Who, I ask you, would take oodles of children under the age of ten, put them in one house, try to feed them dinner, and try to socialize on top of it all. I would - and I do it all the time. After another long day at ladies Bible study and running around all over post, my friend Lori and I decided that we needed to hang out. I already had taco meat in the crock pot, so she grabbed some chips and cookies (and Petit Fours) and brought her brood to my house. The kids fought and played and we cleaned up after them and laughed together. We don't want to stop living life because we have kids. It just makes it louder!
Shawn is out doing Drill Sergeant stuff til the wee hours and Lori's hubby is in Iraq, so we do this occasionally. Who is this fun for? We haven't figured that one out. The thing is that we always add more children to the mix by inviting other fabulous friends to come hang out, too. At some point we say something like, "why did we think this was a good idea." This usually comes after someone knocks over a bookshelf onto some one's head.
So why do we continuously torture ourselves? It is simply this: Doing life together is more fun than doing it by ourselves. When my friend Amanda visited last week, we were all talking about how much easier it is when there is more than one "Mom" to share the load. It is worth it because you also have someone to share the laughs with! Amanda is living with another friend of ours while both of their husbands are deployed with the military. They share the cooking and cleaning, but they also get to have the support of another woman who understands. We decided that we should encourage women to try this more often. And why not? Your children also need to understand that life is bigger than their little circle. My second son, Wyatt, calls it our Army family. There is more truth in that statement than I can say. When babies are born, they help with meals. Sometimes they are even in the delivery room because duty called. When you can't go home for Christmas, you find another family in the same boat and eat dinner together. And even when your husband is away, birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated with friends who have become like sisters to you.
When Shawn was deployed and I was pregnant with #5, my sister Ashley (actually my sister) came to help me with the kids. We had tense moments, but overall the experience was priceless. She let me rest so I was healthier than ever before. She also got to spend so much time with my kids, and they love her for that. They have so many great memories of that time. I could not have survived that 14 months without her help. And in return, she earned a spot in the sisterhood of military wives. My friends took her under their wings and loved her like their own sister. She learned that five kids is hard, but it sure is fun. And it made her less nervous when the time came for her to start her own family. She is a natural "mother" and I love her and appreciate the sacrifice she gave of her time and social life to help us. Just more of this whole "doing life together" thing.
(Just to be clear, this is not me supporting multiple wives :) )