I’ll be the first one to say that I never planned on having six children. A large family wasn’t even on my radar. Somehow, it happened! I thought I would share What’s it like to have a large family? which is a topic happening in our Babycenter Community right now.
What’s your day to day? My day ebbs and flows according to whatever is on our schedule. We have music lessons, tutoring, homeschool study group, charter school three days a week, baseball, Boy Scouts, community garden work–all of this in between daily living of cooking, cleaning, and laundry.
When do you sleep? Between the hours of 2am-7am. On the days we don’t have charter school, I try to sleep in until 8:30 or so. Okay, 9 am. When caffeine doesn’t cut it, I try to take a nap to refuel. And I’ve been known to nap while my kids are reading stories to me, sitting up in my van while my boys have baseball practice, standing up in the shower. Just call me the nap ninja.
At what age do your kids start helping out? As soon as they are old enough to walk. Of course, you have to trail your kids until they know how to do things right, but now that my children are much older I can see the fruit of training them to work while they were young. When your kids successfully unload and put away all of the groceries, mow the lawn, take the trash cans to the curb and clean the toilets–that is just the cherry on top of the sundae.
How much food do you have to buy? This is a tricky one. When your children are small and eat like birds, you think what’s one more mouth to feed? But when those “birds” turn into voracious bottomless pit teenagers that mow through your food like a sea of locusts, that’s when you really feel it. I’m talking about pounds and pounds of pasta, beans, rice, bags of chicken tenders, ground turkey and potatoes. Potatoes are our friend.
How do you afford everything? Very simply, we don’t. My kids wear hand-me-downs or I shop off season and on sale. Big ticket items are usually bought by their grandparents on birthday and/or Christmas. We don’t go to the movies. Eating out happens when we have a special occasion, or else it’s ordering from the dollar menu. We drive an old, beat-up car. We use household items until they need to be replaced–as my sofas and bed linens can attest. I was recently shocked to discover (via a Facebook photo) that I have curtains hanging in my livingroom that I’ve had up there since 2008 (2008? Seriously? Those curtains are curtains)! Also, we have to say no and sorry, we can’t to a lot of things.
What about time as a couple? We are both artists, so my husband and I spend lots of late nights working alongside each other talking, listening to music and trying to work out the family dynamics. We occasionally get away for dinner or a movie. Luckily, he is a night person just like me.
Do you go on family vacations or save for college? We do family vacations. And by family vacations, I don’t mean Disney World or any place they leave a mint on your pillow. By “vacation”, I mean driving to our destination and camping in tents. We’ve been camping since they were babies, it’s something we all look forward to every year.
How do you keep track of everyone when you are out? I live and die by my calendar–everything is on it. My children are great at looking after each other, which is a huge help. My older kids help corral the younger set. Other than that, my life would be toast if I didn’t have a committed partner to tag team with. Even still, a few things fall through the cracks. Usually, it’s toilet paper (excuse the pun). We always run out of toilet paper.
What’s the hardest part? What’s the best part? The hardest part definitely has to be the constant juggling, the constant fatigue, and wondering if we’re doing things right. The best part is the amount of love we generate as a household. When I see my kids positively affecting their environment, it’s the best feeling in the world.
Do you want to have a large family some day? Or are you a one-and-done type of parent?
Image source: Me and my brood making silly faces on a Sunday afternoon.
Read more from source:“babycenter-com-baby”