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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anyone interested in a thread about the challenges and joys of raising a large family? I'd love to talk to other mamas in similar family situations!
 

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I'd love to be in this--how many is "many"? We have 4, and I've never thought of that as a lot of children. We have so many friends here who have 5, 6, 7, 8,9 or even 10 children. So, I'm just wondering if we qualify.......
 

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... excuse me ... how about those of us with 3 (b'H) but looking forward to more? Even though I'm over 40 and not counting on it actually happening? Or maybe I'll just lurk ... :LOL
 

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Hello moms of many!<br>
Thought you would know better than anyone the blessings of a big family. I currently have four children, and are thinking about adding more.<br>
What are the blessings/challenges of a bigger family? Four is great, but what about those of you who have more?<br>
Thanks for any input.
 

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Hey, merpk, don't just lurk! I'd like to hear everybody's stories about people who ask you in the store "Are all those children yours?" Sort of like you had a nursery school class with you. I get a little fed up with questions like that; it's not as though 4 children is SO many--and even if it were, how would that make it anyone else's business?<br><br>
When I was pregnant with #2, a woman with a friend stopped me in a mall to say to her friend (pointing to my admittedly huge belly), "That's why I'll never do that again". Why does pregnancy and fertility produce such hostility in some?<br><br>
Let's trade stories about how we deal with those people.
 

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This Mom of Many is expecting again.<br><br>
No, I don't have it all together, and my children wait for me sometimes. But in the end, I am giving them gifts that will last their whole lives.<br><br>
And, those MoMs that you think have it all together probably collapse when they get home, too! :LOL<br><br>
Velveteen, I can't put into words what the differences are, but you will not regret adding another child to your family. There is more to do, yes, but eventually there are also more hands to do it. The season when they are all so little and needy goes so quickly.<br><br>
I often say that I am no longer adding babies to our family, but helpers. There is always just the one baby, but every year, there are more helpers, as the older ones mature.
 

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Having a tribe of their own siblings is great for my kids! Why do so many people think that they must be suffering? Why do people imply or even flat out say that we shouldn't have so many? Which ones should I get rid of?! Since when is my reproduction any of your business?<br><br>
Anyway...YEA! for brothers and sisters! You hear about lonely onlies much more than too many bears in the bed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm at a loss as to explain why fertility engenders hostility. Or why people assume that my children are suffering (I couldn't possibly give all of them enough attention!). But when I look around at many with one or two, they seem to have much more in terms of material possessions, but certainly don't seem happier or more well adjusted. If anything, it's the opposite. Would my children feel more loved with a trip to Disney? Or if they didn't have to share a room? Yes, I know not all onlies or families of two are maladjusted or spoiled, but I live in a very middle to upper middle class area and that does seem to be more the norm than the exception unfortunately.<br><br>
I am interested in how some of you handle the day to day household management. I found I was much more on top of things when I had 5 kids than now that I have 6. I was just speaking with someone about it, and I don't think it is the number per se, but the fact that the older ones are getting older and and having "older" needs - they stay up later, have more homework, more after-school activities, more carpools, etc. That and at the moment we are really living in too small of a space. We are trying to remedy that situation, either with an addition, building project or a move, but it is hard in the meantime. I so much need a basement!!!!! I was doing the "fly lady" for a while and think I need to get back "on the wagon" - it really seemed to help. Any other ideas?
 

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Congratulatons cassdarrow!!!!! I am thrilled for you.<br>
Wish my friend with 12 *yes 12* children was a Motherin' mama, I am sure she has great advice.<br><br>
Well, we have decided to add to the family. Next month is official ttc time! The wait is killing me!<br><br>
Day to day stuff. Here is where organization, or lack of it, really catches up with me. Last year I determined to master the crock pot (I homeschool too, so this is important), and that helps. Laundry happens all the time, I try not to let it pile up too high. Every kid has a role to play, and all are expected to share. Don't thing I have it all together, because somedays are terrible! I do find it helpful if everyone knows what is expected out of them.<br>
Mom2six;<br>
I think you are very right about older needs. More homework, later nights, etc. Also the space issue. I have a big house. We can be together, or, there are places to be alone. Funny though, because the six of us are usually ALL together. How about you?<br>
Kids are 'spending the night' with another sibling, even though they don't have to. Right now two brothers are doing just that, and that is definately one of the joys of a bigger family.<br><br>
My new goal is planning my grocery shopping better. Cooking in bigger batches so I don't have to make more messes for less food.<br><br>
As for fertility engendering hostility, it is puzzling. The depth of hostility is amazing when it is directed at you! My friend with the large family encounters this ALL the time, as you can imagine. They are great parents, and the kids are special. I see them as a asset to a materialistic society, and a lovely family.<br><br>
So, do you have any crockpot recipes? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK - so my neighbor just had her *14th* child. She says that her secret is to only do one thing at a time. But I'm sure all the paid help doesn't hurt either <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> . I'm an L&D nurse and this woman happend to give birth at the hospital where I work. Some of the nurses were so nasty about her - one said "she is so boring. Probably b/c she doesn't have any mental stimulation spending time with all those kids." This woman happens to be a PhD (and works as a school principle) married to an MD!!!!! But the assumption is "stupid and boring".
 

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Just had her 14th child, has a PHd *and* is the Principal of a school?!<br><br>
I wish I knew her, how does she do all of that.<br><br>
Boring? Some people look stupid and others just open their mouths and confirm everyone's suspicions!!!<br><br>
We have a large family and modest income (actually pretty middle class but it's divided up in more than the usual directions :)<br><br>
We like to ski and board....I know an expensive thing but what can I say.<br><br>
I just went to the local ski shop's ski resale and swap and came back with some good bargans. They will be the children's Christmas gifts but I got *new* board boots for $45, 49, and 119 (new good brand but last year's models) I got used boards and bindings for $100 (again good brands) and parabolic skis ($65 and Nordica boots ($40) and got Julianna a pair of boots (Salomin(sp) for $10 (and a pair for myself another nordica for $30 (I made out like a bandit but it was funny watching the looks as I kept putting more equipment into my family pile (and I was only shopping for five of the eight :) Oh, yes, I got new boarding pants for the boys for $9!!<br><br>
DB
 

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Joining the group here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
As of three weeks ago, my dh and I have 5 children. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I think I'm definitely a MoM!<br><br>
I get very sarcastic with people who hve snide comments about how many children we have...I can't think of anything now, but give me some time and I'll remember some of my better comebacks. Of course, we cloth diaper too, so I get comments about the amount of laundry I must do everyday... You know, laundry is my favorite chore, you set it to go and leave it. I'm not standing there for an hour like I am in the kitchen. Besides, the cloth diapers are the least amount of my laundry, since my older kids wear uniforms to school and I make them change out of those and into play clothes when they get home...this has almost doubled the amount of laundry I do, not the dipes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
As for having it all together... well, that's something that we as a family worked on when we homeschooled last year. We made it a point to get everyone organized. My MIL got me a calendar last year that is made up like a chart. You put everyone's names in a column at the top, then the days of the month are down the left side. This way I can, at a glance, tell if I have time to do something for the PTA or the teachers or whatever. If there's something that conflicts, like picking my son up from football practice, then forget it. Some things are more important, and I'm not about to let him walk that distance home, yet. I don't completely have it all together though, I just am good at organizing my time. Now, I used to not be this way, but I definitely use the SHE method of cleaning and organizing (less strict than FlyLady, and the method that FlyLady based her stuff on). No, my house is not clean all the time, nor is it clean half the time...of course, that's because I have a three week old right now. But, once I get back into my groove, you all could come over at any time and I wouldn't be embarrassed if you showed up unannounced.<br><br>
Getting my children organized was a task... But like any good habit, if you work on it, it sticks. I'm constantly reminding my kids about what chores they've missed - though it's gotten less so lately. The biggest problem I've got is that my son is addicted to EverQuest, and currently is restricted from any electronic media for a month, because of his mouth!<br><br>
Okay, crockpot recipes, since you asked... My best one is my pot roast. I have a huge crockpot, so I can normally get a 5-8 pound roast cooked in 8 hours. I put in about a half cup of water, the roast, a bag of frozen stew veggies, and whatever spices I think smell good that day. I also add a little browning sauce to the mix. Set it on low for 6-7 hours and high for the last hour. This is the best way I've ever made pot roast.<br><br>
Also, spaghetti and crockpot lasagna are great. You can put the pasta in uncooked and by the time it's dinner time, it's all cooked and at the right consistency. I've also done meatloaf and chicken in the crockpot, and one of my favorites is stew. You can dump any leftovers into the crock and make a wonderful stew that way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Oh, and back to organization, I've found that as my children have gotten older, we parents have gotten more organized because of the extracurricular activites and such. You kind of have to get that way. Now, with the little ones, I'm not as organized and we don't schedule, so I'm sure that my sleep deprivation will catch up with me someday!
 

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Hi all and I am so glad you started this thread Chava!!!!<br><br>
I am Donna, and we have 7, (will be 8 in June) children. Where to start....<br><br>
I personally feel the that hostility comes from a sort of jealousy or maybe defensiveness. Not necessarily because they can not physically have their own children (although that is a possiblity, of course), but more....the fact that they think it is such a sacrifice to add more children to their family and they are not willing to make those sacrifices....and they may perceive that we are willing. Perhaps deep down, they wish they *could* have more children, but feel that they can not because "they don't make enough money", or "they do not have enough patience". Maybe they feel that it is better to have fewer children, and by us doing it differently, it is felt as judgement on their decisions....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> Of course, if they do not know how many children you have, then this probably doesn't apply at al! :LOL<br><br>
When my youngest was a baby, I wasin Wal-mart, and he was in the sling nursing. I heard a woman behind me say "Geez, I am so glad I am past that stage. I hated having to stop and nurse wherever I was and no matter what I was doing." About 5 minutes later, we were near herin another aisle, and I said to dh..."I am so glad he is still nursing. I can feed him wherever I am andno matter what I am doing." I looked right at her and smiled, and she looked embarrassed. I don't think she intended for me to hear her!<br><br>
Anyway, although dh and I are very happy about our next baby coming, we are not looking forward to telling anyone. I am not wanting to hear the stupid comments over and over and over again! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> "Don't you know what causes that?" "Tell dh to keep that thing in his pants!" "Don't you have enough kids?" UGH!!!!!!! And then the obvious...."Are you going to have more?" We have decided that we probably will not have anymore after this, but I really don't want to tell anyone that. It is sooooooo not their business if we have moreor not. The last time I told someone we were done, they acted as if I finally got a bit of common sense in my head....I was offended.<br><br>
Okay, I sort of went off on a rant there! Sorry!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
I am glad to meet you all, and I will be checking in every day!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rikki - I'm curious about how to make crockpot lasagna.<br><br>
We had a chore chart that worked with a dry erase marker and it was great (unfortunately got ruined). I'm want to order a new one - but I'll have to order two as it only has room for 4 kids!
 

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Chava, here's the recipe:<br><br>
* 3/4 lb bulk Italian sausage<br>
* 1 med onion chopped (1/2c)<br>
* 2 cans (15oz each) Italian-style tomato sauce<br>
* 2 tsp dried basil leaves<br>
* 1/2 tsp salt<br>
* 3 c shredded mozzarella cheese (12 oz)<br>
* 1 container part-skim ricotta cheese<br>
* 1 c grated Parmesan cheese<br>
* 12 uncooked lasagna noodles (12 oz)<br><br>
1. Cook sausage and onion in 10 in skillet over med heat 6-8 min,stirring occasionally<br>
until sausage is no longer pink,drain.Stir in tomato sauce,basil and salt.<br>
2. Mix 2 c of the mozzarella cheese and the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.<br>
3. Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 3 1/2 to 5 qt slow cooker; top<br>
with half of 4 noodles broken into pieces to fit. Top with half the cheese<br>
mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with remaining 4 noodles broken to fit<br>
and remaining sausage mixture.<br>
4. Cover and cook on low heat 6-8 hrs or until noodles are tender.<br>
5. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1c mozzarella cheese. Cover and let<br>
stand 10 min or until cheese melts. Cut into pieces.<br><br>
ETA: This is a great crockpot website, it has lots of recipes: <a href="http://www.crockerykitchen.com/" target="_blank">http://www.crockerykitchen.com/</a>
 

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I'm not a mama to many...yet! DH and I DO want to have a larger than average (by like 2,3,or 4x) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> !!!<br><br>
You all are my role models!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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We have four <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> (as you can see below lol!)<br><br>
Right now we are in the middle of moving out of our rented small house into a large four bedroom that we are finally going to OWN!!! I am so excited!<br><br>
yes, we could have done that years ago IF...we had decided to send them to PS instead of Montessori..we had a new car instead of a 14yo one...I had gone back to work sooner...we had only had 1 or 2 kids...<br><br>
But, as I was sitting around with all of them tonight, watching them play together and love all over their little sister, I just couldn't imagine having any fewer! Four is the perfect number for us. I suppose if I could hire a housekeeper I would have considered more <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Funny, but I rarely get nasty comments about the size of our family. And never from family. usually I just get comments about how they all look alike <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: often when they are sitting in the car ppl will ask me if two of the boys are twins, even tho they are all 2-3 yrs apart in age. But I do get the "wow you really have your hands full" comment, to which I respond "better than having them empty."<br><br>
I am in awe of families with 5 or more kids, I guess I'm just too selfish lol! I planned to have all my kids by 30, had the last one when I was 31, and look forward to my dh retiring early just about the time I can go back to grad school <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I want to travel and still be "young" when my kids are gone. I'm glad it worked out the way it did. We feel very complete.<br><br><br>
btw, I love my 7 cubic foot freezer. I never learned to can, so I freeze everything. I mix soup leftovers together, and we eat them in a month. I buy large bags of frozen veggies, raviolis and pierogies. We eat meat, so I buy bulk packs of that and split them up for a months worth of dinners. You wouldn't believe what I can do with one roaster chicken <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> We are moving this month, so I bought a bunch of on sale large frozen dinners, but I try to buy as little packaging as possible, usually. I know they are still young, but I only spend about $300/mo.<br><br>
I recently went back to work (35+hrs/week) and dh works 60. It has taken everything we have to keep the house clean and the kids happy with enough of our attention. But I went back to work to keep them in a school we love, so it's worth it, and I work THERE, so I see them all day! What could be better <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> ?
 
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