Many times people ask me how I manage doing all that I do with having a large family with multiple children.
There are a few principles my husband and I have worked to implement to keep our sanity while raising children.
Life is not perfect especially when raising little people. I have tried being disciplined, but at the same time realize I have to be extremely flexible because sometimes you never know what the day will hold.
I also love to write and help encourage women. Although, one thing you must know is that I do not think I have all the answers.
What works for one family may not work for another family.
I have asked many older women lots of questions, read many books on this topic, as well as have received a bachelor’s degree in Marriage and Motherhood. With all that said, some days I feel totally lacking and overwhelmed.
Right now I do not have an infant, but I absolutely loved the infant stage. My children are 11, 9, 8, 6, and 2. I am not going to write today about the infant stage because that would be an entire detailed post in itself.
I want to start out by saying I absolutely love my children. They have taught me so much about life. Children are so loving and forgiving; they all want their special time with their Mama.
Life is so much fun, but staying at home taking care of everyone’s needs is quite exhausting.
My mom has told me that she feels better in her 50’s than she did in her 30’s because taking care of a family (and all your other duties) is so draining!
These are a few tips my husband and I have used to keep our sanity and keep each other fresh:
1. Have a date night.
If you ever hear my husband speak on the topic of marriage, he always preaches this first. Jesus rebuked the church in Laodicea because they had left their first love. When you and your husband first fell in love, you went on dates to spend time together.
My husband takes me very consistently on a weekly date and sometimes twice. When we were first married and only had one child the need did not seem as incredible to get away as it is now.
Although, when my husband would take me on a date, I would brag on him like crazy. I reminded him how it helped me be more passionate in our love life being away from the house and chores. The next day I would send him a message thanking him for taking the time to treat me like his queen, and how refreshed I felt for being able to have that special time with him.
2. Hire a good babysitter.
My husband works a side job just so that he can have the freedom to take me on a date. He feels like it’s very important to invest in our marriage. When we have a babysitter come to the house we try to have them feed the children and have them put in bed so that when we come home we can still enjoy our time together.
3. Give your children a nap/quiet time in the afternoon and a decent bed time.
While my children were infants they had the same set naptime every day (with the exception of Sunday, it would be a little later in the afternoon). Even my older children in the summer have a set quiet time in the afternoon where they have to read or have a quiet time activity. Sometimes I have to do chores during this time, but I don’t unless I have to.
When I was newly married with small children, I would read, study, have a coffee, go outside, or take a nap. Now, I use the time to write and work on quiet things. This time gives me that concentrated time to feel like I have accomplished something or to feel relaxed and enjoy my family the rest of the evening.
4. Put your children on a schedule.
When my children were infants I had a fairly rigid schedule I followed, but now that my children are older I feel like routines are the way to go. They always have school activities, homework, and baseball practices, so I have to be much more flexible with my schedule now.
When your children know what is expected of them and what the plan is for the day they can feel more secure and less cranky. (I have learned this!) That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for being spontaneous, but at least 80% of the time they should be following a rhythm. This also helps them feel more victorious in their duties.
5. Give your children chores.
The Bible tells us that we are to train our children in the way they should go.
How are our children going to be able to face the real world and their careers and be successful if we do not teach them to be disciplined in the small day-to-day routines? I am not preaching at anyone except for myself. I feel like this is one area I constantly struggle in because I am working on my own habits, and then try to pass the same disciplines down to five more little people!
Right now, outside of cleaning their own rooms and folding and putting away their own laundry, my children have a daily chore downstairs. One of my girls is in charge of washing the dishes, while the other one makes sure all the counters are sanitized and wiped down. Then they switch chores the following week. My boys take turns sweeping the floor after meal times, and taking out the trash and to the road. They also all pitch in to straighten the living area and watering the plants. It takes much work to oversee and train your children’s duties but it is worth it. You’re investing in their future as well as your own.
I feel like I have sacrificed much personal time with friends and have declined many opportunities.
Although, I know it is a great responsibility, and will only get the opportunity to raise and train my children one time.
Again, I do not think these ideas are the only ways or the best ways necessarily to do things,
but in my research of God’s Word and from older wiser ladies I feel like these ideas have helped me and maybe could help you.
I love you all and thank you for being a part of this community!
PS- If you follow me on the like.to.know.it app you can shop our family’s looks (jackiecarr_). I love The Children’s Place graphic tees because I can get them all to match. They are already sold out of the big girl t’s, but they still have them in toddler girls’ sizes. I linked some that were very similar. Carter’s also has precious skirts to match, and are always running sales. I think Scarlett’s t-shirt in this picture is on sale for $2.00.