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Any lazy mothers with big families?


Forum: Large Families

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  #1  
April 17th, 2014, 03:24 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 9
Hi girls!
I have a question that nags me. Is there anyone with large family here who can admit she is a lazy homemaker?
When I was growing up, my mom called me lazy and insisted that I won’t be able to raise a family. As a grown up now, I suspect she said that in part to ensure that I keep her close by because I am supposedly incapable on my own. But I’ve trusted her assessment of me as lazy at housework.
Nevertheless I married a great man and we have 4 children ages 8, 6, 3 and 8 mo. Surprisingly to myself, I don’t find family life very hard. True, my kitchen floor isn’t clean and the den is cluttered with toys (VERY cluttered), but I enjoy to stay at home with the children, am always on top of laundry and cook from scratch half the time (no baking though). Also successfully homeschool my 8 year old and plan on homeschooling them all.
Yet I know that my love is not in cleaning and cooking: I cut the corners here whenever I can, preferring to do something with children or paint or read a book instead. I would love to have a fifth child but I doubt if I can manage a household with 5 children. I’ve done well so far and without too much exertion, but am afraid that one more may be just too many for me. After all, I’ve always thought that I am more of an intellectual “theorist” on family than a hard worker, and a large family requires hard work, doesn’t it? With my four, it seems more fun than work so far, but then I have not been working hard (you know, with washer, dryer and dishwasher doing the heavy lifting). By the way, we are middle class Americans, no nanny or cleaning lady here, not even babysitters – never.
So here are my questions:
  • Do you really work hard in your big family? Is the large family REALLY hard work or is it just a big myth we mothers of 4+ created to get recognition and respect and discourage competition?
  • If you do work hard, what is that one thing that turns your work into HARD work?
  • What number of children is the threshold to the REALLY HARD work?
  • Can anyone here say that they thought they could never manage a large family but surprised themselves by enjoying one now?
  • Do you think if I have the 5th, I better brace myself for hard work and forget leisure? By the way, I am 41 (should that be factored in?)
  • What advice can you give me?
I will greatly appreciate your stories and opinions.
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  #2  
April 17th, 2014, 03:35 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2009
Location: southern cali
Posts: 3,259
i think its all in what you make of it. i raised 4 alone, added 2 more later (a teen and a an 8 y/o) and we did fine. my kids did sports (x 3 kids) and i managed although it was hard at times. i worked part time (6 hour days + commute) and kept my house clean and organized. i cooked dinner every night, managed homework (no home schooling for me) and even had time to sew and read and once in a while go out dancing.

really, if its in your heart to have another child, you will manage it just fine. at that point, truly, whats one more?

wishing you peace as you decide which way to go.
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  #3  
April 17th, 2014, 03:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIL2lissy8 View Post
i think its all in what you make of it. i raised 4 alone, added 2 more later (a teen and a an 8 y/o) and we did fine. my kids did sports (x 3 kids) and i managed although it was hard at times. i worked part time (6 hour days + commute) and kept my house clean and organized. i cooked dinner every night, managed homework (no home schooling for me) and even had time to sew and read and once in a while go out dancing.

really, if its in your heart to have another child, you will manage it just fine. at that point, truly, whats one more?

wishing you peace as you decide which way to go.
You are truly an inspiration! Thank you!
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  #4  
April 17th, 2014, 05:05 PM
partyofeleven's Avatar Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 48
What has happened in our family is that the more children that were added, the more the work is divided. At three, four and sometimes five children, depending on spacing, work generally falls all on mom. Once the children grow older, if you choose to train your children in this way, they are right there working with you, and eventually taking over a lot of the work. So, yes, the work increases, but so do the workers.

To me, it sounds like you have your priorities in great order. Those floors will always be there for cleaning, but those moments with our children can't be regained.


If you think you are lazy, then find how you want to change. But, don't let someone else's words define you.
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  #5  
April 17th, 2014, 06:35 PM
UrbanMomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Just for the purpose of the post, I have 11 children, ages 19-8 months. I am 12 weeks pregnant with #12. My oldest son has moved out.

I work my *** off. Period and end of story, lazy and my house would collapse.

I work part time, loading trucks, from 4am-9am and I take care of my household doing 85-90% of all the "work" such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing, etc.

I really don't expect my kids to do a lot of the work, they have chores, but the main work is mine, and thats the way I like it. I have certain ways I prefer things done.

My husband works from home, he's a barber. His hours are M-Sat, 9-6. He helps when he can, and will clean up or do some dishes.

I spend my free time, which isn't much, on the internet or reading. Usually I get a minute or two during the day to post and I read 1/2 hr before bed.

I don't feel like I work harder than a mother who has less children just because I have more. There are some ladies who homeschool or farm, and I feel like that would be really hard. Its all about your perspective I guess.
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  #6  
April 17th, 2014, 07:04 PM
Mom to 8 amazing kids
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Melba, Idaho
Posts: 2,627
I am lazy by nature, and have my little pockets of laziness, but free time isn't something I get a lot of.

I'm like UM housework is my responsibility. That's doesn't mean the kids don't help, but the bulk falls on me. I can't stand a messy house, although my house isn't perfect, it is clean and neat most if the day.


I have 8, 4 are at home full time, 2 come and go through the week, and 2 live in their own. The oldest is 22 and SN's so he will always live at home, and the youngest is 4.


I found when they were younger it was slightly easier. It's not till they're older that there is a lot more running around added into a normal days activities.


So I am not lazy, it's something I work against everyday. My day starts around 6 am and by 7 I am 'done', but really it doesn't end till 10-11.
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  #7  
April 17th, 2014, 07:12 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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I so appreciate Mil2lissy8, Partyofeleven and Urbanmomma your replies! They really got me thinking. Thank you!
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  #8  
April 17th, 2014, 07:24 PM
Farmers-wife's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,180
I think I'm pretty lazy. I don't work, I have 9 (ages 2-18), homeschool so I don't have to be up to take them to school. I don't do any housework. I do the laundry every night and I cook dinner. But I am the planner. I plan and organize every thing someone has to do.

You will do fine with another baby. I always think "oh my gosh I can't handle one more" after each one starting with #3. Then they grow a little and we settle in and we start all over with the new normal.
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  #9  
April 17th, 2014, 09:17 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,170
I'm pretty **** lazy.

Housework is divided. All my kids are at school/university. I go to work. Spotless doesn't exist in my house (and honestly I wouldn't want it to).

When they were younger it was harder, because they made more mess (you know, the 14yr old way to eat some strawberries is to get the strawberries, put them in your mouth, chew and swallow. The 3yr old way is to get strawberries, drop half the bowl on the floor, bite them in some way that involves strawberry juice to go flying, get juice all over your shirt and hands, then touch everything between the kitchen and the bathroom with sticky juice hands) and their help cleaning up wasn't helpful. But as they have gotten older, it has gotten a lot easier.
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  #10  
April 18th, 2014, 05:48 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2many2010 View Post
I am lazy by nature, and have my little pockets of laziness, but free time isn't something I get a lot of.

I'm like UM housework is my responsibility. That's doesn't mean the kids don't help, but the bulk falls on me. I can't stand a messy house, although my house isn't perfect, it is clean and neat most if the day.


I have 8, 4 are at home full time, 2 come and go through the week, and 2 live in their own. The oldest is 22 and SN's so he will always live at home, and the youngest is 4.


I found when they were younger it was slightly easier. It's not till they're older that there is a lot more running around added into a normal days activities.


So I am not lazy, it's something I work against everyday. My day starts around 6 am and by 7 I am 'done', but really it doesn't end till 10-11.
I like how you put it, "to work against it every day". I feel that way too. And I agree about running around. Mine are still small but running around has started. I have to minimize that. Thank you for sharing!
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  #11  
April 18th, 2014, 06:01 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Thank you Cybele and Farmer's Wife and all you girls so much! I am drawing interesting (and comforting) conclusions on what I should do, and will post them soon. Please feel free to add any thoughts!
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  #12  
April 18th, 2014, 08:23 AM
~mommy~'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,480
I "only" have 6dc. I also have a cleaning lady usually 4 days a week..Even still the 2 youngest are always making messes for me to clean up..lolWith each child we added, I would think of it as juggling you get comfortable with say 2 then someone tosses a 3rd ball (or dc) at you and it takes you a minute (typically a few months) to get the new rhythm for 3, but once you do it's just the new routine. Same as adding #4, #5 and #6.
I would say after the 4th it got a lot easier because as pp said more work, but more helpers doing it. My eldest, now 16 will help my mom so dh and I can have date nights.
I like these 2 sayings
"Many hands make light work"
and
"Team work makes the dream work"
Good luck with your decision.
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  #13  
April 18th, 2014, 10:32 AM
4 Boys & 4 Girls !
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3,563
I am not lazy. Even though I dont homeschool or do any farm work, I am a SAHM and do the cleaning,cooking,laundry,homework,arts crafts, ect ect. I run my house on routine and do keep things well organized. I myself cant function with clutter and have been tyring to get the 5 small kids to do simple chores.

I have had nannies (at one point had 2 live in nannies) and maids all live in. and was never lazy still had plenty to do and I still complained that things were never done lol... You moms that do homeschool and farm or work outside of the home too, can NOT say your lazy! that is an insane amount of HARD WORK!

We all have different ways of running the house. Some things/ways work for some, others not. Being happy and enjoying the way you raise your children or run your house is all thats important, if your lazy as you put it, and your happy that then adding a 5th child isnt going to change that IMO. after 4 children you have raised in your way, and being as succesfull as you have been in raising them and homeschooling them and nourishing them will your presence and praise, well then if a 5th comes along, then that #5 will just become part of that same picture.

I doubt 1 more addition to the family is going to suddenly bring on an alarming amount of work load. Its going to require more time from you but sounds like you have fun with your children and btw I think a lot of us moms here are either close to 40 or 40+.
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  #14  
April 18th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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Posts: 8,288
I found having all little ones very busy, I had 4 in 5 years, and then another one 3 years later, and you have to be "on" all the time, plus I just managed to get one thing cleaned in a day, whereas now if I get at it, I get all my bathrooms done and floors mopped in a matter of hours. I have taught the kids to "team clean" and we really get a lot tidied up in a short time, but I still do the main cleaning. When the kids were little I just stayed home a lot to keep on top of things, and now that they're older there's a lot more running around, but I find that if I make sure I am actually at home for 2 days then I can totally keep up. I totally believe I could have managed just fine with 3 more kids (that would make 8) but that sounded like too much hard work to me. Plus for me that would mean that all my energy would go into just my own family, and while our kids always are first to us, I'm finding a lot of kids and teens around me that can use an interested adult in their lives.


I am not lazy, but I don't work my butt off every single day.


As far as having 5th, we declared that we were done after #4, and then changed our minds (thus the gap). Best decision ever! You're already busy with 4, one more isn't going to change it.
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  #15  
April 18th, 2014, 01:55 PM
partyofeleven's Avatar Member
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Posts: 48
Here's the thing. We are in the midst of doing what we do all day and, for the most part, it's just life and feels normal. Now, one day, when they are older, independent, out of the house, we are going to look back and say, ACK!!!!!! HOW did I DO all of that?????!!!!!

I think we feel lazy when we keep seeing everything that still needs done instead of enjoying the list of what did get done. I remind myself often, if all I do is feed everyone every day, that's 30 meals a day. A dinner party for ten people would take most people a week to plan. But, it's just what I do, so it doesn't FEEL hard or big. But one day, I'll be impressed with myself.
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  #16  
April 23rd, 2014, 11:50 PM
deaths final kiss's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: WA
Posts: 653
Although my large family is small in comparison to many of you ladies, I have a hard time keeping up on the housework. It was easier at our old rental (huge 5 bedroom, so there were separate rooms for everything, tv/office/playroom/etc), then we downsized into a place half the size, so things aren't sorted as well, and there isn't room for everything to be neat, even though we've gotten rid of about half the stuff we had.

My oldest (8 1/2) has been a huge help this year, he volunteers to clean things, and helps with his sister (18mo) whenever I need. My 6yo, and 18mo are always making a mess of whatever I've just picked up, almost seems like nailing water to a wall

I try to keep up on everything, but always see things that still need done. Thankfully DH is amazing, and is easier on me than I am. I'm hoping after our next move into something larger, it will be easier to have things organized, and get rid of the clutter.

eta:

I'm definitely not "lazy", I'm constantly doing something, but there seems to be so little time, and so much to do. I try to spend time with the older 2 after school when I'm not cooking/cleaning, and the baby is very clingy when her brothers are away, so my productive time is after they are all asleep for the night. Lately I've been falling asleep standing up (lol, pretty close) once they are in bed, we've had a lot of stressful stuff added to our plate in the past year, and it's wearing me out!
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Last edited by deaths final kiss; April 23rd, 2014 at 11:56 PM.
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  #17  
April 24th, 2014, 03:08 PM
6 Girls and 4 Boys
Join Date: May 2012
Location: east coast
Posts: 989
I am not lazy..om...just tired! LOLI think for us the big thing is having the kids do some of the work by doing chores. I have been pretty sick with all day sickness with this pregnancy so the kids have stepped up a little more. But usually I do most everything and homeschool to. It gets somewhat easier as they get older other than more attitudes. LOL
I will admit in order to not go insane I have had to relax my standards a little. I am a perfectionist at heart so this was not easy for me to do.The house is still clean,laundry done,kids get educated,food is on the table and all that. But for this season in my life this is how it is.Perhaps one day I will have my house featured in House Beautiful magazine but not anytime in the near future.
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