My New Normal

How are your children doing?

How are you handling being a mom of 6?

How is your family adjusting to all the changes?

So many friends have asked me these questions over the last 10 days. And the answers they received have depended entirely upon my mood at that particular moment.

If you asked me last Wednesday, I would have told you that things were going splendidly! We started our first day of home school that day and EVERYONE followed directions as if they had been doing it their whole life. Joel and Hannah went off to their classes with new backpacks and big grins. They will be attending a home school charter school two mornings a week. This will give them a chance to get out of the house and socialize with other kiddos, and it will give me a chance to focus on the schooling for the other four.

First day of school

I spent the morning teaching our first school lesson entitled “How To Do Your Chores.” We learned things like how to put your shoes away and where we keep our pajamas. We also spent an hour on the subject “How To Clean Your Room.” Then we did an art project involving stamp pads and the letters of our names. We finished our school day with P.E. (swimming and popsicles).

Learning our names


P.E. - our favorite!

By the time we finished school and picked up Joel and Hannah, it was time for me to teach my Zumba class. Anyone who knows me knows that I love this part of my life! I finished the day on a happy, sweaty note and came home to a dinner that had been prepared and left for me by some wonderful person! Now keep in mind, my husband was home all day too. He doesn’t officially go back to work until after labor day. So there were 2 of us here to handle it all.

So for any friends who asked me on Wednesday….everything was great! I got this thing!

Fast forward to this weekend.

Friday night I walk into my girl’s room to find two of my daughters physically fighting it out on the carpet. Pinching was involved. And kicking. And lots of screaming and crying.

Saturday morning I got a lovely text from a group of ladies inviting me to join their Tuesday morning book discussion group. I appreciated the invite! I really, honestly did. In fact, I hope all of you out there keep inviting me to do things. But for some reason, when I got that text, it seemed to hit me all at once. I won’t be attending Tuesday morning book clubs, or Thursday morning bible studies, or meeting my friends for lunch for quite a while. Because I HAVE 6 KIDS! And I AM HOME SCHOOLING! At that moment, standing in my kitchen, reading that sweet text…I felt like my life as I knew it was over.

Saturday afternoon found me throwing a little party for my beautiful niece who was turning one. We had family and friends over for swimming, a pinata and ice cream sundaes. My husband, while trying his hardest, was very busy with a big purchase for work. He was in and out of the house and on the phone all day. I was emotional. My house was messy. There might have been some crying during the party – from me.

Saturday night we got in our jammies and told family stories. And as the stories started to flow out of my newest four, my heart started to ache. We smiled and hugged and encouraged them to keep talking, but inside I was wondering just how many hurts one little heart can handle. How much time will it take for them to heal?

And today? Well today was just stinky. One of my best friends is moving this week. All the way to Spokane, Washington. And all of the emotions of the past three months for me (and for her) boiled over today. We exchanged some terse words. Ladies, you understand this. With your very best, closest friends whom you love with all your heart…it is almost like they are family. You feel things deeply. And there might have been some more crying – again from me.

So right now, if you asked me, I would have to say that it is hard. Everything. It is just hard.

I would estimate that about 50% of the time I feel encouraged and I am enjoying the blessings of our journey. And the other 50% of the time I am emotional and stressed and wondering when I will feel normal again.

My prayer is that the percentages will slowly shift. One day I would love to wake up and realize “Hey, I feel somewhat normal. In fact, I am somewhat normal!”

But until that day comes, I am going to keep reciting this verse over and over to myself….

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  ~ Phillipians 1:6

I know that this is just the beginning. God began this work in our lives so I can be confident that He will complete it and perfect it.



10 thoughts on “My New Normal

  1. Tawny

    I’m honestly amazed that 50% of the time you DO feel optimistic and happy. You’ve been places and have taken on things that most people can never even imagine. All the grace you are asking for– you have. We all think you are doing wonderfully, tears or not!!

  2. Joyce Red

    Hey Natalie,

    I know being an inspiration isn’t always easy, ask Jesus. We are so amazed by your courage &devotion.. Hang in there. I would like to bring dinner are there any restriction allergies, likes dislikes?. Is tomorrow or Tuesday ok?

  3. Janis Meredith

    Natalie, thanks for your honesty and openness in sharing. I will pray that God will help you adjust to your new normal. We’ve been in FL for over a year and are still struggling with our new normal…a tough road.

  4. barbara harrison

    If you look back in your life and before this journey started, you would realize how much more out of life and love you have now then you did then. Not only are you giving and sharing love, look at all the love you are receiving. Kids are the best, and amazing what you are doing for all six. I so admire you and Scott.

  5. Lisa M

    Seems to me that you are doing an amazing job here and that ups and downs should be expected for awhile. I loved hearing about your first homeschool day. It sounds absolutely perfect.. You are going to do great as a mom of 6. I think of that verse about how God ( or the Lord) gently leads those who have young.
    He’s going to gently lead you in this new adventure…

    Blessings- we will continue to keep you in prayer,
    Lisa M and family

  6. Shauna Hall

    Ahhh Natalie! I hear you! <3 we are in different boats, but we have the same #(6), homeschool, and probably more. The hardest thing is the dying to myself! Over and over (and over!). The hope is that out of it comes new life!! It's good and hard! We may do APL to, maybe we will see you!! Love- shauna

  7. Erin Warkentin

    I know you must seem so discouraged right now, but I so appreciate you writing the great the bad and the ugly because we are all a work in progress. I will be praying that God will give you the endurance to continue and that he will encourage you on the not so great days.

  8. Alison

    Hi Natalie,
    I agree with the comment above… if you are feeling “normal” 50% of the time, I say things are going really well! I experienced a whole range of emotions for many months…joy, sorrow, gratitude, grief, close to God, far from God, depressed, happy. It takes time to make the new changes become the new normal in a permanent way. We are praying for you, and for the hours, days, weeks, and months ahead. God is good, and He will see you through all of it. A sympathetic heart, Alison

  9. Kameron Shadrick

    OH girl… Thanks for being honest so we can pray with you. Just last week I posted about my “funk”. I don’t have 6 kids, BUT, my 2 youngest are “Irish twins” and it is CRAZY having them so close together… Anyways, it was hard for a while. Hang in there. I would wake up every morning just begging Christ to get me through the day. And He does. I will continue to pray for you. Tell Scott “Hi”.

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