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Is it me?

womanquestioning.jpg“They” say each child is different, and I’ve found that is true. Each of my 5 children are very different. “They” also say that boys are______(fill in the blank, easier, harder, etc) to raise than girls are.

By a fluke of nature, my first 4 children were girls. Amazingly, 8 years after the birth of my oldest, we were blessed with 2 boys. One child was stillborn sadly. We were blessed again a year later with another child, also a son. My youngest son is now 9 months old.

I’m finding that boys ARE different, or maybe it’s just that now, how many years later, I’m different. Now that I am almost 40(YIKES), my outlook on life has definitely changed. I’ve gone from that super alpha mom, who had to have the perfectly clean kid and house, to more of a type B mom. It’s hard to be perfect you know, when you have a gaggle of kids and life happening at light speed.

I remember, in the beginning, I simply could not bring myself to leave the house if there were dishes in the sink or the laundry was unfolded, or the house was dusty. What would people think of me? Seriously. I listen to myself on videos that were taken with the older kids and I wonder, who was that woman? And why was she so uptight? And then, where did that woman go? What happened to her?

I’ve learned to appreciate life more and to not take things for granted. The death of a child will do that to you I suppose. One minute, all is fine and you are daydreaming about what kind of a life that child will have; planning all the fun things in your mind that will happen. The next minute, the unthinkable happens, and you find yourself planning a funeral.

What happened to that woman I used to be? Life happened to her. Perspective is a good thing Martha Stewart would say, or would she? Would she say such a thing maybe after her time in jail? Now that’s a thought to ponder.

Living thru military deployments, serious illnesses of children, the death of parents, close friends, and my first born son has changed me. Dust, dirt and chaos no longer frighten me. I’ve learned that even though my house might be in order, life still happens. Tragedy does not just approach those who haven’t kept up with the housework. I can not control my life or keep my kids safe by living an orderly life.

Of course, not that I invite tragedy mind you, it just appears. We buckle our seat belts and lock our doors and wash our hands. I’m careful and cautious, but not the fearful person I used to be. I’ve learned that what people think REALLY doesn’t matter or change anything for that matter.

My son is now reaping the benefits of a calmer, older, wiser mommy. He is happy, smiles a lot, and very curious. He is dirtier than the others ever were and makes a lot more mess. Because of that, he gets a lot more baths, which he truly loves. But he is happier, and so am I.

I’ve learned that a little dust, a little chaos, and a little mess is what makes life unpredictable, and preciously wonderful. Now, as I clean the latest art project off the table, or step over the toys in the living room, and empty and refill the dishwasher yet again, I am not stressed out about the fact that I have dirt, mess, and clutter. Instead, I’m thankful that I’ve been given the opportunity to experience such things.

Perspective, it’s a good thing!

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