Large Family Question #4

Honeybee has been waiting for this moment – SNOW!

My house is quiet and I have a quick moment to write. We have had some fun-filled days. Friday we took the eight youngest children to a big Christmas party where we had lunch, did crafts, and saw Santa, who gave each of them a present. Our drive home on snowy roads was very slow, but Russ was behind the wheel, and I was thankful. That evening we attended a huge concert at the university; Mimi sang in the Jazz Choir.

Ladybug had a nice chat with Santa.

Even Samuel sat on Santa’s lap.

On Saturday Russ took Rusty to a VFW banquet where he won first place in an essay contest! While they were gone I worked on sorting a mountain of hand-me-downs and other tasks I can’t even think about during the school week. Mimi had another special event that night, her Ballroom Dance team performance, so we tucked the little ones in and Sweet Pea kept an eye on them so we could go.

Since it seems that I rarely leave the house, being out two nights in a row was very unusual. I had a hard time making myself go, but once I was out, it was so relaxing! The dance performance was followed by a social dance, which allowed us to watch Mimi and Noah dance for a little while before picking up Samuel, Rusty, and three friends to drive them home. We ended the evening singing Christmas carols with friends, which was an unexpected delight.

The highlights so far today have been: church at 8:00 AM, a simple but good crock pot dinner, and reading The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas. The four younger girls grabbed their pillows and fleece blankets, chose a candy cane from the tree, and snuggled down to listen. I got so sleepy that I had to stand up while I read the last fourth of the book, but we all enjoyed hearing the well-loved story once again.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the questions about large families. There was a great comment from Stacey that I missed sharing last time:

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Blogger Stacey said…

I read this on my friend’s blog and I thought it was great. They had 7 kids and just adopted a sibling group of 4. So they are adjusting once more to new family dynamics. She said:

So I noticed that the seven little ones have been starting to fight about who gets to sit on my lap and I’ve seen them starting to compete for my attention. We try really hard to control the competition in our house and focus on individual strengths- not who’s better than who at what. (I detest sibling rivalry). One of my biggest worries with a family this size was how we are going to make sure that everyone gets enough one on one time. I honestly feel like I could sit on the floor all day and do nothing but hug and it still wouldn’t be enough. Just so many needs to be met right now that it could almost drain me. So today we came up with a little plan that I think it going to be a huge help. We started it tonight and it was so much fun! Each child drew a number so we knew the order. Bed time around here is at 7:00. (Early I know, but they have to get up at 6:20 a.m and they are tired if not.) Yet we decided that a little extra time wouldn’t hurt. So, each night a different child will get to stay up 30 minutes extra to have special mommy daddy time. Tonight it was Jayla’s turn. We played a game of her choice for the first 15 minutes and then after that we just sat on the couch and hugged and talked about her day. She shared about her first day of school, without being interrupted, and we asked her about her favorite things to eat and how she was feeling. I even asked her if she could take a vacation anywhere in the world where it would be- and she said “Walmart”. LOL Easy to please! Then we prayed with her, hugged her some more, told her how proud we are of her and finally tucked her into bed (with her other sisters already snoozing away). We plan to do this with all of them- just a little extra time during the week to make sure we are truly connecting. In my dream world I would have hours and hours to just stare into every one of my children’s eyes and know every single thought they were having, and every single detail of their day. But since that is not possible with the way God designed our family we are just doing the best we can to make sure nobody is left behind, and that everyone knows how loved they are.

What a great idea, and so simple to try.

I have been thinking a little bit more about Anchors and why they work for me. The great thing is that they occur at regular intervals in the day, so no matter how far off track we get, in our work or behavior, I can focus on the next anchor and reclaim the day. No day is completely lost.

Les asked a great question that I want to pose to everyone:

“I’d love to hear the honest thoughts of moms from big families about this.

Are there some people who are cut out to have a lot of kids and some who aren’t?

I have three children, five year old twins who are bio and a two year old we adopted from China this summer. I love kids, especially those who need families. I’m worried though that I’m wouldn’t do well with a large family. I have trouble letting go of order and control and also am an introvert in the sense that groups drain me. I tend to need alone time to recharge, which I have less of as more kids come. My husband struggles even more than I do with the noise, activity and chaos.

Please feel free to share your thoughts via email ([email protected]) or by posting a comment and I’ll share them in a post later this week.

Thank you everyone for reading my blog and being part of these discussions. Have a great start to your week.

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Les
    December 14, 2008

    Oh, I’m sooooo excited you posted my question! I look forward to hearing the responses!
    Our little family is blogged about on http://www.tawtieanddobie.blogspot.com
    Blessings!
    Lesli

    Reply
  2. Kathrin
    December 15, 2008

    I love the picture of Sam and Santa 🙂

    Reply
  3. Anonymous
    December 16, 2008

    Lisa,

    I’ll jump in on the question regarding being cut out to have a large family. I think the question is really “How is God wanting to use my life?” I don’t think that God has called us all to have large families, but I think He has called us all to have a place where we get our hands dirty and our lives messy in meeting the needs of hurting people. It might be ministry to single moms, prisoners, the poor, the homeless, widows, inner city kids, immigrants, the sick, etc…, but SOMEWHERE God has a place for each of us to serve that will complicate our lives, and our homes, and our personal space and time….AND that place will be a place where we know a special kind of fulfillment and satisfaction and where we are used to have eternal impact. For the lucky ones of us, it’s the call to parent children who need families! :o)

    Yes, that call has involved giving up personal time and space, living in a home that rarely reflects the ideal I have in my mind, and feeling a little over-stimulated, even, at times, from the comings and goings of our crew. But I KNOW that this is the call of God on my life and our family, and even in my worst moments, I know I’d never choose to miss the precious children God has brought to our family for a little more personal time or a more magazine worthy home.

    Last summer I had the afternoon “off” as my husband cared for our children. I went out to lunch and sat in the sun at an outdoor cafe while I sipped tea and read a magazine. After a while, I thought, “This is great! I needed this!….But this is nothing to build a life around!” and I was ready to go home, and be back in the game with my family.

    We are all unique creations and we have different needs for space, quiet, order, etc. We need to respect these limits and live within them. But we need to be sure that we’re not resisting God’s desire to stretch us and push us out of our comfort zones as He enlarges our hearts to love the world through us. It’s a hard, painful process but the end result is JOY, for us and for those we’re called to love… I think if we are faithful to ask God His intentions and to be seeking His wisdom with open hearts, then He will show us which situation applies to us.

    My .02 on a great question!

    Lisa H.
    Mom to 7

    Reply
  4. Signe
    December 16, 2008

    I have been thinking about this question for a day or so. I think Lisa H. summed it up well.

    I can very much relate to Leslie. I am also an introvert that likes to have quiet time. God has allowed me to work with that in my family. Some seasons have been tougher than others, but God will give us the grace we need to travel through whatever He calls us to. I think we are “cut out” to follow Him wherever that may lead. I certainly don’t think everyone is called to have a large family, but I don’t think there is a type of person that is more likely to be good at it either.

    I know many Moms that keep their families very organized no matter how many they have in their home. I also know many that need a little quiet time. Sometimes going into the bathroom and locking the doors to have some time with God meets that need.

    I can say that God has done amazing things with my children that I can not take the credit for. I was willing to welcome them into my home and to trust Him. He has worked out wonderful things in each of them. We have had valleys, but we have lots of mountain tops as well. My kids are still young so I have a lot to learn still, but I am willing to take more in if that is what God calls me to.

    God uses our weakness to show His strenghth.

    Reply

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