The woman at the grocery store looked at my overfull shopping cart and my half dozen children and proclaimed, "I could never do that. You must be a saint." People say this to me all the time, canonizing me against my will.
I'm not a saint. I'm just a normal mom. I'm a normal mom with 6 children. The six children don't make me a saint, they just mean that I know more about the inside of a delivery room than most non-medical people.
Having a big family does not mean that I am more organized than anyone else. I am better at throwing stuff away or dragging it off to Goodwill than almost anyone, but that's not the kids fault. I've been throwing junk out for years. I do admit to owning a label maker, but it ran out of paper a year or so ago. I keep meaning to buy more, but it never makes it on my list.
Having a big family does not mean we are wealthy. I'm not sure how people have come to the conclusion that we are, but I know they think so. I often am told, "I could never afford to feed all those kids." We can't really either if you look at it on paper. We're not richer than other people, we're just better with coupons and bargain hunting. It's not cleverness on my part, we like to actually have food to eat.
All these kids don't mean that I was somehow created with more patience than anyone else. I firmly believe that patience is built up through strength training. The more times you use it, the more endurance you have. If the people in the store were looking, they'd see that I have ample opportunity to practice patience every day. I wasn't blessed with perfect children, just with the opportunity to learn patience. A lot of opportunity.
Homeschooling all these kids doesn't mean that I'm some kind of genius. It simply means that I was clever enough to buy the teacher's manuals and actually read them. I not smarter than anyone else, I'm just honest about the fact that I don't know everything.
The truth of it all is that I'm not better or holier than anyone else. Having sainthood bestowed on me by random strangers makes me slightly uncomfortable. I'm not doing anything miraculous, heroic, or superhuman. I'm just a woman who loves my husband and our children and tries to do the best I can for them. Some days I am a spectacular success, some a spectacular failure. Most days I am just average and getting along like everyone else. My average is just bigger and the volume makes it look more impressive than it really is.