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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A family like mine

Growing up, I had an idea of what a happy family looked like. When I married Tyler, I assumed we would have 6-10 cookie cutter kids and that whenever anyone met one of my children that they would know they were a PIERCE. Eleven years later...we have one home-grown child and four adopted, special needs children. The cookie cutter idea is out the window, but more than that...the type of happy family that I have is different than I imagined it would be. Perhaps this is true for everyone, perhaps not. The truth of the matter is that we have added stress and frustration due to how our family has been made. We are happy, but it's more like we have happy moments in between highly stressful periods of time.

Tyler and I were talking recently and we jokingly said that maybe we want a big family, but we're just not GOOD at it. There is some truth in there, but before you think I am feeling down about my situation, let me assure you that this isn't a venting blogpost, but more of a realization blogpost. Maybe I would be a better mom to five normal, non-FAS and mentally challenged children. Maybe. But I won't know because that wasn't God's plan for me. I know that all five of these children (and maybe more) were meant to be in our family.

Some days I am ready to take on my life and other days I struggle, laying on the couch, wondering what I got myself into. I think if you have proper expectations of what your family should and does look like that you will be happier. I know that we cannot go on family outings. Social pot lucks, theme parks, county fairs, etc, just don't work for us. At least not right now. Maybe in the future we can go do those fun activities, but for now we are home bound most of the time. It seems healthy to know what you can and cannot do, and not dwell on a life that you don't have.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Diana said...

Realizations are a good thing. They keep us sane and help us find perspective. That doesn't make them hurt ay less. Hang in there mama. This is hard stuff. But as you said this is the life that God chose for you and your family. You can do this thing!

Greta said...

I think the grass is always greener on the other side. Technically, I'm on my fourth "home grown" child but I've struggled with each pregnancy and have had issues with each birth. I went through a period of feeling like I was a failure of a woman b/c having a vaginal birth just isn't an option for me so I'm now on c-section #4. Then I felt awful b/c I cannot put my body through more c-sections so we know that we are only getting 4 kids (did that make me a horrible Mormon b/c I stopped at 4?) What I'm trying to say is that you are normal! We all tend to re-evaluate the path we've taken in life and wonder "am I doing this right?" But you love your kids, you love your husband, you love yourself, and you love your Lord. Everything else is the way He plans it! At least your journey will always have a fun story!

Country mom said...

We have much in common. I am the oldest of seven, but we were always, "that" family. The one whispered about, the one everyone felt sorry for. My father could not stop smoking, so most of the time he was ashamed to attend church. My mother was mentally ill. We were very poor. I would look around in Primary and see other families who looked so perfect. The girls had their hair braided and had ribbons and matching dresses and tights and pretty shoes. My sisters and I wore sneakers with our mismatched skirts and blouses. My brothers did not behave, though other boys seemed to be so well behaved. I wanted to grow up and have one of those perfect families. Well my first born has aspergers. My second born is very sweet and a great kid, but overweight (as am I) then I adopted. My daughter was born without her lower legs, but that doesn't slow her down. My youngest is in a wheelchair, he has no legs at all and only one arm. We don't all look alike. My youngest has major emotional issues. My older kids can handle social things, my youngest cannot. We have to take turns going to things and we can't all go. My home often smells bad. I am often exhausted physically and emotionally dealing with his mental illness. It's not the life I had planned, but I think it's the one I am supposed to have. I have only one girl and she won't let me put bows in her hair anymore. She can't wear tights because her prosthetic legs rip them. I have had to accept that we won't have more children because my youngest needs to stay the youngest and he needs all my time and attention. It's not the life I planned, but it's an amazing one. I have met amazing people and I am praying that my children all turn out well. Lorraine

chat kat said...

Hi Jill--It's Katrina! Miss you & your awesome family but so glad you all are getting settled up there in time to enjoy beautiful fall weather. You are living in my dream house...sigh...
You are so wise to know that what can & can't be done at this time. I've learned to accept also and it really brings peace when you realize you do not have to do it all. Over the years, we've referred to it as 'tag team' parenting--ha ha. Currently looking into placing our ASD son into a residential school out of state. We just have had to accept that we can not do for him anymore what he needs. Isn't that kind of what Heavenly Father did for us? Send us off to Earth School? Some subjects are easy, some are hard. In the end, all worth it. My best to you & Country Mom. P.S. We kind of liked having an excuse for not going places: 'Um, I have to stay home w/my son.' 'I'm too tired.' etc. Many projects around the house right?

nicole said...

Love you Jill. You are a wonderful mother because you love your kids, and you love the Lord. Raising a big family is HARD. Period. No one really understands unless they have one! And add to that kids with disabilities, and it's beyond what most of us can handle. I feel the same way at times- like I'm in WAY over my head with these kids!! But that's when we need to just turn it over to Him whose children they really are. We just get to borrow them for a time. ;) Come what may and love it! Hugs my friend. xo

Dirk and Trish said...

What amazing women you know! I always thought I would have 5 kids by 30. Instead I had two, and that may be all my body allows. I spent a lot of time finding the blessings of fewer children, farther apart. I have spent the past few years working on convincing myself I am ok if this is the completion of our family.
I admire you for sharing your thoughts, concerns, trials, and growth. It isn't easy sometimes, especially with the fear of judgment most of us consider. I have good mommy days and bad mommy days, but I love my children and I am teaching them by example the importance of apologizing and trying again. Keep going and know there are many supporting you from afar!

Rebecca said...

Have you read the book "The Uses of Adversity"? I think the author is Carlfred Broderick. It is fabulous. I think you may be one of the moms who chose this life before you came here. That you knew it would be hard, but you chose to be the one to make a difference in these children's lives. I think you have a special mission to fulfill, and I think you are doing it just fine. Hang in there and carry on!

Anonymous said...

I always expected to marry and have a large family. As a child my sister’s and I kept scrap books on babies, crafts, cooking, gardening, and decorating houses.

I am sure we all intended to be the Martha Stewarts of many children in a happy home, as my mother was. We had our list of names for our children and those lists still float out of old books.

My beautiful talented sisters had the misfortunes of meeting mister wrongs. One had children and the other was never able to have any though she tried for years.

I never met Mr. Wrong or Right. I met a nice guy I never fell in love with and did not wish to marry. We still see each other. I am a religious person so date is about all we do.

I adopted one child at 45. I have a job I love, but work for difficult people and I need to work all the time plus hold down a second job just to get by.

I don’t own a house I live in the attic. I can’t adopt more children because now I have a child and elderly mom to look after and also no money.

The child I adopted ended up having a starving family in the third world so I send the sibs to school with what extra we have.

Is this what I envisioned, no; but I must say I am very happy and I am glad I have my mom and my wonderful little girl.

I am tired most of the time. I get up at 7AM, work all day out of the house. When I get off I get my mom and little girl fed, homework done, baths, and settled for the night.

Then I start my second job photo shopping pictures for a photographer. I am often up until 4AM.

Money is tight, but it all works out and I feel happy and extremely blessed. In every crisis I have asked God for help he has. I have a nice life. I have always been strong and I can do it.