You would think having nine children (yes, nine!) 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, albeit rather small, standing at 5’1”. Not a robust, matronly looking mother of a large brood, as one might expect.
Surprisingly, mothering a large family has challenged me, forcing me to learn, change, heal and mature. The unexpected bonus of embracing this unusual lifestyle is hundreds of hilarious experiences that could only happen when you raise nine children on a small, family farm.
My life is diametrically opposed to anything I could have imagined as a teenager. Ironically, this strange life, focused on motherhood, has brought me more fulfillment and joy than I ever could have imagined.
When an acquaintance interviewed me three years ago for a newspaper article to run on Mother’s Day, I saw myself through the eyes of an outsider for the first time. It was almost mind-boggling to admit to her that I had spent 18 years pregnant and/or nursing babies. When she asked me if I ever regretted not using my degree, I just stared at her blankly for a full minute. I did not know how to even answer her because the thought never crossed my mind. Yet her question started me thinking; I did want to write again. Perhaps I could have started eleven years ago when everyone was in school full-time but realistically there was simply too much physical work involved in running a household for eleven people and helping with the farm animals and our large vegetable garden.
Now I have come around full circle, just as I imagined at 16. It just took years of living a rather peculiar life before this avid reader and oral story-teller was ready to start writing.