#BreakYouMake Project - My Super-Mom

The look on most people's faces when I say my mom has eight kids is jaw-dropping, awe-inspired. More than a few times I've heard,

"Wow. Your mom must be super-mom."

Missing my oldest brother

And she is. My mom is one of the kindest, most genuine persons you will ever meet. She asks for nothing and gives her all over and over again. She never gives up, always keeps on fighting, and inspires me to be the kind of mom to my own children that she is to me.

I have so many memories growing up in a house of ten and naturally many of those revolve around my mother. I can still hear the sound of her house-shoes scuffing along the floor as she walked to hang up the laundry for the fourth time that day. She did it all herself, saying it was easier than crowding everyone in to do their own. I can see her sitting at the kitchen table deboning a bird for chicken spaghetti and I can hear the tiredness in her voice when I went through the phase of saying, "Goodnight, I love you," ten times before bed. She always said it back though.

My mom was married at 18 and had me at 20. As my brothers and sister came along - yes, I only got one girl out of the group - she stayed home and raised us. But believe me; she worked. She kept the house clean, paid the bills, cooked, home-schooled us for a time, and would even keep teacher's kids in our home to make extra money. I'll never know how my parents managed to raise us all on a coach and teacher's salary but they made it work. My mom was frugal and still is. She would cut coupons weekly and categorize them in a little box that served it's purpose well. I got to carry the box on grocery trips and keep up with the ones we planned to use. Heaven forbid we lose that box!

With eight kids comes a lot of...well everything. A lot of scrapes to band-aid, a mountain of overflowing, never-ending dishes, and more high school baseball and basketball games than a person should have to attend. She would walk into the gym and give my brothers her signature "mom wave" to which they'd respond with as little acknowledgement as possible. They loved that. But she was there. There to comfort us after a loss or celebrate a win. There to talk when we needed a listening ear.

It took a lot for my mom to get upset, or at least for her to show us that side. Which is probably a good thing when you have six boys. My mom made sacrifices that she probably hoped we didn't notice. I know for a fact that she sold some jewelry on one occasion because money was tight. She didn't spend extra on the most fashionable clothes or every-six-weeks highlights. She didn't have a gym membership or demand that my dad take her to Europe. She taught us by example what a wife and mom looked like, how to be a true friend to others, and how to give selflessly. I once helped her put together a basket of goodies for a family we knew that was going through a hard time. She did this anonymously.

Over the past several years, our family has seen its share of struggles, ups, and downs. And my mom has been there through every one. My dad has endured multiple heart and back surgeries as well as various other health issues and my mom has stepped in as nurse each time. Every family has those dark times that aren't always shared publicly. Instead they are felt privately and I've heard my mom cry over everything from high school break-ups to my own repeat miscarriages and deeper issues still. A year ago my dad lost his job. This was a first for my parents and I saw my mom remain a rock through this time and do what had to be done. She took a full time job working at a grocery store to make ends meet. She came home tired after being on her feet all day only to take my younger siblings wherever they needed to go, or shop for groceries, or listen to one of her kids on the phone. She never complained about it and at the same time continued to be a rock of support for my dad as he searched for a job. She never allowed him to lose hope and even through some extremely hard times and family circumstances - some that are going on even now - she has, with the help of the Lord, held her head above water and continued to swim.

My parents and sister at her high school graduation

When I heard about Chobani’s #BreakYouMake project and the opportunity to post about someone who deserved a break, I could think of no one more worthy than my mother. If anyone could use a little "me time" it's her and nothing would make me happier than to see her rested and relaxed. I love you mom and owe you much more than I'll ever know. You are my super-mom.

If you'd like to participate in the #BreakYouMake campaign, write about someone who YOU think deserves a break. National Break You Make Day is June 3rd and is in honor of Chobani Flips yogurt. Check them out here!

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