Originally Posted by bradlenl
Hi, I am a college student doing a project on what it is like to be a parent with multiple small children. I hope to get some input and feedback from anyone willing to respond.
How many children do you have? - what ages?
As a parent, what is your/your child's schedule like on a daily basis?
What difficulties do you run into on a daily basis? What is a constant or persistent struggle for you?
Do you have any organizational products that you use that make your life easier?
What needs to be better organized (in your/your child's life), but you have not found a system that works (or works well) for you yet?
Thank you for your time
We have 8 children and are expecting our 9th. The oldest is 17, he just graduated from high school from our home school, and completed 1 semester at Bible college-his choosing. We have a 12 year old son, 11 year old daughter, 9 year old daughter, 5 year old son, 4 year old son, 2 year old son and a 9 month old son.
During the Summer I allow my children to sleep in a bit. When they wake, they all get dressed (older ones shower, younger ones bathe at night) take care of personal hygiene, eat breakfast and then do family chores. We do not do chores (except what is necessary for functioning) on Sunday. Every other day each child does their chores and family chores, with the exception of their birthday or if they are sick. Then, in the Summer, they play, go outside, read, swim, etc. In our school year, September through May, they begin school. We eat lunch, and usually school is completed at lunch or shortly after. Afternoons are spent being children/napping, etc. We have a 1 hour quiet time after lunch that is my time for coffee, email, whatever. They read or nap. We eat dinner every night together. Nothing comes between that but a very rare event. They all have bed times, even the 17 year old goes to his room at a certain time, so that dad and I have time together, as we believe a strong marriage is essential. We read to the kids before bed, (even the 11 and 12's) and start a routine from the time they are babies.
Difficulties are usually when someone or several children are sick. Thankfully, it's rare. A constant struggle has been selflessness. What has led to our desire to have children is a belief that God is blessing us with children, and also challenging us to raise them well. This does not allow for selfishness. I am, by nature, a very selfish person. God is continually teaching me, by way of these little blessings I adore, to put myself aside and do for them. To allow them to learn by example of selflessness. I am easily frustrated and angered by nature, but will not allow that to be my legacy. God, via these miraculous little beings, have changed me!
What makes our lives easier is living simply. We are not involved in co-ops, we are not involved in sports or running around. We do not eat in the car, and run from thing to thing. Just a personal choice, but our lives are much quieter, more organized, and less chaotic than many we know with a couple of children. We just prefer home and quiet and family. We are involved with church, but this is a whole family activity and an extension of home.
No real organizational products. I don't want a lot of clutter....sooo..the main thing is teaching them responsibility and contribution so they learn they are not the center of the universe and they impact others. With their contributions, I do not have to carry the entire load of the home on my shoulders. Through that, I am imparting valuable lessons largely lost in today's me-centered culture.
I would like to better organize the toys/books for my little ones. However, they are constantly playing with them, and one of the biggest lessons learned from this Martha Stewart overbearing clean freak by nature self has been that my house will be perfectly organized when they are grown...for now, my house will be well organized, and their "kid spaces" need to be cleaned and they need to learn how to keep their areas picked up, however, the toys and books and changed outfits are evidence that love lives here!