After surviving my road-trip, I am finally reveling in time with my sister-- watching our favorite shows, eating fantastic food, and playing numerous word games. Of course, our bonding is incessantly punctuated by the demands of TEN children needing frivolous things such as food and water. Still, we tolerate the noise, mess, and chaos of the children frolicking because we adore seeing their love, joy and enthusiasm for each other.
Which brings me to my rant. So many people say to me after hearing of Em's brood, "Oh- I could never handle that many children" or I often get, "I could never homeschool my children- they would never listen to me..." etc. etc. etc. In the discipline of my children, I often say that I expect a lot of them-- and they usually meet my expectations. The SAME concept should apply to adults-- stop expecting so little of yourself? Of course if someone gave you seven kids one day and said, "Handle it," it would turn into spectacular reality TV. BUT-- if you, like Ems, had children the way nature intended-- you could handle it. Would life be easy, relaxing, and stress-free? Um... no, but blessings are great!
Think back to other never statements you have made--- "I could never handle a child with special needs." Would you want to have a child with special needs?-- of course you would hope for "normal,"but how do you know you couldn't handle it? You don't. People make life-altering and life-ending decisions based on their own fears and self-assumed inadequacies. Working in healthcare, I have always had a problem with Living Wills-- though the concept sounds fantastic. I mean, how do you know what you'll want 10, 15, 20 years in the future? For example, I have had peers say, "I would never want a feeding tube, if I couldn't eat, I would want to just die."
Well, I have had a couple of patients that had strokes that could walk and (sort-of) talk,but they had a swallowing dysfunction-- so their family debated (actually DEBATED) not feeding the patient as that's what they wished for 20 years before..... Seriously. The person could smile, laugh, walk, etc..... Would you want to die if you could still hold your kids, read books, and at least sit at the dinner table? I wouldn't. As for life and death decisions, have a family member you trust as your legal spokesperson in the hospital, don't leave it up to a piece of paper that can't possibly encompass ALL of the possible scenarios in the future.
We tell our children to "never give up" and "you can do anything" meanwhile, we turn to our friends and murmur, "I could never take all the kids to the grocery store myself" or "I would never want to live in a wheelchair." My advice would be: You NEVER know how you'd handle something in the future. Wouldn't you rather think the best of yourself? Maybe you could be like this guy who turned tragedy into triumph:
So instead of rationalizing your fears of "having another child" or trying to anticipate how you'll react to something in the future- be more assured of yourself, stop selling yourself short, and embrace the unexpected. Challenges can transform you into someone you truly could be proud of.
You could totally handle it.
Easy Rule #7321 Don't plan too much in the future- you'll be a different person then.
Easy Rule #7422 Ten kids together is crazy fun-- with the emphasis on crazy.