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Large Families - Mind if I ask a few questions?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've always wanted a large family, but now with my two boys, I'm wondering a lot about the logistics. So...

Did you find it become easier/harder/more stressful/less stressful etc the more you had?

What number of children did you find most stressful. First, second......fifth??

Are you kids generally pretty cruisy? Did you find that subsequent children were more cruisy than previous?

Do you manage to get anything done? :P You know, in the way of cooking/cleaning/errands etc. How do you supermamas make it all work?

What education choices have you made? Schooling/homeschooling/unschooling etc

Do you have a rather strict routine, or just take it a day at a time?

I hope my questions aren't offensive at all. I don't intend to be at all!

I would love to hear from anyone! Thanks! :)

post #2 of 10

It got harder, then easier, then harder, then easier, then harder...

 

Our fifth has been tough, but it's not him, it's that I'm trying to balance a midwifery apprenticeship and him.

 

Our first was what you would call "high energy." Kids 2 and 3 are pretty laid back. #4 can be tough sometimes, he has um, feelings.

 

I'm pretty good about getting errands done. Dh and I share cooking; he does most of the dinners. Cleaning can be up and down.

 

We've always homeschooled.

 

We have a relaxed routine.

post #3 of 10

We have 6.  Oldest is just about 10 and youngest is 1.

I love having a lg family.  We found 2 to 3 hard because we didn't have enough arms for them.  They outnumbered us.  It doesn't matter how many you have but their personalities.  Our first is energetic, our second is calm and kind, our third is in between those two, our fourth is a fireball, our fifth and sixth are fairly calm.  Once you have 2 it becomes an assembly line.  You already have bath time.  You just bath more of them.  You already do dinner.  You just make more.  It really isn't that hard.  The house isn't any more messy with 6 than it was with 3.  They play with each other too.  I wouldn't trade our big family for the world!

post #4 of 10

I only have 4. It feels like 10 most days! I don't know. For us, every day is lived in survival mode. Granted, 3 of them have varying SNs that just compounds things, think disorders that weren't apparent as infants, learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, autism, chronic health problems. The 4th is a fireball, I think I'll steal that term from the pp! #1 was also a fireball so I know how this turns out and I'm not exactly filled with joy over it. 

 

#4 was the child that tipped me over the edge, partly because our lives were so busy already and then adding a high needs screaming baby/toddler into the mix wasn't fun. It is more stressful. I look back to the days of 1-2 children, and OMG, that seems so easy these days. The kids just don't get easier because they need to be, DS2 was a great reminder of that one! We've had to do private schooling because of DD1's need for significant accommodations with her disorders, we were hoping to go to public school in 2014 when she moves to a her slot at a charter school but that is when DS1 (autism) would go to K so we'll just see what school best suits his needs then. I did originally homeschool but DD1 really did need to be eventually pushed out of the nest. With her issues, she needed other adults in her life besides just me, and frankly I needed to her to school. 

 

We do have a pretty strict routine but because we have to. With school, all of DS1's therapy sessions a week (10 hours weekly), I try to fit some part time work in, the many doc appointments,  the sports, I can't just fly by the seat of my pants. Every minute is accounted for because there just isn't enough of them to go around to begin with.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by homeschoolingmama View Post

We have 6.  Oldest is just about 10 and youngest is 1.

I love having a lg family.  We found 2 to 3 hard because we didn't have enough arms for them.  They outnumbered us.

That's what my mom says. She had 7 kids with a 12 year age span.  Going from 2 to 3 kids meant you had to give in to parenting, not try to keep up with other things as much. By the time you are getting to the younger kids, the bigger ones are so much older and independent. The big kids will help with the little ones. My mom was careful to not make the big kids resent the younger ones by making them babysit or otherwise be responsible for them, but we were reasonable kids who would pitch in if someone needed help.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

That's what my mom says. She had 7 kids with a 12 year age span.  Going from 2 to 3 kids meant you had to give in to parenting, not try to keep up with other things as much. By the time you are getting to the younger kids, the bigger ones are so much older and independent. The big kids will help with the little ones. My mom was careful to not make the big kids resent the younger ones by making them babysit or otherwise be responsible for them, but we were reasonable kids who would pitch in if someone needed help.

I think the bolded is pretty spot on! Once I made it a concious choice to have mothering be my "career" I found I liked it a lot more. I am good at it, I am empowered by it, and we are now a healthy and happy large family. I have 8 children.

Did you find it become easier/harder/more stressful/less stressful etc the more you had? Harder at first, then easier. Practice makes perfect lol!

What number of children did you find most stressful. First, second......fifth?? I had my second when my first was only 11 months, so that was my scariest adjustment, then again when I had my fourth(in 4 years). Pretty much evened out after that though.

Are you kids generally pretty cruisy? Did you find that subsequent children were more cruisy than previous? My first was colicky and tricky. My second and third have sensory issues. After the first three either the children became more laid back or I did!(I think it was both).

Do you manage to get anything done? :P You know, in the way of cooking/cleaning/errands etc. How do you supermamas make it all work? I get things done because I make myself do it. I treat it a bit like a job and allow myself breaks, but basically work the whole day. I bake bread each day, cook two full meals plus breakfast, do 2 loads of laundry each day except Sunday. Errands are all on Monday. A simple routine(I am so not a slave to a schedule) makes my life happier.

What education choices have you made? Schooling/homeschooling/unschooling etc We have homeschooled from the start.EClectic, interest- led learning that probably resembles unschooling a lot, but I do have certain things that are required by me.

Do you have a rather strict routine, or just take it a day at a time?  No strict routines, but relaxed ones that just keep things moving forward. I have a list of school subjects that should be covered and try to hit something from each item once a day at some point. I know two loads of laundry keeps me from having a huge pile so I get those done sometime in the morning, and dried by evening, put away as soon as they come out of the dryer(5 minutes saves me from an ugly pile of clean clothes that will sit for days lol!) I also do not expect my children to do most of the chores. I teach them how, and they like to help, but I am not a huge proponent of scheduled helpers, or assigning areas that they have to do. I see it as My house therefore My job. Plus I am somewhat picky and want it done right the first time lol.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post

It got harder, then easier, then harder, then easier, then harder...

 

Our fifth has been tough, but it's not him, it's that I'm trying to balance a midwifery apprenticeship and him.

 

Our first was what you would call "high energy." Kids 2 and 3 are pretty laid back. #4 can be tough sometimes, he has um, feelings.

 

I'm pretty good about getting errands done. Dh and I share cooking; he does most of the dinners. Cleaning can be up and down.

 

We've always homeschooled.

 

We have a relaxed routine.

Thanks for your reply, mama. I'm amazed you're doing a midwifery apprenticeship, and parenting five children! Super mama :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by homeschoolingmama View Post

We have 6.  Oldest is just about 10 and youngest is 1.

I love having a lg family.  We found 2 to 3 hard because we didn't have enough arms for them.  They outnumbered us.  It doesn't matter how many you have but their personalities.  Our first is energetic, our second is calm and kind, our third is in between those two, our fourth is a fireball, our fifth and sixth are fairly calm.  Once you have 2 it becomes an assembly line.  You already have bath time.  You just bath more of them.  You already do dinner.  You just make more.  It really isn't that hard.  The house isn't any more messy with 6 than it was with 3.  They play with each other too.  I wouldn't trade our big family for the world!

I have heard from quite a few people now, that 2 to 3 is pretty hard because they outnumber the parents, and you only have two arms :P If you found 2 to 3 pretty hard, what was it that made you feel confident to go to number 4?
Thanks for your reply, mama :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

I only have 4. It feels like 10 most days! I don't know. For us, every day is lived in survival mode. Granted, 3 of them have varying SNs that just compounds things, think disorders that weren't apparent as infants, learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, autism, chronic health problems. The 4th is a fireball, I think I'll steal that term from the pp! #1 was also a fireball so I know how this turns out and I'm not exactly filled with joy over it. 

 

#4 was the child that tipped me over the edge, partly because our lives were so busy already and then adding a high needs screaming baby/toddler into the mix wasn't fun. It is more stressful. I look back to the days of 1-2 children, and OMG, that seems so easy these days. The kids just don't get easier because they need to be, DS2 was a great reminder of that one! We've had to do private schooling because of DD1's need for significant accommodations with her disorders, we were hoping to go to public school in 2014 when she moves to a her slot at a charter school but that is when DS1 (autism) would go to K so we'll just see what school best suits his needs then. I did originally homeschool but DD1 really did need to be eventually pushed out of the nest. With her issues, she needed other adults in her life besides just me, and frankly I needed to her to school. 

 

We do have a pretty strict routine but because we have to. With school, all of DS1's therapy sessions a week (10 hours weekly), I try to fit some part time work in, the many doc appointments,  the sports, I can't just fly by the seat of my pants. Every minute is accounted for because there just isn't enough of them to go around to begin with.

Wow, mama. I feel like reaching out and giving you a big hug. My older boy has a diagnosis of HF Autism, and a lot of anxiety that goes with that, and that in itself challenges me a lot. Thank you for your honest response <3

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

That's what my mom says. She had 7 kids with a 12 year age span.  Going from 2 to 3 kids meant you had to give in to parenting, not try to keep up with other things as much. By the time you are getting to the younger kids, the bigger ones are so much older and independent. The big kids will help with the little ones. My mom was careful to not make the big kids resent the younger ones by making them babysit or otherwise be responsible for them, but we were reasonable kids who would pitch in if someone needed help.

I love the line in here "Give in to parenting" What are we always struggling against? It doesn't really help us does it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wendybird View Post

I think the bolded is pretty spot on! Once I made it a concious choice to have mothering be my "career" I found I liked it a lot more. I am good at it, I am empowered by it, and we are now a healthy and happy large family. I have 8 children.

Did you find it become easier/harder/more stressful/less stressful etc the more you had? Harder at first, then easier. Practice makes perfect lol!

What number of children did you find most stressful. First, second......fifth?? I had my second when my first was only 11 months, so that was my scariest adjustment, then again when I had my fourth(in 4 years). Pretty much evened out after that though.

Are you kids generally pretty cruisy? Did you find that subsequent children were more cruisy than previous? My first was colicky and tricky. My second and third have sensory issues. After the first three either the children became more laid back or I did!(I think it was both).

Do you manage to get anything done? :P You know, in the way of cooking/cleaning/errands etc. How do you supermamas make it all work? I get things done because I make myself do it. I treat it a bit like a job and allow myself breaks, but basically work the whole day. I bake bread each day, cook two full meals plus breakfast, do 2 loads of laundry each day except Sunday. Errands are all on Monday. A simple routine(I am so not a slave to a schedule) makes my life happier.

What education choices have you made? Schooling/homeschooling/unschooling etc We have homeschooled from the start.EClectic, interest- led learning that probably resembles unschooling a lot, but I do have certain things that are required by me.

Do you have a rather strict routine, or just take it a day at a time?  No strict routines, but relaxed ones that just keep things moving forward. I have a list of school subjects that should be covered and try to hit something from each item once a day at some point. I know two loads of laundry keeps me from having a huge pile so I get those done sometime in the morning, and dried by evening, put away as soon as they come out of the dryer(5 minutes saves me from an ugly pile of clean clothes that will sit for days lol!) I also do not expect my children to do most of the chores. I teach them how, and they like to help, but I am not a huge proponent of scheduled helpers, or assigning areas that they have to do. I see it as My house therefore My job. Plus I am somewhat picky and want it done right the first time lol.

Thank you, thank you for your post, mama! This totally hit me in the centre. This feels right for me. I feel so peaceful and content reading your words.

post #8 of 10

I just had 1 daughter (18 months) but I am from a family of 8. 

I think in planning to have a large family you should be ready to face different personalities and ready to be hardworking.

My mom had 8 of us,.she always nag us and tell us bad things, and make us work with our family business.

She was really eager to earn money and had no much time to enjoy or have fun but she never regretted having the 8 of us.  

Don't know what to say,.but she is still the best mom for the 8 of us!

post #9 of 10

We have 6 and they are 12, 10, 8, 6, almost 4, and almost 4mo. There is always an adjustment period but I do think it was harder when the older children were still little and couldn't be counted on to help me. 

 

We homeschool but are pretty relaxed and try to integrate the littles into whatever we are doing.

 

Shopping is, uh, fun... sometimes I only take a couple of them which makes it easier but usually it is all of us and I strap the baby in the Ergo, put the 3yo in the cart seat, and try to get the others involved in getting what we need. I am trying to do more shopping online too since we are 30 miles from the town I shop in. I just bought the oldest and youngest clothes online and it was great to be able to think through what they really needed rather than being in a hurry because someone needed lunch or the potty or to nurse or thought climbing shelves was a good idea. :-)

post #10 of 10

Hmmm why from 3 to 4?  I knew I wanted a big family.  I knew that they are only young for so long and then they get easier.  I planned on being swamped for years and then reaping the rewards later.  Of course there are many rewards now but as they get older it is much easier to appreciate them.  I didn't want to be 50 and look back and wish I had the big family I wanted.  One of my closest friends has 12 kids and she considers my family small.  She says she couldn't imagine not having her last 6.  Seeing her gives me hope. lol  I go to her house and it is orderly and clean.  I asked how she possibly has a clean house.  Most of her children are teenagers now and she has a few younger ones.  They all help each other and really are the best family.  I know one day I won't have sticky floors, toys everywhere and dirty windows.  I think I may miss this. :)

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