One of the things I beat myself up about is that I don’t feel like I work very hard. I have a lot of days that are slow paced, mixed in with days of pure chaotic busyness, then back to slow pace again. “You are so lazy” is something my brain likes to say a lot. And maybe I am. The jury is still out on that one. But I am starting to think that maybe I am not a lazy person and rather, I NEED a slow pace. So I structure my life in such a way that I can keep myself from staying in a stressed-out state at all times. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
To reassure myself that I am not lazy, and actually do get things done, I sometimes make lists of my accomplishments. (Surely I’m not the only one that does this??) So, today, as I was making my reassurance list of accomplishments, it got me thinking about Large Family Life. I do a lot of things that feel really normal to me, but I know to others it may seem over the top. Just for fun, I decided to take some pictures of Large Family Life.
Ok, so here is 24 hours worth of dishes. I do the dishes, but a couple times a week I tap a couple teenagers to do the job. Since it gets spread around so thin, they usually don’t complain.
Food is a big deal. I buy most things in the extra large size or bulk, or just end up getting four times what everyone else does. I get these breakfast bars because my kids eat breakfast at school, but some of them don’t like school breakfast, and some of them are more hungry in the morning and want something extra, and we get up and out of the house pretty fast, so we don’t take time for a sit down breakfast. Note, the box is on top of the fridge. This is a signal to the kids that this is off limits unless I put it out. Otherwise, it would be gone in a day.
My kids also eat a lot of fruit. This is a week’s worth of fruit for them, and we are three days into the grocery week already.
I got extra eggs this week because we’re going to have frittata. I will probably use 36 or 40 eggs to make the frittata.
Any time I bake, I double or triple the recipe. Baking is a really inexpensive way of feeding a lot of kids.
Today I finished doing laundry and then folded everything. All the kids help put it away. My four oldest kids at home do their own laundry, so their laundry isn’t in the picture.
I have a sock basket that not only has odd socks in it (I recently cleaned this out and threw away about 2 grocery bags full of old, unmatched, holey socks), but also has random socks that don’t belong to anyone in particular, but are too nice to get rid of, and will be waiting around for the next person that needs them. The only clothing I get rid of is what my youngest child outgrows.
Every day after school I check everyone’s backpacks, sign folders, take care of papers and keep an eye on who has homework so I can have them sit down later to do it.
Decorating for Christmas is always fun as everyone has to be represented. Stockings are ready to go. Everyone also has their own Christmas mug.
So these are random tidbits. I enjoy being a stay-at-home mom of lots of kids. It suits me. I have lots of time to think and ponder, read, be involved in people’s lives, and feel like I’m giving my kids the home they need to be able to grow into the people they were meant to be. I realize that having a big family and being able to stay home with the kids is a big blessing and I hope I never take it for granted. And I’m going to keep working on my self-talk that’s always trying to put me down. Not lazy. Just slow and steady.