Super Mom

Originally published May 2018

Since yesterday was Mother’s Day here in New Zealand, and today is Mother’s Day in the States, I want to take a few moments to appreciate my mom. She really is the best. I have so many amazing memories of my mom.

supermom

She’s basically Super Mom. Fourteen kids she’s raised, and still is raising. I love this picture above because it really captures my mom. Holding two babies in her arms while doing an activity or schoolwork with us older kids. She likely had a load of laundry going and dinner cooking. No big deal to her. That’s just everyday life. Somehow my mom managed to homeschool all of my siblings and I, some of us for our entire education and some for parts. Can you imagine homeschooling ten kids at a time?! Or more? I’m not even sure how many of us were homeschooling at the same time. Now some of my siblings are in school and some are homeschooled, so on top of that my mom is also keeping track of after school activities like plays and band practice and performances, and sports. Not to mention appointments for a variety of things (I bet you’ve never taken six kids to the dentist at once). Plus she’s on call as a birth photographer, and does family, newborn, and lifestyle sessions as well… And we can’t forget the daily things like keeping everyone fed (even though she hates cooking), cleaning the house, doing endless loads of laundry…

The first time I really appreciated how much laundry my mom does was a few years ago while my family went on vacation at the Oregon coast. Judah and I were both too busy with school and work to go, so we stayed at home. Mom gave me the job of catching up on the laundry while everyone else was gone.

Now let me give you a little backstory. Sometimes in my family’s house we joke about the ‘laundry fairy’ or the ‘cleaning fairy’ or the ‘dishes fairy’ basically any kind of fairy that could do housework. If somebody’s complaining about folding laundry my mom will say ‘Who’s going to do it, the laundry fairy?’ When my sisters and I didn’t want to clean our room, she’d say, ‘What, do you think the cleaning fairy is going to come do it?’

Well, as I did load after load of laundry I realized that my mom is the laundry fairy. And even the cleaning fairy and the dishes fairy and… Fourteen kids, two parents, that’s a lot of laundry right? Even now that there’s ‘just’ nine of my siblings at home, that’s still a lot of laundry. Well, that means that there should always be laundry going. And I didn’t realize before that week of catching up on laundry, how much work it is just to make sure that the laundry is constantly going. Switch the wet laundry to the dryer. Start a new load. Fold the freshly dried load. Repeat every hour.

Now that I have my own house, I can appreciate my mom even more. Sure, my siblings have their daily chores, and I did too growing up, but if the person who’s supposed to do the dishes is gone, who does them? A lot of times, it’s mom. Who does the organizing, who supervises and participates in Saturday cleanup? Mom. The older I get the more I realize how amazing my mom is.

Housework, kids’ activities, appointments, photography business, and more- how in the world does my mom have time to throw awesome parties, or enjoy reading, hiking, knitting? I have no idea, but somehow she does it, and she’s amazing at it.

Not only that, but mom is an amazing advocate for her children. When Apollo was a baby and the doctor’s couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him (and didn’t really try that hard, to begin with), my mom thoroughly researched what it could be. She read every book on every possibility, and finally thanks to the suggestion of a blog reader she pushed the doctors to check for a double aortic arch- and that’s what they found. It didn’t stop there. My mom became an expert on heart defects, and when Apollo had to get a feeding tube placed, she mastered that as well.

With my other siblings with special needs too, my mom has done her absolute best and learned everything about the issues my siblings have. It is not easy being my mom. Not easy doing all she does everyday, especially when at times people don’t believe in or won’t accommodate my siblings’ special needs. But she does it, every day, and when it’s too hard, that’s when she grows stronger. I can say without a doubt that my mom is the strongest person I know. I want to be like her.

Mom, I love you, and you’re my inspiration and my hero!

Kim Gasper Photography

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