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Choosing Happiness… by “One Mom of MANY, Courtney Croy”

By Courtney Croy

“One Mom of MANY”

Happiness is a state of mind. One which, some might say, is off limits to the mom of many children, but being a mom of five kiddies who are seven and under, I can attest to the fact that it can be attained and is in fact a necessity in keeping one’s sanity.courtney

It would stand to reason that moms with lots of children should be even more crazy and out-of-sorts than the average mom of one or two, right? Apparently this is not the case because I have heard dozens if not hundreds of times, “I don’t know how you do it! I am barely sane, and I only have one.” Or some variation on that theme. Also, I was once a mom of one, and I remember. Believe me! Even then I seemed only a step away from a white jacket with extra long sleeves at times. However, I have added several children to my brood since those days, and I have not been the occupant of a padded cell yet. There are many things which I do on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis that I think have helped me maintain a modicum of sanity (in a very hectic world) and therefore maintain a healthy dose of happy. The following are a few things that I have found help me.

Number one – have a husband who is supportive and helpful. If you don’t have one already, get one! I’m just kidding. I’m not a proponent of swapping out ones’ husband just because he doesn’t do what you want him to. But I talk and discuss with my husband . . . a lot . . . about everything . . . until we have come to a logical choice on whatever issue is at hand. I believe that husbands often want to be helpful with the home and family but don’t know how, or when, or where, or how much. When a man asks what he can do to help, tell him. I have found that asking for help or accepting help when its offered makes life so much easier. It was not until I had my twins (when my older children were only 4 and 2) that I realized I could not “do it all” myself. It was such a relief once I admitted that I couldn’t, accepted the help my husband offered, and allowed us to be the parenting team we should be.

Number two – enjoying one’s children. This one may be a little harder, but staying happy with lots of kids requires savoring the time we’ve been given with our small fry. Although my husband is very helpful, the lion’s share of taking care of our children and housework falls to me while he sallies forth into the world to win our daily bread. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the million and one things that need doing in a household of seven. Did I mention that we also homeschool, too? The point is we should not let the daily grind always take precedence over just playing with, reading to, talking with, tickling, snuggling with, and generally delighting in being with our little ones.

Number three – making some time for mom. This is, by far, the hardest for me. Some women have a regular moms’ night out or a date night, and while those sound lovely, an hour or so is generally the most I get here and there. Sipping on an early morning cup of coffee before the kids wake up (or only one or two are up) has become a splendid way to start each day. I like to use that time to do a little Bible reading/meditation, praying, and mentally preparing for the day and enjoying the peace.
Moments of silence are fairly few and far between in this house. If I want to get out, a trip to the fabric store or a jaunt down to the library is a nice, relaxing way to get some “me time.” I joined a gym and started working out regularly, and that was an awesome pick-me-up as well. One of the best parts of getting alone or adults-only time is the pure joy the kiddos express at my return. It reminds me how blessed I am and what a beautiful life and opportunity I have as a mama of so many precious little lives.
Some might read this and think mine is a life of dull drudgery, and with the wrong attitude, it could be. But just as the decision to have such a large family was a choice, I have also made the choice to be happy and to rejoice in the blessings that come daily in the life of a Mom of Many.