This week’s Tuesday Topic was from Campbell who I replied to via email, but I also want to share my reply here.
Upon reading the difficulty you had in finding only 15 minutes in a day to spend with one of your children (GIMH Rockin’ Mama Challenge) I had to ask myself why a person would have so many children. I’ve always been of the mindset that people can have too many children and that when they do, it’s unfair to the children as they cannot possibly receive as much attention as they need, and deserve.
For context, I’m an adopted person who is not anti adoption. I am not religious and do not subscribe to adoption being any group’s God’s will and I do believe in hugging/cuddling children of any age that want it.
Here is my email reply:
Yes, I do think there are people who take on more than they should and the children are not well cared for. I don’t think that is the case in our family at all. My children range in age from 23 to 4. My oldest two daughters no longer live at home – one is in medical school and the second got married last summer. Two others are in college and live at home to save money, but they come and go quite independently. That leaves me with seven children who still need more daily care. Although, I have to say, my big kids definitely still need me and I spend lots of time talking with them.
The struggle I had with the Rocking Challenge was that I was supposed to spend the time completely alone with my daughter. That was the hardest part! I enjoyed rocking her, talking with her, reading, etc., but she got irked anytime another child came to the door or needed my attention. Since she is in school most of the day, we often rocked in the evening, and there were lots of little needs at that time of day. Eventually we found our groove and we rocked after my husband took the younger four kids up to tuck them in. That left only my junior high and high schoolers up and they had no problem giving us time alone.
I noticed in the comments, that my daughter, Mimi, said much the same thing:
Mom, I think it could be valuable to explain to people that The Rocking Chair is also in the middle of the busy family room, so before you can rock Honeybee, you have to make sure every child is engaged in an activity in another room that will keep them completely occupied for 15 minutes – no easy task! So it’s not even just an issue of YOU finding 15 minutes. It’s an issue of creating activities for all the other kiddos that will keep them happy, safe, and occupied for the full amount of time, without coming to you with questions/comments/concerns 🙂 Mimi
Like Mimi said, it isn’t the rocking and time spent with my child that is hard, it’s clearing the room and getting everyone else occupied that is the challenge. Since our 28 day Challenge ended, we have continued to rock and snuggle up in the chair, but often with others in the room. There is no lack of affection — just lack of solitude!
I also would like to add that although having a large family doesn’t allow for as much one-on-one time with children, it creates an entirely different atmosphere of interdependence and devotion that I enjoy very much. Our plate is full right now, possibly even overflowing, but there is blessing in the workload we carry and joy in our family.
Thank you for a good discussion everyone. If you would like to add a comment, it is not too late, we would love to hear from you.
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