I’ll never be a select-soccer mom, dance mom or have more than one bathroom.
The simple answer: Money.
I cannot afford any of those things. I am a wife of a teacher and mother of five. I struggle constantly with the fact that we will never know if we have an Olympic swimmer among our children, or the next Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
And good God, would a second bathroom come in handy for a family of seven.
My children have shown interest in a great number of different activities and sports, and unfortunately, I cannot nor does it look like I will ever be able to afford to let them try or pursue many of these activities.
Part of this is because we have five children — ages 4 months to 9 years old.
I don’t think it is fair to put all of our financial eggs in one basket, so to speak, and go all the way with one of our children at the expense of our other children.
Our oldest has expressed and interest in athletics, basketball and football specifically. If I were to put him in a select football or basketball league, that would wipe out our ability for any of our other kids to try various activities.
We try to mitigate this by being members of the YMCA and allowing them to try sports, dance and martial arts through the Y. There is still a cost, but it is a reasonable enough cost to allow more than one of my children to play a sport at a time.
My hope is that they will get the exposure they need to pursue their interests in high school and beyond through hard work and saving their money. Again, I struggle with this.
I would love to see all my kids do everything they want to, but our finances and mini-van would never be able to keep up.
Should I have had less kids? Maybe.
This may alleviate some of the financial strain.
It would also take away the daily opportunity my kids have to play and explore sports with each other (at the expense of all my breakable items and perfect lawn).
Less kids would also take away their daily lessons in dealing with different personalities (and boy do we have some big personalities among our kids), in respecting others opinions and abilities.
Mostly, it would take away their opportunity to mentor each other, which I find to be the biggest asset to having a big family.
Should I go back to work? Maybe.
It would give us two incomes, but I have two little ones that would need full-time daycare, and three children that would require extended care at school.
I would be working to pay these bills for the most part.
Also, I would miss the conversations (and fights) we have about after school snacks, the after school talks I have with their teachers, and I the availability to volunteer or go on field trips.
Will I go back to work one day? You betcha.
In fact, I work part time nights now to make ends meet and am more than willing to pull my weight financially by working full-time, but I have learned the hard way that all that comes at an expense. And I don’t just mean money.
Besides, having another bathroom would mean cleaning another bathroom, and I can definitely pass on that!
Pamela Goebel, a mom to five children, wrote this guest blog for momaha.com In between nursing, chauffeuring and throwing dinner together, she like to read, write and crochet!
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