It really is.
For example, when it’s the Holiday Season. Because that means extra shopping trips with my whole crew. And when I say shopping, I mean throwing things in the cart at random while trying to tame my many small children.
With small children, and in our case, 5 under 6, my #1 goal in any store, is to just survive. I’ve got 1 hanging on the end of the cart, 1 crying, 1 strapped to me in a carrier asleep, and 2 fighting over a Veggie Tales DVD that we already have at home. I can’t make this stuff up. I’m checking my list, and I’m begging them to behave. After all, we are in public.
As I’m scanning down my list, I’m asking myself, “what can we do without?” My shopping partners have had enough, and they are making it known. It’s time to make an exit. I’m asking God for patience, or a magic button to press that will send grandma to the rescue. You’ve been there right??
I announce that we are leaving, and to my surprise, they are equally as upset about leaving as they are about being there in the first place. Strange, aren’t they? I tried to appease them by opening an unpurchased bag of goldfish, but they weren’t interested. I had no more tricks up my sleeve, so we are check out bound.
I quickly unloaded our items and tried to talk the girls into not touching everything on the check out display shelves. I loaded my bags in the cart, apologized to the check out lady for the chaos that is our life, and started to usher the girls towards the door.
On our way out we passed a mirror, a two way mirror. You know the ones that look like a mirror, but it’s actually a window for the office on the other side? Well the girls had to stop and check it out – they get such a kick out of making funny faces. I tried to explain, “girls, there are people on the other side who can see you acting silly. They are watching you giggle and make those faces.”
But they didn’t care. They’re never afraid of what other people think. A trait that I admire, and need.
As I stood there and watched them laugh, I felt so blessed. The innocence of a child is so refreshing. All of the sudden I felt bad for apologizing for my kids. After all, they were just being kids. They are a blessing, and a true picture of God’s Grace in my life. At that moment I couldn’t even remember what was frustrating about our shopping trip, or who was fighting over what, or what display was now face down in aisle 9. All I could think was, “I love these little ladies, and I am so thankful that the Lord picked me to be their mama. I’ll take the chaos over anything, any day.”
It’s easy for us mom’s to get stressed out when things get a little crazy. But you know what I keep reminding myself? God made me their mother, I’m doing the best I can, and He will equip me with as much patience & love as I need. That is more than I could ever ask for, actually.
So here’s hoping that you find love, patience, and joy in Him today, at a time when utensils are flying across the table, and you have applesauce in your hair – not that that ever happens to me.
He’s there for you when you need to vent, mama.Leave a Comment
when my two youngest were both toddlers, while shopping with them the youngest went head first out of the cart and was caught (by me) mid air by his pants. Another lady (obviously a mother) stepped out of the aisle she was on to tell me what a good catch it was. about 2 weeks later, the middle child decided to crawl from the front of the cart to the back and take the milk with her, dropping it and shattering the gallon of milk on the floor (in the cereal aisle at least). after a discussion with my husband (that went something like “i can go alone or we can starve, but i will NOT go with them each week”), i got a sitter for 2 hours each week to grocery shop alone!
…i can’t believe these little angels in your picture would cause you any trouble;)
blessings on you…this is A LOT…and you have found the beauty amidst…thanks for the perspective and smiles:):):)
Andrea@Flourishing Mother says
I love this. I know that feeling of “surviving” the grocery store!!!
Beautiful! Both the children in their glory and you in the midst of it! Keep writing!
Do you shop at my store? Cause I promise you — this was me last week at the grocery store? And the week before, and the week before. When I make promises like “I’m never bringing you grocery shopping again!” But you are right, the chaos, the crazy, the parenting while meal planning, budgeting and making 1000 decisions is hard! But your perspective makes me smile. I’m sure one day, I will miss it too! In those grocery store moments there is grace, even for a tired mama like me!
What humbles me about this story is I have just THREE little boys!! My oldest is 8 and I have ROUGH days!! I cannot imagine the shopping with FIVE little GIRLS!!! My heavens!! I think us mothers can all relate to this at some point in time! I needed this today!! I love to remind myself that HE did choose me to be their Mama and I am honored… even when I feel like I am being punished in some way!! ;0)
Robin Dance says
Wow, Kate, my husband and I stopped “counting” at three; oh, how I remember those grocery store days, though. Sometimes surviving the moment is all you CAN do.
But….I love how you gained perspective about God gifting you with these very busy bodies; He’s teaching and changing YOU through them! It’s wild to think about, isn’t it?
Thank you for offering a post that I’m sure will refresh many who are right in the middle of parenting trenches, too. 🙂
I needed this today, as I head to Target with my 3 little ones. Only the second time going to the store with all 3, so a bit nervous! Glad to have this perspective before heading out.
Oh, Kate, I love this post! Chaos is my calling too, and there’s something so empowering and enriching to acknowledging that even if it is chaos, it’s a BLESSED calling 🙂 As always, you have a great perspective. Thanks for sharing it!
Megan @ Faith Like Mustard says
I’ve been there. I LIVE there. I have a t-shirt that says “CHAOS” on the front and I wear it often! 🙂 But I’ve also had those moments in the midst of the chaos that make me thankful for all the craziness. I also wonder if someday, I will look back and miss the chaos. It seems hard to imagine right now, but I bet I will miss it. 🙁
Holley Gerth says
Kate, I don’t have kiddos but I can still relate to the heart-truth of this post. Sometimes the glory comes disguised in the messy and imperfect, doesn’t it? Your words are full of grace. Amazing grace. That’s what we all need for a new week! Thank you!
Beautifully written, Kate!!! I love my sneak peeks into your life of chaos – beautiful, lovely, chaos. It is a blessing!!
Love this post! They look too cute in this picture to cause any trouble :).
I think it is great that you take them with you.
I had three girls under three, then added two boys making it 5 under the age of 6. They are now 20-26 years old. I can relate to your post in a big way! I often felt more comfortable with extra kids over after school than missing a few of mine if they were at someone else’s house. Loved cooking large meals and haven’t quite gotten the hang of making a meal for two now that they are all out of the nest! There were some real crazy days back when they were little but I miss them now!
I Live in an Antbed says
I will never forget a moment in Target. I had our two youngest daughters, 4 and 6, and our newly adopted sons from Russia (6 and 7). The boys had only been here for a few days and spoke not a word of English. Our older three children were not with us, or things would have been much easier. We wouldn’t have even been at Target except for the fact that our new sons were much tinier than we had been told and so none of the clothes we had bought them prior to their arrival fit. It was like herding cats. The boys had never seen ANYTHING like a store before (they are from far eastern Siberia) and they were fascinated by everything! In the midst of trying to find clothing all of a sudden, I missed Rebekah, the youngest. Then I heard this little voice singing. She was standing on the bottom rung of a clothes rack, holding onto the top of it. She had a very far-away look in her eye and as I listened more closely, I realized she was singing, “Some day my prince will come . . .” And you wonder why I called my blog “I Live in an Antbed”???? A healthy sense of humor is not optional! 🙂
Thanks for the reminder to not sweat the small stuff when the kids are causing me to “lose my mind” in the grocery store. Come to think of it, most people don’t really care and I’m letting it bother me more than it needs to.
Amy Sullivan says
Oh Kate, I’ve been there. Even with two life can be tough…can you say tipped over grocery cart and rolling produce? Thanks for sharing about your family and encouraging others.
Rose in Ohio says
I’m so glad you had the presence of mind to notice the gift of their joy and wonderment. I’m sure I missed a lot of that in my own children because I was so busy trying to contain them so I would “look” like I had them under control. (And apparently I modelled the apology routine very, vey well—–now they are teens, and they are apologizing for me!)
I LOVE this! Isn’t the crazy just wonderful?! I had four kids in four and a half years, so I totally get you! My oldest is six now, and we haven’t had a fifth yet. Blessings to you! Thank you for raising such a sweet, beautiful family! You are my newest hero, and I am going over to check out your blog now…
Jeri @godsdreamsforme says
I love how you wrote about the kids being kids. We all need to just get plain silly sometimes. It really does make you feel better 😀
Thanks for this post! I think you make a great call for intentionally taking notice of the beautiful blessings we have right in front of us. That thought often helps me be really purposeful with my time with my children.