Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sometimes I just need a reminder

When you're Catholic, and you regularly hang around with Catholics, you see families with a lot of little kids. I feel like it's somewhat less prevalent in my area, because so many couples get married on the later side and have less time to have really big families, but it's still not uncommon to see families with four, five, six kids around here.

It sometimes makes me feel like a bit of a fraud. I only have experience with this one kid. I only know how to deal with his sleep, his moods, his food preferences, his behavior, his little quirks. By the time moms have three, four, five kids, it seems like they've seen it all. They handle kid phases with relative ease--or at least without freaking out completely--because they've handled them before. In my mind, they've built up this vast supply of Mommy Street Cred, and if we're being honest, I sometimes feel inadequate as a mother by comparison.

So I think it's important to remind myself that this lady, Our Lady, the model of perfect motherhood, had one child.
The Holy Family? It looked a lot more like mine than like those big families in my parish directory.
And this guy? He reminds me that only children are nothing to sneeze at.
Now, I'm not comparing myself to the Blessed Mother or my son to Our Lord or my family to the Holy Family. Not by a hundred thousand miles. Nor am I criticizing big families. To the contrary; I think they are beautiful witnesses of generosity and openness to life.

But openness to life doesn't necessarily equal a big family, and that can sting. So when I'm surrounded by the big families, where children and love and evidence of God's blessings abound? When I feel less like a mother than the woman in the next pew expertly wrangling five children? It helps to remember that there's no shame in Just One.

No shame at all.

{Images from monasteryicons.com}

12 comments:

Jennie said...

Well, I don't know what to say exactly but you should know that I teared up reading this. Had to close my office door teared up, even.

PrinceOfTheWest said...

Wonderful meditation. Your whole family is in our daily prayers, and know that however many the Lord sends you, it will be just the right number.

Miriel said...

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love it.

I am so blessed to have your family in my life.

Arwen said...

I love this and I love you. XOXO

Raven said...

I struggle with my body only being able to supply me with my one. It's been many years since I was given my news and many years that I have been working at accepting it..some days are easier than others but what is always easy is loving the one that I have, being the best mother I can be to the one that I have, being as close as I possibly can to the one that I have.

I'm sure you have that too.

A'Dell said...

Lovely. Thinking of you often, Lauren. Your continued grace is always so impressive and inspiring to me.

xo

claire said...

As the mother of an only, I really appreciate this post.

Lisa said...

Oh, this struck a cord with me. I have felt EXACTLY the same thing. I needed to hear this.

Jen Ambrose said...

Thank you, Lauren.

Elsha said...

Beautifully said.

Sarah in Ottawa said...

What a lovely, lovely post. Have a blessed Triduum and a very Happy Easter, honey.

The Ranter said...

As a mom of 2 on earth, and 2 in heaven....I so appreciate this post. There is something of an ache in my heart knowing that I would like more, but it's just not happening right now (yet).