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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!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Way Things Change

Does anyone else notice how much life changes once the school year starts up again? I sure have. Just a month ago, we were staying up late, watching movies, playing video games, eating dinner at 9:00 at night sometimes. Then, sleeping in until ten the next morning, taking our time at everything we did. Some days we'd decide spur of the moment to go out to eat or go shopping or just to do something fun.

Our days sure do look a lot different now. Now they are structured, not at all spontaneous. Everything is plotted, planned and allotted. The only spontaneity I get now is an unscheduled trip to the gas station to pick up a sports drink for Manny, or of course, the ever unpleasant un-scheduled trip to the school because one of our kids has left something important at home.

I have such a love-hate relationship with these changes. On the one hand, It's all conflicted and doesn't make sense. I miss being with the kids all the time but I'm glad to have some space without them- I told you it's conflicted and doesn't make sense. I hate dragging my butt and theirs out of bed so early in the morning, but that cup of coffee is darned good at 7:30 when half of my kids are off to school and if I'm lucky the other half is still asleep. And even when I'm not so lucky, usually at least one of two of them are still asleep. I'm in love with the fact that I can keep up with laundry and keep the downstairs kept up (except for this week in which my research project is due for my class that ends on Friday). I'm not in love with the fact that we can do pretty much nothing on school nights that doesn't throw the entire evening of homework, dinner, chores, shower, bed into complete and total disarray. Football games are about as far as we venture and those nights can be tough without proper planning and organization.

And that brings me to another point. I am not, by nature, an organized individual. I'm not that super together mom who has all the PTO dates on her calendar and can tick off each scheduled school event from memory. Yeah, not me. In fact, I avoid the PTO like the plague. I have, through unrelenting necessity, learned to be organized in some aspects. For instance, after years of constantly loosing important school forms, notes from the teacher and field trip permission slips, I have this year implemented a filing system in which each school has it's own file - one for Pre-K, one for the elementary kids, one for the middle school and one for the high school boys. It has helped tremendously. I have also learned to lay out clothes the night before. Okay, so apparently the secret to making this successful is actually having the laundry done and having clean clothes on hand to be able to lay out. Who knew?
I've also learned to start dinner during nap time. Even though it's hours before we'll eat, doing things like browning the ground beef or making a sauce is much simpler during nap time when the twins are in school and everyone else except Sydney is napping. It's a wicked punishment to try to cook dinner in that same awful hour that kids are clamoring for help with homework and the doorbell is ringing every five seconds with neighborhood kids eager to play. And Mia with her incessant desire to be held and/or nursed. Things go so much smoother if the bulk of dinner is already prepared. I've also started making sure we eat much earlier than we otherwise would. That way, there is plenty of time for homework checking (and the re-doing that often results), showering (because some of our boys just wouldn't if we didn't make sure it happened) and a on-time bedtime.

Structure is also not in my nature- I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of gal. But that isn't very condusive to raising ten kids, so I'm learning on the job. And trying to embrace the structure.

So far, it seems to be paying off. The kids are all doing well in school so far. Jackson is a "Spelling Whiz kid" this week, meaning he made a 100% on his pre-test and doesn't have to take the big test Friday. Manny has a 104 average in one of his classes and everyone is happy, clean and wearing nice clothing. And well fed. So that's success. And better organization. But we haven't had a date night or done something fun in a while. I hope that's not a permanent trade-off.


10 comments:

debi9kids said...

sounds like you're handling the start of the year much better than I am. (and more organized, would you believe?)
I actually over-slept this morning and missed Will's bus. UGH.

Anonymous said...

Still here praying in Seattle!
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
Prayer Bears
My email address

Anonymous said...

Life in this world can look so bleak at times. But the victory is ours through Christ! Put your trust in Him! Praying!
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer Bears
My email address

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