When a mother of six hands out parenting advice you better listen! World Mama Kara from Grand Rapids, Michigan has her hands full and had to learn how to prioritize without feeling guilty or unaccomplished at the end of the day. You are going to love this moms insight into life and parenthood. Things don’t always go as planned. They go the way they are supposed to go.
When I was just graduating school and had decided that hair was going to shift from a part-time fun gig to a full-time career I was certain I wasn’t going to have any children. I was going to do everything I could do to make a name for myself and travel the stages of hair shows across the globe. I was going to live this amazing, spontaneous adventuresome life until my body wouldn’t let me any longer. As I sit here today, pregnant with our sixth child, I am scolding our seven-month-old puppy and watching the clock drain the few minutes of quiet relief from toddler life I have left while I write this article. Isn’t life ironic? I never did travel the world or stand in the spotlight on stage, but I AM living an amazing, spontaneous adventure and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
(Almost) Mother of Six
I am the proud mom of three (almost four) birthed babies, one adopted son and one stepdaughter (oh and the fur-baby). I met my husband later in life, each of us already parenting our respective children and then added a few to the mix. They range in age from two to sixteen… time out… before you breathe a sigh of relief on my behalf let me clarify the two oldest are boys. Let’s just say the babysitting is still a training process and that’s only when they are actually home. We have three parents who do not live in our house that have a say in the parenting of their respective children and are all on a different schedule. They are all in private school that focuses heavily on community service and parent service hours, high academic expectations and plenty of after-school activities/sports. I still cut hair (very part time), sing and write. I clean, cook, walk the dog, grocery shop and keep up on my favorite shows… and at the end of the day… there is still a list of unchecked boxes.
I am not perfect. I do not do it all. I am not super-human. None of us are! No matter how much it may look that way according to our social media feeds. That list of unchecked boxes will always be there. The question is: what do we do with it? Do we let it overwhelm us, steal our joy, steal our sleep, steal more time out of the day to come? OR do we let it go?
My kids will be the first to admit that the all time favorite question when I pick them up from school is “What’s for dinner?” I used to feel like I had somehow failed as a mom if I didn’t have an answer. I don’t feel that way anymore, and guess what… that’s a choice! I started splitting my lists into columns at the advice of a friend:
- Necessary (If this waits until tomorrow there will be painful consequences)
- On My Radar (I’d like to get it done but it won’t harm anyone if I don’t)
- Not My Problem (this responsibility belongs to someone else… not me… at least not for today… p.s. I tend to think everything is my problem)
I forget about my columns sometimes and still get overwhelmed, frazzled or anxiety ridden. But when I do begin to feel that way I can ask myself why. I categorize what’s in my mind and move forward.
God continuously makes miracles out of my messes. He took my crazy plan for my future, flipped it upside down and showed me that I am capable of so much MORE than just hair. Being a mom is the most challenging, mind-numbing, beautifully rewarding job. Sometimes we forget to focus on the joy it can bring because honestly, being a mom is HARD! Go look in the mirror and tell yourself it’s ok: you are doing a good job. Take a deep breath and hold on to a moment that made you smile and start sorting those unchecked boxes so you can enjoy your job.
When I started writing it came with a few surprises. And this was one of them: writing about being a mom (good and bad) helps me discover and rediscover the joy in my life. It gives me a moment to pause my hectic day and remember something that made me laugh (or will at least be able to laugh at later). This birthed my vision for Champagne & Laundry providing a place to celebrate the joys and help one another through the challenges with transparency, encouragement, guidance and grace.
I hope to see you there!