To: Mothers of only one child
From: A mother of seven
A Few Things You May Not Know
Given the idea by a very talented writer and blogger, I’ve decided to compile a list of things a mother of only one child may or may not know. I have five biological children, four of whom are boys, and two step-children. Needless to say, I have a lot of “war stories” already, and I still have 16 years to go! Having more than one child is both rewarding and challenging, fulfilling and exasperating.
When you only have one child, you’ll never know, have or understand:
- You’ll never know who broke it.
- It is much easier to find a babysitter for only one child. Try finding a willing sucker to watch all five, all seven, or even a couple extra if they have friends over. (Thanks, Mom, for being such a sucker!)
- Although it’s easy to get carried away for one child at Christmas, imagine the expansiveness around my tree when I get carried away for seven. Equally noted, I bet my credit card bill is much fatter than yours, too.
- Managing to take two to three kids to sports practice and/or games at the same time. Along those same lines, managing to get five children to four different locations at the same time.
- Your heart breaks just as strongly every time your “baby” goes to Kindergarten. Your heart fills with pride and elation just as strongly as the first one with each “first tooth” or “first step”.
- Fighting over car seats. The older boys will stand outside the van trying to out-wait each other so as to get the prime seat. The baby boys will cry if you put them in the wrong car seat. I cannot convince them that we are all going to the same place and getting there at the same time…no matter how many times I tell them or prove it to them.
- How trying it is to keep children from biting, hitting, pulling hair in the basket while trying to meticulously obtain everything off of your grocery list.
- Finding extra items in the grocery basket that you are certain you did not place there.
- All eyes on you in public. I don’t know what stands out more in Wal-Mart than a young woman with seven kids.
- Trying to referee the pissing contest at “potty” time. Boys are competitive in every task they attempt to master, and they must see who can produce the most urine, conjure up the most bubbles, and finish fastest.
- Assembly line bath time. Bathing them in it anyways if someone pees because it’s just “sweet baby pee” and you cannot afford to run a new tub full every time someone pees. We’d be running water all night long and draining the local lakes.
- Quiet is VERY bad! One child being quiet, okay. More than one child being quiet…especially boys, very bad. Evil is conspiring or transpiring unless they are sleeping…and even then it’s probably being dreamt of.
- There’s no such thing as having a favorite. Each one holds an equally large but separate place in your heart.
- The pure bliss of nap time.
- The necessity of precisely counting out the Cheetos, crackers, chicken nuggets, etc. at dinner so as not to cause a commotion and crying at the thought of injustice.
- Twin stroller. Trying to fit three children into a twin stroller.
- People fighting over your lap.
- The necessity of an egg timer in the house to time TV, computer, or video game minutes to assure equity.
- Doing laundry every day of the week
- Losing track of names.
- Cooking ONE meal to appease SEVEN different tastes.
As a mother of many, you fully understand:
- You can only afford to eat at buffet restaurants.
- The beauty of hand-me-downs.
- Layered stretch marks and saggy boobs. Knowing which stretch marks came from which pregnancy and appropriately naming them.
- I get five kisses before I leave or at bedtime instead of just one.
- As a mother, your major goal is an empty nest.
- Dressing your children alike so you can spot them in a crowd should they wander off.
- To accommodate all of the children’s needs, you have two sizes of diapers and maxi pads in the basket.
- You have a reasonable excuse for being a little fluffy.
- You marvel at how such strikingly different personalities emerged from the same two people.