This is a phrase that I hear almost every day since I am the mother of 7 kids. Most people give me the are you crazy? look. Others show me their complete disapproval by staring with an angry face. Men ask me if I had them with the same man. I think it breaks the “I cannot be faithful to one woman” or the “doesn’t your husband gets tired of you” argument. I can understand, in a way, where all this comes from. My mom is my dad’s sixth wife. Yes, sixth.
Women, on the other hand, ask me how I do it? I just tell them that I didn’t have 7 kids at once. That I don’t think about it, I just take care of them and do what needs to be done. I also tell them my little secret for “success”. I go to Church every day. I need the extra help or graces, as we Roman Catholics call it. Everyday? Yes, every day of the week, not just on Sundays. I will tell you why.
For me, getting married was a completely crazy idea in the first place. I simply was never going to get married. I wasn’t the type of woman that needs a man to live life to the fullest. I was going to have a prestigious career and I would have enough money for traveling and to buy a sports car. Yes, I inherited my mother’s side love for fast cars and racing. During college, I was on my way to this dream. I had two prestigious internships. One with a U.S. Senator, in which I was the first Hispanic to do so. The second internship was with a Puerto Rico state senator. I was also in the Honor Roll and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Then, at 20, I got married. No, I wasn’t pregnant, in case you are wondering. My husband is more competitive and ambitious than I am, so I was mesmerized. That’s when my life changed. He re-introduced me to the Roman Catholic faith and life.
I was Baptized a Roman Catholic and received First Communion, but rarely practiced my religion. I attended a Catholic school, just because it was one of the two schools rich families sent their kids to. Yes, I grew up in the upper middle class. I had a beach house, a jet ski and all kind of nice toys. The only thing I had to do to enjoy all these privileges was to work with my dad in his business on Saturdays and help with cooking and cleaning during the week. My dad is a Cuban small business entrepreneur. His favorite phrase was: “The one who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat.” So, I have been working since I was 9 years old, but I didn’t mind. I had money and many material things which were my life at that time. By my senior year of high school, I have to admit that I hated anything related to God. God and religion were just another subject in school. I never learned to love Him, so I didn’t see why I need Him in my life.
So, I finished my college degree and went to Law School. The idea of being a lawyer wasn’t for me, so I dropped out after the first semester which I finished with straight A’s. It took my dad many years to forgive me for dropping out. I then went to work and to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I ended up almost finishing a master’s in Speech-Language Pathology. Yes, I didn’t finish that either. I had one semester to go, but had my first baby. A year before, I had a miscarriage. I struggled with severe post-partum depression which left me barely able to take care of my son. I t was the first time that I faced failure.