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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Perfect Family?

What's the perfect family? When I had a boy and a girl, people would stop and mention that we had 'one of each' and how perfect that was. Apparently we would have been less perfect if we had 2 girls or 2 boys, or maybe having just one child is the true sign of imperfection? I waited a long time to have children because they're so dang sticky (don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about...first it's sticky poop, then it's sticky spit up, then we move on to gummy snacks, suckers from the bank, and other unidentifiable things you as the mom find stuck in your vehicle, on your pants, and in your hair

Sorry - sort of went off a tangent there..

anyway - there is nothing perfect about parenting. Your house will never be as clean as it was before children. Your hair will never look the same, and let's not even talk about your body...

Then there's those of us with the truly imperfect families - because we have too many children, or the number of boys outnumbers the girls, or heaven forbid those parents who have all same sex children. Those are the families who need your pity, right? For the love of all things holy - stop commenting on the perfection or imperfection of other people's families.

I have several friends with families larger than ours and recently someone told me that it's not a competition. Well thank the Lord for that epiphany...I thought she who dies with the most children won a special whirlpool suite in eternity.

My family is not a particular size because I'm striving for perfection, because I want a football team, or because I'm competing with a friend to see which of us can have the highest percentage of Harvard graduates. I also am fully aware that I don't have to fill each and every seat in my 7 passenger mini-van. The truth is, God has blessed me with imperfection. He has blessed me with the ability to smile at the crayon on the floor. The ability to laugh at  the finger prints on the mirror without getting my undies in a bunch about the imperfection of my sagging boobies in the reflection. By most people's standards, not only is my family imperfect, but my house is a mess and my van is some sort of disgusting science project. To me, they are perfect because the little people who leave toothpaste in the sink, peanut butter on the counter, suckers stuck to the side of carseats, and goldfish crackers in the couch cushions are going to grow up and move away.

These little people who touch me all day long, break into the bathroom, use my lipstick to draw on the mirror...they are going to drive away in cars of their own someday. I'm going to be left with a clean vehicle, spotless furniture, a full bar of soap in the shower, and a heart so full because I played a part in their lives and launching them into adulthood. My hair will no longer smell like baby puke, the knees on my jeans will no longer have grass stains, and I won't have to wonder who used what on my toothbrush. I will continue to pray and thank God for my imperfect family. I will hope all my little imperfect humans can make it home at Christmas. No one will see me at the grocery store juggling a toddler on one hip and an infant on the other and make comments about how my hands are full...

So when you are feeling like your family isn't so perfect, please know that life is messy and it's supposed to be. Know that no family is perfect and it's the imperfections that really make life so wonderful. Strangers don't mean anything when they comment about the number of children we have, or the gender of those children...I think they just want to say something...and someday I may very well be that old woman who strikes up a conversation with a young mother - because she may just be bringing me so many delicious memories of my own days in the midst of the sticky fingers and dirty diapers.

Love those babies, no matter how many!


May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and as many sticky hands as you can handle!

Crystal is a secretary and musician at her church, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 9, Andre 8, Breccan 3, Delphine 2, and baby E due in fall 2017), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at WOW! Women on Writing.

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