Jump to content
Crazy4

Positives of large family

Recommended Posts

Crazy4

I'm struggling with the guilt of having a large family, feeling like I neglect my older two because of my twins needing me more and also feeling like I neglect my twins because with 4 young children, I'm so busy - cooking, cleaning, washing and just the endless chores a large family creates. I sometimes feel my older children miss out on things because I can't face taking them and dragging 3 year old twins too who will just run away and make not enjoyable. Lots of my friends take their 2 children to all sorts of fun stuff but I don't because I find taking 4 when they are so young too hard. Argh!

 

I'm not after advice on outsourcing because I'm happy to do all the work (I'm a control freak unfortunately!), I just need some perspective please from you wise mothers - please tell me all that is wonderful about having more than the average 2.4 children. I'm focusing on the negatives when I know there are lots of positives but I can't see them.

 

Thank you!

 

Eta - I thought there was a post about this already but I can't see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
just roses

I think you should consider outsourcing so you can spend one-on-one time with your kids.

 

My friend (5 kids including triplets) does this very successfully. Nothing like newborn triplets to make you drop the control freak tag!

 

My favourite childhood memories are of one-on-one time with my parents. I want that for my kids. I also refuse to run myself ragged at the expense of my kids. If outsourcing (and I need to do more of it) gives me more unrushed, quality time with them, then mission accomplished.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
**Xena**

I love my big family. I love watching them all together and seeing how both different and similar they all are. They all get along so well and it makes my heart want to explode seeing all the amazing humans we have made :D

 

Do you have a partner? Having a hands on partner makes a big difference too I find. My husband does his share of housework and when we go on outings we are both there, or one parent has some kids and the other has the rest depending on the activity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crazy4

Yes, my DH is very hands on and we are definitely a parenting team when he is here however he works long hours, often not getting home from work long after the kids are in bed. He also feels guilty for having to work so hard to pay the bills and I know at times he also envies our friends who have smaller more manageable families.

 

Xena - you are exactly right about seeing all the kids together and my heart aches with love for all of them and I am so glad and happy they have each other because although they argue (sometimes a LOT), they are truely the best siblings to each other and it's so beautiful to witness. I just lose sight of that sometimes and focus too much on the negatives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crazy4

Xena - do you mind me asking how old your children are? I think because mine are all so young ( I had 4 in 3 years including twins) which is why I find it so draining but I can picture when they are all older and see how amazing it will be.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sueratbag

Crazy4, remember perspective. Some things matter more than other things.

 

You (and your kids) will remember special moments and time spent with each of them, and things that you only do with #1 and different things that you only do with # 2, and so on.

 

Neither you nor they will remember whether the floor was polished that day.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fossy

We are not a large family (yet!) but some things that help us wrangle our brood.

 

Can you divide and conquer? Your partner take the younger ones out and you take the older ones? That way they all get an age appropriate experience and some mum/dad time?

 

Do you have a pram you can strap the younger ones into? Then you don't have to worry about them running off?

 

Do you have a babysitter you can get to give

You a hand on outings? We use one for swimming lessons to ensure no one drowns! Kids love having someone else to play with and entertain them and allows me to focus on the little ones.

 

Perhaps map out all the tasks to be done each week and split them with your partner, give the older kids chores and if there's anything no one enjoys doing them perhaps outsource that? I.e. Gardening, ironing etc? Having a schedule can make it seem less daunting.

 

Simplify meals and cook in bulk so you have easy freezer meals. We eat the same meal two nights in a row often. Scrambled eggs or toasted sandwiches usually feature once a week.

 

Also important to make time for you. Do you have a hobby or catch up with friends regularly? I struggle without me time, my mental health really suffers.

 

Perhaps have a chat to your GP or mchn about how you are feeling, they might have some helpful local services that could help you too.

Edited by Fossy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
**Xena**

Xena - do you mind me asking how old your children are? I think because mine are all so young ( I had 4 in 3 years including twins) which is why I find it so draining but I can picture when they are all older and see how amazing it will be.

 

I do think that is probably a large part of it. My first 3 are older and then we went back for two more (gluttons for punishment we are ;)) I'm not sure we would have had 5 if we were only just starting now. My first 3 were close in age and I remember finding that tricky in the early days. Once they start going to school and being more independent I found life so much easier.

 

I'm also quite happy to let housework slide a bit :lol:

 

I'm glad you have a supportive partner. Makes all the difference. I don't think you need to be going places all the time either. There are heaps of fun things you can do at home :) We only really go out on weekends as a whole group usually- even when the kids were young and we only had 3 :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mrs Claus

I have three older kids and a surprise 7 month old. Sometimes the older kids miss out becaus of the baby or dh takes the older kids while I stay home with the baby. I feel bad that we do t have 'family time' all the time but then I watch them play with their little brother and think how much we/he has given them. They absolutely adore him and him them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mrs Claus

Sorry, that wasn't many positives

 

- they will always have someone to play with

- they learn patience/compassion/tolerance but having different age groups that need to be considered

- surrounded by love

- learn to work as a team (my kids love that they 'outnumber' us)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gemgirl

We had 4 under 5 and I remember after having number 4 ( a very planned baby), I cried for days - both happy tears and tears of "omg, what have I done to my older children?"

 

Now they're getting older, and it's so wonderful seeing them all playing together - they're so close in age, and their friendships are lovely. There's always a playmate.

 

DP and I try hard to give them one on one time, or outings with small groups (eg. I might take out 2 or even 3, just mixing it up a bit) - but mostly we give them lots of time together and have lots of fun. We spend a lot of our weekends at home (at least one weekend day a week) and the kids play for hours. It's like a day care centre ;)

 

Sounds like you're in the middle of the hard stuff right now. It's not going to be easy - let's face it, parenting isn't - but the kids will love being part of a big family, and day by day you get there. The kids get more independent, and it all gets easier. And then they become teenagers, haha! Not looking forward to that! (actually I am, but am probably delusional )

Edited by gemgirl
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nessrose

We had 5 in 6.5 years (including twins in the middle).

 

They are now aged 5, 7, 9, 9 & 11.

 

Trust me when I say, things do get better and easier.

 

My kids are now at the age where they have a couple of chores each to do every day. I still have all the washing, cleaning and cooking, but the kids put their own clothes away, pack up after themselves and my eldest 3 even clean the kitchen every night after dinner. Team work is our motto.

 

This frees up so much time for us to do other things.

 

In terms of spending enough time with each, it is hard, but if you maintain communication with them and try and take them out individually when you can that is all you can do.

 

I only let my girls do one activity a week, so that cuts down on stress too.

 

We spend a lot of family time together. I'm a SAHM, so regularly see them at school while I volunteer in the classroom and library. We go swimming together most weekends and generally the kids love being at home as we have lots of pets.

 

My DH works long hours too and is often overseas for work. The way I see it, is we both made the decision to have a big family, so there is no use feeling guilty.

 

I love the fact they are so close in age. Sure, they fight a bit, but they are also fiercely protective of each other. They are used to sharing. Not so sure I'm looking forward to 5 teenage girls at once though!

 

Anyway, good luck. Hang in there.

Edited by nessrose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Plaxy

My large family are now adults, and it's wonderful to see how much they support and care for each other - and really enjoy each other!

 

Cut yourself some slack OP, it's hard work, but worth it, and it does get better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4keykne

Watching the kids play is such a pleasure. My youngest is two so we are moving out of baby stage as he is very independent that makes things a lot easier.

 

The bond between the kids and the different relationships between each of them is very special. When each one has a friend over we can have up to 12 in the house at any given time as seems our house is the place to be it just fills the house with more fun and giggles.

 

We give each child chores to help manage the constant need to keep on top of the cleaning washing food prep etc. I was part of a small family growing up and that was also expected of my sister and I and I'm glad my parents encouraged it the transistion to the real world was not as shocking when I could already cook, wash my clothes and keep my space clean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EXU

When it comes to families there is no wrong or right answer. I think we've become so incredibly hung up on what's the perfect thing to do for our children and seem to feel any guilt when we perceive we are not doing that. The truth is kids really do not need perfection and things and unlimited time from parents, they just need a family that loves them and genuinely cares for them. I also think the word neglect gets thrown around far too easily, I have seen children who are neglected.

 

I work with older people who are nearing the end of their lives and these are people who had up to 15 kids in their family, no times saving appliances, father who often worked long hours. They don't talk about mum and dad having endless amounts of time for them or all the things they bought for them. It's all about having parents who worked hard to provide for them, knowing they were loved and how much fun (and often mischief) they got up to with their siblings. It has taught me to focus on what is really important.

 

Don't compare yourself to others and what they are doing. Those mums with 2 kids doing all those activities could quite possibly be wondering how the heck you manage so well with 4 when they only have 2. It's often easy to see others and see in them what we feel we are lacking in ourselves, but chances are they have their own struggles too.

 

I had 4 children in 2 and a bit years, twins as well, I then had 3 more. My kids have to be organised, they can't rely on me to do everything for them. If they have a note from school it is their responsibility to bring it to me with a pen to sign, I don't chase them. If they aren't organised and miss out, then so be it. If they didn't put their uniform in the wash and get a time out at school because they are out of uniform, then that's their problem. They have chores to do too. I don't feel the slightest ounce of guilt for it. We don't outsource either, except the 4 times a month some of my kids go to OSHC before school.

 

My older 4 kids are now 14,13,13,12 and may miss out on some stuff, but there is plenty in their lives that other kids could only dream about experiencing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...