I never thought much about the realities that large families face when trying to raise their “large brood.” When my husband and I chose to have a large family, we just did it. We didn’t give it much thought, we just knew that we enjoyed them. Somehow, somewhere, with the Lord’s help we manage and life if fun.
But I have become reminded more that our “normal” is NOT the normal of most families. I just take things for granted and think it is just the way it is, but in reality, most people never get to experience the things that we do.
The first thing that is noticeable different is the NOISE level. It can be really loud in our household. Things have gotten much quieter over the years, but I remember years that there was always a baby crying or a toddler throwing a fit or just children being loud through play.
I think that maybe we watch and read too many unreal books and movies with large families and we look at what is put out and it seems that all the children are peaceable and quiet. No one throws fits, everyone is happy, the children are quiet and life is good. But NO!!! Life is not like that. The reality is, that children cry, a 2 year old is going to throw a fit, and I guarantee you that if you have any boys, they will be loudness.
When I had my first 4 children, it was much easier to work one on one and have that “perfectly controlled” obedient child. But when the Lord gave us 6 babies almost one after another, life got crazy. I mean crazy!!! It was loud. Babies cried, toddlers cried, the preschoolers were almost always arguing over a toy, it was rough.
My husband and I would drive out to go run some errands and it was pretty much assumed that someone would start a meltdown in their car seats, for no reason mind you, but it was inevitable. We even had one that would start crying and then put her hands in her mouth and vomit while we were driving!!! Oh my goodness, we tried to keep that one happy while out.*smile
Family trips to make memories, almost always ended in sadness. Someone would meltdown over this, that, or who knows why. I proceeded to take the family photos at the apple orchard, take pictures at the park, and photos while sledding. I have pictures of at least one crying in every photo. What are you going to do? Nothing, I was making a memory.
When you have a household full of little ones, expect it to be loud. Forget about any quiet time, unless it is nap time and normally that is your rest time as well. Play times with lots of little ones is GOING to be loud. That is just reality, lots of little ones equals lots of noise.
Meal times are loud. I gave up for the longest time, because it was just LOUD! I mean LOUD!! You couldn’t even get in a sensible quiet conversation with anyone because it was just that loud. Little children seem to have zero concept of being quieter when confined to a room that doesn’t allow the sound to bounce anywhere but back at you.
Do you know what? My children are growing. We CAN drive anywhere, even 18 hours in a vehicle when making a move to another state and have NO MELTDOWNS!!! We pack up our children and do an awful lot of exploring and driving. We sometimes have them sitting for hours while we get to our destination, and we do it!!! MELTDOWN FREE!!!
Dinner times at our table, are enjoyable. It is nice now when our little ones can carry on a conversation about something fun in their day. Sure they tend to raise their voices or multiple ones talk at the same time, but we are a family work in progress. It is getting better and it is fun.
The noise level isn’t that bad anymore. I have found the beauty of headphones and my Blackberry. (smile) I took a lesson from my teenagers who like to walk around at times with their headphones in and I thought to myself, “hmmmm, I am going to try that.” Do you know how nice it is when I am spending some time doing writing, that I can pop in my headphones and listen to music to “drown” out the extra noise? I especially enjoy it, early in the mornings when I listen to my bible teaching. I watch it on my laptop or phone and use my headphones as to not disturb the rest of the household. It is very calming.(smile).
I have even learned the blessing of having them at night. My husband is a light sleeper and I hate to have the television on, if for some reason I am up to disturb him. I started listening to my bible app as I fall asleep and you know that I can STILL hear my children when they wake up. Even if I have trouble falling back asleep, it is nice to just pop in my headphones and restart the sermon I was listening to and drift back asleep without disturbing my husband.
A blessing in something as small as headphones.
Welcome to the series………My Large Family Controlled—-to the best of my physical ability—Chaos—because there is always something. Keep watching for more.