A couple of weeks ago we took our kids skiing. It’s a bit of a chore really. Daddy-o and I basically spent the morning bickering, snapping and barking orders – at each other and at the kids. Trying to get five kids on the slopes while juggling a toddler is no easy feat.
Once everyone was on the hills and skiing happily off into the sunset came my sigh of relief and the question I occasionally ask myself: is it worth it?
Of course the answer is yes, for a couple of reasons. Clearly, I want my kids to be outdoors, get exercise, learn new skills and have fun. I also don’t want them to be penalized too gravely for being in a big family. My feeling is if I had two kids I’d take them skiing, so why not six? Because of that, the moments of frustration and hard work are worth it. When they ski up to me at the end of the day with their pink cheeks, excitedly reporting which hills they conquered – yeah, once again, worth it.
But it’s also worth it for me because the thought of sitting at home and taking the “easy” approach is enough to put me to sleep. When people see me out and about with my gang, they often ask “Isn’t it easier to just stay home?” The fact is, I need to get out of the house. Packing up my crew with a picnic and heading out for the day is so much easier for me than staying in all day.
Last week I picked up my son from an activity and ran into another mom there who was picking up her son. She had her two-month-old daughter with her. I noted how odd it was that I missed her at other pick-ups and that it was the first time I’d met the baby. Apparently it was not weird at all, since that was the FIRST TIME she had left the house. That baby somehow put that mother on house arrest for two months! Why? Because it was too hard to pack up the baby in the cold weather.
Having a two month lock-in would be enough to put me completely over the edge. My babes get carted around from the moment they are extracted from my body.
What is your capacity for “too hard”? Do you hibernate with your wee peeps or do you face the big wide world as a means of escaping those four walls. When is it “worth it” to you?
When I posted my last blog about the “meanie at the mall”, I was shocked by how many mamas had experienced the exact same thing. That encounter was a first for me – never before had I been so openly criticized by a complete stranger. I certainly get some funny looks when I’m out with my crew, but never has it been the stink eye (that I have noticed, anyway!)
But the silver lining of this experience was that it made me reflect on the ridiculous number of kind people I have met during this crazy mama journey.
There are all those encouraging nods I get regularly from other mamas. There are the countless elderly women who surround me in a public place, showering me with compliments about how beautiful my kids are and how lucky I am to have them. I remember all the nice people who eat at the same restaurant as us and take the time to come over to comment on my kids’ good manners. I think about the server at that restaurant and how our food is brought out promptly and there is patience about our messy table. I remember the person at the public swimming pool who offered to hold the baby while I got the others ready for lessons. I think about that mom at the park who compliments my son for playing nicely with her children or my daughter for being able to pump her legs so well on the swings. I think about the dad at the ice rink who always laughs and plays with my little guy as his kids play hockey with my big kids. I remember other passengers on a flight with my puking toddler who were quick to help with the other children and grab paper towels, and pat me on the back for not completely losing my mind.
Last summer our family was out hiking and my son got way ahead of us. I wasn’t worried about it, until I ran into the situation you can see in the picture. I was horrified at the thought of him breaking up her meditation with “Hey! What are you doing sitting on that rock with your eyes closed?” My kids have a knack for ruining any peaceful moment.
As it turns out, he did interrupt her but it was an interruption that was welcomed. She explained meditation to him and invited her new friend to join in, which he did. As you can see from the picture, he was having a very Zen moment.
So, it made me realize that for every crabby meanie at the mall, there are a thousand “Good Ones”. Not a bad ratio, by my standards.
Have you encountered any strangers who have made your journey a little bit easier?"
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Mabel’s Labels asked its female staffers how others have labeled them and about the assumptions that come with those labels. Then the women told us who they really ARE. Please share this video if you have ever been “labeled” because each one of us can make a difference in spreading the powerful message to BE YOURSELF!"