Any common ground that unites us also becomes a measuring stick. For those in the season of motherhood, there are many measuring sticks to be tossed around followed by some metaphorical awards to the ‘best’. To the mom who is breastfeeding their toddler, who is birthing in a mountain spring, who is wearing all three children at once.  And then one silent shiny trophy is given to this mom: the mom with the most kids.

Most people assume a mom with one child is either unable to have more, in the ‘one and done’ crowd or wise enough to know the space and time demands of two. Then there is an assumption about moms who have two kids – they wanted a sibling for their oldest, going after the coveted ‘matching set of boy and girl’. But the mom who has three kids? It’s fine if she is trying for a boy after two girls. Or maybe she really wants a minivan. Or she said screw it, what’s one more? {I’ll tell you, one more is still ONE MORE!}

Then there is the four and over team. What do we think about those moms? Let’s admit it, we think they love mothering a little bit more, a little bit differently than those of us with less children. They are willing to sacrifice just a little more time, be deprived of yet more sleep, shift their house around to somehow make more room where there seems to be less.

I know I’m guilty of seeing moms with a brood of children all buzzing around. A gang of siblings that all have a vital place in the family, and I look at their leader, and I am impressed by that mom. There is a hearty rumbling deep down in me that I could want that. Or more specifically, that I should want that.

I hear a voice in harmony with the first telling me that this woman has more, she sacrifices more, she does more – therefore logic concludes that she is more.  I’m less mom than her.

That little voice can stick it’s logic in a sack and throw it in the river.

From the time you become pregnant, you are already taking care of a tiny person depending entirely on you alone,  you are already a mom.  You heart unhinges this little room where vast portions of sacrifice, patience, forgiveness and humor are stored. You now have the heart of a mom.

From the first sleepless night, to gritting teeth through that first tantrum, to the first time you watch them leave into a classroom to be without you for way too long. All the little firsts that drop kick your heart and steal your breath. They are all wonderful reminders of where you feel the pain…right in your mom heart.

There is no niche for comparison in motherhood. A mom with one child is just as much a mom as one with five. Because here is the cool part, the important part – motherhood doesn’t look the same for every mom, nor should it. At the end of the day what matters is that streaming flow of love from that new place in your heart, letting you carry out your minutes, hours and days as a mom.  Then soon you begin to see that these years will also be turned over to your children- a film reel on repeat as the memories your kids will have. Dance lessons; jumping off couches with plastic bags as parachutes; watching way too many cartoons; family vacations that end with broke down vehicles. Moms start as baby makers, but even more they are memory makers.

Whether to one child who is blessed enough to have all of your attention, or four kids who have each other as live-in frenemies –  you are still a mom. And a mom, is a mom, is a mom.


Her friends know her has their nerdy girlfriend who gets day drunk at ladies' lunches. Shawna gave up her career to be a stay at home mom to three kids under four. She is online sharing the questions she is asking around simple living, simple style and simple health. Candid about marriage ish, momfails and God's grace.


  1. I love large families. If I could have any do-overs in my life, I’d have had more kids (I have 3). I have several friends with larger families and they get stared at and asked crazy, nosy questions about their family size.

    • Yeah, I found some comments directed at us even at three kids. I would be happy to have more kids, if someone dropped a well adjusted toddler on my doorstep, they would have a home here! But I couldn’t handle another baby with three toddlers running around.

  2. I have four kids, and whenever I see someone with five, I’m like, “Why would you have five? What a try-hard.” My baby is one week from her first birthday, and instead of having a party for her, I’m thinking of having one for ME. Because I SURVIVED THE BABIES!

    In my opinion, the only kids you “should” want to want are the ones you already have. Keep on keepin on with your three close-togethers!

    • Love this Jac, there should be a Mom Party for that first year!! And maybe the second and third, just saying.

  3. I have 5 kids and actually feel like I am less of a mom than the ones with 2 or 3 cuz you spend more time on busy work and less quality time with each child. More kids equals more work to keep up with.

  4. Pingback: The Mom With Lots of Kids -

  5. I had my fifth in December. I’m not sure anybody looks at me like “she’s impressive.” Just like “she’s nuts.”

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