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Mothers of Many 2012

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

It's been a long time since we've had a large family thread.  I find that I run into issues that are rather unique and I'd love to share ideas with other mom's who are also in the middle of the chaos of a large family!  I can't be the only one.  


I'm the mom of eight.  Our oldest just turned 15 at the end of March, and our youngest, twin girls, turned 1 at the beginning of March.  Dd, 3yo, is currently asking for a new baby, so I guess the excitement of the twins have officially worn off.  LOL  Breastfeeding is still keeping AF away, so she'll have to wait a bit.


I am exhausted.  These twins gang up on me.  Lily was a good sleeper for awhile, but Lucy made up for her.  Now it seems in the past few days they have switched places.  Dh and I have postulated that a Freaky Friday experienced has happened between them.  Lily was our passive, easy going baby, and now she's a crank.  Lucy has gone the opposite.  I don't know, but Lily has been climbing all over me all night long, and I have had exactly 2 full nights of sleep since they were born, and most nights I don't get more than 2 hours sleep in a row and have a baby or two latched all night long.  Also, dh works full time, and is in school 3/4 time.  He is graduating this semester with an Associates in Digital Media, but we have decided that he'll re-enroll to add an AS in Web Development to increase his marketability.  The downside to this is that he is gone before we are awake in the morning and on school nights (from 2-4 days a week depending on the semester) he does not get home until 9:30-10 pm.  Often, I feel like a single mother, though I do have his support and contact via Gmail chat and stuff.  But I spend a lot of time feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, especially has the house descends into disaster and such.


I would love a little more interaction from other moms!  I'm an introvert who has really struggled with connecting with others in real life in my community.  It's a very small town that isn't always so welcoming to outsiders (though technically, dh's great-grandparents are from here, but that side of the family has moved away).  Really, I just don't get a lot of support from within my extended family or from my community for our chosen life style.


Given all that, as an introvert, I'm really struggling to find quiet time to recharge my batteries.  I'm trying to work hard on my habit of yelling.  My threshold is super thin, feeling almost constantly stressed.  I can tolerate childish behavior to a point, and then I lose it.  I have four home with me all day every day, so when the other four get home, I'm usually near my limit.  I don't know that home is a very peaceful place to be a lot of time and I want to change that for all of us.  Thoughts, ideas, suggestions?  

post #2 of 6

Hi there- I definitely hear your call for a more peaceful household!  I too have a habit of yelling, and I get very overwhelmed by normal behavior- it's just that there are so many of them- one of them doesn't have a strong sense of respect or reverence in his behavior towards mom (13), and one is SO LOUD ALL THE TIME (4).  Sometimes I break down crying in the kitchen because it's just not how I thought it would be. I imagined us all joking and sharing the work and getting along- I just didn't factor in all the attitude, resistance to helping, loudness and general chaos.  I only had one sibling so my ideas of a big family were formed watching the Waltons and reading Cheaper by the Dozen- but truthfully we're just a spirited bunch, crazy compared to the slow drab Waltons!!  : )


So you mean I should stop wistfully wishing for twin girls???  My only daughter is almost 11 and I sure wish I could have another girl.  Not sure if I have it in me, though!  


All that said, they're sure amazing people, my kids- parenting them is just so much work!!!  And it's hard, even for extroverts like me, to have time for friendships.  I sing in a choir once a week and it helps so much to have something to look forward to.  Maybe find something like that- a craft circle, stitch n bitch or something you like to do, but with other humans??  : )


post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Jenny -

I am a member of our local community band.  It's great to have time away!  My mil babysits, since my dh has class that night.  But the schedule is really irregular, especially in the winter.  Lots of our members go south for the winter.  We're gearing up for summer, so hopefully it'll be more regular for awhile.


Your two "problem" children sound oh so familiar. LOL  My 15 yo has matured out of the disrespect stage, for the most part.  He spends a lot of time with adults, so I think he has just grown up early.  But I have a 12 yo daughter who is home doing virtual school, so there's no escape. Agh.  She has tamed down quite a bit since pulling her from school, though.  She just was having so many social issues in her very small class that she would come home and take it out on us all.  So, she's home until high school at least.  And then her next younger brother who is 9 is definitely our loud one.  


We had the one girl, four boy dynamic for a long time, and then had three girls in 2.5 years.  So now we're all tied up.  Twins are rough the first couple years, but I hear it gets better. LOL

post #4 of 6

i have an almost-17 year old, 15 year old, 9 year old and 6 month old, all girls. we're a mess! i get the attitudes also and we're having issues with the 9 year old. and NOBODY cleans without being told exactly what to do and they whine and complain. my oldest won't get a job bc she doesn't have her liscence...i want her to help pay for her part of auto insurance...so we butt heads. don't understand why she feels she needs a liscense first.


i guess 4 kids is considered many? heck, people acted like i had a billion kids when i had #3!

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

My 15 year old has already accepted that if he wants to drive he has to fund his auto insurance.  Thankfully, he likes to work.  But I hear you on the getting people to clean up.  We have too much stuff and almost no closets in this old house, and so it is very difficult to remain on top of the clutter.  The kids will pick up the center part of the room and shove everything against the walls.  They did do a good job keeping the twins occupied so I could sew Easter clothes last week.  This week is Spring Break and I am seriously thinking of emptying the sand out of the sandbox at the park next door and dumping it back on the beach.  I am just so sick of sand!!

post #6 of 6

I keep a pretty good handle on the cleaning- the best rule is that toys stay in their rooms (very helpful with legos!).  I have a home preschool so there are toys downstairs for little ones to play with.  I'm re-reading Mary Ostyn's book "A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family" which is very inspiring.  Also love reading notesfromthetrenches.com- it's just nice to read of similar households and experiences, and to get ideas about how to manage everything.

My youngest will turn two this summer, and I turn 37 this year, so I'm trying to get a handle on the "am I done?" question so I can figure out what the next year or two looks like...I'm a major planner : )  I'd sure like to have another baby but not sure my body is up for it, if my kids are up for it.  My husband and I both love babies are are very hormonally driven "in the moment" to be creatively inclined, so we're not to be trusted with this decision.  : )


Trying to keep perspective with the teenager.  It's just so hard to be met with so much resistance, negativity and downright nastiness!!  This too shall pass, I know, but I wish it would pass already!!

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