Patience – do I have enough for one more child?

We ventured to our favorite specialty grocery store today for a walk on a nearby trail then lunch from the awesome deli.  They have live crabs in big tanks and as we watched one try to climb out another mama stood next to me with her son.  Her first words to me were the ones I hear nearly every time we go out:

Oh my goodness!  You certainly have your hands full!

Totally not offensive at all, just a matter-of-fact statement.  It’s true.  I do, I’m outnumbered five to one.  I could write another post about the rest of the things people say.  But I’ll pass on that.

She was actually only seeing four of my children because my sister had Rylee with her elsewhere in the store.  I told her my daughter was in the produce section and her were wide.

How do you do it?  I only have two and I don’t even have the patience for the ones I have.  We’ve been really thinking about having one more but I’m scare, I don’t think we can do it.  I just don’t naturally have the patience.

I smiled and waved my hand toward my brood and said:

I don’t either!  I don’t think anyone has natural patience!  There are things that get more challenging with each child.  But there are a lot of things that honestly get easier.  There is a always someone to hang out with or play with.  Each one of these kids has taught me more patience.  I think we learn patience instead of ‘having it or not’.  Each baby we’ve had I’ve had to grow more patience, more grace, that’s the beauty of it all.

Her son was moving toward the lobsters so she walked on and we grabbed some lemon shrimp salad and corn dogs and other tasty yumminess then headed outside for our ‘picnic’.

But I drove home thinking more about our oh-so-brief conversation.  Did I mean what I’d said?  Had I been sensitive to the inquiring stranger?  I am hyper-concerned sometimes about not wanting to say anything that makes other mamas feel like I judge them for having a different amount of children than me.  I’ve heard that attitude/sentiment before and its ugly.  I aim for sharing my honest reality.  And that’s what I’d passed on to this sweet lady.  Truly, I meant exactly what I’d said.

I have marveled at how much calmer my spirit is with all the newborn baby piercing crying with Phineas.  Yes it’s hard to hear.  Yes I wish I could do something to fix it.  But I have HAD to learn that it will pass.  That sometimes there is absolutely nothing I can do to sooth him.  That he will survive if I need to change his big sister’s diaper or quickly start lunch.  I used to sob and get incredibly worked up during Caleb’s months long colic days.  I was certain it meant I was a terrible mother.

This is the beauty of getting to add another one to the mix that is our family.  I get to learn something new.  I have the opportunity to beg for more patience, more grace, more help….more something.  And God is tremendously faithful to supply it.  All I have to do is ask (and you’d think I would remember that all the time but I still forget…often!).

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.
Philipians 4:19



I think you had a perfect response! I hear the same comment when I’m out with my kiddos and have the same approach. I don’t ever want to pretend its easy, but I also know that God has grown me with each child he’s given. And I’ve only gotten them one at a time. Because patience is something I know God wants me to have, I know he will make it possible by His Grace.

Great post!


What a great answer!! I think if nothing else you probably gave her encouragment to consider having another!! I know for me, I have learned more about the love and character of God and more about what life really is through being a mother. I was never really a patient young person, but I am told now that I am as laid back as they come (not sure I agree). Only by the grace of God. ~Do you also get the “Do you know what causes that?” question? It was always my fave- I always answered “Yes, and apparently we LOVE it!!” HA!


thank you for this,i needed to hear your words…i am having a hard time with my 2…you would think 6 months into life with 2 id have it figured out.i not cut out for this,thanks for your heart and words friend