Why I Need All These Kids

by | May 13, 2013 | Catholic Living, Date Night, Parenting, What I Wore Sunday | 11 comments

So now that Mother’s Day is winding down and all the kids are in bed, I can take a minute to consider their usefulness. Their usefulness beyond serving my mother and I and our dates a lovely dinner at Tierney Bistro for Mother’s Day, I mean.

My number one goal as a mother is to get my children to heaven, and MY plan is to draft behind them and, Tour de France style, sling shot past them in the final stretch and get there before they do. It’s a rough plan, I’ll admit, and there are some details still to work out. But that’s what I’m figuring on.

And, as in the Tour de France, I think I need all the teammates I can get. God knew what He was doing when He gave me all these kids. I wouldn’t have had a chance without them.

For me, I don’t think one or two or three would’ve done it. My self-centeredness was deep-seated enough to withstand even a FEW kids. I still sometimes find myself fighting this life of service. But I can see how good it’s been for me. It was no accident that God gave me this particular vocation.

With at least seven people in my house at almost all times, and four kids who don’t nap, and one who stays up almost as late as I do, the opportunities to indulge myself are few and far between. I can’t watch rubbish on TV, because my kids will see it. I can’t sneak cookies all afternoon, because my kids can smell me eating cookies from across the house.


If I set a good example by saying morning prayers or the rosary or being available to spend time with them, I know that makes a difference in a bunch of little lives. If I set a bad example by losing my temper in traffic, or bending the truth to excuse my behavior, well I know that’s going to make a difference too. Like Roz, they’re always watching.

I make rules for them that I figure I probably should follow too, and give them really excellent advice that was bound to rub off on me sooner or later. But most of all . . . like God, they are all-present and all-noticing. But unlike God, they are really noisy and all up in my face, so I’m more motivated to behave for them than I am for God.

Don’t worry, I realize how silly that is. But for me, it’s true. And apparently, God figured it out before I did and starting sending me the little monkeys before I even knew I wanted them. I’m grateful for that every day, but especially today on Mother’s Day. Because if I make it to heaven it will be because I shaped up for them (oh, and my husband, he keeps an eye out for me too!).



  1. Laura Pearl

    The second and third paragraphs…wow. They put into words my own hopes as a mother. (That Tour de France analogy was so clever…I just loved it.)

    This was a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful post! Happy Mother's Day! You sound like the most wonderful, selfless, devoted mom. 🙂

  2. Claire @ Everything is Grace!

    Such a beautiful post! I really hope to become a mother someday, and this is definitely something to aspire to. You are doing such a good job! Happy Mother's Day!

  3. Hannah

    Awesome post! Your family is beautiful 🙂 Great outfit too – love the whimsical skirt!

  4. Jocelyne

    So true. My babies have finally been the ones to teach me what "dying to self" truly means. Thank you for this beautiful reflection.

  5. karen homol

    Eight children was God's way of taking me from an obsessive perfectionist to a recovering type A: organized but not anal. Some traits are innate, and not always healthy. God has many ways of bringing us around & toning us down. Sometimes that's by route of a large family. God bless you for your profound insight.

  6. Nanacamille

    The shoes are DSW and the pearls from dear husband of 39 years Curt. Too bad I didn't have my lovely Mother's Day hand made gifts from the Tierneys with me to show off….a felt purse from Gus, a pencil box from Bobby and a set of stacking boxes from Jack and a beautiful bouquet of flowers from mom and dad. Best of all was dinner at the Tierney Kids Bistro that all the kids put so much love into.

  7. Brienne

    haha, I love that Bobby made you a pencil box, Camille! These kids are too stinkin' cute!!!

  8. Diana Anderson

    Thanks for sharing, Kendra! I guess I need to have a few more kids to beat the selfishness. 🙂

  9. Erin Pascal

    What a beautiful post Kendra. I enjoyed reading it so much! You are an amazing mom and your kids are truly lucky to have a mom like you. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  10. Suzie @ Orate Fratres Designs

    Just reading this again while breastfeeding baby #3 and tearing up a bit. I re-read this post several times a year because it is so so true for me. Sometimes I think I should print it out and hang it in our kitchen. I am highly motivated to set a good example to my kids – way more so than to actually do anything for my own soul. My husband even commented yesterday on how much motherhood has changed my spiritual life for the better. I have grown to embrace this as a feature, not a bug. I think this is because I currently have the spiritual aptitude of a toddler, so actually my kids and I need the same stuff right now: simple prayers, simple Bible stories, simple moral stories. Hopefully I can keep up with them!


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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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