Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Learning From Others

Raising ten kids isn't an easy gig. Not even close. And as I've mentioned to you all, right now, I'm not doing a fantastic job at, well, any of the things that come along with it. House it messy, marriage isn't great, finances are insane, and we make it to church, about....once every 6 weeks. And Jackson has a 68 average in Science. Yes, Jackson. I know, we were shocked too. And Jack was devastated. Clearly some things need to improve. I have however, done well this year at checking book bags (except for, obviously, Jackson's science) and laying out clothes the night before. And breastfeeding- I'm fab at that. Everything else...needs work.

The thing of it is- the world isn't designed for families of our size. Finding resources, advice, help, how-to instructions, are very tough for a family of 12. Who should I turn to for advice? Clearly, well meaning friends and family who have never gone down this same path cant be expected to have the answers. Raising ten is soooooo very different from raising two, or three, or four...the logistics are different, the weight that each member needs to carry is different, the structure (or lack of, in our current case), the workload, the free time, the everything is so extremely different. It means that parenting advice that may work fine for a family of five, isn't really on target for us. It means that things we do that DO work for us, may seem odd, unfair, insane or generally bad to others who don't understand.

So, my point is...I've been turning to another source recently for help, guidance, information. I've realized I have a fabulous resource right here on my blog. The "Mega Families" button. I've linked to the blogs of tons of other women who DO know my plight (and my blessings). Women who have walked this road and are doing a pretty darn good job of it. Maybe they can help me get from here to there? I'm posting the links to the posts that have uplifted me, and given me insight. I want you to take a look at them too, if you'd like (and if not, that's okay too). I am exploring how THEY do things. How THEY make their households run. When I visited these blogs, even the ones where the mom is very different than myself, I felt an intense sense of release, like ahhhhaaaaa, other people who "get it", who understand what I've felt and the challenges that are unique to families this large. It was a nice feeling.

These ladies, who don't even realize it, are helping me answer questions that for me, really must be answered by other moms who have been in these shoes, such as
-how many chores are too much? Not enough?
-how much babysitting should older kids be expected to do?
-how are tasks divided in YOUR family?
-at what age should kids start doing various things?
-what tasks to you keep as YOUR job to maintain and what do you delegate to the kids?

These are of course, issues that arise in ALL families, just to different degrees and in various ways depending on the individual family dynamic. And I'm interested in how things work in a family where, well, Mom HAS to have the kids on board with helping, working at chores, and helping to tend small siblings. And after all, wasn't it not too long ago, when that was the norm in our country? Since when have kids NOT been required to do these things? Anyways, here's what I'm finding...

More coming later! I promise! I found lots of great of great links that I'm excited to share. I'm having some technical difficulties at the moment, plus I'm running late to take Drew to the Barber's for a hair cut! I'll be back!


Kendra said...

I don't understand...but my great-grandmother did raise 14 kids in a 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom home. Mother's like the two of you amaze me!

Anonymous said...

I can so relate.

Leah said...

I was raised in a family of 4 kids... still considered large in today's world but nowhere near yours!!

As for the older kids baby sitting question, I was baby sitting my younger siblings by the time I was in highschool (12 or 13 years old here), although not at night time. I'd say by the age of 15 or so I was babysitting them at night (though by that point they were 13, 10 and 8, so not little).

As for how much... well, if Mum and Dad wanted (or needed) to go out, then I was stuck with them!

(It was generally pretty easy for me though. As I was only ever supervising 3 kids generally old enough to occupy themselves - bath themselves, do their own homework, brush their own teeth etc - I was really just responsible for being in charge if there was some sort of emergency, and maybe help with homework if I was feeling friendly!)

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