Yes, you’ve read the title right. I can state these facts because I had 5 kids before I turned 30 years old. If you’re reading this, you could be one of those people who stop me and ask me questions in public, or you are like me and know just how true these 5 facts are. Chances are, even if you have 2 kids, but you’re under that age of 30, you can relate to these facts as well.
1.People Will Call You Crazy
When you’re out in public people will look at you like you’re a circus show, and I have to admit, that many times I feel like I am in a circus. People stop me and make comments like, “Boy, you have your hands full” or “5 kids! Man, you’re brave or crazy!” Most of the time, I just politely smile and say “yep” but in my head, I’m realizing just how true their statement is.
I am crazy. Seriously. I am. Who in their right mind WANTS to take all their kids to the grocery store???
That’s right, the answer is no one. No one WANTS to, but when the choice comes down to starving, because there is no food in the house, or losing my mind because we’ve been cooped up together for too long, then you can bet I will be loading those 5 kids up and going to the store. I could wait until the hubs is home, and have him come along, but there are a million other things I’d rather do with him, than chase 5 kids through the store. So, most of the time, I choose to conquer the store and the 5 kids all on my own.
When we decided to have our 5th child, we realized just how crazy it was to even think of having another one. At this point in time, our kids were pretty independent. We had no one in diapers or car seats. They could wipe their own bum and buckle their own seatbelt. They walked everywhere and rarely needed to be carried. They could (mostly) cut up their own food, pour their own drinks and open their own package of fruit snacks. We could go out to a gathering, tell them the rules and they’d follow what we said, most of the time. We didn’t have to chase them around, trying to keep them from getting hurt or breaking something that belonged to someone else. We could actually engage in adult conversation without wrestling someone.
We went to Disneyland and all of our kids could go on pretty much all of the rides. They walked all over the park or hopped in the stroller for a quick break. They stayed by us, without the need of a leash to keep an eye on them. We ate dinner in restaurants without any fork banging or bottle dropping. We were able to eat our meals WITH them, instead of quickly shoving food in our mouth because the kids were already done and we need to get out of there STAT. It was a great trip. Full of meltdowns at times, I mean, they are still kids, but there were no “babies” with us.
We took them to the beach for the very first time and I didn’t have to worry about anyone eating dirt, rocks or seashells. They ran up and down the beach, tying to run away from the waves before they got hit. They buried each other in the sand. They stayed where it was safe. I sat back and enjoyed our time together, without feeling like a helicopter mom.
After having 4 kids in 5 years, this new freedom was INCREDIBLE. Seriously IN.CRED.I.BLE.
Then we threw it all away when we got pregnant again. We started back at square one. We are changing diapers, filling sippy cups, cutting up food and dealing with tantrums. Now that she’s walking, we tag team and take turns chasing her everywhere so that one of us can actually enjoy a few moments of talking to other adults. We bask in nap time. Not our nap time, that never happens now that we have 5 kids, but when she takes a nap each day, it’s heaven.
We are back to carrying a diaper bag, stroller, baby carrier and the 10 other “must have baby items” everywhere we go, just in case it’s needed. (This is my husbands’ least favorite part…packing around all the baby stuff)
Having a 5th child also meant that our family would no longer be able to fit in my husbands’ six seater truck. When we needed to go camping, or haul anything, it would now mean that we’d have to take TWO vehicles. Which brings me to another point…we bought a minivan! Something we said we’d never do. I loved my SUV but I had to face the fact that our family had outgrown it and it was time to move on.
So here enters the Kia Sedona. I’ll be honest, our “cool” factor has gone down a few notches since we now own a minivan, but our sanity factor has gone way up, and I’d rather be sane than cool any day. Plus, I actually LOVE this car. The automatic doors, window sun visors, optional 8th seat, easy fold down seats, plus heated seats are super convenient and basically a necessity as far as I’m concerned.
And that’s why we are crazy.
We knew what we were had before, and what life was going to be like again, and we still went for it.
And I wouldn’t trade our decision for anything else in the entire world.
Go ahead, call us crazy.
2.You Are a Hero
After I am called crazy, I am often told that I am a hero. Well, I’d like to think I am…and you are too. Right now, you may be thinking, “No you’re not” or “No I’m not” if this article relates to you, but trust me, you are. You are a hero because well, every mom who is out there trying to raise her kids, the very best way she knows how is a hero. We may not be flying through the air, wearing a cape, saving thousands of lives, but we are doing work that is so much more important. We are shaping the future of this world, by the way, we are raising our children.
Scary, right?! Yet it’s true. We have a big responsibility on our shoulders if we want our kids to turn out to be extraordinary citizens.
Abraham Lincoln had it right when he said, “Everything I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” The President of the United States who did oh so much to help strengthen our nation knew that he was who is was, because of the way his mother raised him.
We have the opportunity to be that pillar and example to our kids too.
I am a working mom. I LOVE my job. Seriously. LOOOVE it. But I truly believe that there is nothing more important than for me to be right here, teaching my kids how to be the very best person they can be. While I may question my ability to do so on a daily, or even hourly basis, I know there’s no other place I’d rather be.
Okay, I lied.
Some days, especially the bad ones, I would rather be anywhere but at home. I’d rather be riding quads through the forest with my hubby or I’d like to be traveling the world, seeing different lands and cultures.
But that’s why I am a hero. Because even on the bad days, I stick around and remember that these kids of mine ARE going to do amazing things in their life. Because even on those bad days, when I am tempted to run away, I chose to stick with them and teach them how to set goals and follow their dreams, so they can make this world a better place.
That’s what hero’s do, they make this world a better place.
3.People Will Wonder How Old You Were When You Had Your First Child
Can you imagine the faces I’d get when people would find out I was just 25 years old when my twins, who were number 3 and 4 came along?
I’m pretty sure you’re probably making one of those faces right now.
Open mouth, big eyes…the works.
Did you know that the average age of when a woman first becomes a mom, in the US, is 26?
You can see why I get so many strange looks.
I’ve had FOUR kids before the average woman has one. (Remember Fact Number 1? It can be applied here as well)
When my twins were almost 2 years old, my sister and I went on a trip to New York City for a week. While we were there we stayed at the Trump Soho. We booked a day full of amazing massages at their spa and while I was getting pampered, my masseuse asked about my family. When I told her I had 4 kids, she literally stopped massaging and stood there awkwardly, with her hands on my right leg, for a few seconds, which felt like an eternity, as she tried to grasp the words that I had just said. Turns out, she thought I was barely 21 years old, not 27. Yes, I am often told that I look younger than I am. It can be annoying like I mentioned HERE and in situations like this, but then I remind myself that when I’m 50, I’m going to look AMAZING!
(photo of me in my first NYC taxi)
Anyways, she could NOT comprehend as to WHY I’d want to have that many kids when I was so young. Didn’t I want a career first? Or travel the world? Date around and all sorts of other questions about if I really enjoyed being a mom.
By the way, my answer is yes. I do enjoy being a mom…. most of the time.
Do you know what an added bonus to this is fact is?
Yes, I am a young mom now, so guess what? I’ll be a young mom when all of my kids graduate and leave the house too! When my youngest child turns 18, I will be 48 years old. Doesn’t that sound amazing?!
That is pretty dang young by today’s standards. Remember the fact at the beginning about how the average age of a new mom is 26? If she had only that one child, she’d be 44 when her child turned 18. That’s just 4 years younger than I would be.
When my children graduate, we will be able to go on some pretty dang amazing trips as adults. I’ll be able to hike, ride roller coasters, swim and do whatever else we want to do as long as I take care of my body in the meantime.
PLUS, the hubby and I will still be young enough to do anything we want to do. That bucket list we’ve been making, like this one, will start getting checked off at a much quicker rate. I’ve always wanted to serve a mission for my church, but haven’t had the chance to do that yet. Being a young mom means I’ll have the chance to do it sooner and I’ll get to bring my hubby along with me. He’ll be able to finish restoring his cars and together we’ll drive all over the U.S. in his beloved classics.
Being a young mom doesn’t mean that I’m not able to check things off my list right now, because I am. However, there are a few things that I really want to do, without kids and I’m going to have all the time in the world to get them done.
Being a “young” mom really is a great thing, no matter what society tries to tell you.
4.People Will Feel It Is Their Duty to Remind You How Babies are Made
(photo found HERE)
Like really people?
I do have to admit, I really worried about how often I would get this type of judgment from people when we had decided to try for another baby. So, actually, at first, I didn’t want to tell anyone I was pregnant because I didn’t want their opinions taking away the joy I was feeling. For quite a while, I kept this great news between my husband and myself and only a couple of really close friends that I knew would be happy for me.
Then I got over myself and quit caring what people thought and I let everyone know that we were pregnant again, and super happy about it. You know what I found out?? By caring less about what others thought, I was able to ENJOY my pregnancy and look forward to what this baby would bring, instead of being scared or nervous. Because of this shift, my last pregnancy was the best pregnancy I had ever had.
So that’s where I’m going to end this fact. People will try and judge you for how many kids you have or don’t have when really, it’s none of their business. It’s a matter between you and your husband and for us, we include God as well and that’s all that matters.
5.Your Body Will Never Look Like It Did Before Kids
You see, when I found out I was pregnant with twins I was terrified that my body would forever be scarred and “flappy.” In my mind, I was already saving up pennies for some kind of surgery to fix the damage that would be wrought upon my body. Lucky for me, that didn’t happen. I gained a few more stretch marks, but nothing noteworthy. I actually loved my post- twin body. I was proud that my body gave them everything they needed to survive while I was pregnant and enough to nurse them too. I was excited that I bounced back to my pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly. It took work, but it happened and for that, I was super grateful and naïve.
(Pic was taken at 36 weeks with twins)
Photo Credit: Rachelle Hansen Photography
That 5th baby, oh boy did it throw me for a loop. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was 5 years older that time around, or if it was the fact that my body had just had enough, but I do know, that my body does not want to look like it did before kids.
But I LOVED my pregnant body. Seriously, isn’t pregnancy a miracle? The big belly is something to be proud of. At least, I had finally made it to this way of thinking, this time around. I loved it so much, that I decided to finally get maternity pictures. Something I had wanted to do with all of my other pregnancies but never had the courage to do. I absolutely love how they turned out and am so glad that I followed through on the desire to get them done.
photo credit: Cat Hansen Photography
It’s been a year now since baby number 5 came along and I’m still trying to lose a few extra pounds. My hips are wider, my stomach is softer and my face is rounder than I’d like, but gradually, I am learning to love my body, as it is, instead of as I wish it was. Embrace those hips that can knock my son over when he’s being a little stink and be grateful for that belly that acts as a pretty good pillow for my kids to rest on as we lay on the couch and watch movies together.
My body won’t look like it did the day I got married. That’s okay. It’s been through 5 pregnancies, 10 surgeries and 13 years of growth (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) and it’s about time I learn to love the story my body can tell instead of trying to change the story that was written.
So, let’s have it. Can you relate to these 5 facts or is there another fact that YOU would like to share? Chances are, even if you’ve had one or two children, you can relate. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop a comment below to let me know.
Thanks for joining me!