Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Lately, I have been struggling to keep up. Surprise. I know. I feel like a juggler in the circus with too many balls in the air. Or like a mom without enough hours in the day. It's not necessarily a bad type of overwhelmed, its just a busy- regular life type. I'm quite sure I'm not even close to the only woman who feels this way. I'm quite sure its totally normal and typical and experienced daily by moms and women across the globe.

My particular brand of overwhelmed goes something like this. I'm sick to death of kids wetting the bed. Wetting the couch. Wetting their pants. How hard is it to pee in the toilet??? I'm so tired of laundering sheets and wet Dora panties. I have all the little kid's beds coated in plastic so that at least the solution is as simple as changing sheets, and lysol-ing the plastic.

I'm tired of grumpy teenagers. The ones (well,in our home, its the two) who make me feel like such a dork and totally inadequate. They do every single thing I ask them to, and they are great kids. I can't complain. But try to start a conversation with either of them about anything meaningful and they make it pretty clear (by saying absolutely nothing and avoiding eye contact) that they'd rather be having a root canal at the dentist's office then having this conversation. Does this stage pass? Anyone who has lived through the teen years? Will I become cool again? I used to be cool. They used to want to go to the store with me, or spend time talking. Now I have to bribe them with something they want. I feel like I don't know them. Like they are slipping away from me. Like everyone knows them better than I do. I do ask them directly what's going on in their lives and I don't get much in the way of an answer. Mostly just the much-dreaded "nothing."

And the ying to this yang is Bree. She is apparently, operating under the false beleif that her body is physically connected to mine. Seriously, she's in a stage right now where she has to be on top of my lap or in my arms 100 percent of her waking hours. If I have to put her down, she puts her hand into my back pocket and follows me where ever I go in the house. She even goes to the bathroom with me. When I take a shower, she sits on the toilet seat across from me and smiles. If I must put her down, because God forbid, one of our other nine children need attention, she howls and cries "Noooooooooo, Mommy, noooooooooo!" It's quite heart wrenching. She will tolerate Mia sitting on my lap next to her. She loves Mia. They hold hands, and Bree strokes her face and head. And leans over to kiss her. And kisses her again. And then accidentally bops her in the head with a toy...ugggg. In some ways, I find it incredibly endearing, though challenging. And I wouldn't refuse her. I don't believe in that. I believe strongly its a stage that will pass and that my job as her mom is to provide what she needs in this stage so that she can move on healthfully to the next. But that doesn't mean it isn't challenging or stressful.

I totally realize that the stress I am under result from the enormous flow of blessings in my life. And I wouldn't change that at all. This is all good stress. This is completely and totally the type of stress I signed up for in being a mom. I love it and it wears me out. It makes so cry tears of joy when I watch Brice blow out his birthday candles or look down at Bree and Mia holding hands while they nurse, and it also makes me run down the stairs like a freed prisoner when I lay the little kids down for a nap. I know that all my little kids won't be such little kids for long. Soon Bree might not want to be constantly attached to me and then that will make me cry too, like now, with Manny and Drew.

I also realize that this beautiful and amazing job I signed up for- motherhood- is all encompassing. I don't have a single aspect of my life that isn't totally consumed by it. To put it bluntly, there aren't any other sides to me anymore. It's sort of a sad feeling to realize that I have nothing else to offer the world besides this, or to contemplate the list of things I really just can't relate to anymore.And I don't mean that in a morose type of way, just in a simple, that's-the-way-it-is way. Motherhood has completely washed out any remnant of anything else that was there before. It's my job and my life.It's the basis of every choice and decision I make. I can't clock out or go home. It' whole life. And I love it. I decided a long itme ago that I'd rather have babies, than things. I'd rather have babies than trips, I'd rather have babies than a career. And I stand by that choice a million percent and would pick it again and again. But the enormity of it sometimes makes me feel, well...overwhelmed. Not at all overburdened. Just overwhelmed.


Tuesday Name Gallery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
debi9kids said...

when the boys move out and have families of their own, thy will like you again.
I remember my brothers during their teen years and they were like you just described your boys. Once they grew up and realized how awesome my mom was, they "respected " her again.

LOL about Bree being SO attached to you.

Angela & Albert Fontenot said...

Thanks Debi. I sure hope it turns out that way!

Blondee said...

You have been blessed and of course even blessings can feel weighty at times. You're human and that's natural. You wouldn't be normal if you didn't feel overwhelmed at times.
Delegate. There is no reason for everything to fall on your shoulders. Assign a couple of the older kids two days each of dealing with the 'bedwetters'. Have them help get them up and throw the bedding in the will lighten your load. It's also a good way to get the little kids to count on their siblings intead of just you.

I think all teens go through the stages of awkwardness and avoidance with parents. I know my son has his moments! Just be yourself and keep the lines of communication open, keep trying, it's your grace that brought you this far in life, and it's your grace that will keep you going.


Anonymous said...

Yes, all these stages will pass! things will get better! Just hang in there and take one day at a time!
Whatever the Lord allows to happen in your life, He'll get you through! Praying!
Psalms 91:9-12 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Prayer Bears
My email address

Anonymous said...

Continuing to pray!
Psalms 91:14-15 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
Prayer Bears
My email address

Anonymous said...

Stopping by to let you know I'm still here praying!
Psalms 61:1-4 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
Prayer Bears
My email address

16 blessings'mom said...

I can relate!! My baby is three now, so it isn't nearly as busy here as it used to be, but still! I have a few bedwetters, and now that my older kids do their own laundry, I have to wait to use the washer sometimes. It was easier when I just did it all. Life with lots of kids IS really busy. Stuff that does get done doesn't stay done. I also have a Clinger, Camille says several times a day, "I NEED you, Mama, I NEED you." She wants me to sit down so she can cuddle up and suck her thumb for a while. So I do. Because like my mother used to say, "the days are long but the years are short"...and the teenagers: I have six of them right now (and four in their 20's).....when they get a little older they will think you are cool again. And they might even start thanking you for how you raised them when they get out into the hang in there!!!

Anonymous said...

The Lord understands your pain! Praying!
Isaiah 53:1-3: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Prayer Bears
My email address

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