Meet Mighty Mom, Callie Rich!
We’d like to introduce you to one of the mightiest mamas we know - and the winner of our Mighty Mom Giveaway of a 6 month subscription of MightyMe and a $100 Amazon gift card! With 7 kiddos (yes, 7!) to care for, we know it will be put to good use! Keep reading for Callie’s mighty story about mothering through a pandemic and the day her children finally returned to in-person school. We think you’ll agree moms just rock!
"It’s been 365 days since all these children went to school on the same day.
If I had known 365 days ago that I would be trapped in my house with all seven of my small children, primarily alone—for the next year, I would have had a nervous break down right then. Instead, I had a few small ones along the way. I love my children. I really do—but being together without any opportunity for space, emotionally or physically, was overwhelming at times. I took up exercise to channel the angst the first couple of months (and promptly abandoned it). I walked out of my house and told my children not to follow while I sat in my car and cried. I fantasized about going back to work as a nurse in a pandemic instead of tending to the incessant needs and cries of so many little people simultaneously. I tried to escape with Bridgerton, M&M cookies, and audiobooks. (Side note: While it didn’t work, I maintain an affinity for all three.)
We started the pandemic with an infant that ate every 3 hours, a one year old, a newly 3 year old, and 4 older kids. We had two sets of diapers and two other sets of pull-ups. A construction mud pit for a yard. A toddler who coped by escaping our house and being brought home by neighbors. A preschooler having 4-5 accidents a day. Someone who had never once aspired to teach at the healm of managing four different school curriculums with 3 partially functioning devices. Spoiler alert: that one is me.
But, we pivoted. I grew, and my kids did, too. We established a chore chart. We potty trained. We got childproof door locks and went to pelvic floor therapy. We bought countless pairs of headphones and had unspoken races to break them all. The big kids learned responsibility and autonomy in managing school requirements. (The kindergartner, still an S.O.S.) I learned to adjust to never leaving my house. To seeing other adults precisely never. To being horrible at managing anything besides what was immediately in front of me in my home. To abandoning any previous notions of productivity. To not having a clean house, ever. To having exactly zero minutes each day alone. To crawling to 8pm and being dismayed when it finally arrived and I found I was fighting sleep to experience those coveted, quiet moments.
Yet, here we are one year later, and we are still standing. By something that feels nothing short of miraculous, we are (partially) resuming this aspect of life we took for granted 364 days ago. I am so immensely grateful this day is finally upon us, and yet we have spent so much time in this altered normal, the old way of life still feels a bit foreign. I am still drawing out the familiarity of the multitude of things I set aside so casually, as if I would easily retrieve them two weeks later.
I will clean the house. I will catch up on work. I will organize the attic. I will do my taxes. I will bask in the quiet. But for now, I will walk out of these four walls with only a baby in arms and freedom under my wings to take flight into the balmy newness this day offers."
Written by: Callie Rich