“How do you do it?”

When I’m out with my toddler and twins in tow most people give me that sympathetic half smile as they walk by. Sometimes there are the poor souls who happen to glance down at my growing belly with baby #4 and kind of cringe as they pretend I didn’t just catch them staring. But then there are some who are brave enough to start a conversation with me and one of the most dreaded asked questions I get is, “how do you do it? I don’t think I could ever do it!”. And I know the main reason I get this question is because of the twins. They’re usually stared at like a pair of rare unicorns. I usually respond with the least irritated-looking smile I can muster and say, “I just do!”, and walk away.

Don’t get me wrong. I love adult interaction. I sit at home with my 3 kids day in and day out (WHICH I LOVE, by the way) but every now and then a mom needs some adult talk, am I right? But why this question? Why the assumption that you can’t do difficult things if they presented themselves? I’m not some freak of nature or lottery winner who got a different handbook on parenting than others.

If I had more time to sit and talk to this stranger I’d give the true answer, which is this: I get to do this. I was given the opportunity, by God, to raise these little babies and every day I try (some days harder than others) to be glad in our circumstances and enjoy the chaos. It’s far from easy, I wish it was. But in the words of my sweet husband when I come complaining to him about , “WHY IS LIFE SO HARD?!”, he simply looks at me and says, “Because otherwise it wouldn’t be worth living.”. He’s smart. So maybe I don’t wish it was easy.

The hard days make the easier days seem simple. They make my efforts as a mom more rewarding. They make the long sigh at the end of the day come from a place of contentment. They make cleaning up the messes worth it. I don’t enjoy cleaning up messes but if I had to clean messes that weren’t made by my three beloved children then I probably wouldn’t do it.

Days that bring particularly hard trials, like the day I had yesterday, are lived in the moment. These kids depend on me, they need me to feed them, clothe them, make them feel loved and secure. They need me to teach them and be an example. It’s not just my day, it’s their day, too. As frustrating as it is to say for the 8th time “stop opening the cabinets please!” to a free-spirited 17 month old, at the end of the day I GET TO say it, I don’t have to.

If you’re facing a trial with your kids, or even in another area of your life, remember that God has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11), there’s a purpose, a reason. Find your light though Him and the next time someone asks you how YOU do it you can stand firm, smile with joy and say, “because I get to.”.


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