Guest post from Jennifer Ross
“Your son drank the last of the milk.” Says a woman to her husband when one of their children has behaved inappropriately. But when it’s something noteworthy, it’s, “My son just memorized all of Psalm 119!”
Our older daughters just love the little ones in our family! I’m accustomed to daily hearing either of my girls say something along the lines of, “Come here, my sweet babies!”
But when my 2 youngest get into the refrigerator, eat sugar straight from the bag and pour chicken stock on the freshly mopped floor, that’s when I hear, “Mom, your twins!”
They don’t always get into mischief, sometimes they’re just thirsty!
I don’t really have twins, our 10th child, Jenna, was born with Down Syndrome. 17 months later, we had Javan. Today, they are just like twins. Equal in every way.
Jenna walked in late 2010; Javan walked 4 months later.
Jenna wants a bottle; Javan wants a bottle (or he does now that he saw she wanted one!)
Jenna gets into the refrigerator; Javan helps her find something yummy!
We have 9 children still at home, and sometimes juggling everyone, including our precious 2 youngest can be like managing a circus act. It’s not like we had them all-at-once. They are all single births; but my-oh-my can life be busy, and yes, even crazy sometimes!
What’s a mother of many to do? Here are a few helps:
- Buddy system
- Teaching and training
- Working alongside
Let’s go through these one by one.
Scheduling. Scheduling your day helps with any-size family, but is a lifesaver to moms with a quiverful. Some schedules plan every 30 minutes of your day — others can be just a loose routine.
Either way, it’s still a plan for the day, so everyone knows what to do and when.
Delegating. Easy, right? Mom can’t be everywhere at once. A chore system is again, an amazing tool for mothers! Krissy loads the dishwasher. Renee unloads. Katie does the laundry. Cory feeds the animals and sweeps the floor after each meal. You get the idea.
Delegating is just setting up something that helps you get the necessary housework done. Because… you.can’t.do.it.all. (Big sigh of relief!) And chores are good for the children!
The Buddy System. Yes, I know, the Duggars have this perfected! Having older children help the younger not only makes sense, we are training the older ones how to care for children. There are extremes to this, as can be with anything. Caution: do not turn your older children into parents of your younger children.
Enjoying. Enjoying? Yes! You have to enjoy your days, your family! The Lord loves joyfulness! When you enjoy your children, it makes all the difference between days, which leave you exhausted and overwhelmed, and days, which leave you smiling, as you lay your head down each night.
Teaching and Training. There’s just not enough space here to adequately cover this topic. However, this aspect of managing a large family is HUGE. We can’t do all that we need to do, or get through each and every day, not to mention bringing glory to our Lord, unless we teach and train day-in and day out.
Take the time to teach proper behaviour. Take the time to train your children in the ways of the Lord.
And working alongside. Everything mentioned above can prove to be extremely helpful, but not if we neglect physically working alongside our children. I’ve heard it’s the way the Hebrews trained their children. It’s the when you rise up and when you lay down, when you sit in your house and when you walk along the path part of the Bible verse, Deuteronomy 6:6
We can train our children to behave; we can teach them to load the dishwasher, when we want it loaded — we can even experience a bit of joy in the midst. But if we fail to work with our children we will lose their hearts. It will all turn to duties. We want joyful service!
Model joyful service right alongside your children, and you’ll have not only their hearts, but your home will be full of joy and peace, as well!
Read more on this topic with these posts!
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