Friday, December 12, 2014

Your assumptions about my large family make my expectations higher.

Yesterday the school principle told me that if she had a daughter she'd want her to be just like Emma. A smile spread across my face and I beamed with pride. I didn't bother to mention that at home Emma can be a typical moody pre-teen. I left out the part that just before we'd gone to the school concert Emma gave me a huge attitude for something that wasn't even my fault. Nope I just smiled and said thank you. You see, sometimes I feel like I need to have higher expectations of my kids than a normal sized family and I take these compliments as proof that the facade of our perfect family is working. We're not perfect, but I want you to believe we are and this is why:

1. People assume I am so organized and who am I to ruin that fantasy. I am in fact scatterbrained and would lose my head if it wasn't connected to my neck. I forget things all the time and sometimes never remember what I was trying to think of ever again. Then again if I did think of it later I probably forgot I was ever trying to think of it to begin with. I do not have all my crap together just because I have more kids. I am just as irresponsible as most other mothers.

2. We are more judged by our kids behavior and I make a point of teaching my kids that. People feel like when you have so many kids they should be perfect and well behaved or else what right do we have to keep bringing kids into this world. What are we trying to do populated the world with unruly monsters? It's other peoples opinions that make me remind my children often of their manners in public, but man do they let loose in private. In public we are quiet and smile. In private if someone calls they probably think they called a war zone. Our house is LOUD!!!!!!! 

3. If anybody asks we only watch an hour of TV a day. People already assume children in small families are babysat by the TV. Can you image what they think we do to keep our kids occupied? I have been known to leave Nick Jr. running all day. I'm not ashamed. We have a lot of laundry and dishes to keep up on. 

4. People assume our older kids raise the younger ones. Yes, our older children are expected to help out when they're home, which isn't often. They have lives outside our home and those lives are really busy and they have no problem telling me that. Even if they are just texting I'm told how important these texts are for their social lives and what I need will have to wait. Yeah, for the record I never wait

5. You think we have our hands full and guess what we do. There are days I sit back and think how am I going to do this. When 5 kids have the stomach flu at once I feel like a zombie going through the motions. When the kids are fighting I want to bang their heads together, but I know these bad times pass quickly. I blinked and my oldest is almost 17 and now I dread the day he moves on. I am scared to death of the day my hands our empty.

In the end there is nothing I can do to take away peoples assumptions about us or ease the high expectations I have because of them, but I can say thanks. Thanks for making me work harder to raise kids who know how to act in public and how to treat people. Thanks for the fact my kids know how to treat others and do well socially. In the end your expectations make me a better mother.  

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