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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Half a dozen facts from a Mum of half a dozen

You know how sometimes you imagine how something will be, but then it is completely different to what you expected or thought.

Like the other day when I was eyeing off the corner of Blake's banana toast. It was all thick & perfectly toasted with a melting glob of butter right on the edge. I imagined how nice that little piece would taste, how the butter would melt in my mouth as my teeth sank into the crunchy edge. I gave in & put that tempting little morsel in my mouth. Then remembered I don't like banana bread. It tasted nothing like I imagined.

Raising a large family is a little like this. Sometimes it is absolutely nothing like you thought it would be. So I thought I'd compile six fast facts.



1. Richie Rich

Minions are money sponges but they don't soak up every last cent. The perception that because there is an astronomical number of kids, the bank account must be astronomically low as well is not how it really is. We watch our pennies (dollars?), but with a budget in place everyone gets everything they need {& then some}.

Alternatively, the presumption that we must have a lot of money to be able to have a large family is about as accurate as the articles in an OK! magazine. Once someone said to me "Oh your husband must earn a lot of money, to have so many children & be able to stay home with them." Again, to afford big ticket items we plan ahead. Or use the credit card & pay it off. 
Though a spare money tree growing in the backyard wouldn't go amiss. 


2. Resentment, Schentment

The kids don't resent having a big family. They love having many brothers & sister(s) - even when it doesn't sound like it some days. 
When they play stuck in the mud & more than two get stuck there is still another sibling or two to un-stick them. Twister gets really twisty. Friday nights are like a bonafide slumber party with five kids in the same room all whispering & giggling. Backyard cricket means having a full team, with a bowler, batter, wickie plus fielders.
They don't know it to be any different, sharing a room with another sibling is normal, moving over to make room on the couch for another body is habitual. Sharing is just a given with most things. 
The sibling bonds between them are distinct & far stronger than any sibling rivalry.
I hope when they are adults & look back on these days of their childhood, they are still grateful for one another.



3. It's as easy as it looks...kinda

Raising six children is not as hard as it seems. The bigger minions can dress themselves, put on their own shoes, get their own drinks, brush their own teeth. The smaller ones all want to do this for themselves too, which if you play your cards right can work for you without tantrums. Encouraging the little ones to find their own shoes, put on their own pants (after laying them out straight) they brush their own teeth, though I do a quick all over brush either to begin or finish up. 
Our family size did not morph into epic proportions overnight, we've had several years to adjust & refine our routines. There is a lot of organization behind the scenes to make sure everything run smoother though & gets us out the door without running ridiculously late.
If I can do it, you could do it.



4. Supermum is about as real as Superman. She only exists in the movies.

By no definition are Mum's of large families Supermum's. We are no better than any other Mum, just as no Mum is any better than the next. We're all just doing what we must to get through each day, with the house still standing & every one alive, healthy & hopefully happy. There is nothing special about Mums to many. Our patience is not infinite. We are not saints. We lose our cool & get our shriek on. We are not immune to Mummy guilt either - but I'll cover that another day.



5. It is as noisy as you imagine

I'm not about to tell you otherwise, there is no argument here. Lots of people equal lots noise. When Doug gets home from work, when we're just about to sit down for dinner, or when someone comes over, it gets loud. Really loud.
Our meal times can look a little something like this.
Five kids all talking at once, plus a couple of adults (potentially with one trying to get the minions to quite down - without adding to the ear bleeding decibel levels by yelling to garner their attention & be heard). I've mentioned once or twice before that living large also means living loud. 



6. Loving them is as amazing as you think

Life with so many kids is as magical, chaotic, entertaining, constant & unending, crazy & eventful, amazing & awe inspiring as you believe.


Loving them is the easy bit. It's the dirty clothes & dirty dishes that's hard.



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