I love my family! I think being a wife and mother is the best thing in the world for me to be.
I have a large-ish family. Some people think so anyway. It's all a matter of perspective I guess. It depends on what culture you come from, what size family you were raised in, what size family you always dreamed of (if in fact you dreamed of such things), and what kind of families you spend your time with. Perhaps it even depends on what kinds of families you steer clear of and don't want to come near with a ten foot pole! I'm sure there are other factors as well.
Many people have made this comment to me, "I don't know how you do it." This is in reference to the amount of children I have. I'm not sure if they mean....I don't know how you have so many children and stay sane OR how do you ever get enough sleep OR how is it that your house doesn't look like a tornado hit it OR how do you feed them all? I'm just not sure exactly what that comment means. Maybe it means something different to each person that has said it.
I also get the questions, "Are they all yours?" and "You have all girls?" When people find out that I have 1 boy and 5 girls sometimes they say, "God bless you." With a bit of of sigh. At least once I have replied with a smile, "He has!" Sometimes I just say, "Thank you."
At any rate, I will attempt to give you a glimpse into our big family life and perhaps I will answer a question or two. I am by no means an authority on big families. There are many women who are better cooks, organizers, teachers, ect. But, by the grace of God, I do the best I can with my own little brood.
Below are my thoughts on some of the elements of having a big family.
Why have so many children in the first place?
-My husband and I believe children are a blessing! They are gifts from God. (Granted, my husband originally wanted less kids and I originally wanted more...but for now this is the size family we have agreed upon.)
-We LIKE kids!
Isn't it expensive to raise so many kids?
Yes. But, seriously God provides in fun ways for us all the time. We are also willing to accept hand me downs. We are thankful for God's provision and thankful to friends and family that are so generous to pass on clothes to us when their kids outgrow them.
How do you feed them all?
We don't eat out much. We don't buy fancy smancy snacks and goofy stuff that has cool packaging. We cook at home and we try to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our grocery dollars. (I need tips on meal planning, so if you have any please share!)
Can you say, "Beans and rice"?
When we do go out as a family we all know that it is a special treat and not the norm.
How do you keep your house clean?
Well, sometimes it's clean and then....an hour later....it's not.
My kids do chores. For example this afternoon one child did dishes, one washed the walls in the dining room, one swept the floors and one was watching my two year old outside. Now, lest you think that I normally sit around blogging while my kids do all the work I will say that even with them doing chores on a daily basis I still have *plenty* to keep me busy.
How do you get one on one time with each child?
I will admit that it is rare. On birthdays Shane or I will take the birthday child out for a meal. I mentioned in my last post that I spent some time with Aubrey scrapbooking...that was when the other girls were away and Ellie was sleeping. Sometimes Shane will grab a child just to go run an errand and that is one on one time.
But, you know what's kind of funny? Unless we are having a "date" with our child some of them think it's strange to NOT have a bunch of other kids around and they even miss it.
Tonight Shane will go to town to watch Monday night football and he will take any of the older kids that have their homework done. Not quite one on one time, but fun time with dad nonetheless.
How are you not as big as a house after having six kids?
Okay, no one has ever really asked me this. But, for the record, I feel as big as a house!
How do you ever get enough sleep?
We believe in schedules. I know, I know. Some people think that it is cruel and unusual, but we don't. We train our children from a young age to sleep through the night. We believe it's the best thing for our family. We sleep well around here.
Even so, there is the part about the rest of the day. Yep, it IS exhausting. But it's also SO worth it. How do I get through the day? I take a nap or drink coffee or exercise.
There is so much more I could write about, but I have been discovered in my room by the 4 yro and the 2 yro. One wants to play a game with me and one wants to be loud.
So, for now I will end with a question of my own.
What are YOUR thoughts on big families?