“Are you Catholic?” “Do you know what causes that?” “Wow, you really have your hands full!” I have heard these statements so many times, I have finally learned to answer them with a smile and a nod.
Yes, I have six kids that range in age from 18 all the way down to a 3 year old and that causes many stares and rude comments. It also gives me an unbelievable amount of joy and pride. I had my first child just out of high school and it wasn’t what I had planned but I am so thankful God’s plans are bigger than mine.
We decided after our third child that paying for daycare was no longer an option, so I made the leap from full time work to full time mom. Eventually, the cost of having 6 kids caught up with us and I needed to earn some income to contribute to the family budget. After years of being a stay at home mom I couldn’t even imagine leaving them, so instead I started an in-home daycare. I started with just a few kids and eventually grew to 10 kids.
Shortly after kiddo number four was born, I felt the daycare was too much (keep in mind at this time I had three kids under the age of 6 at home and one in school). We made a life-changing choice to move from Brookings to a small town about 25 miles away. Real-estate in this small town was the big draw for us as we cut our mortgage by three quarters! I did restart a daycare once we moved, but on a much smaller scale.
When you have six kids, odds are someone will have a health risk or two and our family is no exception. My son was diagnosed with autism when he was three; it was devastating to think he would struggle forever. However, I have to say God gave me the wisdom and insight to see that “different” for him was not a bad thing, it was just different. He has overcome so many obstacles and though he needed to repeat kindergarten, he is now excelling in first grade.
About the same time his diagnosis came in I was surprised to learn of baby number six, and she led me to seek God more than I had ever done before. At her first ultrasound the tech was vague and only said there were a few things the doctor would like to talk to me about – a few being several cysts on her brain and a small heart. I cried out to God asking why, how could we deal with this now? Again His grace covered our family; my baby girl was born cysts-free, but she did still suffer from a few heart defects. Just hours after birth, the cardiologist was running tests and filling us in on what would become a lifetime of monitoring. Most of her side effects are minimal, and I have peace that she is in God’s hands and He can protect her more than I can alone.
Raising teenagers, tweens, and a toddler at the same time is a challenge, but the basic lessons are the same. We put God first, family second, and school, sports and other activities are last though they deserve dedication. I have a chore plaque in our kitchen that states our family’s motto: “Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as if for the Lord” Colossians 3:23. My prayer for my family and all who we connect to is that we reflect the Lord and his love at all times.
Our mission is to assist women and families in the Brookings area and SDSU who are experiencing unplanned pregnancy to explore choices by providing appropriate resources and support including counseling, educational programs, and mentoring.
CALL: (605) 692-1600
Life, Love and Lessons Series
Option 1’s "Life, Love, and Lessons" blog series provides small glimpses into the life, love, and lessons from a variety parents. Some may be just like you and some may not resemble you, but each is here to share their own journey.
PO Box 924 | 103B 22nd Ave
Brookings, SD 57006
Phone: (605) 692-1600
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Tuesday & Thursday | 6-8pm
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At Option 1 of Brookings, SD, we recognize that women have a right to make their own decisions about the outcome of their pregnancy and their sexual health. We are here to help women and their partners make informed and thoughtful decisions. The information provided on this website is not intended to diagnose any condition or pregnancy and should not take the place of your medical practitioner. Although option1.org provides valuable and credible health information, this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical, legal or counseling advice.