I'm writing this post on behalf of my Aunt Betty who threatened to literally hijack my blog if I didn't post her letter. So, I'm doing it! Here it is....
Dear Friends of the Perkins Pack,
I am Lauren’s Aunt Betty, and I am hijacking her blog.I know Lauren is too humble to post this information on her own, but I know you will be interested.
The television show Live with Kelly and Michael is teaming up with Children’s Motrin to find the Unstoppable Mom of 2014.The winner of the national contest will receive $100,000! I don’t know anyone who fits that title more than Lauren, so I decided she should be nominated!With help from the people who know her best, the things that Lauren does all the time were listed.There were too many great things to include, so the challenge was limiting the letter to ONLY ONE PAGE!Whew!With the help of Lauren’s cousin, Heather, the letter was composed using carefully weighed words to deliver the greatest impact.The letter was submitted earlier this week… and now we just wait.
Whether Lauren is acknowledged nationally as the winner or not, I know that she is definitely a winner in our eyes!(I’d like to meet the woman who outdoes her!) Rest assured, we will keep you informed if there is good news to share!A copy of the letter we submitted is shown below.
In October 2011, Lauren Perkins was a school psychologist, busily caring for the kids at her school and running marathons in her down time. In April 2012, she became a first time, stay-at-home mother –- to sextuplets! How can we even begin to tell you how unstoppable she really is?
Lauren and her husband tried to start a family for years, without success. Eventually, after receiving fertility treatments, Lauren learned that she was pregnant with multiple babies – not one, not two, but six! Like most women would be, she was overwhelmed at the news. From the beginning, though, she understood the blessing as well as the challenge. Lauren knew that God would provide for her and her family, and she has loved each of her six children unconditionally since before their sensational birth. The babies were delivered at 30 weeks, followed by several months in the NICU. The family drew large amounts of media attention, but elected to walk away from the spotlight and the associated financial benefits so that they could maintain as normal a routine as possible.
To make “normal” happen, Lauren works from the dark pre-dawn hours until long after the sun sets. She usually gets only 5 hours of sleep per night, and even that is frequently interrupted by her six little ones. They are nearly 2 years old now, and Lauren always has something to do! She is constantly feeding, changing, playing, encouraging, helping, and loving them. Each child is treated as an individual, with unique interests and his or her own personality. Lauren is applying her training as a school psychologist in her own home, introducing a new sight word each week, reading stories every day after lunch, and taking all of the kids for educational outings. Lauren and her children attend play dates and birthday parties, and frequently visit fun spots like the swimming pool, the park, and the zoo. The kids have even been in a parade and a fashion show! With all that they do on their highly regulated schedule, it’s understandable that the whole family feels stressed sometimes. As a fun stress reliever, Lauren and the kids have “freak out” time each day to let it all out!
Lauren has the additional challenge of raising a child with special needs. One of the sextuplets requires extensive care to overcome GI complications and neurologic, motor, and visual impairments. She still requires overnight feedings, as well as additional medical and therapy appointments. Lauren has also learned to handle all of the specialized equipment so that she can help her daughter on non-therapy days – all in her “free time” while the other 5 kids are napping.
Since the birth of her children, Lauren has made her physical health a priority so that she is able to keep up with and care for her family. She regularly attends fitness boot camps before dawn, works out with exercise tapes at home, and takes the kids (and the dog) for an hour long walk in their 6-seat stroller every day. Lauren has also returned to competition in multiple 5k runs!
Lauren recognizes the importance of her mental health, as well. She still makes time to be in friend’s weddings, host events, and participate in phone conferences with medical professionals and other parents to stay abreast of the latest options for helping her children. Lauren also maintains a family blog and contributes to 2 groups for ‘Moms of Multiples’ so that she can share her insights with others facing similar challenges. She even finds time to complete the required continuing education hours to maintain her license as a school psychologist so that she can return to her career in the future.
Despite all that life requires of her, Lauren is grace under fire. She always wears a smile, always listens to her loved ones, and always finds a way to balance the often opposing needs of her children, her husband, her friends, and herself. Lauren Perkins is the very definition of “unstoppable.”
Ok, I'm back. I cannot begin to tell you how honored I am that they would even think to nominate me, much less actually do it- and believe I can win. I did not see what everyone submitted to her for the letter, but I did see a few snippets from a couple of friends and I was literally moved to tears by their heartfelt words. I am extremely blessed to have the amazing support system I have and I would be nothing without them. As I believe, God may give you more than you can handle, but He'll provide you with what you need to persevere. "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength" Phil 4:13
PS- If I do happen to make it to the final round for public voting, I will be sure to spread the word! Who wants to be in last place?!