I’m A Duck… QUACK!


The irony of being a private person and having a blog is that you put your world on displayΒ  for all to see, yet you often get to choose the version people see. I often struggle with sharing sometimes I want to share too much and worry I will regret it later and other times I know I share too little and wish I had the courage to share more. I have shared some about my Grave’s Disease and it has been so rewarding. I spent an hour on the phone with someone I did not know who watched my video about my Total Thyroidectomy Scar and reached out to me. We have become supporter’s of each other as we journey down this crazy path of thyroid problems and I am so grateful because it is a really lonely path.

I have 4 kids, yes 4 kids and I had all of them before I was 30 and my oldest was 5 1/2 when my youngest was born and it is crazy and wild and overwhelming and amazing and so many other things all wrapped into one and I hardly share anything about what that means for real. Why? Because I am a duck unruffled sailing smoothly along where others can see and underneath I am paddling for dear life. Kicking frantically as I try to figure out how to be the mom I want to be while caring for 4 young kids.

I know that my choice of family size is controversial, as are a lot of things I do. I am constantly teaching my daughter to be strong and proud of who she is and to realize she is not like anyone else, we are not like anyone else. Yet I worry. I worry about how I look and my family looks to others. I worry that one encounter with me will reinforce a stereotype they have about big families. That my toddlers one uncharacteristic temper tantrum will make someone think look at that crazy lady with too many kids. And that worry is making me crazy sometimes.

So do you want to know what it is like to have 4 kids this close together, what it is really like to be me?

Crazy, exciting, sad, overwhelming, insane, exhilarating and exhausting.

I have 4 kids and some days that is too many and some days it is not enough. One morning I wake up and say I cannot handle anymore kids and the next day I tear up at the thought of never having another baby.

My house is a mess 95% of the time which I hate, I want a clean house. I want to be that friend you can drop in on anytime but I am not PLEASE CALL AHEAD, preferably at least one day. I have 4 messy little kids who are terrible at cleaning up after themselves… it’s a work in progress.

I struggle with work life balance. I am a stay at home mom who fell backwards into a work at home job that I love. I struggle with feeling guilty when it takes me away from my kids. I struggle with finding the time to be the best mom I can be while doing the best I can at my job. I am grateful it provides the extra income we depend on and I am grateful I love it yet I can not seem to find the perfect balance most of the time.

All of this to say life is messy and no one is perfect we are all just ducks trying our best to look unruffled while we frantically paddle our legs for dear life towards dry land!

And thanks my dear readers for coming along on this ride with me.

Up next find out why having 4 kids and finding a baby sitter is like finding a needle in a haystack….

This duck is going to bed my legs are tired from paddling and my FitBit Zip says I only have 5203 steps for today LIAR you must multiply that by 4 to really understand all of my steps!



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  1. Oh my gosh…this is NOT a ramble. This is exhilarating! This is wonderful for your soul! One thing I go by,…if they judge me they don’t know me. People who really know me, know that I care for my family unconditionally. That I love them more than I love myself (yes, I know there is something wrong there πŸ™‚ ). The analogy of the duck is quite perfect. I love it. You are a rock…you are amazing!! πŸ™‚

  2. I love you because you are real. This makes me miss you. It also makes me remember that I didn’t tell you my mom’s biopsy came in on Monday and one side was benign and the other was abnormal. She is going in for another biopsy in February. I’ll keep you posted!

  3. I never knew four kids was controversial. When I see a large family I am in awe and a little jealous. I would have loved to have four or six but getting pregnant was long and hard and before I knew it I was old. You see I always wanted my kids to have the same perfect childhood that I had. My mom and dad had four kids by 28 – they will tell you that they barely remember half of it and have zero idea how we all survived. However, myself and my sibling only remember everything being perfect. I only have two kiddos – I know how blessed I am – and my house is a mess 100% of the time. I feel guilty everyday and I am certain that I have screwed them up. I think all of that comes with being a mom. Keep sharing – it is so nice to know we are not alone. Just keep swimming πŸ˜‰ quack, quack

    1. I love you talking so sweetly about your childhood I have a feeling I will remember these days much like your parents. Lots of people have a problem with big families it really is quite strange and sad really. Sounds like your two kids are lucky to have you!

  4. What a amazing story!!! I am a SAH mom of only 2 children (6 and 3 1/2) and many days I feel totally overwhelmed. Making sure they get fed properly (not just having a bowl of dry Cheerios – which is what my 6 y/o prefers), get one on the bus, the other to preschool, run errands, clean the house only to pick the preschooler up, then get the kindergartner off the bus to come home and make a mess of the house again and want 25 snacks instead of lunch…. You are an incredible woman to raise 4 children and run the blog. Don’t worry about others perceptions of you and their comfort level with the size of your family. You do what you feel is right for you and your family and do the best you can!

    P.S. my house is always a mess too. I cringe when a neighbor stops by unexpectedly for a play date and there is laundry piled on the kitchen table and dishes stacked up to the ceiling. It is life!!

  5. I have two kids and I feel the same way, kind of. Try not to let those strangers get to you. So your little one has a tantrum. All kids do at some point. You should not be beating yourself up over your child’s behavior simply because you have four kids. Four is not that many. Not really. 25, now that’s another conversation, ha ha. πŸ™‚ I often feel sad, as you do, because I don’t plan to have any more children either. I’m almost 37, and having my last daughter (who just turned one) was hard and tiring, and I don’t think my body really wants to do that again. So it’s hard, even though I know intellectually that I’m done. Any number of kids is overwhelming at times. My two sometimes feel like 12. I was a teacher so I know what it’s like to have 20+ kids to corral. And yes, 2 or 4 can certainly be just as overwhelming! So go easier on yourself. Do they know you love them? That’s all that matters. The house doesn’t matter. You’ll have plenty of time to clean it when they’re grown.

  6. Ellen! This had me in tears. I too am a duck, have four kids close together (I get the looks too), live in a messy house most of the time (except when company is coming), and spend my days trying to find a balance between working at home, homeschooling, housework, and being a wife and mom, paddling for all I’m worth. You are not alone!

    “I have 4 kids and some days that is too many and some days it is not enough.”

    You must be psychic, because I think this all the time! It gets better. You adjust and find your groove. My youngest is now four, and life is not quite as chaotic as it used to be. πŸ™‚ Now we’re dealing with braces, puberty, training bras, and sports.

    Never realized how alike we were! I have Hashimoto’s Disease (also affects the thyroid), not as serious, but I know how frustrating thyroid issues can be. I just read my friend Natalie’s post the other day (http://www.chiquitamoms.com/2013/01/some-days-i-feel-like-a-bad-mom/), and after reading yours, I’m sure God is trying to tell me something. Just keep swimming, keep paddling, enjoy your kids. It gets easier. πŸ™‚ Praying for you! {HUGS}

  7. I really, really LOVE this post. β€œI have 4 kids and some days that is too many and some days it is not enough” is incredibly brilliant and it says exactly how I feel, well, if you replaced 4 with 2. Seriously, I have no idea how you do it all – you MUST be super woman under that duck suit

  8. People that judge have no idea. The worst it’s having clueless. people. making comments. Thanks for writing a transparent post! I am sure felt great afterwards.

  9. Ellen, I love you! I think we are all ducks with our own rivers to paddle. I agree that we should teach our kids to be different and strong because they are our future. If they believe in themselves they can do anything. So keep paddling mama! I was once told that I may feel like I am failing as a mom, but my kids only see how great I am!

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