I can’t think of a clever way to start this post seeing as I haven’t finished my coffee yet and its still early in the morning, so I suppose I should just jump right into it and explain the title. No, I don’t actually have any kids, but I do babysit my 7 younger siblings 75% of the time. See, my mom is a single mom. She’s got 9 kids (one who’s away at college most of the time.) and she works at Pier 1 Imports; not the best job in the world but she gets nice discounts to fuel her candle obsession, so at least the house smells nice. Today she has orientation for a second job, and she’s also thinking of going back to school. That’s right, she’s also a web designer and HTML expert. (You would think my blog would look nicer. Nope.) So it’s not ideal; since my mom never wanted a job, but when my dad left in 2012, she had no choice. Now, this isn’t supposed to be a sob story. I’m just simply stating the facts. My family got placed in a weird situation. Even with my mom working 20 something hours a week, its not even enough to pay bills and make ends meet. Hence, the second job.
With that being said, watching that amount of kids so often is hard work. I have to take over for my mom when she’s gone. This means staying on top of house work, making sure the kids don’t kill each other, disciplining them, helping them with homework, clean up Ryne’s pee when he goes on the floor because he isn’t fully potty trained yet, make all the food, and the list goes on and on and on. And that’s not even the stuff on my to do list. Because after all that I need to do my school, send packages for a woman at my church who runs an Ebay/Amazon shop, clean my room, have bible time, and read whatever book I’ve currently got my hands on. So if I hear one more person say “you’re homeschooled! You’re not that busy!” I will flip.
So being a part time mom at my age is pretty difficult, especially when my siblings still see me as Faith Their Older Sister and not Faith The One Who Will Ground You If You Disobey. They have a habit of not taking my authority seriously. There are times when I just want to make them stay in their beds all day so I can sleep or scream at them because they just can’t get the concept of “we don’t hit” through their heads. I almost lose it when Izzy’s diaper has exploded or Lois is demanding that someone play Barbie’s with her or when the front room still isn’t clean after I told Anakin to do it a million and one times or when Gordon gives me his sass and can’t seem to stay focused on school. There are times my veins bulge out of my neck and my already scratchy voice rides on the edge of disappearing altogether.
But there are good days as well. Like when Noah makes a bottle for Izzy or Gordon asks if I need help or Anakin gets his school work done before I’m even awake or Lois and Ryne get along perfectly. There are nights like last night. Nights where no one yells and we all eat together and everyone actually eats the dinner I made and then I attempt to make popcorn over the stovetop but burn it so we end up making a few bags of it in the microwave and sit on the mattress we have in our living room because we don’t own a couch and just watch Star Wars. Those are good days. I try to make every day like that. It takes a lot of effort to stay calm when your house look like a tornado shot through it and you can’t clean it alone because while yes, you live here, you don’t know where the kids toys belong. I find myself wanting to hide in my room and forget my responsibilities or get really angry at my dad who put me in this next to impossible situation. But we always make it through.
I need to remember that I can’t expect myself to be a perfect mom or perfect babysitter or perfect big sister. I’m only human and heck, I’m only a teenager. It’s a learning process. Experienced mom’s have trouble with this sort of thing; I shouldn’t expect to have a perfect day every day. If there is one thing I’ve learned through this, its that sometimes we get huge burdens; sometimes its unfair that they were given to us, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. The world might think us too weak to carry it, but God knows we can do it. He would never give us something we weren’t strong enough to deal with. And while we may be too weak in of ourselves, He is stronger and He is in us. And the best part of this is, at the end of the day I get to go back to being just regular Big Sister Faith. Plus at this rate, by the time I’m a mom for real, I’ll already be a pro. You’re welcome Future Husband.