husband: John Collier | children: Caroline-20, Catherine-16, John Will-14, Patrick-10 and Finn-6
Super Mom Tricia Collier says that from the time she was old enough to play with dolls, she dreamed of being a mom. Tricia and her husband, John, have five children, Caroline (20), Catherine (16), John Will (14), Patrick (10) and Finn (6).
“One of my childhood neighbors never lets me forget that I always said that I wanted 10 children. I guess you can say that I only halfway fulfilled that promise, but I am so grateful that God blessed me with our five children,” says Tricia. “I am often asked how crazy it is with five, but honestly, with each one after the first, it was just more laundry and groceries. Our schedule was always crazy, so when we only have one or two at home, it seems boring and so quiet.”
With five children, the activities can seem quite endless, but the Collier family likes to slow things down by spending most weekends, from Memorial Day until the end of September, boating on Dale Hollow Lake.
“When our first two children were very small, John and I decided that we wanted a hobby that incorporated the whole family. It’s a decision we’ve never regretted,” Tricia say. “The kids have grown up on the lake and have loved bringing friends over the years. It really is a place for me to get my sanity back because there’s nothing more relaxing than floating and watching the sun go down on the lake.”
Tricia says that she will be the first to admit that she loves a schedule. However, being concerned about having everything perfectly in order went out the window six years ago when her youngest, Finn, was born.
“Finn was born with four congenital heart defects, has had four open heart surgeries, and will have more in the future,” she says.
“We were forced to live moment to moment, but it’s probably the best blessing in disguise because life goes much easier if you flow with it. No matter how many children you have, daily routines are going to change and things happen out of the blue."
"Remembering God, family then work—always in that order—and it will all work out in the end.”
As a mom, Tricia finds her biggest challenge is trying to give each child undivided attention. She and John believe that each of their children needs and deserves individual time with their parents, so they try to do that as often as possible.
“Being chronically ill, Finn requires a lot of our time, and sometimes hospital stays are for long periods of time in Michigan,” says Tricia. “Our other children have amazed us with how understanding and patient they are when Finn requires our time. They could be understandably angry and act out, but we’ve never seen that side. Instead, they all pitch in when we are gone and get things done.”
Now that the Colliers have two children driving, Tricia says her time spent in carpool lines has been drastically reduced. While there will always be laundry to fold and grocery shopping that needs to get done, Tricia has gotten involved with the American Heart Association, and she and John have gotten creative with “date nights.”
“I love that the American Heart Association keeps us busy with events and meetings because it’s actually my chance for adult conversation,” she says. “While date nights are few and far between, when John travels for work, I try to go with him. I have also been known to sit in a hunting blind or tree stand with John just to get some ‘husband time’ in.”
While the days, weeks, months and years can be hectic, Tricia recommends to all moms to remember how quickly these years pass.
“Raising children goes by so incredibly fast and you can’t travel back in time. Just enjoy the present because this too shall pass.”