Family is the Strongest Team

There was another young mom walking near me with her sweet kids a few days ago.  This momma was being so patient and kind and kept having little conversations with her children as she passed by.  She was asking them questions and really enjoying their answers.  It was an adorable interaction to watch.  As they continued their chat, an older woman stopped and commented on how cute the kids were.  She struck up a conversation with this young mom and I heard her say, “I know sometimes motherhood is difficult but when you get older you will regret not having had more kids.”

 

You wouldn’t believe how many people ask me how I do life with 4 kids.  It is crazy the amount of times friends tell me they can’t imagine life with one more child than they have, I get that! I know moms of 5 and 6 kids and I wonder how they do it. Kids are tough, for sure, but I am also surprised at the number of times that I have heard older parents tell me that they wish they would have had one more child.  So it leaves me thinking ‘what’s the right number?’  

 

I can tell you my “right” number is 4.  I am one of 4 siblings.  My mom was one of 4 siblings.  I didn’t exactly set out for this, but it happened.  I love having our big family.  I am proud of each of my kids, they are so unique.  

 

Recently, we had a family emergency.  It was incredible to see everyone come together.  My siblings and their families didn’t skip a beat and flocked to help. Really, phone calls and texts were sent out and immediately schedules were rearranged and everyone showed up.  We ended up making it through that hurdle and within a week another hurdle appeared.  Again, family was there.  Travel, meals, time and support were made available.  Honestly, I was so impressed by all of us, lol.  You always hope that when something happens…something that can leave a lasting impression on a family that everyone will pull together.  Well, we did.  I was humbled by family and friends that wanted to offer immediate assistance.  

 

All those years of hearing my parents tell us that our siblings would be our best friends and the ones that we could always count on was apparent.  It was incredible to overlook the ways that we had recently disagreed and to be united on helping out.  I know without question that my parents were touched by seeing their kids and grand-kids arrive without being asked.

 

When a member of my family was growing up his life was layered with tragedy and turmoil. As he got older he didn’t have many family members left to turn to. The ones he should have been able to count on, his siblings, were quick to turn their backs. Perhaps this was their way of coping from loss as well. Perhaps they didn’t feel they had any more to give. Perhaps they were selfish and stunted. Whatever the reason for the rift, he knew that when he raised his own family, his own children, he would do better.

Whether you have one kid or 10, I hope that you can take a lesson from my parents…raise each child to know the importance of family.  Adopted or birthed, or family by marriage, it doesn’t matter.  Raise your family with the knowledge that at the end of the day they can count on one another.  When you bring up children to know that they can depend on you no matter what, they will learn to also be dependable.

It’s amazing to have friends; great ones that understand me and accept me as I am. There is a dynamic with family that is different, though. You didn’t get to choose them and you are kinda stuck with who you got, haha. It’s neat to watch the relationships grow and deepen over time. My family has gotten on my nerves and disappointments aren’t unheard of. I know that I have disappointed and annoyed them, as well. But figuring out how to get along and reunite after disputes is something that strong families just need to learn to do. We don’t have to try and please each other all the time. If we don’t like something or agree completely we are good at letting one another know. We also have learned to be flexible. It is ok if we don’t “win” every “battle.” Family has helped me learned about give-and-take. It is our first and final lesson on how to be selfless, family is. We give up so much as parents, but we gain so much more with family. Love yours! Forgive, send a text, make a call or show up when you are needed. If there is breath, there is time. Make the positive changes to restore relationships with those who matter. You only get one family.

 

I am so thankful for this lesson and I will make it a life goal to pass it on to my kids.