Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Expect Chaos

I'm continuing my studies with A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family.  I can't tell you how much it has fed me and really spoke to me.  I am writing on here because I know that when you study and talk about it, it sticks longer in your mind.

Last night baked in the kitchen for 4 hours straight and by 7:30pm I was completely spent. I didn't even have the strength to clean up my kitchen afterward. My thoughtful husband laid me down in bed, gave me my book and went to take care of the kids.  By 8pm he was already praying and reading the bible with them in bed.  Although my body was tired, my mind wasn't.  So I began to read the book.  Even better, I started a bath so I could just completely relax and hopefully get some encouragement and ideas.  I have to share a chapter with you that really helped me.


It's obvious what they got caught with in their crib
Expect Chaos
    Obviously, mothering in general involves a certain amount of chaos.  Whether you have one child or ten, there will be times when the nine-month-old flings oatmeal on the carpet or the three-year-old throws up in the night-three times- and the seven-year-old loses his shoes-again.  But in a large family, the frequency with which this stuff happens can be overwhelming.  
    My advice?  Expect chaos.  The more fully you embrace the chaos factor, the happier you'll be as a mom.  If you expect laundry to breed in an immoral fashion in every corner of the every bedroom every day, you won't need to fall to your knees screaming at the discovery that you are once again six loads behind.  Simply set the timer to run a load every hour all day and end the day with a laundry-folding party for everyone planning to wear clothing the next day.
    Chaos happens. The key is to find ways to deal with it, and usually that involves making your kids take their fair share of the responsibility for the cleanup.  After all, they made the mess.


Ashley started laughing because we were laughing so hard
This section of a chapter alone completely rejuvenated me.  It was 10pm by the time I got out of the bath and I had my energy back.  What did I do with it?  I went and completely cleaned my kitchen and washed the dishes.  I even mopped my floor.  My kitchen was spotless and I was a happy camper.

Chaos just happens.  My kids aren't robots.  They are gonna have emotional, klutzy, fighting, angry, tired days.  Not every day.  Just different kids on different days have their breakdowns.  Forget the stinking dishes and sit with them on the couch.  Read a book, talk about their day.  Whatever is needed. I'm so tired of worrying what the house looks like when my kids are desperately needing mommy.  Don't get me wrong, I always try to give an ear when my kids need to talk to me and even tend to keep my calm when something bad happens.  But I feel it on the inside more.  I've learned to master my outer emotions.  My grandmother told me that if I have to cry, go in my room for a few minutes and let it out.  Even if I'm super angry.  It's better to let it out in a pillow than freak out on the kid.  There are times when I'm literally melting on the inside with stress but keeping a smile on my face.  No, I'm not being fake.  I just want my kids to know I'm in control and they aren't going to manipulate me.  Kids love to get reactions.  Especially crazy freak out reactions that make mommy's face red and smoke come from her ears.  LOL.  I just don't want to push away my kids so I can load the dishwasher.  My kids are only home from school from 4pm till bedtime at 8:30pm.  Seriously, I'm sure I don't need to be doing any housework between those times.  Making dinner just by itself takes time.

By the time I was done cleaning the kitchen I discovered that Ivy was still awake in her room.  I invited her out to share some homemade cupcakes and drinks.  We played for 3 hours.  :)  It was wonderful not worrying about the millions of other things that still needed to be done.

I was pregnant with my 6th and we had 4 extra kids for a week
A funny memory I have is when I was pregnant with my 6th and we watched my friends kids for a week while they went away together.  I learned to cook and clean after 9 kids. It was hard work!  It's always hard when you go from 2 to 7 kids or 3 to 6 kids.  So when you babysit and are stressed by it, don't freak out.  Most of us usually only have 1 kid at a time to get adjusted to while growing our families.  LOL.  MOST of us at least unless you are Jon and Kate Gosselin.  Tee hee....

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