How to Have Too Many Kids, and Not Lose Yourself

I say it almost every day. I have too many kids. It usually comes out light-hearted, as I use it as an excuse for.......everything. Disheveled appearance. Skipped workouts. Being late. Lack of replying. Missed appointments. Being late again.

I say it kidding....

Kind of.

Honestly, we have too many kids for a lot of things. I knew this, so I'm not asking for pity. I got greedy.

People often say to me, "I don't know how you do it all!" and I brush it off. I say that it's really not that bad, or that I don't actually "do it all". But I feel compelled to get more real-sometimes it is really freaking hard. I make light of it, but it isn't always funny. It's sometimes really stressful and overwhelming.  This last year has been really hard. Most days I was loading/unloading children from my car over 20 times a day. Twenty. Times.

But though I don't "do it all"-I try to hang on to it all, even if by a thread.

Comparing life to my purse, some things just get buried in the bottom. They're not lost, just hard to find. But I deliberately, thoughtfully, and dutifully preserve all the pieces of myself. I don't clean out the purse. Which means life is messy, and some things I go to retrieve need brushing off.

Take self care-it keeps getting buried at the bottom. I mean, I've left the house without brushing my teeth more times than I would like to admit. I still wear a nursing bra though I haven't nursed a baby in well over a year. In the most serious illustration, I let my face swell about 15 times (until the time my tongue swelled and scared the &%$# out of me) before I went to see a doctor. In my defense- I didn't have a daytime babysitter, and the thought of taking the kids with me seemed like a lot of effort. After sending a pic of my face to a friend she said, "How do you let that happen 15+ times before you see a doctor?!" I already told you-I have too many kids!


I hold on. I haven't tossed out caring for myself entirely. Our monthly date nights bring me back to life. Then I do all the things-wash hair, shave legs, brush teeth, wear makeup and heels (usually). Date nights are not only valuable to our relationship, but an excuse to breathe some life back into myself.

The same is true for what remains. I've lowered expectations of myself in order not to lose myself. There was a time, even as a mom, when I was in the gym five or six days/week and had 6-pack abs. That time has passed. But I didn't throw in the towel. I aim for a more realistic three days/week and I make sure to never go a full week without a class or weight lifting session. I remind myself regularly that this is a season, and it will pass.

It's been a while since I've sewn, so I signed up to test a new pattern. It will force me to pull up sewing from the depths of my purse, brush it off, and enjoy it again.

When I get a little itch to dance, I turn on music my kids probably shouldn't listen to, and get down with them. Or I go to my friend Christine's HIGH fitness class, and hope her playlist has something just a little hood for me.

My brain has had trouble coming up with words lately (SERIOUS mom brain); I attribute that to not reading enough. So I got a new book. That meant that I read instead of hitting the gym this morning. But I'm still a reader-so I'm not going to let that go either.

We can't be everything all the time. Give yourself some grace. But don't let go.

No matter what might be invading you (in my case it's my too many kids) hang on to yourself-even if it's just by a thread.

In love.



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