Large Family Logistics
-Benefits of having large families
Well, you will never be lonely, that's for sure! It teaches children responsibility, and how to look out for each other. I love watching my sons be protectors to their little sisters. It's fun, and never boring around our house! We also need to be raising families to glorify God, and training them how to bring others to Christ. More and more Christians are choosing to limit family size, and in doing so, we are limiting our influence on this wicked world.
-Are we done yet? ;)
I certainly hope not. I am at a point in my life where I have learned contentment. If God chooses to bless me again, I will be so very happy and excited. If he doesn't, I will accept that, I am content with my six children. I am 37, and I am noticing a change in my fertility. I have had two miscarriages back to back in the last two years. If God does choose to bless me again, I will bask in every pain and trial that pregnancy brings. The six times that my new baby has been placed on my chest right after birth are the six sweetest times of my life, there is nothing like it. Cooking for large families
-Groceries for big families. Budget, thrifty shopping, etc
If it wasn't for Aldi, I would be in trouble. I live in small rural Illinois. I have no big stores like Trader Joe's or Costco, or even Sam's. I get all of our food at Aldi, and some health items at Kroger. I can bring in quite the haul for $150- $200 a week at Aldi.
-Some thrifty meal ideas.
Almost every week we do homemade pizza or pizza bread. Tacos almost every week. Lots and lots of chicken dishes. Stir fry. Breakfast for dinner a LOT. Pancakes, eggs, french toast, etc. Rice and beans.
-Teaching your children how to cook
Having them in the kitchen is the best way to do it. It's a pain and annoying at times, especially if you are in a hurry, but them watching you is the best way to learn. Abby and Chloe can both make meals on their own now. If you train them to have a dish or two of their own, then that's at least 2-4 meals a week you don't have to cook! It's great when they finally get to the point where you can just let them loose in the kitchen- but be patient. You will have many ruined dishes and maybe even a burned floor (don't ask) a time or two.
-Planning the menu
This is not my forte. I feel like I get stuck in a rut. Especially when I shop at one store all the time. I would love to see some of your menus! I always have my basic meals- Pizza, tacos, chicken thighs with veggies, breakfast foods, ham and potatoes. I would love some fresh ideas.
Laundry for large families
My method is basically this- Don't sort, throw all the clothes and a color grabber in the washer together, have the children switch the clothes for you, and do at least two loads a day. I have the kids start it, switch it, and bring it to my bedroom, where I fold it, and they all put it away. As long as I do two loads a day, I stay on top of it. My ironing gets done like this- I throw wrinkled clothes in the dryer. Voila. Wrinkle free.
-Getting the children involved
The kids are the main reason we have so many dirty clothes to wash, so yes, the children definitely help do it. The only thing I do is fold it all.
-To make your own soap, or not?
I have tried my own soap, and while it was cheap, I did not like the smell, nor how well it cleaned the clothes. I felt it did not get the stains out, and when you have kids, you will have stains. I can afford a bag of Gain pods every other week, so that's what I do now.
Getting places on time
-Sunday morning routine
My routine starts on Saturday night. When the kids were younger, I would get all the clothes, and especially SHOES, laid out the night before. We are always missing shoes if I don't, and yes, we have made Wal-Mart runs right before church for clearance shoes, on the days when I wasn't prepared. I also think ahead for the meal. We eat our big meal at lunch. Many times we eat out, but on tight weeks, I prepare something at home, usually in my crockpot. I always get up two hours before the kids, so I have time to drink my coffee, read my Bible, and get myself ready. Two hours is imperative. Any less than that, and I feel rushed. We keep breakfast simple...it's usually, uhem, doughnuts. Sundays are crazy for us. We do what we have to do.
-Any other appointments
Same basic concept. One huge thing in our household is that we are NEVER late. It is one of my husband's pet peeves when people are late, and he always says, "A McMurtry is never late". Because of this, I plan accordingly. I always aim to be ready at least 20 minutes before we have to leave. This is my window that allows for toddler meltdowns, discipline, lost coats, shoes, lost keys, bathroom emergencies, etc. It works for me.
One thing to remember is while we are offering advice, and showing you how we do things, every family is different. Some things work for me that won't work for you. Also, different families have different priorities. Music is a big deal in our family, so all of the children take music lessons, which means more running around for me. And more money in the budget towards lessons. Some families might think music is overrated. And that's fine. You do your life the way your husband wants you to, and the way that he feels God wants you to. Just try to enjoy your husband, your children, and the life that God has given you.