Why I never should have had eight childrenLEILA MILLER
I'm going to tell you why I never should have had eight children.
When I was a happy mother of four, seriously considering and deeply desiring another child, an odd feeling overcame me. Over several days, my excitement at the idea of a new little soul became mixed with feelings of discouragement and fear. It began to dawn on me that I was barely good enough "mommy material" for the four treasures I already had, and that any further parenting would be irresponsible. It came to a head one evening: I remember standing in my kitchen, full of fear and anxiety, telling myself that I had no business – no business! – having another baby. Not now, not ever.
All my shortcomings and sins came to the forefront of my mind, and I stood there reeling from the truth of it:
In that moment, I knew all of these things. And I was discouraged. Any one of these reasons could be enough for a woman to convince herself that it's imprudent to have another child. In fact, you might just be saying to yourself now, "My gosh, that woman shouldn't have one child, much less eight!"
But see, there's the thing: Moms of big families are told constantly by other women that "I couldn't do what you do!" or "You must have so much patience!" or "You must have a real way with children!" They think we were given a special gift or have a mutant gene that they do not possess. But they have no idea how much we are just like them. In fact, most of the women who say those things to me are better suited to raise a large family than I.
Since that day, five eternal souls have been created in our family, four of whom my husband and I have the privilege of raising on this earth. And, while I can't claim to have conquered all the deficiencies and vices on my list (not even close! drat!), the existence of all my children has moved me along the path of holiness. Because that's how it works: The souls in your life are gifts, each of whom is meant to sanctify you in a particular way. My little sanctifiers are the artisans who change and mold me in all the ways God knows I need, and they are their father's and their siblings' artisans, too.
That my family exists as it does is living proof that "with God, all things are possible" – even Leila Miller mothering eight great kids.
Leila Miller. "Why I never should have had eight children." Little Catholic Bubble (October 17, 2011).
Reprinted with permission from the author. Of her blog, the author says:
"I want this to be a teaching blog, primarily for Catholics."
"I want Catholics to see that our Faith is cohesive, consistent and reasonable, and I want them to be able to teach it in their own homes and communities, and defend it in the world. I want to help make up for the catechesis deficit we've had for the past two generations."
THE AUTHORLeila Miller is a Catholic wife and mother of eight from Phoenix. When she gets a free moment or decides to forgo sleep, she blogs at Little Catholic Bubble.
Copyright © 2011 Leila Miller
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