Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Highs and Lows of a mother of 6

The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy around here.  For whatever reason, I am having a hard time lately keeping everything going as a Mom.

We are a preparing for a family trip in a few weeks, and some of my kids are seemingly bent on destroying my mental health before we leave.  A trifle overstated, perhaps....but you get the idea of how things are going around here.

Because of this, I've been thinking a lot about my kids and how having a bigger-than-average family amplifies everything that is good...but also everything that is bad...about family life.  I feel so mercurial as a Mom--one minute I'll feel like life could not possibly get any sweeter and then five minutes later find myself wondering what in the world I could have possibly done to deserve such frustration and pain.  You know?

I think the deal is that when you have more children, the highs are higher, but the lows are loooow-er.  

I feel like things in our family have been skewing low lately, but there have been some thrillingly wonderful things happening around the Smith homestead, too.  And so in the interest of fair reporting, here is a list, in no particular order, of some of our family's recent HIGHS and lows:
  • It is a high to watch little Lucy happily walking all over the place now, completely delighted with herself and her new-found abilities and freedom.
  • It was a low when my 12-year-old borrowed and broke the third camera I have bought in the last year.  I didn't even want to tell my husband because he has teased me about how many cameras (and strollers) I've bought over the course of our marriage.  When he came home that night and I 'fessed up, he joked, "You put your trust in the wrong people..." (since I have never broken or lost a camera--but the kids sure have). Indeed.
  • It is a high to be able to drive in the HOV lane almost all the time.  Because of all my cute kids, I am almost never in the car by myself and thus get to whiz by all the sad sacks who are in their cars all by their lonesomes.
  • It is a low that with all my bickering, opinionated kids in my car that I can rarely even hear myself think :).
  • It is a high to have an amazing 16-year-old who passed the driver's test the first time and is willing to drive his siblings places. Yeeeee-haw!!
  • It is a low that that same amazing 16-year-old will leave home in two short years to have amazing adventures without me.
  • It is a high that I finally finished painting two end tables for our living room.  Heirloom white spray paint (I had to wait a week between coats because our local store was out so I ordered online), new pulls....ahhhhh.  What a satisfying project.  They looked so much better and I was just getting ready to accessorize them when...
  • It was a low that I left my drill in reach of my four year old and he practiced drilling all over the top and front of one of my tables.  Yes, wood putty works and I had more paint.  But yelling at said four-year-old was an even lower low...sigh.
  • It is a high that I'm in the process of decorating Sophie's room.  I painted it as a surprise when she was at her grandmother's a few weekends ago, and I've been working on accessories (for starters: I made a pendant light out of a canning jar lid and some prisms from our dining room chandelier!  So easy and really cute, too).  She loves how the room is coming together and is so grateful and sweet.
  • It was a low when, in the midst of a discussion about chores, the same sweet Sophie screamed, "You hate me, Mom!  You don't even like me one little bit!" as she stormed up to her decorated room several days ago.  What?????!?  If this is the tweens, I am shaking in my boots for the injection of hormones and (more) attitude that the teens are said to bring.
I could go on (and on and on), but now I am wondering: what are your recent familial highs and lows?  Don't feel like you have to get too gritty ;), but please tell me I'm not the only Mom who feels like she's on top of the world one minute and in despair the next.