Sandy is biological mom to 12 children ages 3 to 29 (no multiple births) and yes, all with her high school sweetie. They have been happily married for 30 years. They live in Utah where she chases kids around, plays a little basketball, and writes daily on her blog, Twelve Makes A Dozen. She has a Masters degree in Literature, but now spends most of her reading time on children’s books. She always dreamed of writing a novel, but this blog might be as close as she ever gets.
I was so surprised when Shell agreed to let me write a post for her! That was a couple of months ago. I was assigned a day and I penciled it on my calendar. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to tell all the wonderful people in Shell’s world, but I was sure it had to be the most exciting, best-written thing I had ever done. I sorted through my list of secrets, discarding each one as being boring, not worthy of the most amazing post ever. Meanwhile, that deadline just kept creeping up on my calendar.
I could not settle on a subject with the pressure crushing my brain. I visited a dozen blogs, a bunch of them linked from Shell, just hoping to spark something great. Then it dawned on me. You guys don’t want to read something great, you want to read something about me. You want to know why any sane woman in this day and age would willingly and gratefully give birth to 12 children. You want to know how I deal with carpools and activities, meals and bedtimes, chores and dishes, but most of all you want to know how I can possibly get all that laundry done.
About 10 years ago, someone called me SuperMom for the first time. She said it in jest, but at the time I didn’t see it as a compliment, it cut deep into my soul as I felt like a fraud. I was far from perfect (still am!) and there are so many days when the chores go undone, the laundry piles up, the homework doesn’t get checked, and the kids eat cold cereal for dinner. Again.
My kids know how it is. There are the days, like today, when I hear them talking and they insist that I have no sense of humor because I don’t laugh at jokes. Or that I hide all the chocolate so that I can eat it by myself (that may or may not be true…). Or yesterday when my 5-year-old said, “Mom never does any chores. She makes us do ALL of them!”
I may not do any chores, but I do nurse them back to health when they are sick and I read them stories and I take them fun places. I encourage them to do their best in school and in life and I am there to catch them when they fall. Or at least to help them pick up the pieces and try again. I wanted all these kids because I love being a mom! I’ve done the working, career woman thing, and there’s no place I would rather be than changing diapers and wiping snotty noses. My sweetie calls me an “enabler” because I spend my life trying to make sure all 12 of them are happy, loving, grateful, productive people.
So sometimes there are dirty dishes in my sink. And sometimes the laundry doesn’t get done. And what does it matter? As long as I wash my SuperMom cape once a week, everything will be just fine.