I was at a church function recently with all the kids, and as usual, I got the looks and questions that come with having a large family. I found this amusing because one, it was a Catholic function (aren’t we known for having lots of tots?) and two, for some reason, I don’t consider a family with 5 kids large. I think it’s definitely about the cross the threshold into largeness, but not quite there yet. Maybe this is because I’m the youngest of 5 and just find it normal.
Because of the numerous questions and comments I get on an almost daily basis, I thought it would be fun to do a little faq about not having a “one and done” lifestyle. Here we go…
1. You look like you have your hands full! Every single time I go to the grocery store, I get this one. Not kidding. Every single time.
Like my friend Elizabeth says, “It’s better than having them empty!”
2. How does each kid get enough attention or love?
Not only does each child or baby get my attention and love, they get the love of a daddy and four other kids. As a result, our baby is turning out to be very spoiled! And each child gets a little one on one time at some point every day, especially if I see they need it. But for the most part, they love playing and spending time as one big family.
3. How do you keep up with cleaning and laundry?
The kids pitch in. Simple as that. Even the 2 year old helps with unloading and loading the dishwasher. My almost 8 year old loves to mop and the 4 year old absolutely loves cleaning toilets. Yeah, weird, but she does. And they all have to put away their own laundry. It’s never too early to teach a child how to do chores. I also don’t fret if a towel isn’t folded properly or a spot on the table was missed when being wiped. The kids will get better with practice and they are really proud of what they can accomplish. Yes, there are complaints sometimes, but don’t we all complain about chores?
4. Do you take them all grocery shopping?
Yes, yes I do. It’s hard sometimes, but we manage. I give them a snack before we leave, avoid going during nap time, and give them little jobs in the store like bagging produce or picking out bread.
5. How do you get time to yourself especially since you homeschool?
In the afternoons the two smallest children sleep and I send the three older ones off to play outside or in their rooms (they rarely complain of being bored because they have each other to play with). I use that time to work, clean, do home improvement projects, do yard work, or sometimes even *gasp* sit down and read a good book with a cup of tea! Also, kids sometimes sleep at night and their bedtime is way earlier than mine. Isn’t that amazing!
6. What’s the hardest part about having 5 kids?
Honestly, the comments from other people. I know I should just shrug it off, but after hearing it over and over again, it sometimes hurts. Even the comments people don’t think are mean can hurt. When someone turns down their mouth and points up their nose and says, “Well, there’s no way I could do it.” Yeah, that hurts. The message I’m getting with that statement is, “you’re crazy!” I didn’t have all these kids to make a statement or because I want the attention. I had them because I said yes to God. I’m answering my call with my whole heart. I’m singing the song I was meant to sing. But I’m not singing it for you, I’m singing it for Him. I guess I need to remind myself of that more often!