Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A follow up to the How-We-Do-It posts from a while back...

(I don't remember posting this picture when I took it.
If I did, then you can enjoy this unrelated to the post content photo
of the boys and their daddy again.)

At our family reunion the other day, some of us girls were talking. I don't remember how it came up but I found myself saying that in some ways six kids is easier for me than three. (I think we were talking about the Duggars) That sounds unbelievable and, surely is a matter of my own perspective so let me explain:

Before the six, there were three. Three girls who would happily sit and play Barbies, My Little Ponies, or read books and color. It was quieter. The mess wasn't a lot different, however.

Some things are different. The noise level. Boys, it turns out, make a lot of noise. Dents in the walls appeared thanks to flying space men, or cars, or even Barbies-- but always flying out of the hands of boys. ha, ha!

The noise is one of those things that becomes normal to me after a time. I don't allow excessive amounts inside (that's what the great outdoors are for) but I try to keep it real. There will be noise. There will be dents. There will be mess. Spackle is my friend.

Now, what to do about it? That is my job: I am a manager. The managing is different for me than being managed by the mess, which is what I was before. This is not to say my house is not messy, just that I had to implement a system which would work for us and keep our "situation" under control.

I often see things and tidy them up. But there are times that we just don't worry about it. Instead of the work never being done, we have clear cut lists for each child per day and everyone understands that we are a team. There is a sense of accomplishment when a daily list has been completed and there is benefit to working quickly. (Unlike a we-all-work-till-it's-done system)
I also have the peace of mind that, once a day, for a few minutes, the house will all be tidy (sans bedrooms).

This clean-up and maintenance time is my down time. It happens right after breakfast and before school so that I can come down to the computer with my coffee and relax after the morning "rush". The kids understand this and I made sure early on that they understood that I have my jobs and they have theirs but that mine happen at different times of the day. No one wants my job and that is fine with me! :-)

This is getting long so perhaps I will elaborate in a Part 2. But just wanted to say that I am, by nature, a messy, disorganized sort. Haha! Six kids has, remarkably, forced me into being a better, more organized me. (Notice that I did not label myself simply as "Organized"!) And, for the most part, a happier me. We all--one child or two children or, in my case six children--we all go to bed wiped out sometimes. Wiped out is wiped out; it doesn't really matter too much how many kids did the wiping! But I get to enjoy six times the hugs, six times the laughs, six times the funny things that come out of their mouths! It is a good life. And worth it all.

Questions? Comments?


The McEacherns said...

Thanks for posting this with the link back to your older post. We are going to Ukraine to adopt our children in less than two weeks, and I was already feeling overwhelmed when I thought of the housework once we're home! Thanks for giving me some ideas, inspiration and encouragement! We intend to homeschool also, so I'd love to know your strategies for that, too! Blessings!

Heidi and Felix said...

I enjoyed reading your old post on jobs for the kids. I missed it because the date of the post (11/12/08) was the day Felix and I met our kids for the first time in Boyarka! No blog readin' that week!

Anonymous said...

Great post. We operate our home similarly.

Dana said...

I'm so glad I found your blog. We have two biological kids, are in the process of adopting #3, and I have the feeling there are three more coming all at the same time! I'm already overwhelmed with three and wonder how I'm going to handle more. This post told me just what I needed to know. And if I can just keep sharing things like this with my husband, maybe I can convince him that we can handle 6!

harada57 said...
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