they are mine. End of story.
9. “No wonder you look so insert adjective here (exhausted, stressed, homicidal).”
You are either stupid or very stupid to ask this question. Because here’s the truth: I am exhausted, stressed, and homicidal a lot of the time. Don’t be stupid.
8. “You look great for having five kids!”
I’m still trying to figure out if this is a compliment or an insult. I mean, I look great opposed to what? Would my current physique be a disappointment if I were merely a mother of two? Urrmm? My second thought is, of course I look great! It’s not like I have a whole lot of time to just sit on my butt, right? There is ONE time that this rule is excusable: If I am in my bikini by a body of water. If that is the case – bring on the praise!
7. “You must be really fertile!”
Unless you are my doctor and you are discussing options of shutting my ovaries down permanently, you are never, EVER allowed to compliment or criticize my overly productive reproductive system. Period.
6. “I hope you’ve had your tubes tied.”
Really? Don’t ask this unless you want to see how it feels to have your tongue tied.
5. “You know that is what got you into this mess.”
Not that Daddy tries to hump my leg in public or anything, but we are a very affectionate couple. Trust me, we don’t need a reminder of the birds and the bees; our birth-control begins with the screaming for pancakes at around 7AM every morning.
4. “Can you do insert favor here for me?”
No. The answer is no. You know why? Because I have FIVE kids. I’m resentful every day that I need to take a shower because I don’t have time to afford it. The last thing I want – or need – is to do something for you. I’m going to begin using this response – “Sure, if you’ll babysit.” I’m sure that is a certain cure for neediness.
3. Here’s the story, of a lovely lady…”
I’ve never heard that joke before. You’re really funny. Ha. Ha. Ha.
2. “Imagine when they all go to college! Yikes.”
My oldest kid is nine, and currently, my biggest financial fear is how much our health insurance deductible is because our youngest son was apparently born half human-half chimpanzee. Please don’t remind me that I will have 5 children in college at the same time and that it is probably going to cost both of my kidneys to send them all. Trust me, I haven’t forgotten.
And last, but unfortunately not least…
1. “What’s one more?”
I’ll tell you what ONE MORE is. ONE MORE equals out to somewhere around $216,000 over the next eighteen years, based on recent numbers posted by the ASDA, Expenditures on Children by Families. This astronomical amount does not even include getting five through college and then sending the ONE MORE baby. ONE MORE means, now that all five are finally able to wipe their own butts, I’m buying diapers and getting my pillows pooped on at 3AM. ONE MORE means, now that all five are able to feed themselves, my boobs are utters once again and there are smashed peas slung all over the walls in my kitchen. ONE MORE means, having a house-full of pre-teens and a terrible two-year old. People who suggest this ludicrous ONE MORE theory, act as though we may be contemplating adopting another beta fish.
Are we contemplating it? Not directly. I’m currently contemplating if there would be enough Xanax in the world for ONE MORE.
“Yes, they are funny, but we don’t touch other people’s nipples.”
We’ve all had those moments of being engaged in dialogue when, as the speaker, you receive an unforeseen blow of conversational whiplash. Those times when you mentally take a step back and wonder, Did I actually just say that out loud??
As the matriarch of this circus sideshow, I have experienced too many conversations to count that I never thought I would have with another human being.
All of our boys – dad included – refuse to wear shirts in the summertime. So, man nipples have been a constant source of intrigue and discussion in our house. Man nipples are funny and pointless, and they get a lot of unwanted attention around here. It all began with our eldest son who continually walks around pinching them as if they are stress-relieving pressure points. Without thinking, I called him out in front of his siblings. ”Son, are you afraid your nipples are going to mysteriously vanish? Leave your nipples alone.”
That was my first mistake. Sometimes, the best course you can take as a parent is to just keep your mouth shut. Suddenly, the other two boys also discovered their man nipples, and it’s been a nipplefest ever since.
Then the girls got involved, and girls are mean. A few days later, I heard shrieking in the living room and then Dad escorted our eldest daughter into our bedroom. ”Mom, you’re going to have to handle this one. Please explain to your daughter why we don’t touch other people’s nipples.”
Our daughter had apparently attempted a nipple-ectomy on her brother. How do you keep a straight face in the midst of that conversation?
Effective communication skills are absolutely vital to being a parent. Even the strongest convictions and beliefs are absolutely useless if you are unable to convey them to your children. Not only must you have something valuable to say, you must have the ability to translate the message into the many different languages of childhood. I thank sweet Jesus above every day that I was given a talent with words and that I maintain open communication with each of my kids.
BUT sometimes that communication is a little TOO OPEN. Never would I have thought I would have to put “touching man nipples” on the list of punishable offenses in my home.
We have a fun new rule in the Crazy Mom home. It’s called the “It’s not fair!” rule. After much hair-pulling and name-calling over the last two potato skins at dinner last night, every child that dares to utter the phrase, “It’s not fair!” gets to assume the position on the dreaded wall.
Note the photo… We don’t play.
Most kids fight over things like toys, the use of the bathroom, and who has to do the dishes, right? Not in this house. Our kids are freaking weird. Today alone, I have actually had to referee the following squabbles:
“He is not following the laws of the [imaginary] kingdom!”
“She got to dance with the Justin Bieber poster two times!”
and, my personal favorite…
“Mom, he’s using curses in the house again!” (Insert magical wand wave here.)
Everyone scream it with me now… “It’s not fair!” (Unless you’re my youngest daughter, then it is… “It’s not FEEER!”)
In the book of Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote to the church of Corinth about humility. He told them, “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.”
The Lord, too, has given me a thorn in my flesh to keep me humble and, apparently, expand my measure of patience. It happens meally.
Meal·ly [meel-lee] adjective 1. of, pertaining to, occurring, or done each successive meal)
Our fine dining room is short one comfy walnut chair. For this reason someone has to sit on the footstool during mealtime. THREE TIMES A DAY I get to play Switzerland in this battle:
“But he got to sit on the stool at breakfast!”
“But she got to sit on the stool yesterday!”
“But I haven’t gotten to sit on the stool all week!”
Normal kids would feel degraded to have to sit on the same stool I use to scrap bird feces off the front porch beams… huh, huh. Not my cute little freaks of nature. Yesterday, their dad threatened that if they didn’t stop fighting over the stool, they would all have to sit on the floor. He proceeded to tell them that none of them are allowed on the stool anymore… so what does that mean?
IT’S NOT FAIR!!!
Before we all moved in together, my greatest fear was bedtime. How on Earth can you get 5 siblings to all settle down and go to bed at night? I had disturbing fantasies of never-ending Nerf gun wars and waking up to bedrooms painted with finger paint and gorilla glue. Oddly, bedtime has been the easiest and the sweetest part of the day. Maybe because that’s the time that Mommy and Daddy get to retire to the sanctity of the porch with a bottle of wine and the sweet hum of night frogs, rather than the creak of the back door sliding open for us to referee whose turn it is to play the Playstation.
Routine. Routine. Routine has been the key.
Our first night here, we all discussed and agreed on a fair bedtime. 9 o’clock was the reasonable consensus. And every night at 9PM all five children are dressed for bed, with teeth brushed, and anxiously awaiting prayers, getting tucked in, and being kissed goodnight.
After our first week, my son asked, “Mom, can you sing the Night Night Song?”
It had been a tradition in our house for me to cuddle up with my kids and sing at bedtime. I imagined my “new” kids to think this ridiculous. Surely, they were too old to appreciate such a “baby” ritual, particularly with this brand new woman who was playing the part of the new mom. Nevertheless, I curled up with the boys and sang the Night Night Song.
The next day, to my surprise, all three of the boys asked at separate times, away from the anticipated ridicule of their brothers if I could sing to them again at bedtime. How could I say no? When the girls found out about the Night Night Song they also began requesting it at bedtime.
Now, every night each child curls up with me and I gently sing them to sleep. All of them, even the ones I didn’t bring into this world, kiss my face when the song ends and say, “I love you, Mommy.”
On our recent road trip to Disney, the Night Night Song (God Speed, Sweet Dreams by the Dixie Chicks) came on the stereo via my iPod. Every child in the car sang along with me. Daddy reached over and squeezed my hand as I choked back tears.
Being a step-mother is challenging. Hell, being a mother period is next to impossible a lot of the time. But there is something absolutely magical about being given the privilege of earning a child’s love. My “new” kids have a mother in this world that loves them very much, and I in no way will ever want to or be able to replace her. But I am so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to love and nurture these precious little souls, and enjoy these moments that I know we will miss so much when they are grown. Technically, they are my step-kids, but I can’t think of them any other way than mine.
“God bless Mommy and Matchbox cars. God bless Dad and thanks for the stars. God hears amen wherever we are… And I love you.”