Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me, “How do you do it with 5 kids?!” This question is usually accompanied by a look that says,
seriously lady, what’s the secret?
Well, I keep a fully stocked mini-bar, my Xanax never runs out and I have a personal assistant.
The truth is, I have learned to lean.
Very recently a worn momma asked how I manage my kids overlapping schedules. I looked her dead in the eye and said, “Honey, you’ve got to learn to ask for help!”
You see I am incredibly blessed with a fabulous group of women who lighten my load, encourage my weary self and keep this scatter-brained momma updated so as not to forget some vital activity my kids are supposed to participate in! Today I’d like to give honor where it is due and sing the praises of a few of my ladies…aka…saints.
First up, not surprisingly, is my super fantastic Mom. Without her, I’m pretty sure I’d have thrown in the towel a long time ago on this whole child rearing thing. She talks me down & reminds me that the teenage years are just a season and there’s no need for me to threaten to sale my kids or to throw myself off the back deck. When she’s here, I never have to ask her for help, she simply swoops in and does whatever is needed. She does dishes, hauls the bags for our cross country team and keeps me sane in the midst of the war zone that our home can sometimes be. She is, hands down, my number one girlfriend.
Then there are the sweet sisters from my life group. God gave me the bestest bunch of women to do life with, you should totally be jealous. Carol helps me with my band girl when my coaching schedule prevents me from being available to run her to and fro. Beyond that, she’s my Jesus girl who keeps things in perspective when I can’t see the good in my struggles. Sarah takes care of my dancing queen every week, again because of my coaching commitments. She treats my girl to an after school treat, gets her dressed & ready and even brings her home afterwards! As if that weren’t enough, she sends me reminders often that she is praying for me. Crystal is my encourager. Even when I know I’m failing miserably, she somehow manages to make me feel like supermom. Tina is my life preserver. We live close to one another and I can’t count the times she’s jumped in and helped me out when I’ve forgotten something or someone! Then there’s Rachel. Not only do my little girls adore her, but so do I. This woman gives me complete freedom to be my crazy, messed up self without fear of judgment.
See?! I told you to be jealous! These women are rock stars!
Now for Julia. My mom friend who has also found herself seriously outnumbered. Her 4-1 ratio helps her relate to my 5-1. There are many parallels in our lives that made us fast friends. She’s a writer, coach, health concious, stay-at-home mom who’s parenting style is pretty dang similar to mine. She’s the only person I know who burns up the roads more than me and reminds me we’re human so it’s completely okay to be exhausted beyond comprehension. But best of all, she’s my Friday morning running partner. On these runs, we vent, dream, encourage and solve all the worlds problems while we sweat and beat out our frustrations on the pavement. She makes me feel like I’m not the last of a dying breed as we fight to teach our kids “old school” values in the midst of a culture that promotes self over selflessness. In my opinion, every mom needs a Julia in their lives.
Nowadays it seems women are so busy trying to out-mom one another that we miss out on our most valuable asset, each other! I for one am happy to admit I would be lost without my tribe! We were not created to compete but to complement. So let’s do as the Word instructs us in Galatians 5 & 1st Thessalonians 6: “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”