I Am a Conundrum

CCF04152012_00000Not everyone is called to have a large family but not everyone is called to be a career woman or single or a working mother. For some reason my lifestyle pushes people’s buttons; perhaps they think that I am a self-righteous fanatic or that I am condemning certain lifestyle’s or choices but this is simply not true. I stumbled and fumbled my way to discover that for me, mothering was my vocation.

I am a conundrum: a rather outmoded sort of woman, ridiculed by modern career women, vilified by the earth’s prophets of doom and sanctified by the religious right. I was the least likely candidate to have a lot of children. I had never even held a baby before my first born.You would think having nine children would have turned me into a frazzled wreck with a figure like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and a brain gone to mush, but I remain quite articulate, with a quirky sense of humour, standing at 5’1” and weighing in at 106 lbs. Not quite a rosy-cheeked, robust, matronly looking mother of a large brood.

When the words The Joy of Mothering popped into my head as a sub-title for my short stories, it was like an epiphany for me because those few words verbalize my experience living with little people. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. Embracing an outdated lifestyle on a traditional, small, family farm has been a struggle through confusion, guilt and even public condemnation to finally reach the point where I am at peace with my vocation.


10 thoughts on “I Am a Conundrum

  1. I don’t know why someone would condemn you for your choices. You’ve clearly made a wonderful life for yourself and at least 9 other people as well. Then again, I’ve never understood the mommy-wars (stay-at-home vs working.) Instead of battling, what about respecting and supporting each other?

    My life is very different than yours. Yet I see the important ways it is the same. Love is love, kids are crazy (in good and bad ways) and nature is beautiful no matter what your zip code or how many places at your table.

    I applaud you for finding a path that brings you joy and sharing it with others. I wish that for all of us.


  2. I am one of 6 sibs and for years my mom would hear comments when we were out in public. Our life was great and I am thankful for each sibling and miss one who passed away at 28. She learned to ignore those who decide to live a different life. Each person has to make the life that will be best for them. I never had any children, so my life is commented about often by people as well. My life circumstances are not known by others, and they should not judge. Take good care. Your family is beautiful.


  3. The most important job on the planet, raising our children, and yet far too many parents forsake it for careers, boyfriends/girlfriends and partying. The fallout is playing itself out in our schools and on our streets, It’s time we started putting our children first!


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