Monday, January 25, 2010

Well, I couldn't get these pictures to do what I thought they should, so I just tossed them on anyway. Left are all 6 of our children, 15 years after my story, an the picture on the Right is of our oldest 2 children, daughter # 1 and #2. Next, is a family picture of all of us at the time of my story. Aren't they so cute and Innocent? DH's glasses are GyNORMOUS, and he looks soooooo young. No gray and silver hair there! LOL The bottom picture was 7 years after my story.

This post today is for any of you mothers out there who are busy doing many many good things but feels frustrated and worried and tired at the end of the day, and wonders if you are doing ok as a mom and a wife. (Hey there is a Michael McLean song that says these same words almost) Maybe it will make you smile. It does me. It also makes me realize how hard it is to raise kids. How much time and love you pour into doing so. The struggle to find the balance between husband, children, church, family and self. Learning how to manage the check book, cook and keep up on the laundry. These really are the best years! So after you read this story I don’t want any of you too feel sorry for me, or think I had a bunch of bratty little kids. On the contrary. I want you to smile, and think about a story of your own that makes you laugh. I have learned over the years that babies are just that for so very long and it’s not worth the rush to get them all grown up so fast! (I think this may be something I have learned as a grandmother LOL) Some things fade away but the love of a tender child we dearly hold tight right next to our hearts throughout all of this life and the next one to come!

Here’s a little background for my story……
I had just had baby # 4. We had two girls ages 5 ½ & 4, & two boys, aged 2 and new born. I had decided to go to Vernal, which is 48 miles away to go to K Mart. (no wal mart for years yet) The speed limit was 55 and there were no passing lanes along the way, and the road was full of twists and blind turns and blind hills. So I packed up my diaper bag, purse, lunch, (money was tight) and four kids under the age of 5 ½, in our small truck with the nice camper shell on the back which had a nice carpet kit in it. Remember those ladies? Before car seats were mandatory and before the seat belt laws? And off we drove for our hour’s trip to town. When you go that far, you have a list and need to get what you need because it’s too far and too much gas to come again the next day. I don’t remember where I went first or even if k mart was the last stop I made, but this is what happened in K mart on that particular day.
I am in the store, I have a cart which has the baby in his chair in the top portion, and a two year old and a 4 year old in the basket part and my sweet little 5 ½ year old is walking by my side. Everyone is clean and scrubbed and in their nice “town” clothes which I have sewn for them. Their little baby faces are all chubby and pink and I love them all so much. La lala la lalal la. We make such a charming little picture.
I made the mistake of going down the Barbie isle. Daughter #1 who was walking decided she was going to have a new Barbie. And not only did she want a new Barbie, she wanted a designer Barbie, you know the ones I mean. Well this Barbie was over 30 dollars which might as well have been the moon in those days, and having a new Barbie was not on my list. I told her no. After all these years the exact events are somewhat fuzzy, in the end however, my no was a firm answer. My sweet little daughter just as firmly told me she wasn’t leaving without the Barbie. I told her how sad that was because we were leaving and I would miss her and it was at that point that she threw herself on the floor and locked her little 5 year old hands around my ankle. Now, here I am, with a newborn who is by this time crying, and 2 year old who is also crying, and the 4 year old is yup, you guessed it starting to cry. I pride I because I managed to refrain from doing any yelling or even being very mad. (Pet peeve I have to see moms yelling at their kids in the stores…) But no was no, and there wasn’t much use of arguing and like I told my daughter, it was most definitely time to go. The worst was, I had some items in the cart I needed to buy, and so I had to take all of my crying kids through the cheek out line. Daughter # 1 is still on the floor holding on to my ankle as I am pushing my cart to the front of the store… I am dragging her along. YES!!! I am embarrassed. I know, you are all telling me what you think I should have done……. However, I tried to just remain calm in the face of this huge fit, and keep my dignity in tact and also teach my daughter you don’t always get what you want, no matter what kind of drama you bargain with.
That when mom says no, that means no, no. What I wanted to do was paddle her little behind all the way out to the car! But my arms were full, and I was alone and couldn’t take her to the bathroom without taking the entire kit and caboodle along with us. I just decided the best thing to do was leave. Anyway, As we were waiting our turn in the check out line, a couple of very nicely dressed middle aged women (about the age I am now) were in the next check out line, eyeing me up and down with frowns on their well manicured faces, and one of them was making little “tut tutting” noises with her tongue. I couldn’t believe it! Here I was at wits end, three little babies crying and one bigger one on the floor crying and screaming for a Barbie and they were judging me like I was something that had nasty black mold on it!
Now you have to know, I was a shy little wren of a person, just 27 years old, and it was NOT in my nature to be bold. So what came out of my mouth at that time is still a shocker to me.
I just smiled at them as I picked up my newborn and tried to calm my other two, with #1 still on the floor, I heaved a very big and audible sigh and told them sweetly “thank heavens the other 4 kids are in school”.
They just kinda sucked in their breath and one of them said “well” and they huffed and turned away from me and stood there having their own little snit!
As soon as I had said this untruth, I felt so much better. I laughed. My kids for the most part had stopped crying, and by the time I was checked out and had reached the door #1 had gotten off the floor and stopped crying too.
I was glad I hadn’t lost my temper that day. I was glad I didn’t beat my daughter or screeched at her, like I’ve seem moms do. It wouldn’t have made any of it better; it would have only made me feel worse. I don’t know why these women didn’t think to help me. Or even smile at me kindly, anything but what they did would have been nicer.
I have never forgotten the way I felt that day with those two women watching me. Hopefully it has helped to be a little kinder to others.
I didn’t always manage to keep my cool when shopping with my kids, but I didn’t stop shopping with them and they learned they didn’t get to have what they thought they wanted when we went to the stores. Sometimes it was me who arrived home almost in tears!
But they are all grown up now. Daughter # 1 is one of my dearest friends. She and her husband were blessed with twin boys 7 years ago. These darling little busy boys have a 2 year old brother and a newborn baby sister. Their mom gets to take them shopping! 
Sometimes I get to go and help out! And sometimes we go down the Barbie isle!

Carpe diem.......Seize The Day


Julie Harward said...


Karen/My Colonial Home said...


I think all us momma's have been there at one time or another.

Your story is wonderful and I commend you for having strength and wisdom and for finding your 'mouth' that day! lol Good for you.

Hugs, Karen

Mimi Sue said...

Loved your post. I had a few shopping trips that were very similar with my 3 under 3! It wears me out just thinking about it. I try not to be judgemental when I see young mothers struggling in the store. I usually say something like Someday you're going to miss this. I know they don't believe me. They'll believe it when they're my age don't you think? Mimi

Eric and Caralee said...

What a great story, thank you for sharing. It definately makes me feel better. I think that the challenging days are always overshadowed by the good times even though it's hard to see it sometimes!
Today Eric is calling a bunch of different residency programs, a couple in PA closer to Harrisburg,one in Columbus OH, Las Vegas, Dallas TX, Seattle, Illinois right outside of St. Louis, Oklahoma City..we could end up anywhere! I'm excited to see what will happen, but still a little sad that we have another year with a tight budget that will make it a challenge to visit family. :(

Beth at Aunties said...

I think if we are moms, then we have ALL been there:*)
When I see a young mom I too try to help them out. "All experiences shall be for our good", Even when we want to scream! I had a day care in my home so I could be stay at home mom and sometimes I would take 8-10 kids with me shopping. Boy, would I get the looks! LOL Your story made me smile and I too am so glad I am now the grandma:)
You have a beautiful family.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Yes, yes, yes! I am so afraid to go shopping with just my two kids. I have a hard time not getting mad, and the two kids crying is just about enough to drive me crazy. Sometimes it seems like it will never end.

colonialhomekeepings said...

Mercy -

Hello there -
I feel so bad that I haven't posted my colonial bed picture for you - the bed is having a 'square top' made for it in my husbands workshop - but I know so many people are wanting me to post a photo - rest assured it is coming.

You and I sould like we grew up in the same area/with the same ideals. I had a wonderful childhood. I so enjoy your blog! Keep up the great work and I will keep you posted on my bed!!!

Jill said...

Love your blog........thanks for visiting mine! Blessings,

M.L. @ The House of Whimsy said...

Hi Mercy,
The best story I've read in a long time!!! Kudos to you for your quick thinking, "...the other four in school!" Hee-hee!
Great advice here. : )

Lex-a-roo said...

Your family is so wonderful I love them all, I've been truly blessed to know you guys.