September 09, 2015
Starting Point

I am so excited about the launch of Hi Little One. Nell and Maggie are so clever and creative, I wish these onesies were available when we started our family 42 years ago. The girls, Nell and Maggie asked me to post a blog every so often, I think once a month was their request. I am happy to do this, but I am a mother, not an expert in any field. I think my life's description is Jack of all Trades, flexible, and lots of street smarts. 

Maggie's introduction was quite accurate. The paragraph about friends being afraid of me, was very true and done by design. With 8 children and lots of friends, I did not have time to be their friend but needed to keep control. It actually made life much easier, everyone knew where they stood, before they walked thru the door. 
 
Over the years, some of the kid's friends, now adults, are surprised that I am so nice and fun to be with. They have confessed that they were afraid of me when they were young and it brings a smile to my heart.  

When Jim and I got married, we knew we wanted 7 children, we were blessed with 8. Jim was very very relaxed, I was/am not. He was the playmate and I was the enforcer, we were a great team.  There were times however, that I wished we could have switched roles. The bonus is that my children and their friends now think I am ok and we have a great time together, but I do remain the Mom. We all respect each other, an important component for lasting relationships.

Jim and I were a united front, with our children. We would back each other up, even if we were not in total agreement on the subject. We would discuss things in private, not in front of the kids.  5 girls means that daddy was wrapped around many fingers, so we needed to present as one, for our own survival. So often parents allow the kids the be the center, in our family the children were very, very important. They gave our lives a wonderful excitement, a sense of purpose, a pure joy, but they were not our lives.  We were our own team, a mix of silly and fun (mostly Jim) and common sense and organization (mostly me).  This worked for us, Jim always came first in my world and Jim tried to do the same with me. This was a little harder for him, he wanted so much to hang with the kids that the parent part sometimes got in the way.

As we move forward, I will muse about things that come to mind, hopefully helpful and not boring. Life is good and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you! 

- Bullets. 

Colleen Ryan