Kudos to you, fellow Moms in Action!

It is the beginning of October.  This means September has come and gone in a flash, and I think I am not alone when I say I am now just stopping to catch my breath.  It is almost a miracle that I am able to keep track of where everyone needs to be and at what time, never mind juggling dinner, laundry, tidying up and groceries to boot.  Throw in working outside the home, and you have, ladies and gentleman, a modern day miracle.  I know I am not the only one to stand back, breathless, and wonder how it is that all the moving parts in our lives managed to coordinate and not collide!  My dear friend recently emailed me with some kudos.  She hailed me as a “warrior woman” whom she admires for doing this juggle everyday.  It felt so delightful to have received this intentional shout-out from my friend and fellow Mom in Action.  Moms everywhere do these very things daily.  I am not singing a new song when I recount my daily round.  But to stop for a minute and say to another who is slogging it out in the trenches of motherhood, “Hey there!  I see you!  You are doing a great job!  You GO!”, is a gift to the one we acknowledge and to ourselves all at the same time.  We are all women warriors doing our very best everyday.  Being proud of this role and supporting each other in it, is paramount to our success as mothers and as a community.

The trouble is, that I don’t think we often view our roles as moms as requiring skills and expertise.  We take them for granted.  I think we just go out the business of momming without realizing or remembering the learning and evolution it took to get here.  What if we stopped for a minute to consider the value we bring to our role as mothers in the same way we might examine the value we bring to our workplace or business? Have you ever stopped to ponder the skills you have learned and honed from your role as a mom? Have you ever stopped to really consider what value you bring to your little enterprise of Joe S. Family?  I wonder, what if moms everywhere, and by that I mean ALL moms; full-time stay at home moms, part-time working moms and full-time working-outside-of-the-home-career moms, were to examine for a moment our roles in the home?  Would we fully appreciate what we learn from this role and what we contribute to it? Would we pat ourselves on the back more often than criticizing our lack of perfection?  Would doing so change the satisfaction we might derive from our role as mothers and keepers of the home front?

The truth is, the “job” of being a mom is a series of more or less mundane tasks which we do over and over AND OVER again in an effort to care for and nurture children, run an efficient home, and hopefully facilitate the development of happy, healthy, productive adults.  That is our goal.  We of course willingly (mostly) take on the extras as well, the enrichment aspects of this chosen position;  the epic party/ play-date/ event planner, the team manager, the chef and chauffeur, nurse and first responder, the expert Lego engineer.  Often times we experience many of these roles all within mere seconds of each other, changing hats and personas like a Mrs Potato Head extravaganza.  These are skills, each and every one of them. So why is it then, that if you ask a mom who is at home with her kids for a period of time, or has chosen not to work outside the home at all, “What she DOES?”,  this mother will say, somewhat sheepishly or dismissively, “Oh I’m just at home with my kids.”  Why is it that there is an element of apology behind this admission? I wonder how warrior women, aka mothers, everywhere would perceive ourselves, if we were to look at our role and life at home as a career? What if we were to list our skills and deliverables as we would in a resume?  I think we would be incredibly impressed at what we could actually write, if we gave ourselves the chance.

Kudos Moms!  Keep up the great work.


Our happy circus

As I sit down to start this blog, I am interrupted 6 times before I have even completed this sentence.  No joke.  I am pretty sure any future entry will be no different for a very, very long time.  I am the mother of four awesome kids aged 8, 6, 3 and 2, and am about to give birth to our fifth bundle of joy any time now; hence the name of my blog, Five under 8.  At this point, my husband has known me longer pregnant than not, and I have more “transitional” pieces in my wardrobe than any garment I could identify with for longer than a month or two.  Admittedly, I am one of THOSE annoying women who actually enjoys being pregnant and even manages to feel beautiful through most of it, although I have finally reached the point where I can say that I am absolutely and unequivocally DONE.  I am tired of being pregnant, out of breath, and uncomfortable. I am excited to be beyond the stage of producing these little humans, and be entirely devoted to raising these little humans.

We had always planned on a largish family, and wanted them close in age.  The plan however, was for a family of between 3 and 4 children, so this little one took us all quite by surprise.  I had donated all baby clothes no less than 2 weeks after our youngest had outgrown them and had gleefully tossed the gaudy plastic exersaucer the moment she had reached the weight/ height maximum.  Upon realizing that our well laid plans to reclaim some semblance of balance and personal time had been usurped by an unexpected twist of fate, I faced a set of emotions that I had not experienced with any other pregnancy.  I was panicked, terrified, and angry that the so-called birth control we used had failed to deliver on its promise to do just that.  Thankfully, I got over that relatively quickly, and am proud and delighted to have a larger-than-most family.  Contrary to popular assumption, I don’t actually have a huge tolerance for disorganization or noise, but am learning to embrace the chaos of my happy circus.  I do fully appreciate the gift that each of our children brings to us and each other, and in an effort to remember and honour each crazy moment, I have created this blog to record and share my musings on it all.

I hope you enjoy it.